Der Euro in Europa - Österreich
is going through its worst economic growth
phase for more than a decade. Growth in
2002 was 0.75 percent, compared with an
average of 2 percent from 1993 to 1998.
The Commission has said that “economic performance
is very weak in line with international
has been growing since Austria joined the
euro. Austrian unemployment was 4.9 percent
in 2001, 5.6 percent in 2002 and is predicted
to rise to 5.7 percent in 2003 (OECD).
A survey of 1000 people
by research institute Spectra (August 2002)
showed that 84 percent of people dislike
the euro, compared to 76 percent who disliked
it in February 2002. 85 percent of people
thought that prices had gone up since the
introduction of the euro compared to 74
percent in February.
Austria is implementing spending
cuts to adhere to the Stability and Growth
Pact. In August the Austrian Finance Minister
wrote to cabinet ministers asking them to
cut budgets by up to 5 percent to stop the
deficit running out of control. The cuts
amount to €3 billion overall. A planned
tax cut for 2002 was shelved and consumption
taxes were put up. Austrian government debt
is 63.2 percent of GDP.
Rounding up is particularly
prevalent in Austria due to the Austrian
Schilling / euro exchange rate. Consumer
associations have registered thousands of
complaints of price rises, with some examples
of prices going up by as much as 158 percent.