Wien, 13. May 2005 Press release

Plassnik: "The State Treaty is a decisive document that has helped shape Austria's new identity"

13.05.2005

Bilateral talks with representatives of the signatory states on the margins of the State Treaty anniversary celebrations

Vienna, 13 May 2005 - "For me, the fifteenth of May is a day of profound pleasure at the fact that we regained our freedom in 1955 after all those years of hoping and waiting. The State Treaty is a decisive document that has helped shape Austria's new identity", said Foreign Minister Plassnik today in the run-up to the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Austrian State Treaty.

Plassnik went on to say that the State Treaty was proof that in politics it pays off to resolutely champion joint concerns and have faith in their realisation, even though the struggle may appear hopeless over long stretches of time. The great merit of Austrian politicians like Raab, Figl, Schärf and Kreisky and the Austrian diplomats of the time was that they overcame numerous hurdles and difficulties to achieve the State Treaty for Austria. But the Foreign Minister also highlighted the role played by the victorious Allies, who liberated Austria from National Socialism and demonstrated their confidence in our country by giving us back our sovereignty in 1955. In the meantime they have become good partners and friends of Austria.

Continuing, Plassnik also pointed to the historic changes that have taken place since 1955: "Until the conclusion of the State Treaty Austria was a divided country. Today Austria is part of a united Europe in which the borders have been overcome and in which we can all move around freely. Our youth in particular move around in this world with amazing ease and mobility. But they not only make use of their freedom to travel between countries. They also make use of their freedom to live out several identities. For them it is no contradiction to be an Austrian and a European. The majority of the younger generation feel themselves to be both at the same time".

On the margins of the anniversary celebrations the Foreign Minister will also be meeting for bilateral talks with the representatives of the signatory states: Great Britain, France, Russia and the USA.