Alfred Gusenbauer

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Alfred Gusenbauer (2008)

Alfred Gusenbauer (born February 8, 1960 in St. Pölten , Lower Austria ) is an Austrian politician . From January 2007 to December 2008 he was Federal Chancellor of Austria. From 2000 to 2008 he was federal party chairman of the SPÖ .

Since the end of his political career, he has worked as a consultant (2009 for the banking group Hypo Group Alpe Adria ) and lobbyist , as well as in various positions in the construction, real estate and finance industries, among others. a. as chairman of the supervisory board of Strabag SE .

Origin and family

Gusenbauer comes from a family of construction workers. His father Oswald was employed by the Austrian Danube Power Plants and his mother Gertrude was u. a. active as a cleaner. Alfred Gusenbauer's sister Andrea was born in 1961. With his partner Eva Steiner, Gusenbauer has a daughter who has come of age.


Alfred Gusenbauer attended elementary school in Ybbs on the Danube from 1966 to 1970 and the federal high school in Wieselburg from 1970 to 1978 . He then began to study law at the University of Vienna , but subsequently concentrated on studying political science and philosophy, in which he spoke in 1987 on the subject of " The Austrian Peace Movement: Supporters, Structures and Activities Between 1980 and 1986 " PhD in the East-West context .

Professional activities

Gusenbauer was an employee of the SPÖ from 1981 to 1990 and chairman of the SJÖ from 1984 to 1990 . From 1990 to 1999 he was employed in the Chamber for Workers and Salaried Employees for Lower Austria, from 1999 to the end of January 2000 he was regional manager of the SPÖ Lower Austria.

In 2002 he attended the 50th Bilderberg Conference in Chantilly, Virginia .

Activities after resignation

From the end of 2008 to the end of June 2009, Gusenbauer was head of the department for European issues of the Lower Austrian Chamber for blue-collar and white-collar workers.

He is also the sole managing partner of Gusenbauer Projektentwicklung & Zusammenarbeit GmbH. The company was established on October 12, 2008 and on November 21, 2008 as Specht Projektentwicklung & Zusammenarbeit GmbH under Dr. Leopold Specht, lawyer in Vienna, entered in the company register. Specht - according to the Wiener Zeitung the closest confidante of Jelena Nikolajewna Baturina , the wife of Yuri Michailowitsch Luschkow - is also politically active and, among other things, on the supervisory board of the Österreichische Bundesbahnen-Holding Aktiengesellschaft and the Austro Control Austrian company for civil aviation with limited liability as well as on the board of two foundations and partner in several GmbHs and managing director in several companies. Gusenbauer took over the company by means of a transfer agreement dated December 12, 2008 and holds 100% of the shares with the minimum deposit of € 35,000. As of the end of 2017, the company reported a cumulative net profit of 9.758 million euros.

Since summer 2009, Gusenbauer has been working in an advisory capacity as an Eastern Europe expert for the WAZ media group (including stakes in the daily newspapers Kronen Zeitung and Kurier ).

From July 31, 2009 to May 1, 2010 Gusenbauer sat on the supervisory board of Alpine Holding GmbH and in July 2010 took over as chairman of the supervisory board of the competing company, the construction group STRABAG SE. Gusenbauer is also chairman of the Haselsteiner Family Foundation.

Furthermore, Alfred Gusenbauer has been on the supervisory board of SIGNA-RECAP Holding AG of the Austrian real estate investor René Benko since September 17, 2009 .

In autumn 2009 Gusenbauer took over a position as European director of the Chilean investment fund Equitas European Funds (real estate, information technology, environmental technology and agricultural industry), a subsidiary of the fund company Equitas Capital SpA based in Santiago de Chile .

In June 2010, he was also appointed to the board of directors of the Canadian mining company Gabriel Resources , a company that has an 80.46% interest in the controversial Rosia Montana gold project in Romania .

Since Kazakhstan took over the OSCE chairmanship at the beginning of 2010 , Gusenbauer has been advising Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev .

