While Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) has already spoken out clearly in favor of neutrality, discussion has flared up in recent days about how Austria should position itself. What is your position on this?
Anyone who enjoyed Austrian school education in the past decades was usually confronted with the concept of neutrality sooner rather than later and learned that it is one of Austria’s high assets. Every year on October 26, Austria’s national holiday, this is celebrated with a lot of show.
Neutrality was always briefly discussed in rudimentary form. Nevertheless, a serious debate about the abolition of this instrument in this country seemed to be a long way off, as did the discussion about a possible entry into the NATO defense alliance.
But the events of the past two weeks have led to a rethink throughout Europe. Germany, for example – part of NATO, but reticent in military terms in view of its own past – announced that it would be rearming heavily. Sweden and Finland, two countries that have traditionally prided themselves not only on their welfare state but also on their distance from military alliances, are currently debating whether to join NATO.
Clear commitment to neutrality
In Austria, Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) has already spoken out on neutrality – the republic would never face a breach of international law such as the Russian attack on Ukraine value-free or even indifferently, but would stand on the side of those threatened.
But from a military point of view, neutrality remains the measure of all things: “Austria was neutral, Austria is neutral, Austria will remain neutral”. SPÖ party leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner had also clearly rejected a neutrality debate. The Neos, on the other hand, are the only parliamentary party to shake neutrality and are in favor of a separate EU army, in which Austria should also participate. Also the former president of the National Council Andreas Khol had pleaded on Sunday in the “Kleinen Zeitung” newspaper for a NATO entry or the cooperation in a European army of the EU.
For “Gerry76” military neutrality is indispensable
1. Yes, Austria should – in any case – remain neutral!Militarily for sure, since by various agreements the defense by the neighboring countries and thus also NATO is given anyway.Moreover, Austria has a very long and successful history as a mediator and in peace matters. And it should stay that way.
2. If we as a small neutral state
had such a powerful army as Switzerland, that would be something else. But as it is, it’s rather mendacious: We want to remain neutral, but hope that we will be saved by NATO in case of emergency. Typically Austrian: you muddle through.
Source: Der Standard – Photo: APA