VIENNA — President Kurt Waldheim threatened to dissolve the government if it accepts a report questioning his World War II conduct, government sources said today.
According to government sources, the president met Monday with Chancellor Franz Vranitzky and deputy Chancellor Alois Mock, head of the People's Party and a staunch Waldheim supporter. At that meeting, Waldheim demanded the government reject a report by a panel of six historians questioning his integrity during World War II, and he threatened to dismiss the government if it didn't, the sources said.
No president in post-World War II Austria has used his constitutional power to dismiss the government.
Waldheim, former secretary-general of the United Nations, has denied allegations he participated in war crimes while serving with the German army in the Balkans during World War II. The allegations were raised during his 1986 presidential campaign.
The government issued a statement Tuesday but said nothing about accepting the report.
The statement included an assertion by the chairman of the historians' panel, Hans Rudolf Kurz, that "there was no participation in war crimes and no personally culpable conduct by Dr. Waldheim."