How do we stop the knee jerk legislation

 

 

 

 

Shorthand record

 

 

 

 

 

75th session of the National Council of the Republic of Austria

XXIII. Legislative period

 

Monday October 20, 2008

 

 


Shorthand record

75th session of the National Council of the Republic of Austria

XXIII. Legislative period Monday, October 20, 2008

Duration of the session

Monday, October 20, 2008: 12.01 a.m. - 5.29 p.m.

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Agenda

Federal law that enacts a federal law to strengthen the interbank market (Interbank Market Strengthening Act - IBSG) and a federal law on measures to ensure the stability of the financial market (Financial Market Stability Act - FinStaG) as well as the ÖIAG Act 2000, the Banking Act, the Stock Exchange Act, the Financial Market Supervision Act and the Federal Finance Act 2008 to be changed

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content

National Council

decision at the end of the extraordinary conference 2008 of the XXIII. GP at the end of the 75th session ........................................... .................................................. .................................. 92

Personal details

Prevention ................................................. .................................................. ............. 5

Business handling

Interruption the meeting ................................................ ..................................... 5, 10

Reticle of the 24-hour deadline for the availability of the written committee report 683 d.B. according to § 44 (2) of the rules of procedure .......................................... .............................................. 5

Speech order after consultation in the presidential conference ............................................. ... 6

Reading the proposed version of the official minutes of this meeting President Dr. Michael Spindelegger .................................................................................................. 93

Approval of the Official Protocol ............................................... ....................... 94


National Council, XXIII GPS Tenographic Protocol75. Session / page 2

negotiations

Report of the finance committee on the government bill (682 d.B.): Federal law with which a federal law to strengthen the interbank market (Interbank Market Strengthening Act - IBSG) and a federal law on measures
to ensure the stability of the financial market (Financial Market Stability Act - FinStaG) and amend the ÖIAG Act 2000, the Banking Act, the Stock Exchange Act, the Financial Market Supervision Act and the Federal Finance Act 2008 (683 dB) ............. .................... 6

Speakers:

Federal Chancellor Dr. Alfred Gusenbauer................................................................ ....... 6

Vice Chancellor Mag. Wilhelm Molterer...................................................................... ..... 10

Heinz-Christian Strache......................................................................................... ..... 13

Dr. Josef Cap........................................................................................................... ..... 17

Dr. Alexander Van der Bellen................................................................................ ..... 21

Dr. Wolfgang bowl.......................................................................................... ..... 25

Ing.Peter Westenthaler.......................................................................................... ..... 29

Federal Minister Werner Faymann....................................................................... ..... 33

Federal Minister Dipl.-Ing. Josef Pröll.................................................................. ..... 35

Mag. Werner Kogler............................................................................................... ..... 37

Dkfm. Dr. Günter Stummvoll................................................................................ ..... 39

Dr. Peter Fichtenbauer........................................................................................... ..... 41

Kai Jan Krainer....................................................................................................... ..... 49

Josef Bucher........................................................................................................... ..... 52

Renate Csörgits...................................................................................................... ..... 55

Jakob Auer.............................................................................................................. ..... 57

Mag. Bruno Rossmann.......................................................................................... ..... 59

Bernhard Themessl................................................................................................ ..... 62

Herbert Scheibner.................................................................................................. ..... 65

Marianne Hagenhofer............................................................................................. ..... 67

Werner Amon, MBA..................................................................................................... 68

Mag. Ulrike Lunacek.................................................................................................... 69

Alois Gradauer........................................................................................................ ..... 72

Veit Schalle.............................................................................................................. ..... 75

Dr. Johannes Jarolim............................................................................................. ..... 76

Mag. Peter Michael Ikrath...................................................................................... ..... 78

Dr. Ruperta Lichtenecker....................................................................................... ..... 80

Herbert Kickl........................................................................................................... ..... 81

Mag. Gernot Darmann........................................................................................... ..... 84

Gabriele Tamandl................................................................................................... ..... 85

Mag. Ewald Stadler................................................................................................. ..... 87

Motion for a resolution of the deputies Mag. Bruno Rossmann, Colleagues regarding protection letter for private (foreign) currency borrowers and SME / EPU security package to bridge the consequences of the financial crisis - rejection ......................... ................ 24, 91

Motion for a resolution of the deputies Dr. Peter Fichtenbauer, Colleagues regarding cross border leasing - rejection ......................................... ............................... 43, 92

Motion for a resolution of the deputies Heinz-Christian Strache,Colleagues on criminal liability of criminal bank and financial services managers - denial 48, 92

