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NEOS replaces Vienna’s Greens in new city governing coalition

NEOS replaces Vienna’s Greens in new city governing coalition

The SPÖ’s result allowed it to seek a smaller coalition partner, effectively freezing the Greens out of power

Negotiations between the parties that took part and were elected to the local legislature in Vienna have concluded after 18 days and have led to a somewhat surprising reversal of fortunes. Despite the fact that both the parties that made up the previous governing coalition, the SPÖ and the Greens increased their vote shares during the elections, incumbent social democrat mayor Michael Ludwig has opted to seek new allies elsewhere – namely amidst the liberal formation NEOS.

Working together for a better Vienna

The increasing popularity of both governing parties in the Austrian capital led many to conclude that they would choose to continue their relationship, yet that turned out to not be the case. The larger margin secured by the SPÖ allowed it to seek out smaller parties (such as NEOS) that would be forced to make many more concessions as they negotiate for government positions compared to the Greens who also increased their vote share and would have been eyeing a reciprocal increase in power in the executive branch.

Thus, after nearly 20 days of negotiations, the two parties, the SPÖ and NEOS signed the coalition agreement last week, cementing Michael Ludwig as mayor of the Austrian capital and committing to progressive, just and environmentally friendly agenda.

Upon presenting the agreement, Mayor Michael Ludwig stated that "We are building a social, courageous, humane and sustainable city in which the focus is on people. It is a coalition of progress. Social affairs, the job market and affordable housing are just as important to us as sustainability and digitization. Through this first socialist-liberal coalition, the federal capital is taking the first step - we will certainly find imitators."

The new governing coalition is expected to be sworn in tomorrow, 24 November, ending the Greens’ participation in government after 10 years in power.

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