Austria Economy Overview
Having developed into an imperial function, the economic structures of Austria suffered a serious setback from the loss of a vast dominion, rich in mines and agricultural areas, which Vienna had been able to organize efficiently; the young Republic found itself deprived of both markets for its industrial products and sources for the supply of raw materials and agricultural products. Foreign aid, and above all the International Reconstruction Loan under the aegis of the League of Nations, allowed the country to carry out the reconversion of its economy and in the 1930s to overcome the crisis that more or less hit all of Europe in addition to the United States.. During the Anschluss there was a certain development of the industrial sector, but at the end of the Second World War Austria found itself with industrial plants and communication routes largely destroyed; furthermore, in compliance with the Potsdam agreements, the industries already under German control were either dismantled and transferred to the USSR or subjected to a special Soviet administration and only in 1955 the agreement was ratified by which Austria regained full possession of these industries. Meanwhile, thanks again to substantial foreign aid, mainly thanks to the Marshall Plan, from which Austria obtained US $ 962 million, the country’s economic rebirth was possible. In 1946-47 the shipping companies, coal mines and basic industries (mining, mechanical, electrical, petrochemical, steel, part of the chemicals, etc.) were nationalized and the government became the main entrepreneur, operating through the Austrian industry and mining management company (Austrian Society for the Administration of Mines and Industries), created in 1956. The political-diplomatic equidistance between the two blocs, which for a long time characterized Austria, certainly played a significant part in allowing Country to serenely pursue a balanced economic and social policy; the end, at least apparent, of the ideological and military opposition in Europe had, instead, among other things, the effect of abruptly reducing Austria’s position rent, effectively pushing it towards a form of isolation that began to have repercussions, in the early nineties of the last century, also on the performance of the economy (with decreases fractional GDP), adding to the effects of the international economic situation and the cost of the efforts that Austria was making in supporting the Eastern countries: both those of the Visegrad Group (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia), and above all the Slovenia and Croatia, where Austrian companies, supported by the government, found it more convenient to channel their investments. A plan to cut social spending was therefore launched, a privatization plan that involved the most important industries of the state, European Union (approx. Two thirds of the voters voted in favor, on the occasion of the referendum in June 1994) operating from 1 January 1995. The unfavorable situation lasted only until 1994, when the GDP started to grow again and the others economic indicators returned or remained positive (starting with the unemployment rate, which is consistently among the lowest in industrialized countries). Also the interventions implemented (1996) to reduce the public deficit and stay on the convergence parameters, provided for by the Maastricht Treaty for monetary union, they seem to have been well absorbed by the Austrian system, which is beginning to feel positively affected by the entry into the EU. In fact, although the country remained involved in the economic stagnation that affected all EU members in the early years of this century, with a consequent slowdown in growth, in 2009 the unemployment rate was equal to 4.8% and inflation was around 0.4%, while GDP amounted to US $ 381,880 million, and GDP per capita at $ 45,989 US. On the other hand, there was a significant increase in the transit of goods through Austria (now privileged compared to Switzerland in trade between Italy and Germany, both for membership of the Union and because, since 1994, a referendum in Switzerland ruled out the possibility of improving transit traffic), without worsening those conditions of road congestion and heavy noise and atmospheric pollution, due to which the role of Austria as a transit area was questioned. Furthermore, accession to the EU, together with the changed political conditions of Eastern Europe, has returned to Austria a full geographical centrality in the continental context, and not only as regards material exchanges.
According to physicscat, Graz, is the capital of the Austrian state of Styria and the second largest city in Austria, on the Mur, with (2019) 288 800 residents.
Graz is an important educational center with universities, colleges and museums (Universalmuseum, Kunsthaus Graz etc.). As an important trade fair and congress city with a wide range of educational opportunities, Graz has developed into an innovative technology location and, thanks to its beautiful old town (UNESCO World Heritage Site), it has also become a tourist center. The cityscape is determined by the Schlossberg with the Graz landmark, the clock tower from 1561.
World Heritage Sites in Austria
World Heritage Sites (K) and World Natural Heritage (N)
- Old town of Salzburg (K; 1996)
- Schönbrunn Palace and Park (K; 1996)
- Cultural landscape of Hallstatt-Dachstein- Salzkammergut (K; 1997)
- Semmering Railway with surrounding landscape (K; 1998)
- Old Town of Graz (K; 1999)
- Wachau river landscape (K; 2000)
- Historic Center of Vienna (K; 2001)
- Neusiedler See cultural landscape (K; 2001)
- Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps (K; 2011)
- Old beech forests and primeval beech forests in the Limestone Alps (N; 2017)