Motion for a resolution of the deputies Mag. Werner Kogler, Colleagues regarding manager salaries and liability - rejection ......................................... ................... 61, 92


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Motion for a resolution of the deputies Bernhard Themessl, Colleagues regarding the relief of the burden on Austrian citizens and companies, which has become imperative due to the financial crisis - rejection ................................ .................................................. .... 64, 92

Motion for a resolution of the deputies Mag. Werner Kogler, Colleagues regarding the reintroduction of stock exchange sales tax - rejection ...................................... 71, 92

Motion for a resolution of the deputies Alois Gradauer, Colleagues regarding necessary changes to the Pension Fund Act due to the financial crisis - rejection ... 73, 92

Motion for a resolution of the deputies Herbert Kickl, Colleagues regarding AUA privatization - rejection ......................................... ............................................. 83, 92

Adoption of the draft law ............................................... ...................................... 90

Acceptance of the written committee report 683 d.B. Resolution attached as Annex 1 on the equality of bonds in the direct portfolio and in funds (E 115) ........... 91

Acceptance of the written committee report 683 d.B. Resolution attached as Annex 2 regarding the redesign of a high-performance investor compensation (E 116) 91

Were brought in

MEPs' inquiries

Mag. Johann Maier, Colleagues to the Federal Minister for Health, Family and Youth on "Food Infections" (5056 / J)

Johann Rädler, Colleagues to the Federal Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology regarding the accident accumulation point at the transition section on the A 2 southern motorway towards Vienna (5057 / J)

Mag. Johann Maier, Colleagues to the Federal Minister for Health, Family and Youth regarding "Current situation of nursing students in Austria" (5058 / J)

Mag. Johann Maier, Colleagues to the Federal Minister for Health, Family and Youth regarding "AUVA and the international financial crisis - losses of 29 million €" (5059 / J)

Heinz-Christian Strache, Colleagues to the Federal Chancellor regarding the trip to South America by Federal Chancellor Dr. Alfred Gusenbauer (5060 / J)

Dr. Alexander Van der Bellen, Colleagues to the Federal Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management regarding the Espoo procedure for the Heiligenkreuz MVA (5061 / J)

Wolfgang Zanger, Colleagues to the Federal Minister of Finance regarding the Pension Fund Act (5062 / J)


National Council, XXIII GPS Tenographic Protocol75. Session / page 4

Ing.Norbert Hofer, Colleagues to the Federal Minister for Health, Family and Youth regarding the funding to the association "dialog <> gentechnik" (5063 / J)

Ing.Norbert Hofer, Colleagues to the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Labor regarding the funding to the association "dialog <> gentechnik" (5064 / J)

Ing.Norbert Hofer, Colleagues to the Federal Minister for Science and Research regarding the funding to the association "dialog <> gentechnik" (5065 / J)


12.01.37


National Council, XXIII GPS Tenographic Protocol75. Session / page 5

Start of the meeting: 12:01 p.m.

Chair: President Mag. BarbaraPrammer,Second President Dr. Michael Spindelegger.

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President Mag. Barbara Prammer: The session is opened.

As prevented the MPs Angela Lueger, Mag. Melitta Trunk, Hedwig Wechner, Rainer Wimmer, Dr. Sebastian Eder, Michaela Sburny, Dr. Glawischnig-Piesczek, Mag. Brigid Weinzinger, Dr. Gerhard Kurzmann and Lutz Weinzinger.

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I announce that the Finance Committee has ended its meeting.

The agenda for the just opened session of the National Council has already been sent to the clubs. In accordance with Section 13 (3) of the Rules of Procedure Act, I will interrupt this meeting for an indefinite period - namely until the report of the Finance Committee is available. The clubs will be informed of the date of resumption of the meeting. In addition, I will start the session 15 minutes before it begins. In the meantime, I would ask the groups to adapt the order of speeches.

The session is interrupted.

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12.02.23(The sitting was at 12.02 p. M interrupted and at 12.44 p.m. resumed.)

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President Mag.Barbara Prammer: Ladies and gentlemen! I take the suspended session again on.

The report of the finance committee on government bill 682 of the enclosures is now available.

Disregard of the 24-hour waiting period

 


President Mag. Barbara Prammer:In order to be able to negotiate the report of the Finance Committee683 of the enclosures, it is necessary, according to Section 44 (2) of the Rules of Procedure, to refrain from the 24-hour period for the publication of the committee report.

