Austria's climate minister is said to have successfully bribed a number of young people into getting green propaganda tattoos, news outlets in the country have claimed. (Photo by Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)


Minister ‘bribed young people into getting green propaganda tattoos’


Austria’s climate minister is alleged to have bribed a number of young people into getting “green” propaganda tattoos, news outlets in the country have claimed.

The minister, Leonore Gewessler, a representative for the country’s Greens party, is said to have offered six people at two different Austrian music festivals free “climate tickets” in exchange for getting an advertisement for the Klimaticket green initiative tattooed on their arm.

Valued at slightly over €1,000, the ticket gives the bearer limitless access to almost all public transport in the country for an entire year, including inter-regional train services.

Gewessler’s attempt to promote the initiative – which is allegedly designed to help Austria meet its climate goals – has deeply angered many in the country, with the minister being accused of trying to take advantage of young people who are already struggling financially.

“The country needs new elections,” declared Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) MEP Harald Vilimsky, arguing that the scheme seemed to show that the ruling coalition government needed “immediate” sectioning.

Representatives from the country’s Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) have also expressed deep concern regarding the move, with one MP describing the initiative as “questionable” in an official parliamentary question seen by Kronen Zeitung.

“The concept of misusing people as permanent advertising space on behalf of a federal ministry is a hitherto unknown level of tastelessness,” SPÖ parliamentarian Julia Herr said.

Others appear to be merely basking in the absurdity of the idea.

“What’s next? A free heat pump if you tattoo ‘Gewessler’ on your brain?” Florian Klenk, the editor-in-chief of a weekly newspaper in Vienna, asked online.

Another parody outlet in the country “announced” that the minister was now offering “a lifelong climate ticket” for anyone who was willing to have an advertisement for the initiative “scratched into their forehead”.

Gewessler and her allies have attempted to rebuff criticisms of her initiative, with it being claimed that all those who ended up receiving free tickets for being tattooed were over the age of 18.

Jakob Lambert, the head of the group in charge of selling the ticket, insisted that everyone who did end up getting the tattoo already had plenty of others, so having one more was “no big deal” for them.

“The feedback at the festivals was extremely positive,” he insisted.