The two U-committees will meet in Parliament on Thursday. With the election not much time away, they are at risk of getting bogged down in primary campaigning.
On Thursday it will be busy again in the parliament: the two planned U-committees, the SPÖ on Cofag aid and the FPÖ and ÖVP's “red-blue abuse of power” will be formed every hour.
1. Why are there two U-Committees at the same time?
This was the first time in the history of the Second Republic that two U-Committees were held simultaneously by minority resolutions. To be held simultaneously. The instrument of scrutiny is primarily used by opposition parties to investigate the actions of governments. It is unusual for the ÖVP as a governing party to appoint someone like this.
On the one hand, the SPÖ and the FPÖ are calling for a U-committee, “in relation to the two-tiered administration, as ÖVP government members favor billionaires”. They accuse the ÖVP and the finance department it leads of giving priority to entrepreneurs like Rene Benko and Siegfried Wolf when giving Cofag aid.
The ÖVP countered this with its own U-Committee on “blue-red abuse of power”. As parliamentary group leader Andreas Hanger explained on Ö1 on Monday, this is exercising his “right” to control “no more and no less”. However, the period of the ÖVP investigation is more extensive (from 2007 to 2020) and covers red-black or black-blue coalitions. Opposition parties consider this to be unconstitutional. However, this application was not brought before the Constitutional Court. Accordingly, the U-Committee may take place. The Constitutional Court must now decide by the end of January which documents should actually be provided.