I would like to ask those ladies and gentlemen who give their consent to the abandonment of the period for which this report is to be published, to indicate this. - This is unanimouslydecided.

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The meeting will be broadcast live by ORF until 1 p.m. and from 1.15 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the latest.


National Council, XXIII GPS Tenographic Protocol75. Session / page 6

Speech order

 


President Mag.Barbara Prammer:The following consensus was reached in the Presidential Conference regarding the order of speech for this meeting:

The debate speaking time per political group is 43 minutes.

The sitting was suspended from 1 p.m. to 1.15 p.m.

For the time of the television broadcast, a new speaking order was made: Federal Chancellor and Vice Chancellor each 13 minutes, one speaker per parliamentary group 14 minutes, two members of the government 8 minutes each, one speaker per parliamentary group 8 minutes, one speaker per parliamentary group 6 minutes and then two rounds per speaker 5 minutes.

The order of speakers in the individual debates is as follows: first round: FPÖ, SPÖ, Greens, ÖVP, BZÖ; second round: Greens, ÖVP, FPÖ, SPÖ, BZÖ; from the third round onwards, the parliamentary groups are selected.

Before the start of the last round, the presiding president distributes the remaining time for the last round equally among the five parliamentary groups after consultation with the club chairmen.

Actual corrections will only be called after the television broadcast has ended.

We now come to Poll.

I would ask those ladies and gentlemen who agree to this proposal to send me a sign. - This is decided unanimously.

We are now on the agenda.

12.46.37 Agenda

Report of the finance committee on the government bill (682 dB): Federal law with which a federal law to strengthen the interbank market (Interbank Market Strengthening Act - IBSG) and a federal law on measures to ensure the stability of the financial market (Financial Market Stability Act - FinStaG) are enacted, as well as the ÖIAG Act 2000, the Banking Act, the Stock Exchange Act, the Financial Market Authority Act and the Federal Finance Act 2008 are changed (683 dB)

 


President Mag.Barbara Prammer: We now come to the discussion of the Finance Committee's report on Government Bill 682 of the Supplements.

Oral reporting was dispensed with. We will therefore enter the debate at once.

Federal Chancellor Dr. Gusenbauer. - You're welcome.

 


12.47.08

Federal Chancellor Dr. Alfred Gusenbauer: Madam President! Dear colleagues on the government bench! Ladies and gentlemen! The mortgage crisis in the United States of America was the starting point of a global crisis that is not limited to the financial markets. In the last few months we have had to deal with the crisis in food prices and also with the crisis in energy prices. I can only point out that a few months ago the barrel of crude oil was still at $ 145 and is now around $ 70. These are volatilities that we have never had to deal with on this scale in the past. We must therefore see the dimension of the crisis somewhat more broadly than is sometimes done in the discussions today.


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We are dealing with the fact that for several decades the US has had a very high trade deficit, that very high deficits are being made and that this creates economic inequalities in the world.

We also have the phenomenon that the weights between the raw material producing countries and the raw material consuming countries have obviously become imbalanced.

We are also dealing with a massive climate crisis in the world.

And it also seems to be the case that the power-political conditions in the world today are significantly more disordered than in the past. Just think of the unsolved crises in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East and many other parts of the world. That is, the crisis is really global - and the financial market crisis is part of it.

We were confronted in Austria and in Europe with the fact that this financial market crisis was not noticed by many because people did not want to believe it. As a result, the last few months have actually been relatively calm, and it has been thought that what began as a subprime crisis is in reality already over - before it got really dramatic in September and October of this year.

How did this crisis look in Europe? - There was no more trust among the banks and no more liquidity. What existed as normal business in the financial system has come to a complete standstill. And even well-functioning banks have no longer received the funds they needed to provide the loans that home builders need to provide the loans that small and medium-sized enterprises need to invest in the economy and in new projects can.

Dramatic signals were already evident - and in this context it has been shown that the market, if it only regulates itself, Not works, but tends to ruin itself.

So the question has arisen of how to regulate financial markets in a better way than has been the case in the past. - But before you could even ask yourself this question, you had to solve the underlying problem: How can we stop the avalanche that has approached Europe and Austria with unimaginable speed?

In this context it has to be said that sometimes disappointed expectations also lead to the negative. European crisis management, which is now working well, was a bit bumpy at the beginning. The meeting of the large European industrialized countries, i.e. the G 4, did not lead to any result, which resulted in the markets being sent to the basement for another week, so to speak.

