AUSTRIA: Teeter-Totter

Postwar Austria is a political teeter-totter balanced precariously and almost exactly between two parties: the leftist Socialists (73 seats) and the conservative Catholic People's Party (74 seats). The one man who kept everything from tumbling down was Chancellor Leopold Figl, himself a conservative, who for eight years presided over a coalition of the two opposing parties with tact and humor.

Last October the balancing act began to break down. Figl resigned, and in new elections his party lost three seats in the parliamentary election, the Socialists gained six. The rightists in Figl's People's Party charged him with softness toward the...

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