Innsbruck’s Mayor Georg Willi (center) in the municipal council.
© Thomas Böhm
Innsbruck – In the Innsbruck municipal council, the budget waves will probably go up again on Thursday. The meeting, which was interrupted last Thursday after amendments that had a political majority against the Green Mayor Georg Willi, will be resumed on the day, the mayor’s office announced on Tuesday. It was said that it was currently unclear whether a vote on the budget could take place on Thursday.
“The proposed amendments can only be voted if they are quorate. In the meantime, the examination of the possible financial consequences of the motions, which Willi had initiated immediately after last week’s meeting after consultation with the Magistrate and Finance Directorate, continued. In addition to the effects for the The mayor, who is under severe political pressure, once again emphasized that legal and contractual questions must also be clarified for individual offices.
Willi had originally planned to continue the meeting next week. But the rules of procedure of the municipal council demand that an interrupted meeting be continued after a week, so the reason given now.
️ Video | Georg Willi on “Tirol Live”
Willi is not thinking about new elections
Innsbruck’s Mayor Georg Willi (Greens) is thinking in the midst of the dispute over the double budget 2022/23, the negotiated war and last week should have been decided, but not about new elections. After a surprising amendment by the ÖVP, which was supported by a majority, he had interrupted the meeting last Thursday and immediately initiated examinations. At a press conference on Monday, Willi reported legal concerns, but was also willing to compromise.
“I will implement everything that I am allowed to implement,” said the green city chief, clearly pleased. For him, “legal barriers” also represent “the political pain threshold”. “We have to adhere to city law and upright contracts,” warned Willi. So the question arises for him as to whether an amendment could cancel “resolutions passed by a large majority in the municipal council” – such as the redesign of the forecourt of the House of Music – or service contracts.
Cutbacks affecting all departments of Willi and Schwarzl
Uschi Schwarzl concerned, informed Willi – about a reduction of the “bike master plan”. The supporters of the amendment spoke in mailings last week of “nice-to-have” projects.
He “can withstand a lot and much more,” commented Willi on the current budget dispute and was resilient. After all, as a “directly elected representative of the people”, he was “on the vote for the voters”. A possible new election application was discussed within the green club, but is currently not an issue. Such a person would have to receive a two-thirds majority. Now it is a matter of acting “with a steady hand and circumspection” and trying to “do everything as well as possible”.
If “a negotiated budget is intervened to such a degree”, Willi emphasized that “quality over speed” is important when and when must be checked thoroughly. The parliamentary groups must have time to “politically weigh up the consequences of the deletions,” Willi writes. Only then could the municipal budget council be involved. On Monday, he still reckons with the beginning of next week, now it will continue on Thursday, as it became known on Tuesday.
The fact that a majority has formed against him and that he may have to adopt a budget that he does not like did not seem to be irritating in any case. “The budget meeting is not over yet,” emphasized the green politician. A budget would change again and again over the course of the year. In addition, there are many opportunities to “revive” projects “that fall by the wayside” – for example through supplementary credits. “I still have a lot of free legs,” said the city chief.
Majority supported amendment
Last Thursday, the mayor presented a “quorum” double budget for 2022/23 to the municipal council. The mayor underlined the last vote with all the parliamentary groups, the city councilors and the club officials on Tuesday. “At the last print” then the ÖVP submitted an amendment on Thursday. This was supported on Thursday by the List For Innsbruck (FI), FPÖ, List Fritz and Gerechtes Innsbruck (GI) – and thus by a majority.
In the run-up to this meeting there was a dispute between Willi and an alliance of ex-coalition partners and opposition parties. Willi only wanted to make a one-year budget because, in his opinion, there was no legal basis for a double budget. Opponents saw it differently, as did the state supervisory authority, which was then turned on. In a local council meeting in the summer, the application for a double budget was accepted by a majority.
But even before that, Innsbruck’s urban policy was shaken by disagreements among the parties. After the end of the four coalition of the Greens, SPÖ, ÖVP and FI by Willi in March, the free play of forces was finally declared, the continuation of which could be pinched by the budget issue. (TT.com, APA)