Party Congress – Peter Kaiser re-elected as Carinthian SPÖ leader

Carinthia’s governor Peter Kaiser was re-elected SPÖ state party chairman on Saturday with 99.08 percent (431 of 435 votes). The party used the first two-day event, which was attended by 439 delegates and 103 guests on Saturday, primarily to get in the mood for the election campaign for the state elections on March 5, 2023.

Kaiser said that the high election results – also for the state party executive – made the party more closed and welded together than ever before: “Now a few out there should be afraid.”

In his almost hour-long speech, Kaiser had previously addressed the motto of the party congress “Always by your side”: “This is not an empty announcement, not a slogan, but a position that we take.” Social Democrats would stand up unconditionally for fairness, equal opportunities and for more togetherness. Kaiser said it was “high time to think more and make fewer headlines – but make sure to improve social conditions when they’re bad and protect them when they’re okay.” Not least in connection with inflation, a price cap is needed. Those who are struggling with the increased prices have no sympathy for academic discussions as to whether the government should be allowed to introduce this.

Governor since 2013

Carinthia has been advanced, also with the support of coalition partners, said Kaiser, who has been the governor since 2013. But: “We are far from finished with what we have achieved in the last ten years.” His “Plan K” for Carinthia is called “progress”, which does not automatically mean “more”, but “qualitative growth and services of general interest”. Especially with regard to the climate crisis, one must “do more than ever before”.

He emphasized the “Carinthia bonus” for people particularly affected by inflation, as well as the “children’s grant”, with which the average childcare costs will be covered by the state from autumn. There is still a lot to be done in the field of care. It’s not about the time until the next election, Kaiser affirmed: “Carinthia must be fit for grandchildren.”

Federal party leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner initially dampened the mood in her speech when she said that the party congress was taking place “in times of uncertainty and fear”. The pandemic is still not over, a war is raging in the middle of Europe and the highest inflation in 47 years is being experienced. This time demands everyone, but: “At this time we are witnessing a federal government that is simply overwhelmed.” You have seen three different chancellors within a short period of time and as far as trust levels are concerned, Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) must also resign. In view of the current problems, sustainable solutions must be on the table, “and that is exactly what is not happening”. The federal government’s package against inflation has “weaknesses and holes”, and higher earners would benefit much more “than those who really need it”.

Rendi-Wagner for a fairer tax system

In fact, it is not the small companies but the large corporations that will benefit from the federal government’s plans, said Rendi-Wagner. The tax system must be designed more fairly, an inheritance tax must be introduced, as it already exists in 19 EU countries. Whenever the federal government’s time comes to an end, it would leave behind a shambles. In doing so, she drew a link to the Kaiser and Carinthia in the time “after the Haider years”. Peter Kaiser “rebuilt this beautiful federal state and led it from the abyss to the top.”

Regional manager Andreas Sucher had previously taken stock of projects that were particularly successful from the party’s point of view, which he summarized with: “One can be proud that Peter Kaiser and his team have brought Carinthia from the breakdown lane to the fast lane.” Now is the time to recognize people’s problems and take care of them. They want to win the election in March “not just narrowly, but big, so that it is clear who is doing a good job and can continue to do it”. (apa)

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