In spring 2011, the real estate entrepreneur Axel Mader made his long-time friend Gusenbauer the chairman of the Wartenfels Private Foundation.

Since May 31, 2011 Alfred Gusenbauer has been a co-owner of Cudos Advisors GmbH , a company through which investment capital is to be raised. Like him , his longtime lawyer Leopold Specht, the financier Alon Shklarek, owner of the investment and consulting group ASP Holding, and the IT specialist Andreas Frech each have a 25% stake in the Cudos Group .

From November 2011 to January 2012, Alfred Gusenbauer held several lectures as a visiting professor on the subject of “ The Realpolitik of EU Institutions in a Political Science Focus ” at the University of Innsbruck .

Gusenbauer has been a member of the supervisory board of the Berlin-based think tank Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute since 2016 .

Reports according to which Gusenbauer would be elected to the Novomatic Supervisory Board on September 21, 2016 and then take over its chairmanship were not confirmed. However, Gusenbauer had previously worked as a lobbyist for the gaming group for years and had temporarily been a member of the supervisory board of the German subsidiary Löwen Entertainment .

Until 2017 he was a member of the supervisory board of RHI AG . After the investor Rupert-Heinrich Staller filed a lawsuit against four members of the supervisory board, including Gusenbauer, for violating the diversity of women on the supervisory board required by the German Stock Corporation Act , Gusenbauer resigned.

Since October 2017 he has been a member of the advisory board of the Alpine Accounts Payable Association .

Political career

Alfred Gusenbauer with Vladimir Putin on his state visit to Austria in February 2001

1981 began his political and professional career with the SPÖ as a secretary. From 1990 to 1999 he worked as an employee of the Chamber of Labor and Employees for Lower Austria . In 1999 he became regional manager of the SPÖ Lower Austria and 2000 federal manager of the SPÖ before he was elected SPÖ federal party chairman in the same year.

In addition, he was Federal Chairman of the Socialist Youth (SJ) from 1984 to 1990 and Vice-President of the Socialist Youth International (IUSY) from 1985 to 1989 . In 1989 he also held the position of Vice President of the Socialist International (SI). From 1990 to 2000 Gusenbauer was district party chairman of the SPÖ Melk and has been city party chairman of the SPÖ Ybbs an der Donau since 1991, member of the state party executive committee of SPÖ Lower Austria , member of the state party presidium of SPÖ Lower Austria, member of the Austrian delegation to the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe since 1991 and chairman of the social committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe 1995–98. From 2000 to 2008 he was the SPÖ federal party chairman , from 2000 to 2007 he was the chairman of the Social Democratic Parliamentary Club , in which Josef Cap was meanwhile acting as the club's executive chairman.

In his function as party chairman, Gusenbauer was considered controversial until the 2006 National Council election. In the National Council elections in 2002 , the SPÖ was able to win four seats (+ 3.36%) with Gusenbauer as the top candidate; the ÖVP (+ 15.39 / + 27 mandates) was much more successful, retained the majority of mandates together with the FPÖ (- 16.9% / - 34 mandates) and again formed a coalition government with it.

In the 2006 National Council election , the SPÖ was again the strongest party with 35.34% of the vote. On January 8, 2007, the SPÖ and ÖVP agreed to form a grand coalition . The coalition agreement was heavily criticized by parts of the party, some organizations close to the SPÖ and student representatives. The main focus of criticism was the insufficient consideration of the SPÖ election program, which concerns the originally announced exit from the Eurofighter purchase contract and the abolition of tuition fees , as well as the division of responsibilities between the SPÖ and ÖVP. The agreement was approved by the federal party executive with 75% approval.

Alfred Gusenbauer at the opening of the Crossing Europe Film Festival 2008 in Linz

The new German government under Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer was on January 11, 2007 Federal President Heinz Fischer sworn in . During this state act, a demonstration with around 2,000 participants, mostly students, took place on Heldenplatz near the Federal Chancellery. The reason was the complete withdrawal of tuition fees promised by Gusenbauer during the election campaign, which was not taken into account in the coalition agreement, whereupon the ÖH chairwoman Barbara Blaha and the VSStÖ chairwoman Sylvia Kuba resigned from the SPÖ.

