NÖN: There were many rumors about the dissolution of the turquoise coalition after the Ibiza affair. Also, that ÖVP Lower Austria had strongly insisted. What role has the State ÖVP played in this area?
Johanna Mikl-Leitner: Sebastian Kurz made this decision. I think everyone who saw this video know that it was the only good decision. Sebastian Kurz did not need screams. He knew what to do.
Is it unthinkable for you that the former Home Secretary, Herbert Kickl, belongs to a new government?
There will definitely be no calls from me. It will depend on the new head of government. And I hope that is Sebastian Kurz.
For the first time in many years, the successor model of the preferential voting campaign, born in Lower Austria, will not be used in the next elections. Are not you afraid that voter mobilization will be more difficult?
It was important for Sebastian Kurz to compete with the same team because this team did a good job. I think everyone in the party knows what's at stake. Everyone will run for short.
When will September 29 be a success for the ÖVP?
I think it will be a success if we can reach the result of the European elections (note: 34.55%).
As chair of the Conference of Governors, you called for a rationalization of powers between the federal and state governments. Who would it be?
A very clear division of responsibilities is the best guarantee of effective administration and, most importantly, of a modern state. Especially in the difficult situation that now shows that it is important to have strong countries. An example is the protection of monuments or culture. These areas could certainly be mentioned at the country level. All data protection should in turn be managed at the federal level.
For some time, you have been working for more tax autonomy of countries. Why is there still not much movement in this area?
Some fiscal autonomy enhances competition between federal states. That's why we will continue to focus on the subject. But much more important at the moment is certainly the area of health and health care. Future security in this area worries people. And we must rightly solve this problem now.
How do you want to mitigate these worries?
I am asking for more medical study places in the universities of the new federal government. You can see at each turn that he needs more doctors. In the past, there were 2,000 doctor apprentices in Vienna alone, now it is 1,680. Now the results have arrived and it will be registered again only 1680. More than 16,000 have applied. It should not be forgotten that 25% of the 1,680 seats are reserved for non-Austrians. This means that we only have 1,260 Austrian students. When you think that half of GPs will retire in the next ten years, the numbers, the data and the facts are clear, you need more learning. And I expect that more places will be available in semester 20/21 in the new government program. In Lower Austria, we set a good example and have increased the number of places at Karl Landsteiner University.
Projects to locate more federal institutions in federal states appear to have failed. What is the schedule for the transfer of the Federal Environmental Agency to Klosterneuburg?
This is an example of how quickly we need a federal government that makes clear decisions. There are currently discussions between the ministry and the city at the level of civil servants.
What do you think of young activist Greta Thunberg?
Courageous, great commitment and role model for young people.
Is not this an imputation of politics when such a young person must keep climate policy at the center of his concerns?
It must already be seen that the subject of climate change is not a regional problem or at the scale of Austria, but a global problem. It does not help to point the finger at others, but to take very clear steps. Lower Austria is a pioneer in many fields. The Green Minister for Economic Affairs Kretschmann, Baden-Württemberg, recently said during the visit: "Lower Austria is an important reference for its region." We have more than 350 climatic alliances. mobility. This is also due to the fact that, as the first federal state in 2007, we also anchored climate protection in the constitution and have since taken very consistent measures.
But in the longer term, electricity demand will increase with increasing electronic mobility. What is the strategy of Lower Austria?
We will continue to focus more on renewable energy in the future. We want the CO 2 – Reducing emissions by 36%, doubling wind energy in all cases and boosting photovoltaic capacities. Here too, I see that Lower Austria, and especially our country, also gives the example. I just checked all the buildings in the state. Where there is a lot of energy demand, photovoltaic systems should be installed.
"I do not want the Waldviertel to become the weekend district." Johanna Mikl-Leitner explains the need for the Waldviertel motorway
Environmentalists criticize the fact that major projects planned in Lower Austria, such as the Europaspange (Waldviertel motorway) or the third runway at Schwechat airport, can not be reconciled with a sustainable climate policy. What do you think of these critics?
With regard to further development, there must be neither one nor the other, but there must be one and both. This applies to the third track and the same goes to the Europa track. We need it for the location of Lower Austria and Austria. Nobody has any idea if everything in the air traffic moves to Bratislava or Prague. The closure of Europe is just as important to me. We know, looking on the map, that there is a shortage of international, road and rail links. That's why we will continue to stick to this project. Because I do not want the Waldviertel to become the weekend district.
Franz Schnabl, chairman of the SPÖ state party, praised the cooperation in the NÖN summer discussion. The cooperation with FPÖ Landrat Gottfried Waldhäusl last year has not always been so harmonious. Are there differences here?
For me, the results matter and they are impressive. Waldhäusl also had a learning phase ranging from the role of opposition to the role of government.
Preparations for the 2020 city council election are already under way. Does the scheduled election take place at the end of January?
We will set an election date together. My wish is that we fix the appointment in September.
In November, the European Capital of Culture 2024 is taken. In your opinion, how did you complete the application process for St. Pölten?
I am very confident that we have great opportunities here. But if that does not succeed, we will have the state exhibition in St. Pölten in 2024.