Wien, 21. November 2007 Press release

Plassnik: "Close-knit network of German-Austrian relations"

21.11.2007

Minister President of Thuringia meets Foreign Minister Plassnik

Vienna, 21 November 2007 - "Contacts with our German neighbours are excellent not only at the government level; Austria also has a close-knit and increasingly tight network of economic and cultural relations with the German federal states - an expression of the friendship between the two countries," said Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik in a meeting with Dieter Althaus, Minister President of Thuringia.

"After Saxony, Thuringia is the world champion in exports to Austria. Our traditionally close relations form a solid basis for good and potentially even better cooperation. I am also personally pleased to welcome Minister President Althaus, who has spent numerous holidays in Austria and has many friends here," said the Foreign Minister.

The export of Austrian products to Thuringia increased between 1995 and 2006 from 218 to 384 million euros, while imports from Thuringia have risen fivefold. Apart from the excellent economic relations, there are also over 50 partnerships between universities and extramural research institutes. Numerous cultural cooperation projects such as the Kunstfest Weimar reflect the close ties between Thuringia and Austria.

"Only two weeks ago the Bavarian Minister President Günther Beckstein paid us an inaugural visit and informed us that Austria had become Bavaria’s most important trading partner. These solidifying German-Austrian relations are also a part of the Austrian success story in the process of European unification, from which our country has profited enormously since 1955. Thuringia and Minister President Althaus will also be reliable partners in the next stage of this process, the support for South Eastern Europe on its road to Europe," concluded Plassnik.

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