Economy of Austria:
Biggest companies, land owners, richest people
If you look at any comparison of industry statistics in different countries, Austria is pretty normal for a OECD country: It has a high number of small and medium size companies, a lot of tourism and service industries, metal, mining and transportation - but all in all, the Austrian economy is does not show any peculiarities at the first glance. Conclusions on Austrian culture from economic statistics are feasible only at a closer look: For example at the 41 million hotel arrangements (overnight stays), that the province of Tyrol sells a year - more than entire Greece.
If you look at rankings of the biggest companies, owners of real estate or richest families - you can learn more about some unusual features of Austria. Therefore, here a quick ranking that were published by the economics magazine "Gewinn" and the political magazine "News" in 2008. Note that both publications are close to being tabloids - however, some impressions that these rankings give are quite interesting and can′t be totally wrong.
For example, the relatively high number of monasteries and nobility among Austria′s biggest landowners shows that in the field of real estate, things have changed fairly little since the time of the Second Siege of Vienna in 1683 - or even the middle ages. But let′s first have a look at the richest people in general.
The Richest People of Austria
1) Piech & Porsche: The heirs of the Porsche car dynasty - yes, little known fact: Mr. Prosche was Austria
2) Flick Family: Wealthy German who moved to Austria for tax reasons - stories like his are what I mean when I say that a ranking like this can tell you a lot about Austria and its culture
3) Didi Mateschitz: Developed Red Bull and holds 48 percent of it - the rest belongs to his Thai partner (50 percent) and his son (2 percent).
4) Maria-Elisabeth & Georg Schaeffler: Heirs of a company that produces rolls - for example, for metal and paper industries, two seriously big areas in Austria′s economy
5) Royal Family of Liechtenstein: Despite of being the sovereigns of a foreign country (and the last absolute monarchs in Europe), the royal family of Liechtenstein lives mostly in Vienna and is filthy rich. Pays back to be a close ally of the Habsburgs for centuries.
6) Graf Family: Founders of a casino chain called Novomatics Admiral - gambling is a public monopoly, in theory, but undermined in practice, as the wealth of the Graf family demonstrates.
7) Heidi Horten: Heir of a retail chain, not very well-known in public, and somewhat secretive.
8) Wlaschek Family: Karl Wlaschek founded the retail chain „Billa", Austria′s biggest supermarket chain.
9) Spar-families: The heirs of the man who founded the Austrian franchise partner of Spar are now divided into various side-branches - but filthy rich they are in any case
10) Stronach Family: Founded an engineering company that supplies car industries, space flight agencies and formula-1. Frank Stronach, the head of the family, is Canadian-Austrian dual citizen.
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