b. Vienna, Oct. 4, 1937, bank manager and politician (SPOe, Austrian Social Democratic Party). 1976-1981 deputy chairman of the board of directors of the CA-BV bank. 1981-1984 chairman of the board of directors of the Oesterreichische Laenderbank AG. 1984-1986 Federal Minister of Finance; for short periods in 1986/1987, 1990, 1994 and 1996 respectively was a member of the Nationalrat. 1986 succeeded F. Sinowatz as Federal Chancellor. Following the shift to the right of the FPOe (Austrian Freedom Party) under its then newly elected leader J. Haider, V. terminated the SPOe-FPOe party coalition and was Chancellor of a SPOe-OeVP coalition 1987-1997. 1988-1997 Federal Party Chairman of the Sozialdemokratische Partei Oesterreichs (Austrian Social Democratic Party). During his term of office as Federal Chancellor, Austria became a member of the European Union. 1997 OSCE special envoy to Albania. Since 1997 consultant of the Westdeutsche Landesbank. Awarded the Aachener Karlspreis in 1996.
Literature#H. Rauscher, V., 1987; R. Semotan and K. Krawagna-Pfeifer, Die V.-Jahre, 1995; G. Bischof (ed.), The V. Era in Austria, 1999.