Die Wirtschaftsbeziehungen in der Ära-Kreisky: Entwicklung und Probleme des österreichischen Osthandels mit der ČSSR 1970–1983
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Austrian–Czechoslovakian economic relations constitute a special case auf Austria’s Osthandel (Eastern Trade) in the Cold War era. The reasons for this can be traced back to the historical development of economic exchange as well as the complicated political relations between Vienna and Prague. Against this historical background and the context of Austria’s Ostpolitik and Osthandel after 1945, the study delivers a first analysis of economic interactions in the Kreisky era (1970–1983). The post-1945 development of bilateral relations between the two Central European neighbors also hindered improvement on the economic level. In comparison to other Socialist states, Austria’s nationalized industries played a rather small roll in trade with Czechoslovakia. Despite good will on both sides, negotiations on the ministerial level remained complicated. While most COMECON members (except the Soviet Union) continuously faced severe trade balance deficits with Austria, Czechoslovakia’s balance was usually active. By the end of the 1970s, Austria’s deficit grew massively. Additionally, this article presents case studies on trilateral cooperation in the fields of economic and energy supplies. The difficulties in realizing those projects with Poland or Hungary strengthen the image of a highly heterogeneous “Eastern bloc”. The analysis is primarily based on Austrian and East German archival sources.
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