Ultimately, however, the successful crisis management began with the meeting of the representatives of the euro zone, who assumed their joint responsibility - for the first time on this scale.

I would also like to take this opportunity to say: I do not even want to imagine what this crisis would have been like if we had the euro Not in most of Europe. I only point out, for example, that in addition to the existing difficulties, there would probably also have been currency speculations, as we experienced at the beginning of the 1990s - and how this is happening today in individual countries that do not belong to the euro zone, experience. I refer to what is happening in Hungary


National Council, XXIII GPS Tenographic Protocol75. Session / page 8

takes place. Despite all of the economic difficulties that Hungary has: Of course there is also speculation against the Hungarian forint. In Iceland, the banking system is often home-made, but there has also been speculation against the Icelandic currency.

Fortunately, it was precisely this dramatization, ladies and gentlemen, that the euro zone was spared, since the euro is one of the most stable world currencies today; a safe haven, so to speak, for all economies belonging to the euro zone.

What problems did you have to solve together? - You had to inject additional liquidity into the banks, and the aim is to strengthen the banks' equity.The member states of the euro zone have therefore agreed on a joint action plan, which essentially provides a “tool kit”, whereby the individual member states must define for themselves exactly what and to what extent they will implement this.

I think that is a good approach to a coordinated approach, which also led to the fact that this avalanche could be stopped in the first round. It is also gratifying that last week at the European Council, the decisions of the Eurogroup were raised to the level of the European Union as a whole, as Europe thus shows that it is capable of crisis management in this situation.

Ladies and gentlemen! In this context, the question is often asked why the Austrian package is comparatively larger than the German package. Most of the time the formula is adopted: Germany is about ten times the size of Austria. But: This formula cannot be used because Austria has a significantly higher share of banks in its gross national product than Germany. Therefore, in order to provide the same collateral for our banks as Germany does for its banks, we must provide a framework of liability to a greater extent and also take greater precautions with regard to - possibly - the injection of equity.

I believe that with this Austrian package, which is before the House today and which I hope will be adopted very consensually, we will be able to stop this avalanche. However, it must be clear to all of us that this is only the first step. Yes, an important step, but only the first! In the long term, there will only be trust in the financial system again if we are able to arrive at a kind of international financial order, a financial order that ensures more transparency, that ensures that there is more efficient control and monitoring, whereby I consciously say: a more efficient form.

There is no point in letting the pendulum swing in a completely different direction and thinking that you now have to regulate everything down. That would be the completely wrong approach. - No, the point is to give the markets the rules that are necessary so that the markets do not destroy themselves. I believe that a distinction must also be made between large institutes that are now active across borders, that are so large that each individual institute would run the risk that if something went wrong there, the entire system would be affected, so that the rules there have to be stricter, and smaller institutions where, if it is shown that they voluntarily take a greater risk, then, in my opinion, self-responsibility should be drawn on to a greater extent in the future.

That means, it's about where there is a danger for that entire System assumes to regulate more strictly, and at the same time to give the smaller institutes more freedom, so that on the one hand we give security and on the other hand continue to do something like that


National Council, XXIII GPS Tenographic Protocol75. Session / page 9

like capital or financial market innovation, so that there can be an efficient allocation of financial resources.

Ladies and gentlemen! We will not be able to leave it at that. The House will soon be grappling with other questions, because many people asked themselves last week: If such massive packages are being put together by all European governments, why is the market going then, why are the stock exchange prices falling further?

The reason for this is very clear: as a result of this financial market crisis, there is of course a very manifest fear of a recession in Europe and around the world. This danger of recession is not an imaginary one, but a real one. It has already been the case in the past that financial market crises did not leave the so-called real economy completely unaffected. So you have to fear this, you have to take this danger seriously.

In this context, I think it is important that we agreed at the European Council that, in addition to all the measures that we are taking to stabilize the financial markets, something is now also for us growth and employment has to be done. The best thing would of course be that, just as we coordinated our actions at European level to contain this financial market crisis, we would also act in a coordinated manner to stimulate the economy, to generate growth and jobs.

I think there are obvious elements that are always needed: One is that small and medium-sized companies need money in order to be able to invest again. In other words, investment allowances and tax incentives certainly make sense. On the other hand, it certainly makes sense to strengthen the purchasing power of employees through tax relief. It certainly also makes sense to implement infrastructure projects for which the procedures have already been completed earlier in order to give a corresponding boost.

In other words, after stopping this avalanche, the task now is to ensure that there is more confidence in the financial system, while at the same time ensuring that the economy is stimulated, thereby limiting the dangers of a recession.

