Alois Mock

AloisMock CDM
Portrait of Alois Mock

9th Chancellor of Austria
1983 - 1994

Predecessor Bruno Kreisky
Successor Erhard Busek
Vice Chancellor

Leader of the People's Alliance
1979 - 1994

Predecessor position established
Successor Erhard Busek

Leader of the Opposition
1979 - 1983

Predecessor Josef Klaus
Successor Fred Sinowatz
Born June 10, 1934
Political Party People's Alliance
Profession Politician, actor, businessman

Alois Mock (born 10 June 1934) is a retired Austrian politician who served as Chancellor of Austria from 1983 to 1994, when he resigned after a leadership coup by the right-wing of his party. He was one of the founders of the People's Alliance political party (VA), brokering the merger between the Christian Social Party and the centrist and left wings of the Liberal People's Party in 1978. He led the VA to gains in 1979 and a majority government in 1983, and was the Chancellor during the final years of the Cold War.

Mock was responsible for numerous constitutional reforms that were introduced as a package in the 1984 Austrian Constitutional Amendment Act, which established constituencies for both provincial and national Parliament as opposed to party lists, opened the party primary system, set fixed population tiers for the Senate (Senat Österreich), and allowed for simple-majority voting in constituencies with runoffs at the provincial level as well as by-elections. Mock also liberalised Austrian labor laws, eliminated multiple tariffs while raising the consumption and income taxes, and introduced a petroleum and coal tax to fund the construction of twelve new nuclear reactors as well as numerous wind farms. Mock was strongly in favor of the EEC and was a key German ally, leading to his nickname Das Kleindeutsche.

Mock's second government became entangled in the Slovene provincial debate and there was significant backlash over both his integrationist standpoint with the EEC, his poor relationship with Austria's powerful labor unions, his vast expansion of nuclear power and his closeness to Germany. The SPÖ, SDS and NVP all made significant gains in the 1990 election, forcing Mock into a coalition with the right-wing NVP and elevating their controversial leader Jorg Haider to Vice Chancellor. Mock, who detested Haider, became seen as even more aloof and focused on cultivating an image abroad than focusing on the souring economy in early 1990s Austria, and by mid-1994 his party was far behind both the NVP and SPÖ in the polls. He was challenged for the leadership by Erhard Busek, who narrowly defeated him on the eighth ballot and Mock left the Chancellory, predicting that Busek would not be able to maintain a government. The coalition collapsed some months later, Busek called an early election and the VA lost power in December of 1994. Mock himself would remain in Parliament as a backbencher until he resigned in 1999 due to his Parkinson's disease.

Since leaving power, Mock's image has been largely rehabilitated and he is viewed as having been instrumental in creating a more open and fair Austrian society and political sphere than what existed before he came to power, though his reforms are also credited with causing the Slovene sovereignty debate that would have likely not occurred otherwise.