Dr. Hans Achatz (1943–2017)
Member of Provincial Parliament, Upper Austria, from 1984 to 1991
Provincial Minister of Upper Austria, from 1991 to 2003
Provincial Party Chairman, FPÖ Upper Austria from 1992 to 2002
FPÖ Deputy Federal Chairman from 1994 to 2002
Hans Achatz was a judge and in 1991 became the first ever member of the Freedom Party to become a minister in the Upper Austrian provincial government. He was provincial party chairman of the Upper Austrian FPÖ and deputy FPÖ federal party chairman.
His main political concerns included the fight against nuclear energy. Achatz was an initiator of the 2002 popular petition entitled “Veto against Temelin”.
Hans Achatz was born in Haag, in the Lower Austrian district of Amstetten, on 19 December 1943. After graduating from high school, he studied law at the University of Vienna. In 1962, he joined the FPÖ, as well as the student fraternity “Libertas”, and became politically active as a student representative.
From 1972 to 1975, Achatz was a member of the committee opposing the Stein/St. Pantaleon nuclear power plant in Austria. He pursued principled opposition to nuclear power throughout his political career, especially in the fight against the Czech nuclear power plant at Temelin, not far from the Austrian border.
After completing his training, Hans Achatz was appointed a judge in 1973 and in 1977 took over the chairmanship of the board of lay assessors and jurors for the Upper Austrian town of Ried im Innkreis.
In 1980, Achatz became the deputy chairman of the FPÖ district party in Ried im Innkreis, and four years later advanced to become its chairman. From 1985 to 1991 he was a municipal councillor in Ried im Innkreis and chairman of its environment committee, where he was heavily involved in ecological issues
From 1984 to 1991, he was a member of the provincial parliament of Upper Austria.
From 1985 to 1989, Achatz was deputy chairman of the FPÖ parliamentary group in the Upper Austrian Parliament and from 1989 to 1991 its chairman.
In 1991, Achatz was the FPÖ’s lead candidate in Upper Austria’s provincial election. He succeeded in winning 11 FPÖ parliamentary seats and for the first time ever, the Freedom Party went on to obtain a ministerial post in the Upper Austrian government. Achatz was sworn in as Provincial Minister for Water Law, Hydraulic Engineering and Veterinary Affairs. In 1997, his ministerial responsibilities were extended to include savings banks and avalanche control.
His political focus was on the fight against nuclear energy and against the proposed construction of the new Linz Music Theatre in the “Schlossberg”, a park adjacent to the historic castle in Linz. The 2000 popular consultation on the construction of the new Linz Music Theatre in the Schlossberg (Upper Austria’s first and to date only popular consultation) took place during his leadership of the provincial party, as did the 2002 nationwide popular petition "Veto against Temelin", which received over 900,000 signatures, making it the third most successful in the Second Republic’s history.
Achatz had been elected chairman of the Upper Austrian FPÖ in 1992 and went on to become deputy chairman of the federal party in 1994. He held these positions until 2002.
In 2004, Hans Achatz was awarded the Decoration of the Province of Upper Austria. He passed away on 9 April 2017 in Eferding, Upper Austria.
Main political positions
District Party Chairman, Ried im Innkreis
Provincial Member of Parliament, Upper Austria
Municipal Councillor, Ried im Innkreis;
Chairman, FPÖ Parliamentary Group in the Upper Austrian Parliament
Government Minister, Province of Upper Austria
Provincial Party Chairman, FPÖ Upper Austria
Deputy FPÖ Federal Party Chairman