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Werner Faymann

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Werner Faymann (German: [vn faman]; born 4 May


1960) is an Austrian politician who was Chancellor of
Austria and chairman of the Social Democratic Party of
Austria (SP) from 2008 to 2016. On 9 May 2016,
Faymann resigned from both positions amid widening

Werner Faymann

criticism within his party.[1]

Contents
1 Early life and education
2 Career
2.1 Federal Minister for Transport, 2007
08
2.2 Chancellor of Austria, 200816
3 Other activities
24th Chancellor of Austria

4 Private life

In office
2 December 2008 9 May 2016

5 See also
6 References
7 External links

Early life and education


Werner Faymann was born in Vienna[2] and also went to
grammar school there. He enrolled at the University of
Vienna (jurisprudence, political science, and history of
art) but attended just one lecture there without taking any
exams. Instead, he worked as a taxi

driver.[3]

Career
In 1981, Faymann became provincial chairman of the
Socialist Youth Vienna (Sozialistische Jugend Wien).
From 1985 to 1988 Faymann was a consultant to the bank
Zentralsparkasse der Gemeinde Wien (now UniCredit
Bank Austria AG). The bank at the time was closely

President

Heinz Fischer

Deputy

Josef Prll
Michael Spindelegger
Reinhold Mitterlehner

Preceded by

Alfred Gusenbauer

Succeeded by

Reinhold Mitterlehner (Acting)

Chairman of the Social Democratic Party


In office
16 June 2008 9 May 2016
Preceded by

Alfred Gusenbauer

Succeeded by

Michael Hupl (Acting)

Minister for Transport, Innovation and


Technology
In office
11 January 2007 23 November 2008
Chancellor

Alfred Gusenbauer

Preceded by

Hubert Gorbach

linked to the municipal government dominated by the


Social Democrats.[4] He left the bank to become director
and provincial chairman of the Viennese Tenants'
counselling.
Subsequently, Faymann became a member of the
Viennese state parliament and municipal council, where
he held various positions concerning housing construction
and urban renewal.[5]

Federal Minister for Transport, 200708

Succeeded by

Doris Bures
Personal details

Born

4 May 1960
Vienna, Austria

Political party

Social Democratic Party

Spouse(s)

Martina Ludwig

Children

Religion

Roman Catholicism

Signature

Faymann was Federal Minister for Transport, Innovation


and Technology in the Cabinet of Chancellor Alfred
Gusenbauer. Moreover, Gusenbauer appointed him as
coalition co-ordinator.[6]
Soon Faymann was seen as the likely successor of Gusenbauer. He never challenged Gusenbauer openly, but
the chancellor faced an internal party rebellion in June 2008 and voluntarily relinquished the party
leadership.[6] On 16 June 2008 Faymann succeeded Gusenbauer as chairman of the Social Democratic Party
of Austria (SP) and led the party in the snap legislative elections, held on 28 September 2008.
The election was famously preceded by Faymann and Gusenbauer announcing a shift in the party's position
towards the signing of new EU treaties, which they did by writing an open letter to Hans Dichand, the editor
of the yellow press medium Kronen Zeitung. At the time, the Kronen Zeitung was the largest newspaper in
the country. The letter caused a scandal within the party, as no party committee had been involved in
deciding the shift.
The pro-EU Austrian People's Party (VP) cancelled the existing coalition, thus causing new elections.
Faymann was known for his good relationship to Dichand, who would also support him in the following
election campaign. Although the SP lost 11 seats, and had a 6% swing against it (in fact, their worst result
since World War II), they came out ahead of their main rivals Austrian People's Party in regard to seats (57
to 51) as well as to share of the vote (29.26% to 25.98%).[5][7] Afterwards, Faymann renewed the coalition
with the Austrian People's Party, as he had announced before the election.

