The Shmooze

Canadian Mogul Turns To Austrian Politics

By Michael Kaminer

  • Print
  • Share Share
Wikimedia Commons

Canadian billionaire Frank Stronach, who founded the Magna International auto parts empire, is moving into politics in a big way — but not in his adopted homeland.

Stronach is about to announce the formation of a new political party in his native Austria that will aim “for the nation’s exit from the Eurozone,” the Toronto Star reports.

Stronach, who turns 80 next month, wants to shake up Austria, and has taken the current government to task for “cronyism and corruption.”

“Europe can only work if every country has its own currency,” Stronach said in an interview with German online magazine Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten. The basic philosophy of the party would be “truth, transparency and fairness.” Stronach also told Vienna-based Die Presse newspaper he plans to run in 2013 parliamentary elections — and is aiming for 10% of the vote.

Experts say Stronach’s party would most likely take votes away from right-wing opposition Freedom Party and the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ), according to the Star. Stronach certainly has the means to make it happen; Forbes pegs his net worth at $1.2 billion.

“If there were a Canadian equivalent of the Horatio Alger story, Frank Stronach would certainly qualify (Or, if you prefer, Franz Strohsack, the name he was born with in Kleinsemmering, Austria, on Sept. 6, 1932)” wrote Detroit business monthly DBusiness last year. “Surviving the Great Depression and the Second World War was doubly difficult, considering his Jewish roots, but Stronach managed to avoid the concentration camps. In the rubble of the war, he left school at 14, to apprentice to a tool and die maker.” In 1954, with a one-way ticket in hand, Stronach left his homeland and settled in Montreal. Later, he moved to Toronto. Years later, “Magna emerged alongside a variety of other companies that have come to dominate the supplier side of the automotive business.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Frank Stronach

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.