As the first political change in the red-black coalition under Alfred Gusenbauer, the legislative period for the National Council elections in Austria was extended from four to five years. This amendment to the constitution was possible because the coalition had the 2/3 majority required for decisions with constitutional status. The extension of the legislative period (starting with the next National Council election) came as a complete surprise because neither of the two coalition parties had even addressed it before. Furthermore, the grand coalition used its 2/3 majority to write the Austrian system of chambers into the constitution.

Right from the start, the grand coalition was marked by internal disputes between the two parties. The SPÖ accused the ÖVP several times of blocking, while the ÖVP accused the SPÖ of not adhering to the agreed coalition agreement. The first serious conflict between the coalition parties arose when the Constitutional Court ruled that the inheritance tax was unconstitutional and set a deadline for repairs until July 31, 2008. The SPÖ wanted to reform the inheritance tax, but kept it, the ÖVP pleaded for it to be abolished because it had promised it in the election campaign. As neither of the two parties abandoned their claim, if the cooperation was to continue, the only thing left was to let the repair deadline pass unused, so that the inheritance tax in Austria expired on July 31, 2008.

On February 24, 2008, after an unexpectedly strong rise in consumer prices, Alfred Gusenbauer announced in the ORF press hour, surprisingly and without informing the coalition partner, that he wanted to bring the tax reform planned in the coalition agreement for 2010 forward to at least 2009. In the same TV show, he declared that he wanted to give 100 euros each to those in need. Also in February 2008, the SPÖ, together with the FPÖ, the Greens and the BZÖ, against the express will of the coalition partner ÖVP, decided to set up a parliamentary committee of inquiry into allegations made by the former Interior Ministry official Herwig Haidinger against ÖVP politicians in the Interior Ministry.

Together with Infrastructure Minister Faymann, Gusenbauer informed the public in a letter to the editor of the Kronen Zeitung Hans Dichand on June 27, 2008 that the SPÖ believes that “future treaty changes (of the EU) that affect Austrian interests” should “be carried out by a referendum will be decided in Austria ”, she also wants to convince the coalition partner of this (which does not refer to the Lisbon Treaty, which has already been ratified by Parliament and Federal President Heinz Fischer). This also applies to a possible accession of Turkey to the European Union. In addition to this surprising repositioning of the SPÖ's content, the way in which the information was conveyed caused outrage both within the SPÖ and among its coalition partners and representatives of the EU.

After ÖVP boss and Vice Chancellor Wilhelm Molterer called for "immediate new elections" on the morning of July 7, 2008, thus initiating the end of the grand coalition, Gusenbauer no longer stood as the top candidate of the SPÖ.

On August 8, 2008, Werner Faymann took over the party chairmanship from Alfred Gusenbauer, and on December 2, 2008, Faymann also succeeded Gusenbauer as Federal Chancellor.

From 2000 to 2017 Alfred Gusenbauer was President of the Renner Institute , the political academy of the SPÖ.


Immediately after the formation of the SPÖ-ÖVP coalition government, Alfred Gusenbauer was mainly accused of not implementing SPÖ demands in the coalition program and relinquishing important ministries (such as the interior, foreign and finance ministries) to the political opponent ÖVP. This earned him the term "fallover" among critics.

Since Gusenbauer was unable to fulfill his election promise to abolish tuition fees, he suggested that the students should earn some extra money with tutoring and social services. He offered to give tutoring himself. Many students perceived this as a mockery.

His question before a party event, recorded by an ORF team and later shown in the television magazine Der Report , “And this will be something decent in Donawitz today, or the usual gossip?” Caused criticism from within the party and was immediately taken up by the coalition partner to make him stand out accuse.

