India's First International News Journal

India's First International News Journal

Monday, July, 4, 2022

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First at home improvement – Austria DIY leader

Austria does everything much better and faster - so the message of the federal government. But this should be enjoyed with caution.

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If you listened to the representatives of the federal government at their press briefings in the past few weeks, you could hear two messages in particular: first, Austria is doing everything right. Second, Austria does everything much better than everyone else. Sebastian Kurz repeats this at every opportunity, “the country with the best development in Western Europe”, “we reacted faster than everyone else”, “other European countries follow us”.

He says nothing about Ischgl, the place in Tyrol to which infections in half of Europe can be traced – because people there refused to recognize the seriousness of the situation for a long time. It is not only known since yesterday that self-praise is a defining characteristic of the political style of Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

However, it is surprising that the Greens, the small coalition partner, support this strategy: When Minister of Health Rudolf Anschober went to the press on Thursday and spoke about the number of corona tests in Austria, the actual number seemed subordinate. It was much more important for him to emphasize that in comparison there were so many more people tested than Spain, Great Britain, France, even more than South Korea, only Germany had passed them by a pinch, said Anschober, as if he were reporting on a sailing regatta instead of one Pandemic with thousands of deaths.

To defend Kurz and Anschober you have to say that you are not completely alone with your strategy of self-praise (interview with Markus Soder from yesterday: “Bavaria tests more than Austria, the Netherlands, South Korea, Japan.”) so few weeks, no one has yet made any statements about which country will end up being the best, that is to say, the lightest, through the pandemic.

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One thing can be said for short: a stringent communication strategy, another defining element of his policy. He and his ministers appear in front of the press almost every day (meanwhile with mouth and nose protection and with plexiglass panels on the standing desks) and give the impression of unity – even if there was temporary confusion about who actually was at Easter who can visit, or where the masks should come here that you have to carry in the supermarket. And even if it is even unclear whether the laws now passed are under review by the Constitutional Court will withstand.

The toothlessness of Austrian federalism also comes in short, as it gives the federal government significantly more competencies than is the case in Germany, for example. The chancellor does not have to coordinate with the federal states, and the governors only have to go it alone like the barrier of Lake Neusiedl for all those who do not live nearby, as the SPO governor Hans Peter Doskozil has just prevailed. This is of course aimed at visitors from Vienna, for whom Lake Neusiedl is traditionally a popular recreation area. And it is strikingly reminiscent of the posse around the federal gardens in Vienna, with the opposite sign: For weeks, the federal government refused to open those parks in the capital that are under federal administration, such as the extensive Augarten or the park at Schonbrunn Palace. The entrances are too narrow, overcrowding is to be feared.

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Since Tuesday, Austria has been one of the first countries to loosen the restrictions to a certain extent, and many of the European partners are now likely to look forward to the small country with the partially open shops and the obligation to wear a mask, especially the number of infections in the next two weeks.

However, the Kurz story of “We are the first, we are the role model” should, as always, be enjoyed with caution: Austria also loosens restrictions that never applied in Germany (one small comparison between Germany and Austria Time in picture 2 hired on Wednesday). The federal gardens in Vienna have only just reopened this week – and by the way anything but crowded. There has been an unforeseen for this in the past few days Rush to hardware stores.

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Author

Akihito Muranaka
Akihito Muranaka
News writer at The Eastern Herald. Bringing news direct from Japan, Korea, China, Italy, and other parts of the world.

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