Ladies and gentlemen! With the package that you have in front of you, we are not giving the banks anything for free, we are doing one thing: We provide guarantees and, if necessary, we provide equity capital. The banks have to pay for the guarantees or liabilities. Should we go into equity, we can assume that at a later point in time, when these shares are privatized again, the state will probably generate a higher income than the cost of equity now amounts to.

That is, it will Not Reached into the pockets of taxpayers, but the state does what it can do, namely Collateral provide. I am very happy that we in Austria can take these measures on the basis of a broad consensus, and I think that it is important to show the ability to act in this situation.

I would therefore like to thank all the officials in the Ministry of Finance, the Financial Market Authority, the Central Bank, and everyone who helped to present this package in such a short time, for their work - they really worked day and night -, and I would particularly like to thank the Minister of Finance for the good cooperation that made this package, which is a good and sensible one, possible in a short period of time. (Applause from the SPÖ and ÖVP.)

13.00



National Council, XXIII GPS Tenographic Protocol75. Session / page 10

President Mag.Barbara Prammer: Thank-you.

As agreed, we will now interrupt the meeting for a further quarter of an hour and continue it at 1.15 p.m. with the statements by the Vice Chancellor.

The session is interrupted.

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13.00.54(The sitting was at 1 p. M interrupted and at 1:16 p.m. resumed.)

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President Mag.Barbara Prammer: Ladies and gentlemen, me take the suspended session back on.

The next to speak was Vice Chancellor Mag. Molterer with a speaking time of 13 minutes. - Please, Vice Chancellor.

 


13.17.01

Federal Minister of Finance Vice Chancellor Mag. Wilhelm Molterer: Madam President! High house! Ladies and gentlemen! It is true that we have a critical situation in the international financial markets and this crisis in the international financial markets naturally also has its effects, its critical and negative effects on the economy as a whole, on the prospects for growth and thus also on employment.

It goes without saying that in an unusual, in a critical situation, politicians are cautious - and it is the duty of politicians in such an unusual situation - to act quickly, consistently and comprehensively, because we have two major tasks , Ladies and Gentlemen: On the one hand, it is to give savers the security and the banks the necessary stability - that is the first major objective of this package (Applause from the ÖVP) Secondly, we found that, in a joint effort, like this one today, we must continue to exercise political responsibility for the issues of growth, employment and the economy with the same intensity and with the same consistency in the future.

When, if not now, ladies and gentlemen, is this political responsibility required? - This federal government is aware of it. And I would like to thank all the parliamentary groups, quite deliberately, the opposition and the governing parties that we can actually give the right answers here by making a joint effort. (Applause from the ÖVP and members of the SPÖ.)

What is the perspective, what is the main content of this package? - Firstly, it is our job to be able to react quickly to this crisis. In a crisis, ladies and gentlemen, the European Union and the European institutions have proven themselves in a very special way. During this crisis, the euro area, for example, sent out a very clear signal. The common European currency has actually protected us from grosser repercussions. The European Central Bank is the European institution that can react really quickly. And the European Central Bank, ladies and gentlemen, and the euro are at eye level, yes, I would say, at eye level with other institutions in the world.


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This European perspective is also needed in crisis management. We have therefore processed in the Eurogroup and Ecofin what was justified in the meeting of the heads of state and government and in the European Council.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for the excellent cooperation with Federal Chancellor Gusenbauer and with the Foreign Minister, whom I would like to congratulate warmly on the Austrian, red-white-red success in the United Nations on behalf of all of us and on behalf of the Republic. (Applause from the ÖVP and MPs from the SPÖ and the Greens.)

Ladies and gentlemen, in this situation we have based this measure on the European foundation. So what does the package include?

First: We can give people security for their savings with deposit insurance. Today in the committee we have also gone one step further: this deposit guarantee does not only apply to natural persons, but also applies to small and medium-sized enterprises up to € 50,000, including SMEs - the small and medium-sized enterprises, the pillar of our economy - It is essential to have security, ladies and gentlemen. (Applause from the ÖVP and members of the SPÖ.)

Second, we have created the legal basis so that we can give the banks the necessary liquidity. I am often asked these days: What do we mean by that? - This can also be expressed visually: In order for the economy and the banks to function, the blood circulation must be kept going, so to speak. If this is interrupted, then we have to make sure that this important foundation of the economy, the bloodstream, the financial system, works and gets going again. Hence this clearing house and therefore the possibility for the federal government to assume liability for this liquidity. To put it very clearly: Not free of charge! Taxpayers need to know that the banks pay liability fees for this as a matter of course. Liability is not free, but of course you have to pay for it.