Shortly after taking office as chairman of the SPÖ, he said of his MPs that a third could live up to his performance principle, a third should be forgotten and a third “re-socializable”. His statement on the occasion of a trip to South America also caused a lot of anger - especially among party friends: "Senators are hardly to be found at work here after 4:00 pm".

"Get what you are entitled to" (SPÖ slogan 2017)

In the course of leaving RHI AG , Gusenbauer was heavily criticized. "Everything runs according to the new selfish leitmotif of the SPÖ: 'I'll get what I'm due'", said small investor representative Wilhelm Rasinger, referring to a poster used by the SPÖ in the 2017 National Council election campaign . And the investor Rupert-Heinrich Staller: "Social democrats turn very quickly when they have neoliberal experiences and follow particular interests ".

The Romanian anti-corruption authority investigated in 2017 against the SPÖ advisor Tal Silberstein  and his partner Beny Steinmetz . They are said to have damaged the state of Romania with the equivalent of 150 million euros through property speculation. Arrest warrants were issued in March 2017 and the two were arrested in Israel. Alfred Gusenbauer has a managerial position at several of the two companies. According to media reports, Gusenbauer also had a direct business relationship with Steinmetz and Silberstein. Steinmetz was one of the most important donors for the Austrian real estate investor Rene Benko . Rene Benko has been advised by Gusenbauer for years. Gusenbauer also appears in the Paradise Papers .

In the course of FBI investigations under special investigator Robert Mueller against US President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort , it became known in 2018 that Manafort had planned to set up a lobbyist group in the service of former Ukrainian head of state Viktor Yanukovych in 2012, for which he had high-ranking Europeans Politicians wanted to win. You should comment positively on actions of the Ukrainian government under Yanukovych without the link becoming public. The group of these people called Manafort the Hapsburg Group . According to research by Politico magazine, documents from the US Department of Justice point to Gusenbauer as the leader of this group . Gusenbauer himself stated that he never knowingly received any money from Manafort and that he was only paid by an American or British company for his work in Ukraine, but he no longer knew from which company.

According to disclosures by the lobbying company Mercury Public Affairs LLC, Gusenbauer had several meetings with American MPs and think tanks in Washington in May 2013. Mercury Public Affairs was lobbying on behalf of the Belgian organization European Center for a Modern Ukraine (ECMU), in addition to Gusenbauer, the former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi and the former Polish Prime Minister Aleksander Kwaśniewski were involved. The ECMU was apparently close to Yanukovych's Party of Regions - according to a report by Manafort's lobbying firm DMP International LLC, the ECMU was pursuing the same goals as the then Ukrainian ruling party.


During his time as Vice President of the Socialist Youth International, Gusenbauer kissed the soil of what was then the Soviet Union in front of the camera in Moscow , caricaturing Pope John Paul II according to himself .

Political opponents repeatedly spread an anecdote told by Gusenbauer's mother during the 2006 election campaign , according to which, as a small child in the sandpit, he had the wish to become Federal Chancellor in order to refer to him as "Sandpit Chancellor".

A slip of the tongue of the avowed red wine lover Gusenbauer with EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso , where he confused his name with that of the Italian red wine Barolo , earned him corresponding malice.

Together with the state of Carinthia , Gusenbauer awards the "Gusenbauer scholarship", which financially supports two students every year. During a one-year stay abroad as part of their studies, the scholarship holders should be given the opportunity to " study and research abroad ". The scholarship is endowed with € 5,000 per person and is financed through voluntary payments from institutions where Gusenbauer gives free lectures (municipalities, schools or NGOs). The scholarship holders must have their main place of residence in Carinthia and be particularly committed both inside and outside the university.



