On December 2, 2008, the new Austrian Federal government was sworn in by President Heinz Fischer. Following the new elections of September 28 to the National Council, the Austrian Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) and the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) agreed on a new coalition government.
Social Democrat Werner Faymann, head of the Social Democratic Party, is Austria’s new Federal Chancellor, succeeding Alfred Gusenbauer, and Josef Pröll, head of the Austrian People’s Party, will succeed Wilhelm Molterer as Vice-Chancellor and Finance Minister. The new government is composed of the Federal Chancellor, thirteen ministers and four secretaries of state with a legislative period lasting five instead of four years due to a recent amendment of the electoral law. New Foreign Minister will be Michael Spindelegger (Austrian People’s Party), former Second President of the Austrian Parliament’s National Council who served as chairman of the EU Committee in the Parliament for the last two years and was a member of the European Parliament.
The new government’s program is marked by efforts to address the current economic slowdown and contain the fallout from the global financial crisis by implementing a broad package of measures to stimulate the economy and create new jobs.