Allied-occupied Austria - Marshall Plan

Marshall Plan

Austria finalized its Marshall Plan program in the end of 1947 and received the first tranche of Marshall Plan aid in March 1948. Austrian heavy industry (or what was left of it) concentrated around Linz, in the American zone, and in British-occupied Styria. Their products were in high demand in post-war Europe. Quite naturally, the administrators of the Marshall Plan channeled available financial aid into heavy industry controlled by the American and British forces. American military and political leaders made no secret of their intentions: Geoffrey Keyes said that "we cannot afford to let this key area (Austria) fall under exclusive influence of the Soviet Union." Marshall Plan was deployed primarily against the Soviet zone but it was not completely excluded: it received 8% of Marshall plan investments (compared to 25% of food and other physical commodities). Austrian government regarded financial aid to the Soviet zone as a lifeline holding the country together. This was the only case when Marshall Plan funds were distributed in Soviet-occupied territories.

The Marshall Plan was not universally popular, especially in its initial phase. It benefited some trades such as metallurgy but depressed others such as agriculture. Heavy industries quickly recovered, from 74.7% of pre-war output in 1948 to 150.7% in 1951. American planners deliberately neglected consumer goods industries, construction trades and small business. Their workers, almost half of Austrian industrial workforce, suffered from rising unemployment. In 1948–1949, a substantial share of Marshall Plan funds allocated to Austria was used to subsidize imports of food. American money, effectively, raised real wages of Austrian workers: grain price in Austria was at about one-third of the world price, while local agriculture remained in ruin. Marshall Plan aid gradually removed many of the causes of popular unrest that shook the country in 1947, but Austria remained dependent on food imports.

The second stage of the Marshall Plan, which began in 1950, concentrated on productivity of the economy. According to Michael J. Hogan, "in the most profound sense, it involved the transfer of attitudes, habits and values as well, indeed a whole way of life that Marshall planners associated with progress in the marketplace of politics and social relationships as much as they did with industry and agriculture." The program, as instructed by American lawmakers, targeted improvement in factory-level productivity, labor-management relations, free trade unions and introduction of modern business practices. The Economic Cooperation Administration, which operated until December 1951, distributed around 300 million dollars in technical assistance and attempted steering the Austrian social partnership (political parties, labor unions, business associations and executive government) in favor of productivity and growth instead of redistribution and consumption.

Their efforts were thwarted by the Austrian practice of making decisions behind closed doors. The Americans struggled to change it in favor of open, public discussion. They took a strong anti-cartel stance, appreciated by the Socialists, and pressed the Austrian government to remove anti-competition legislation. But ultimately they were responsible for the creation of the vast monopolistic public sector of Austrian economy (and thus politically benefiting the Socialists).

According to Bischof, "no European nation benefited more from Marshall Plan than Austria." Austria received nearly a billion U.S. dollars through Marshall Plan, and half a billion in humanitarian aid. The Americans also refunded to Austria all occupation costs charged in 1945–1946, around 300 million. In 1948-1949 Marshall Plan aid contributed 14% of Austrian national income, the highest ratio of all involved countries. Per capita, aid amounted to 132 dollars compared to 19 dollars for the Germans. But Austria also paid more war reparations per capita than any other Axis state or territory. Total war reparations taken by the Soviet Union including withdrawn USIA profits, looted property and the final settlement agreed in 1955, are estimated between 1.54 and 2.65 billion U.S. dollars (Eisterer: 2 to 2.5 billion).

Read more about this topic:  Allied-occupied Austria

Other articles related to "marshall plan, plan, marshall":

Marshall Plan - In Popular Culture
... Averell Harriman, wrote a humorous operetta about the Marshall Plan during its first year one of the lines in the operetta was "Wines for Sale will you swap / A little bit of steel for Chateau Neuf du Pape?" ...
Czechoslovak Coup D'état Of 1948 - Impact - United States
... Opposition towards the Marshall Plan had developed in the United States Congress, but a shocked and aroused public opinion overwhelmed this, and Congress ... through the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan and a heavy reliance on atomic power as a shield to support it ... Expecting to spend large amounts on the Marshall Plan, he sought to keep the annual defence budget below $15 billion ...
1948 Gatow Air Disaster - Historical Background
... allies wanted to include West Germany in the Marshall Plan, an economic plan to rebuild Europe after the devastation of the war ... The Soviets perceived the Marshall Plan as the foundation for an anti-Soviet alliance and pressured the Americans, British and French to back down ... Council, and on 31 March 1948, the United States Congress approved funding for the Marshall Plan ...
Basket Of Bread - Marshall Plan
... for the European Recovery Program, better known as the Marshall Plan from 1947 to 1951 ... The Marshall Plan, which earned General George C ... Marshall the Nobel Peace Prize, is credited with rebuilding European nations by restoring agricultural and industrial production and thereby restoring food ...
Robert Marjolin - The Marshall Plan and The OEEC
... Due to his ministerial responsibilities, Marjolin was particularly involved with the Marshall Plan for assistance to Europe ... persuade the United States Congress to support the plan ... (OEEC) which was established to implement the Marshall Plan ...

Famous quotes containing the words plan and/or marshall:

    Architect. One who drafts a plan of your house, and plans a draft of your money.
    Ambrose Bierce (1842–1914)

    I acknowledge that the balance I have achieved between work and family roles comes at a cost, and every day I must weigh whether I live with that cost happily or guiltily, or whether some other lifestyle entails trade-offs I might accept more readily. It is always my choice: to change what I cannot tolerate, or tolerate what I cannot—or will not—change.
    —Melinda M. Marshall (20th century)