Languages spoken in Austria: German.

Geopolitics and current affairs in Austria

The "Ibizagate" scandal concerning Heinz Christian Strache, Vice Chancellor and leader of the right-wing populists of the FPÖ, caused the fall of the government led by Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP). After the release of a video in which Strache, while in Ibiza, appears to meet a supposed relative of a Russian oligarch and offers him some government agreements, the populist leader resigned in 2019. However, Kurz has decided not to cooperate with FPÖ, and has tried a minority government. However, on 27 May a motion of no-confidence was voted by both the Social Democratic opposition and former FPÖ government partners, forcing Kurz to leave the executive power. On 3 June 2019, former judge Brigitte Bierlein was appointed Chancellor, until the new elections to be held on 29 September 2019. The current political upheavals do not seem to have had too much influence on the European elections, which largely confirmed the balanced power between the main parties.

Boundaries of Austria

It borders on North with the Czech Republic; on the East with Slovakia and Hungary; on the South with Slovenia and Italy; on the West with Switzerland and Liechtenstein and Northwest with Germany.

Over 70% of the territory is located in the north-eastern side of the Alps; the rest belongs to the hills and plains of the Danube basin and the western end of the Pannonian lowlands.

In the central part of the Alpine region rise the highest peaks (Grossglockner, 3797 m; Wildspitze, 3768 m).

The main rivers are the Danube, the Inn, the Traun, the Mur and the Drau. The climate is continental, with alpine features in the higher areas.

Form of government

Austria regained full sovereignty in 1955 with the State Treaty, which marked the end of the military occupation after the Second World War. In the following decades, political life was basically stable. In 1995 Austria joined the European Union.

According to the Constitution of 1920, Austria is a federal republic made up of 9 federal states (Länder), including the capital Vienna, with a large degree of autonomy.

The legislative power lies with the Parliament, which consists of two chambers: the National Council (Nationalrat, 183 members elected by direct suffrage), with a 5-year term of office, and the Federal Council (Bundesrat, 62 members appointed by the Diets of the federal states). In 2007 the right to vote was extended to 16-year-olds. The President of the Republic shall be elected by direct suffrage for a term of 6 years. His/her functions are largely representative. However, he/she has the power to appoint and dismiss the Chancellor, who is at the helm of the executive which must gain the trust of the Parliament.

Translation agency for German

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