Susanne Riess (born 3 January 1961 in Braunau am Inn)[1] is a former Austrian politician of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ).

Susanne Riess
Riess in 2019
Vice-Chancellor of Austria
In office
4 February 2000 – 28 February 2003
ChancellorWolfgang Schüssel
Preceded byWolfgang Schüssel
Succeeded byHerbert Haupt
Minister of Sport
In office
3 April 2000 – 28 February 2003
ChancellorWolfgang Schüssel
Preceded byFranz Morak
Succeeded byKarl Schweitzer
Chair of the Freedom Party
In office
1 May 2000 – 8 September 2002
Preceded byJörg Haider
Succeeded byMathias Reichhold
Personal details
Born (1961-01-03) 3 January 1961 (age 62)
Braunau am Inn, Austria
Political partyFreedom Party
(m. 2022)

Career Edit

In the first government headed by Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel, which was inaugurated in 2000, she became Vice Chancellor[2] and minister of public services and sports, representing her party in the coalition with Schüssel's Austrian People's Party (ÖVP). The Freedom Party had finished second in the 1999 election, so its leader, Jörg Haider, should have become Chancellor in any coalition with the ÖVP which finished third. However, Haider yielded to Schüssel in order to appease international opinion. Although this should have put him in line to become Vice-Chancellor, he realised he was too controversial to have any role in the government. He thus resigned as party leader in favour of Riess-Passer, who had been FPÖ managing chairwoman since 1996.

In the course of the formation of the government in 2000, she became chairwoman and leader of the FPÖ. She was known for being loyal to Haider,[3][4] which earned her the nickname Königskobra (King Cobra).[5]

After severe disagreements with her former political mentor Haider in Summer 2002[6] (the so-called Knittelfeld Putsch), she resigned from all of her posts, as did finance minister Karl-Heinz Grasser and the party spokesman in parliament, Peter Westenthaler.[7] After the 2002 elections, she remained Vice Chancellor on a provisional basis until the coalition between ÖVP and FPÖ was renewed in early 2003, and has since had no involvement in politics.

Since 2004, Riess-Passer has been the CEO of the Wüstenrot-Gruppe.[8]

Susanne Riess (2008)

Personal life Edit

In 2022 she married European Commissioner Johannes Hahn.[9]

References Edit

  1. ^ Biography on the Austrian parliament's site. Retrieved on 12 Aug 2011.(in German)
  2. ^ "World Austrians take Haiders resignation in stride". CNNWorld. March 30, 2000. Archived from the original on October 18, 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-14.
  3. ^ "Resignation Ploy in Austria". New York Times. March 2, 2000. Retrieved 2011-01-14.
  4. ^ Miller, Catherine (November 26, 2002). "The politician who cries wolf". BBC News. Retrieved 2011-01-14.
  5. ^ "No 1586 Susanne Riess-Passer". The Guardian. March 2, 2000. Retrieved 2011-01-14.
  6. ^ "Austrian far-right picks new chief". CNNWorld. September 18, 2002. Archived from the original on October 3, 2012. Retrieved 2011-01-14.
  7. ^ "Austrian Far-Right Leaders Resign, Shaking Up Governing Coalition". New York Times. September 9, 2002. Retrieved 2011-01-14.
  8. ^ "Dr. Susanne Riess-Passer". SIGNA Holding. Retrieved 2011-01-14.
  9. ^ "Hochzeit Dr. Susanne Riess-Hahn und Dr. Johannes Hahn" (in German). Börse Social Network. 2022-08-06. Retrieved 2022-08-06.
Political offices
Preceded by Vice Chancellor of Austria
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Chair of the Freedom Party
Succeeded by