The fact that the grand coalition burst was due to a certain dissatisfaction in the ÖVP, ex-minister of agriculture Elisabeth Köstinger (ÖVP) recalled during her questioning before the ÖVP committee of inquiry. She was still a member of the European Parliament at the time.
The “very long coalition between SPÖ and ÖVP” triggered “a certain feeling of standstill”. As a minister, she was “always very sparing” with advertisements, as these served to provide information. Also circuits in the farmer’s newspaper, this is “the medium with the highest circulation in the agricultural sector”.
She rejected allegations that her ministry had commissioned surveys with party-politically motivated content. “To be honest, I think it’s an insinuation that there was no connection with the responsibilities in the department,” she said in a survey held before her.
She herself was not even concerned with these things: “I personally did not commission the surveys,” she said of a survey queried by SPÖ parliamentary group leader Jan Krainer. Basically, the MPs from the SPÖ, Greens, FPÖ and NEOS wanted information on the commissioning of studies, surveys and advertisements as well as on appointments during Köstinger’s term of office. The parliamentary group representatives outside of the People’s Party suspect that the ÖVP could have attached party-political issues to studies commissioned by the ministry.
The Green MP Nina Tomaselli asked Köstinger about filling the post of the new head of the state federal gardens. Köstinger explained that she had previously been in the cabinet. You have told her that you are interested in the post, so Köstinger. But she herself had nothing to do with the order. Köstinger was also unable to say anything about other appointments, which, according to Tomaselli, should not have had any hearings. She was not involved in the orders.