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Right gains in Austria's paradoxical election result

By Walter Baier

October 2, 2013 -- Transform! -- The outcome of the September 29, 2013, Austrian parliamentary elections must seem paradoxical all across Europe.

Despite the – by comparison – favourable economic data, the ruling “Great Coalition” of Social Democrats (SPÖ) and conservative Peoples Party (ÖVP) was punished. Its share of the votes fell back from 55 per cent to less than 51. The SPÖ at 27 per cent remained the largest party, however is now sitting in a parliament with four right-wing parties, which hold 108 out of 183 seats altogether.

The German-nationalist, racist Freedom Party (FPÖ) scored better than expected at 20.6 (+3.0%) per cent. It managed to retrieve the majority of the votes it had lost after 2005 lost to the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ), which had been founded by Jörg Haider. In Styria, however, the FPÖ topped the poll to become the party with the most votes, spectacularly gaining from the electorate of both the ÖVP and SPÖ. Notably among workers and employees, the FPÖ replaced the SPÖ as the strongest party.

Alexandra Kollontai: International Women's Day -- a militant celebration

To mark International Women's Day 2010, Links International Journal of Socilalist Renewal reproduces Alexandra Kollontai's classic history and explanation of this important anniversary. Thanks to the Marxist Internet Archive (MIA) for making this and other writings by Kollontai available. Notes by MIA.

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By Alexandra Kollontai

Mezhdunarodnyi den' rabotnitz, Moscow 1920 -- Women's Day or Working Women's Day is a day of international solidarity, and a day for reviewing the strength and organisation of proletarian women.

Austria: Students occupy universities; mass demonstrations and broad solidarity throughout the country

40,000 students march in Vienna on October 30, 2009. Photo: Press TV.

By the international press working group, Occupied University of Vienna

November 3, 2009 -- Throughout the last few years, studying conditions at Austrian universities have dramatically declined. The introduction of tuition fees, a massive cutback of democratic structures and lack of course availability are only some examples. Reasons can be found in the huge decline in university funding on the one hand and the introduction of the three-level "Bologna" system on the othe, resulting in the implementation of admission reductions and limits.

On October 22, students' dissatisfaction turned into savage protest. At noon several hundred students from the Academy of Fine Arts (which was occupied the day before) and the University of Vienna gathered to make known their desperate situation. In a spontanious action they squatted in Austria's largest auditorium in the main university building. The news of the occupation spread rapidly and soon students from several other departments joined.

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