Thirdly, ladies and gentlemen, the equity base and, if necessary, the capital base will be ensured. This means that the republic can also take over property rights. This is an ultima ratio, and it means that we are also giving banks the security they need in international competition. If necessary, the state also puts up a protective shield so that no competitive disadvantages arise, so that we can give the banks this stability and security.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is clear that this law also gives us a new instrument. With the temporary ban on short sales, for example, we can put a stop to the speculative elements on the stock exchanges so that there is less speculation, but actually properly invested.

With this law, we have made an important addition today: In addition to the more comprehensive deposit protection, we can now also help determine certain rules of the game in an ordinance for the finance minister. People have a right to that too. I am often asked: What about manager salaries in the future? How about the dividend policy? Or: what about the banks' business policy? Has it been ensured in the future that the banks actually invest the liquidity that we guarantee them correctly, for example in Austrian small and medium-sized enterprises? - We can now make these conditions and thus have the instrument in hand, on the one hand to help, but on the other hand, if necessary, to exert some influence on - I would say - that things are done correctly people actually get the correct answers. (Applause from the ÖVP.)


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I would like to close this perspective with a comment because I am often asked these days: Is this direct money from the taxpayer? - We give guarantees, ladies and gentlemen, and our aim is to use this protective shield to avoid using direct cash flows and tax money. We want now give the assurance that the problem does not occur then arises. Here's another picture: It's roughly like buying a fire engine in a community for the safety of people, for example. Nobody wants it to burn, but when it does burn, then this protective screen, this protective shield must be in place so that we can really help. Nobody wants these liabilities to take effect. The aim is not for us to inject equity into the banks - but if it is necessary, then we have the instrument.

Ladies and gentlemen! The second big perspective, in addition to crisis management, is: What's next? What do we learn from it? - I consider it to be a major task for politicians, also at European level, that we are aware that Europe, for example, with the new valuation guidelines, which have already been adopted, with the new capital adequacy guidelines, with guidelines for management salaries , with a new Europe-wide directive for deposit insurance for the safety of savers, with the question of an independent European rating agency for loans or with the gradual Europeanization of the supervisory authorities.

I can tell you very openly that in the last few months and weeks I have also changed my mind on one question: I originally thought that it would be enough to network the national supervisory authorities as well as possible. That will also may be necessary, but that we also have European supervision at the end of the process for those banks that operate across Europe is actually a logical consequence. I also expect this ability to learn from others. Austria will introduce new initiatives or has already done so on the basis of a house initiative. The speculative tax and the introduction of a financial transaction tax are essential, ladies and gentlemen, if we are to lay new foundations in Europe and on a global level in the long term. (Applause from the ÖVP as well as from members of the SPÖ.Pirklhuber.)

Hence the third major task, ladies and gentlemen: I am convinced that the global financial architecture will be redesigned, and there is now a great chance that Europe will actually emerge from this critical situation as a trendsetter, as really that community, which determines the rules of the game, can occur. This is a great opportunity for our continent, a great opportunity for our homeland, a great opportunity for our economy.Why? - Because this new European self-confidence must mean that it can no longer happen as in the past, for example that the USA determines the Basel II rules of the game, Europe then applies these Basel II rules, but the USA does not. Or: that there are rating agencies that are de facto based exclusively on US law. - European answers are needed!

Ladies and gentlemen, I think it is a fascinating opportunity that we are setting the right European perspective out of this crisis. You see, the US is emulating our European system in its own programs. Yesterday, for example, at the summit with Barroso, Sarkozy and President Bush, a world financial summit was agreed that will probably take place on November 21-23, i.e. after the elections in the United States. There, Europe has the fundamental chance of laying the foundation for the social market economy also in the financial markets around the world; A market economy, which from my point of view means: firstly, clear rules of the game, secondly, transparency of the markets - they must be transparent for everyone, including customers -


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and third, supervision. - That is the task of the state, also in terms of the social market economy, that is the European answer.

Fourthly, ladies and gentlemen, the European and Austrian answers are also needed from an economic perspective.

Yes, it is true, the financial markets are having a critical impact on the real economy, and growth forecasts are going down. It is all the more important that we now set the right perspectives in the economic discussion, for example in the question of financing for small and medium-sized enterprises. In Europe, we have achieved that the European Investment Bank provides € 30 billion in credit for SMEs across Europe, and we want to use Austrian measures to ensure that we make the best possible use of this European money in Austria - for Austria's jobs and for Austrian SMEs. It is important that we also focus on the internationalization perspective, that Austria also gives the right answer when it comes to exports.

