Schüssel, Wolfgang (1945–)

Wolfgang Schüssel, Austrian chancellor since 2000, started his political career in Peoples Party (Österreichische Volkspartei/ÖVP) in 1968. In 1989 he moved up as minister for economic affairs in an effective coalition between Social Democrats (Sozialdemokratische Partei Österreichs/SPÖ) and ÖVP under SPÖ Chancellor Franz Vranitzky. In 1995 he was elected chairman of the ÖVP. From 1995 to 2000 he filled the position of vice chancellor and minister for foreign affairs.

After the federal elections in 1999 Schüssel found himself in third place (behind the SPÖ and an all-time-high Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs [FPÖ] vote of 27%), scoring the worst result since 1945 with only 27% of the votes. Despite this he led his party in opposition and without the mandate to build a coalition, managing with strategic flair ...

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