Head shaking and ridicule for the NEOS mandataries in the finance committee of the city of Vienna: The Viennese SPÖ mayor needed a majority subsequent approval of his transfer of 700 million euros of tax money to the municipal Wien Energie, which he made on July 15 alone. With this insanely high amount of tax money, the Wien Energie managers should be able to continue their much-criticized forward transactions. Neither the public nor the municipal council were informed of the dramatic situation, only NEOS Deputy Mayor Christoph Wiederkehr found out about it – and then remained silent.
Now the NEOS are back in common with the SPÖ: they gave the red coalition partner the majority in the important vote in the finance committee and thus blessed the financial transaction of the mayor of Vienna, which was irritatingly an “emergency measure” and which, according to the statutes, must be reported “immediately” to the municipal council , two months later.
“That’s unbelievable: The NEOS, which allegedly started as a transparency and control party, subsequently approve such a strange 700 million transfer,” Viennese opposition politicians shook their heads. Now would have been the best time to clearly show Michael Ludwig that going it alone with the tax money of the Viennese would not be tolerated, said an ÖVP deputy.
With the subsequent approval of the transfers of 700 million euros on July 15 and August 29, the actions of the Viennese SPÖ mayor, at least at the local political level, are in an area that is unproblematic for him. It will now be interesting to see what the experts at the Federal Court of Auditors say about the financial scandal at Wien Energie – and whether the public prosecutor’s office also dares to investigate members of the Vienna city government.
It remains extremely exciting for all Austrian taxpayers to see how the price of electricity develops – it depends on whether we will all see the 1.4 billion that have been paid out as loans again. And also whether Wien Energie will slip even further into an even bigger billion-dollar disaster.