This stimulus package is based on a solid and stable foundation of public finances. We have to have this solidity now so that we then have the strength when we act have to. That is also my responsibility as finance minister.

I would like to thank my staff, I would like to thank the parliamentary groups in the House, I would like to thank the government partner for the fact that we have now acted in this unusual way in an unusual situation. I would like to invite you to continue to do so in the future when it comes to important questions of principle. (Applause from ÖVP and SPÖ.)

13.29


President Mag.Barbara Prammer: The speakers in the next round have a speaking time of 14 minutes each.

The first to speak is Mr Strache. - You're welcome.

 


13.30.07

Deputy Heinz-Christian Strache (FPÖ): Dear President! Mr. Chancellor! Vice Chancellor! Dear government team! Ladies and gentlemen! The banking package to be decided today, which comprises € 100 billion and is now tied up here, comprises € 15 billion, which the state is making available directly, so to speak, in order to also be able to enter banks with guarantees, € 75 billion will be available for interbank trading and 10 billion will be made available to secure savings. - We have now heard that, fortunately, the area of ​​small and medium-sized companies with up to € 50,000, readjusting, so to speak, has been recorded.

Specifically, this means that the state guarantees the loans that the banks give to each other. That is one side of the coin, which we certainly have to critically consider. This is about relieving the burden on banks with guarantees, but it must also be about relieving the burden on citizens and small and medium-sized businesses. But today, on this important day, we are missing an economic stimulus package that would be necessary in this context.

We need an economic stimulus package swiftly, and as the opposition party we have rightly pointed out in the past that in recent years, even in the boom phase, we have called for tax relief measures to support this boom once again in a positive way. But that has been neglected in recent years. (Applause from the FPÖ.)

In any case, it is sad that a crisis is apparently always required and that one is apparently only ready to take sensible and correct measures when the hat is burning.


National Council, XXIII GPS Tenographic Protocol75. Session / page 14

€ 100 billion - that is an enormous sum that hardly anyone can imagine! Such a sum is not within our imagination; Citizens can hardly imagine anything like this. The whole thing is quite a big challenge, and we had to realize that at the beginning of this crisis there was a misjudgment in Austria, too, on the part of the Governor of the National Bank, Dr. Nowotny, who at the beginning of this crisis was still of the opinion that this crisis would be Not encroach on Austria. As a result, Governor Nowotny had to admit that there was an encroachment, and he certainly supported what we Freedmen have been demanding from the opposition over the past few years, namely that a tax relief package is now urgently needed.

I would like to point out that when we called for a rapid tax reform and tax cut in the amount of € 6 billion, the Federal Government constantly prayed that this money would not exist. Now, € 100 billion in guarantees is being made available, and please do not pretend that it is entirely risk-free in its entirety. Of course, this € 100 billion guarantee also comes with a risk! You see it today - at least you can hear it between the lines - as if we should provide 300 billion immediately, then we would do an even better deal in the future. So that's not quite the case, of course there is also a risk in this area.

We should, please, also not simply go back to the agenda and praise the European Union with its current measure, to a certain extent, because of course there was no early warning system here, too, there was no early detection. That, of course, was also a failure of this European Union. And as far as the ECB, the European Central Bank, is concerned, it must also be noted critically that in future it would be appropriate not to simply surrender to the Fed by maintaining the link, but also to follow a more independent European economic path in the future.

Now the state is taking on € 75 billion in guarantees and is setting up € 15 billion, which is intended for the state to step directly into banks. It is hoped that, once the danger has been averted, it will perhaps be able to sell these shares even better, while for years it has rejected tax relief and measures to stimulate the economy.

Today I would like to bring an example that a site manager gave me in the last few days, a site manager from Burgenland, who approached me and said: I've worked hard in my life, I've taken on debts for my house that I built and am now in the process of paying off that loan. I've also saved myself € 30,000 through hard work all my life; that's a lot, a lot of money for me. Back then I was advised by the banks to invest in stocks and real estate - and today I am standing in front of the ruins of my life: € 3,000 today is the value of these stocks!

That is exactly what we should not forget: we must now take countermeasures for the injured citizens who are in abundance in this area.

