Vranitzky, Franz (fräns vränētˈskē) [key], 1937–, Austrian political leader, chancellor of Austria (1986–97), b. Vienna. After receiving a doctorate in economics he became a banker (1961–70). Vranitzky was an adviser on economic and fiscal policy to the minister of finance (1970–76) and returned to banking (1976–84) before becoming minister of finance in 1984. A Social Democrat and head of his party, he led numerous coalition governments. During the 1990s he was actively involved in the downsizing of Austria's welfare state and the reduction of the nation's budget deficit.