Individual evidence

  1. of July 28, 2010, Gusenbauer was a hypo advisor in 2009 (accessed on December 7, 2011)
  2. ^ Alfred Gusenbauer in the Munzinger archive , accessed on July 12, 2011 ( beginning of the article freely available)
  3. of October 2, 2006, SPÖ boss Gusenbauer Bieder, sullen, victorious
  4. of October 4, 2006, Gusenbauer's partner in person (accessed on July 12, 2011)
  5. ^ University of Vienna, Libraries and Archives (accessed on November 25, 2012)
  6. Peter Pelinka : 90 Years SJÖ 1894–1984 - The History of Socialist Youth . With a foreword by Alfred Gusenbauer. Socialist Youth Austria, Vienna 1984, p. 3 .
  7. Bilderberg Protocol 2002
  8. ^ Alfred Gusenbauer - From Chancellor to Speaker., December 23, 2008, accessed on September 19, 2010 .
  9. ^ FPÖ calls for Gusenbauer's withdrawal from the Chamber of Labor., accessed September 19, 2010 .
  10. Gusenbauer on the Alpine Supervisory Board with immediate effect., July 25, 2009, accessed on September 19, 2010 .
  11. The Russian billionaire Elena Baturina fights for her company empire after the fall of her husband Die Oligarchin von Kitzbühel, Wiener Zeitung of October 12, 2010 (accessed on July 4, 2011)
  12. Excerpts from the commercial register for FN 100262w, 305779a and name query
  13. Company register excerpt for FN 319413a
  14. Andrea Hodoschek: Faymann and Sigmar Gabriel start a joint company . November 7, 2018 ( [accessed November 8, 2018]).
  15. Gusenbauer advises WAZ-Verlag in Austria In: of July 12, 2009, accessed on July 12, 2011.
  16. Company register excerpt from October 10, 2009 on FN 36605g
  17. Ex-employer puts Gusenbauer "under observation" In: of April 30, 2010, accessed on July 12, 2011.
  18. Gusenbauer has a Strabag career., April 29, 2010, accessed on April 9, 2010 .
  19. Company register excerpt from October 10, 2009 to FN 251831s
  20. ^ Mathias Ziegler: Rene Benko - The man who doesn't even know Wikipedia . In: Wiener Zeitung , December 29, 2009. Retrieved July 22, 2011. 
  21. ^ Directory. Dr. Alfred Gusenbauer. Equitas Capital, archived from the original on July 31, 2010 ; Retrieved August 9, 2012 (originally accessed July 12, 2011).
  22. New job for Gusenbauer in asset management. of November 7, 2009, accessed on July 12, 2011.
  23. ^ Gabriel Resources Announces Changes to Its Board of Directors., accessed June 18, 2010 .
  24. ^ Romania: Churches and environmental organizations have been storming a gigantic mining project for years. from October 31, 2010, accessed on July 12, 2011.
  25. Denver Gold Forum - September 2010 (accessed July 12, 2011) (PDF; 7.6 MB)
  26. Gabriel Resources is making progress. In: of October 27, 2010, accessed on July 12, 2011.
  27. Gusenbauer advises the Kazakh President. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on December 16, 2013 ; Retrieved June 17, 2011 .
  28. ↑ Real estate industry: Another job for Gusenbauer. In: of April 15, 2011, accessed on July 12, 2011.
  29. Gusenbauer in the Cudos group ( Memento from July 9, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  30. The colorful shops of Mr. Shklarek . July 19, 2010. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
  31. Politician in Residence In:, November 15, 2011.
  32. ↑ Head of the DOC Research Institute (accessed April 9, 2017)
  33. ^ The long shadow according to Moscow Wiener Zeitung, April 5, 2017
  34. Ex-Chancellor Gusenbauer becomes chairman of the Novomatic supervisory board ,, September 13, 2016.
  35. Novomatic denies Gusenbauer's admission to the supervisory board. Der Standard , September 13, 2016, accessed March 10, 2018 .
  36. Corporate Governance Report ( Memento of October 16, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 118 kB)
  37. Section 87 (2a) of the AktG
