National day display >>> Expendable generals
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National day display
Not a slightly cruel joke, but meant dead serious, the Bundesheer displayed its abilities and equipment on October 26 under the motto ‘What we’re still capable of today, what we won’t be able to do tomorrow’. Financial distress cast a long shadow over the national day’s traditional public display in Vienna, and had almost led to its cancellation. In the end, the display could take place, at a cost of EUR 450,000, a third less than was originally budgeted for, and with less heavy materiel. Minister Starlinger used the occasion to once again plead for a higher defence budget and the extension of military service to 8 months.
For further information on the current financial distress of the Bundesheer, check out this backgrounder on the development of the Austrian defence budget, this list of Bundesheer materiel and systems in need of replacement, and the General Staff’s budget demands in numbers and in relation to perceived threats.
Minister of Defence Thomas Starlinger is facing a lawsuit over his decision to recall three generals after irregularities in their promotion. Trade unionists close the FPOe accused Starlinger of having revealed confidential information and of false testimony. The overall Bundesheer union – of which the FPOe-related faction is not part – has, however, criticised the lawsuit as being motivated by party politics.
Header image: Bundesheer/Martin Hoerl
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