At times one has the impression that there is already a certain Phariseeism in this federal government, because both the SPÖ and the ÖVP have been the blockers in recent years when it comes to relief for the people and economic measures Strengthening the middle class has gone. And now we have to stand by these citizens who are affected, the victims in our country!


National Council, XXIII GPS Tenographic Protocol75. Session / page 15

There are two groups that have been massively damaged: there is the group of citizens in Austria who have invested in the second and third pillars of pension provision in order to be able to claim a certain degree of future security, which is now just ahead her retirement is about to take place and this is the area that will be hit hard.

And there is the second group of Austrian citizens who have taken out loans for their own home, which of course were then often counter-financed through funds, and these people are now partly in front of the ruins of this financing and are confronted with pluralities.

In other words, we have a responsibility here that we must meet quickly here in the House. And I am already saying that the way the SPÖ / ÖVP government has acted so far makes it difficult for you to place your trust in them. Despite all the criticism and all the omissions that we see today with this banking package, we will, however, agree to this package because it is a step in the right direction - not yet sufficient, but this is a real start. Of course, a comprehensive package for bank security is necessary, because the financial system makes a significant contribution to the functioning of the entire economy, and we must do everything here to ensure that this system remains functioning. It goes without saying that this is also our state political responsibility. That is why we want to do everything we can to ensure that access to credit is ensured and enabled for both companies and citizens, and it is precisely in this area that there is a need for action.

If the banks today, as has been described - and this is also part of the crisis - no longer trust each other and the state has to step in for liabilities, including for loans between banks, if banks no longer trust each other today, then it is not surprising that citizens often do not necessarily have great confidence in the banking sector. That said, we need to have that trust too a total of strengthen, and this is also the right measure: to strengthen confidence in the financial market again.

Of course, it should not be forgotten that a comprehensive package of measures by the government to protect the domestic economy is also necessary, an economic stimulus package. There are plenty of proposals from the opposition! I ask that the SPÖ and ÖVP do not follow the principle of discussing and deciding on things somewhere in the closet and then presenting them, according to the motto: "Eat, bird, or die!" That cannot and must not be done in this situation give! It is therefore necessary to have serious discussions with the opposition about their proposals, which are often correct, and also to incorporate many of the opposition proposals.

Due to a lack of transparency on the financial markets, the risks of the financial business were ramified and passed on to customers all over the world; we know that today. In the end knew nobody more who ultimately bought the risks. For example, the bankers have made the risks from the US real estate business divisible and tradable, and in the end neither the authorities nor the buyers knew where the risks were "packaged" and to what extent.

The problem is, you can share risks as many times as you want, but they stick together as a sum. And that's exactly what hits us today. Whether the greed of certain bankers is the cause of the crisis is a frequently asked question on the part of the population, and here too we should take the mood of the population very seriously. Because one already has the impression that a very few have enriched themselves with speculation on the backs of the people and citizens and peoples of this world and that these debts are now being socialized on the backs of the peoples.


National Council, XXIII GPS Tenographic Protocol75. Session / page 16

That is the impression that is created here. It is not for nothing that one often hears in the vernacular: The stupid bank robber raids a bank - and the clever one sets up a bank! - That is definitely something that is often heard in popular parlance. And that should also stimulate us to think, to reflect.

Neoliberalism, which today has once again shown its failure and has turned out to be the scourge of humanity, shows that regulation is needed. That is the order of the day. (Applause from the FPÖ.)

We also need security for the people and citizens, for whom we have to make politics, we must not forget them. And it is precisely in this area that we must finally hold the guilty party accountable, which is partly included in this package thanks to Dr. Peter Fichtenbauer was interwoven, who negotiated and reclaimed this for the Freedom Party. But that's only a small segment. We have to be much more active here. But then I'll come back to that.

The financial crisis will, in all likelihood, have an impact on the real economy - at least that's what the financial experts say - in a way that was not recently thought possible. That means we have to fear that we are heading towards a recession. We have to take countermeasures with all the means and possibilities that we have. The crisis is eating its way into the fundamentals of the financial system at a frightening rate and of course is endangering the money supply for the real economy. It endangers the middle class, it endangers our jobs, and we are called upon to find the right answers as soon as possible with stimulus packages.

Just as in the event of a war or a natural disaster, every euro must be paid attention to in a widespread economic crisis, no question, but the principle applies: need knows no command. We must therefore really quickly pull out all the stops to counteract this. That is why even staunch supporters of the market economy are seldom against state intervention in exceptional situations, because if there is no longer a market, then it can no longer solve any problems. In such cases, it is up to the states, as we are now also seeing.