  38. Hedi Schneid: RHI: Lawsuit against the "men's association" . In: The press . June 9, 2017, p. 26 ( online [accessed on October 16, 2017]): “At RHI four members of the supervisory board were up for re-election - Herbert Cordt, Helmut Draxler, Hubert Gorbach and Alfred Gusenbauer. The challenge is directed against the election of all four - but at least (for legal reasons) against the election of Gusenbauer, who was the last to take place. "
  39. RHI Supervisory Board in future without Gorbach and Gusenbauer . In: The Standard . September 15, 2017, p.  22 .
  40. Another job: AKV brings Gusenbauer to the advisory board. RHI AG , October 23, 2016, accessed on October 23, 2017 .
  41. Kern justifies salary increase with party leader position. In: Retrieved November 17, 2019 .
  42. ^ SPÖ youth rebel. ORF online, accessed on January 10, 2007 .
  43. Grand coalition before the end?, accessed September 19, 2010 .
  44. EU Treaty: The SPÖ letter in full., accessed September 19, 2010 .
  45. Austria's Chancellor Gusenbauer gives up. Spiegel Online, July 7, 2008, accessed July 7, 2008 .
  46. History of the institute. Dr. Karl Renner Institute, accessed on November 13, 2017 .
  47. Gerald John: Gambling, Goldmine, Dictator: What Gusenbauer expected of the SPÖ. In: The Standard . November 13, 2017. Retrieved November 13, 2017 .
  48. ^ Katharina Tyran: Tuition fees in Austria: "We were cheated". Spiegel Online , January 16, 2007, accessed February 18, 2013 .
  49. ^ Gusenbauer and "the usual Gesudere" in the SPÖ. Der Standard , March 6, 2008, accessed February 18, 2013 .
  50. a b Outrage over Gusenbauer's “joke”. Der Standard , May 15, 2008, accessed February 18, 2013 .
  51. ^ Prammer "very angry" about Gusenbauer. , May 14, 2008, accessed February 18, 2013 .
  52. ^ Luise Ungerboeck: Settlement with expoliticians and advisors . In: The Standard . August 5, 2017, p. 17 ( Online [accessed October 16, 2017] Online title: North Korean Vote for RHI Magnesita Deal).
  53. konrad.kramar: Causa Silberstein: Gusenbauer got involved in deals with ex-SPÖ advisors . ( [accessed on November 23, 2017]).
  54. ^ Silberstein affair: Gusenbauer under pressure, SPÖ is silent . ( [accessed on November 23, 2017]).
  55. Renate Graber: Offshore list also leads to Silberstein and Gusenbauer . In: . ( [accessed on November 23, 2017]).
  56. Julian Borger and Stephanie Kirchgaessner: "investigation Mueller: Manafort accused of secretly funding European pro-Russia group" The Guardian of February 24, 2018
  57. Mercury Public Affairs, LLC: Exhibit A to Registration Statement Pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938. US Department of Justice, accessed February 25, 2018 .
  58. Mercury Public Affairs, LLC: Exhibit A to Registration Statement Pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938. US Department of Justice, accessed February 24, 2018 .
  59. DMP International, LLC: Exhibit A to Registration Statement Pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938. US Department of Justice, accessed on February 24, 2018 .
  60. SPÖ boss Gusenbauer: honest, sullen, victorious. Spiegel online, accessed October 2, 2006 .
  61. Quotes of the week: "Barolo said in Vienna ..." (No longer available online.) , April 13, 2007, archived from the original on October 16, 2017 ; accessed on October 16, 2017 .
  62. Gusenbauer scholarships went to Lisa Kazianka and Bernd Hencesch - State of Carinthia. Retrieved July 18, 2017 .
  63. ^ Carinthia: Ticket for a journey into the research world . In: . ( [accessed on July 18, 2017]).
  64. ^ Gusenbauer grant - State of Carinthia. (No longer available online.) Formerly in the original ; Retrieved July 18, 2017 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  65. List of all decorations awarded by the Federal President for services to the Republic of Austria from 1952 (PDF; 6.9 MB)
  66. Today, November 11, 2008

Web links

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