I don’t even bother to read the rest of his travel journal. His entrée makes my day and gives me yet another – much undervalued – reason to stay in China. I have always had this feeling that being abroad is conducive to my mental health and even when still back in Austria, I quit reading dailies or watch TV news broadcast, because it felt better that way. I fail to keep up this habit when back on occasional business or holiday trips to my home turf. The consequences are fatal to my peace of mind.
There is the incompetence of federal, province and city governments to jointly plan large scale infrastructure projects. The provincial capital, third largest city, within the second largest urban agglomeration of this tiny country, which I hail from, is literally stuck in traffic. Three out of five Danube bridges are under construction, and a forth one is being removed this very summer. If this is not a case of grotesque incompetence in a core responsibility of public governance, which should cause the immediate dismissal of the respective political functionaries on all three levels, what then it is? Ignorance? Negligence? A form of somber hibernation in the midst of tropical summer?
The regional daily in my home province titles today that the former mayor of my home town demands reimbursement of legal proceeding expenses, which incurred to him in course of a trial over charges of gross negligence. The city signed a Swiss Franc swap transaction with a US owned bank during his mayorship and lost 610 Million Euros. Not only that he pleaded being not guilty of gross negligence, no the court confirmed his plead. He now demands to be reimbursed for EUR 25k of legal representation expenses. Outrageous. His then municipal finance minister wants to reclaim EUR 255k. EUR 85k have been already approved by the city council. All this is tax money; and the public debt is rising. Our former mayor is an obese culprit who has lost any sense of moral direction. But even worse: his misconduct is tolerated and even supported by our judicial and administrative system. Democracy in a dead end.
More than 70 years after the end of WWII the residence of Adolf Hitler in the Austrian-German border town of Braunau will be nationalized. The political discussion whether the building shall be demolished or turned into a museum is ongoing. How is this possible? Not only does this case reveal generally poor efforts of getting to terms with our fascist past, its also yet another case of wasting tax money. The former owner received from the ministry of interior a monthly rent of EUR 4800 for … well, not complying with the building usage demands. EUR 4800 monthly for a desolate building out in the sticks!
As long as you can continue to operate like this, no pity on you, my dear Austria. If you continue to fail, you will eventually fall.
PS: the only man - apart from Thomas Bernhard - who saw my fellow country man as they really are, cartoonist Manfred Deix, died last week. RIP, you bastard paedophile rapist clergyman politician scumbag. I loved your anthropophobe perspective of our home nation.