Austria: A Pleasant Disappointment

Austrians have become so used to the idea of having no opposition party that anything else seems almost abnormal.

The 21 -year postwar coalition of the People's Party and the Socialists brought Austria a stable government — one that was ultimately able to shoo out the occupying powers, including the Russians, in 1955, pursue a Western-oriented neutralism afterward, and generate impressive economic energy. Even when the People's Party of Chancellor Josef Klaus won a majority in the 165-member Parliament in March, both parties looked toward a continuation of the coalition.

Then, to the astonishment of all Austria, the partnership broke up,...

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