On Wednesday October 19 the “Action Committees for Free Education” organised successful school student strikes in Vienna, Linz, Wels and Vorarlberg. The strikes were a success and clearly show that the youth movement against the education policy of the government is moving forward.

The Conservative Austrian government has been introducing severe cuts in spending on education, reducing university places, introducing fees and so on. This coming Friday (October 7) the government will get a taste of the students’ anger. Action committees have sprung up and called a day of action.

On Thursday, July 14, a group of Young Socialists and representatives of the Editorial Board of Der Funke organised a picket in front of the Brazilian embassy to protest against the threatened repression of the Cipla and Interfibra workers who have occupied their factories to defend their jobs.

On October 3rd Austria was shaken by a political earthquake. After decades of "social partnership", after 13 years of a 'Grand Coalition' between the Social Democrat Party (SP) and the conservative Peoples Party (VP) characterised by enormous stability these parliamentary elections mark a turning point in Austria's post-war history. Especially the big success of the extreme right-wing party of Jörg Haider, the FP÷, was not only a shock to a lot of people in Austria, but also internationally.

Since 1945 Austrian politics were characterised by coalition governments with the participation of the Socialist Party. But on Friday January 21st the pressure from the trade unions forced the break-down of coalition talks between the SP and the conservative PP. Gernot Trausmuth, Editorial board of the Austrian Marxist magazine 'Der Funke' , looks at the implications of this for the future of the class struggle in Austria. January 2000.

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