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Josef Klaus

In office
April 2, 1964 – April 21, 1970
Preceded by Alfons Gorbach
Succeeded by Bruno Kreisky

Born August 15, 1910(1910-08-15)
Kötschach-Mauthen/Carinthia, Austria
Died July 26, 2001 (aged 90)
Vienna, Austria
Nationality Austrian
Political party ÖVP
Religion Roman Catholicism

Josef Klaus (August 15, 1910, Kötschach-Mauthen, Carinthia - July 26, 2001, Vienna) was an Austrian Christian/Conservative politician of the Peoples Party (ÖVP) and the Federal Chancellor (Bundeskanzler) from 1964 to 1970.

Political career

Klaus was governor of the Austrian province Salzburg from 1949 to 1961 and leading member of the ÖVP. When Chancellor Julius Raab resigned, Klaus' influence as a representative of the "young reformers" grew. Klaus became Federal Minister of Finance under Chancellor Alfons Gorbach and followed him as Chancellor when Gorbach ran for Federal President. Klaus formed another grand coalition with the Social democrats which had already started in 1945 and lasted till 1966, when the ÖVP under Klaus won the elections with a remarkable percentage. In June first steps were agreed on joining the European Economic Community which in the long run finally led to Austria joining the European Union in 1995.

Josef Klaus started many reforms and is remembered for administrating the government efficiently, but he lost the 1970 election against Bruno Kreisky (SPÖ), who was his successor as Chancellor. Klaus might have been able to continue by entering into a coalition with the FPÖ, but immediately resigned after losing the elections.

Despite his "hard image", Klaus was celebrated at his 90th birthday all over the country. In September 1971 he published his memoirs "Macht und Ohnmacht in Österreich", and up to 1995 he frequently led seminars on political and social themes.


  • KLAUS, Josef International Who's Who, accessed September 4, 2006.

Alfons Gorbach

Chancellors of Austria Successor:

Bruno Kreisky



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