AUSTRIA: No Longer Entitled

Less honor, fewer honorifics

For more than a century, Austrian citizens have dutifully doffed their hats to Post-und Fernmeldezentralinspektoren, bowed and scraped before the lofty Regierungsveterinärkommissäre and contorted their tongues addressing Werkstättenobermanipulanten. The bearers of these grandiloquent honorifics, which date back to the Habsburg dynasty, are actually low-ranking civil servants employed in the somewhat less than regal jobs of postal inspector, livestock inspector and repairman.

Starting Jan. 1, however, the government of Socialist Chancellor Bruno Kreisky will abolish 502 of the splendid titles bestowed upon civil servants under the Austro-Hungarian Empire and,...

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