Grünen, Die, G#
Gruenen, Die (Austrian Green Party), official name since 1995: "Die Gruenen - Die Gruene Alternative (Gruene)" ("The Greens - The Green Alternative"), represented in the Nationalrat since the elections of 1986; political party (2,500 members in 1996) with main focus on environmental, democratic and social issues. They have extended the political debate to include new topics and raised the general standard of environmental protection; the former party leader P. Pilz made himself a name as member of parliamentary investigating committees. Former grass-roots approaches (e.g. principle of rotation) and spontaneous political culture were gradually replaced by a more professional organisation. M. Petrovic, became a member of the Nationalrat in 1994 and subsequently became leader of the Green Party in parliament and secretary of the federal party. After electoral defeat in 1995, leadership was taken over by C. Chorherr who passed it on to A. Van der Bellen in 1997; under his leadership, the elections to the Nationalrat in 1999 gave the Green Party its best results so far.
Literature#M. Petrovic, Das gruene Projekt, 1994; F. Schandl and G. Schattauer, Die Gruenen in Oesterreich, 1995.