AUSTRIA: Gentlemen, Please Depart

The name Austria first appeared (as Osterrich) in a state document, signed by the Emperor Otto III, on Nov. 1, 996. In the grandiose neoclassic Parliament building on the Ringstrasse last week, Chancellor Leopold Figl glumly celebrated Austria's 950th birthday with a speech pleading for Austria's place on the planet: "The Austrian nation . . . appeals to the whole world to enable this state to remain a center of democratic peace and freedom in Europe!"

Figl's speech was sandwiched between two secret sessions of Parliament—the first since 1918's dark days. Parliament decided that Austria, squeezed in the quadripartite grip...

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