Chancellor of Austria, 200816


As head of the largest party in the National Council of Austria, Faymann was asked by Federal President
Heinz Fischer on 8 October 2008 to form a new government.[8]
A coalition between the SP and the VP was agreed upon on 23 November 2008 and was sworn in on 2
December 2008.[9]
In 2012, Austria's government curbed the remit of a parliamentary investigation into high-level corruption
and ensured Faymann was not called to testify.[10]
In 2013, public prosecutors were looking into whether Faymann and a top aide, Josef Ostermayer, had
swayed the BB state railways and ASFiNAG motorway agency to place advertisements promoting him in
newspapers during his tenure as infrastructure minister. Both had repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the

breach of trust case, which the opposition Freedom Party (FP) had
asked prosecutors to investigate. By November 2013, Austrian
authorities dropped their investigation.[11]
Faymann is said to have moved his once solidly pro-European party
toward a more EU-sceptic course.[6] He has kept his distance from
the far-right parties.[6] In domestic affairs, Faymann's administration
has been notable in enacting a wide range of reforms in areas such as
education and social security.[12][13][14]
In 2015, Faymann criticized what he called German Chancellor
Angela Merkel's "wait-and-see" approach to tackling Europe's
economic problems and demanded a more aggressive push to combat

Faymann meets German Chancellor


Angela Merkel, 11 December 2008

unemployment in Europe.[15]
On 9 May 2016, he resigned as Chancellor and party leader, after losing confidence from a considerable
number of party members, despite retaining confidence from a majority of them. His party's candidate and
the candidate from its coalition partner, the People's Party, were both eliminated in the first round of the
presidential elections held on 24 April 2016, resulting in a run-off between Norbert Hofer of the right-wing
populist Freedom Party of Austria and Alexander Van der Bellen, an independent endorsed by The
Greens.[16]

Other activities
Karl Renner Institute, Member of the Board of Trustees
Hans Kelsen Institute, Ex-Officio Chairman of the Board of Trustees
National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism, Ex-Officio Member of
the Board of Trustees

Private life
Faymann is a Roman Catholic.[2] He is married and has two children.[5][17]

See also
First Faymann government
Politics of Austria

References
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

"Shock as Austrian Chancellor Faymann quits". BBC.


"Chancellor of Austria". World Diplomacy. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
"Interview in Austrian television" (video). YouTube (in German). 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
"AVZ-Stiftung: Wie gewonnen, so zeronnen" (news) (in German). 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
"Curriculum Vitae of Werner Faymann". Federal Chancellery of Austria. Retrieved 11 March 2009.
Eric Frey (November 21, 2008), Werner Faymann: Public promoter of popular ideas (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/332
91a32-b75c-11dd-8e01-0000779fd18c.html) Financial Times.
7. "Nationalratswahlen 2008" (in German). Federal Ministry of the Interior. Retrieved 11 March 2009.

8. "Austrian President Fischer Asks Faymann to Form Government". Bloomberg L.P. 8 October 2008. Retrieved
11 March 2009.
9. "New Austrian government takes office". International Herald Tribune. Associated Press. 2 December 2008.
Retrieved 11 March 2009.
10. Michael Shields (September 20, 2012), Austria curbs sleaze panel remit, opposition protests (http://www.reuters.com
/article/us-austria-corruption-idUSBRE88J0HE20120920) Reuters.
11. Michael Shields (November 5, 2013), Prosecutors drop advertising probe into Austrian leader (http://www.reuters.co
m/article/austria-faymann-idUSL5N0IQ3LR20131105) Reuters.
12. "News from Austria 2011: Federal Chancellery of Austria". Oesta. 3 January 2011. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
13. "Austria". Eiro Annual Review. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
14. "Austria". Eiro Annual Review. 2010. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
15. Michael Shields (February 8, 2015), Austrian chancellor says Merkel's economic policy too timid - Kurier (http://ww
w.reuters.com/article/eurozone-austria-faymann-idUSL5N0VI09F20150208) Reuters.
16. "Shock as Austrian Chancellor Faymann quits". BBC News. 9 May 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
17. "Werner Faymann" (in German). Social Democratic Party of Austria. Retrieved 11 March 2009.

External links
Official website (http://www.werner-faymann.at)

Wikimedia Commons has


media related to Werner
Faymann.

Party political offices


Preceded by
Alfred Gusenbauer

Leader of the Social Democratic Party


20082016

Succeeded by
Michael Hupl
Acting

Political offices
Preceded by
Alfred Gusenbauer

Chancellor of Austria
20082016

Succeeded by
Reinhold Mitterlehner
Acting

Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Werner_Faymann&oldid=720465288"


Categories: Chancellors of Austria 1960 births Austrian Roman Catholics Living people
Politicians from Vienna Social Democratic Party of Austria politicians
This page was last modified on 16 May 2016, at 01:42.
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