Europe Minister Caroline Edstadler (ÖVP) again spoke in favor of maintaining Austria’s neutrality. “It’s about freedom, prosperity and peace. Neutrality creates an identity for Austria, that was and will be the case,” Edtstadler told ZIB2 yesterday. The status is also important to the country’s reputation as the seat of international institutions.
If you go back to the “Generations”, you can see “what Austria fought for us – neutrality,” says Idtstedler. Thus, faced with the fact that the Soviet Union had enforced Austria’s neutrality, Edtstedler spoke of “the triumph of freedom”. Edtstedler did not respond directly to the objection that Austria had been liberated by the Allies – only this much: “The way to get there was neutral”.
Europe Minister Edstadler on neutrality
A coalition of politicians, experts and businessmen is calling for a debate on neutrality. In an interview, Minister for Europe Caroline Edstadler (ÖVP) spoke about the open letter on the debate on neutrality, among other things.
There is no doubt that some things have changed since Austria joined the European Union. But Edtstedler said Austria’s neutrality abroad “is not in doubt”.
Tank training ‘politically undesirable’
Finland and Sweden – both countries with a desire to join NATO – have different geographic requirements, for example, Finland has a long border with Russia. The minister said that training soldiers on battle tanks in Austria is “politically undesirable.” According to Edstadler, one would have to examine how Austria would act in the event of an attack on NATO countries.
A broad coalition calls for an open debate on neutrality
A broad coalition of politicians, experts and businessmen has re-launched the neutrality debate. In an open letter, she criticized the “delusion (…) that Austria can stay the way it is, stay out of it, and get more money for the federal army”. Signed by European politicians Osman Karas (ÖVP), former FPÖ defense minister Herbert Scheibner, SPÖ-affiliated chancellor Rudi Fauci and bank director Andreas Treschl.
“Austria deserves the truth: the current situation is grave and dangerous. We therefore continue to insist on our minimum demands: a serious, nationwide, open discussion on the future of Austria’s foreign, security and defense policy and the adoption of a new security doctrine that takes into account the changing circumstances of last spring.
For “Discussions Without Blinders”
In this they called for an “unmistakable debate” on neutrality, “led by an independent group of experts set up by the Federal President” and with wide participation from the population. This should then lead to the adoption of a new Austrian security doctrine.
In addition to many top diplomats and generals, the list of supporters includes writers Robert Minas and Doron Rabinowici, former MP for NEOS Irmgard Grese, former National Council President Heinrich Neisser (ÖVP), former Defense Minister Friedhelm Freichenschlager (FPÖ, today. NEOS), and the head of AMS. Johannes Kopf, Director of the Diplomatic Academy Emil Brix, former Editor-in-Chief of “Presse” Rainer Novak, journalist Robert Messick, author of the book Ali Mahlodji, and former strategic advisor to former Chancellor Sebastian Kurtz, Antonella May Pochtler.
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