Chancellor Kurz: "There is light at the end of the tunnel"

Lifestyle & TravelHealth ♦ Published: August 28, 2020; 13:23 ♦ (Vindobona)

Today, Chancellor Kurz was holding a State of the Union Address and talked about the Coronavirus, special vacation for parents and a "pact against isolation". According to him, the next summer will be normal again. However, the time until then will be challenging.

Chancellor Kurz hold a speech today to the nation about the current situation. / Picture: © Bundeskanzleramt (BKA) / Dragan Tatic

First, Kurz talked about the year 2020 and that it was very challenging for all citizen. However, "there is light at the end of the tunnel" says Kurz and that the crisis will last shorter than many experts believed at the beginning.

He is thus referring to national and international health researchers and experts as laboratories are researching intensively for a vaccine, new testing methods and treatments. This should lead to a normal summer 2021 as we used to know it.

Now it is very important to reserve enough vaccine to vaccinate everyone who wants to. The vaccine will only be authorised when it has been tested properly. Moreover, Kurz reaffirms that there will not be any compulsory vaccination in Austria.

Today, scientist have a way greater knowledge about the virus, and it is known that COVID-19 already mutated. If this leads to a milder progression in general is not known yet.

Nevertheless, what is already known is where clusters are mostly formatted and for whom the virus is more dangerous.

With this knowledge, Kurz says it is also clear that the upcoming months are getting difficult. It is getting colder again, and schools are starting in September with many people indoor. It is will be difficult to distinguish between a normal flue and the Coronavirus.

The chancellor further puts in view that with decreasing numbers of infections the restrictions will be eased. "As much freedom as necessary and as much restriction as necessary." he says.

He appeals to all Austrian to stick to all regulations and to stay disciplined until the pandemic is over.

"We are now also facing a global economic crisis that we have not experienced on this scale for a long time." Austria will not be spared from the crisis as the economy will collapse by seven percent this year.

The government will now concentrate on easing new business foundations to create as many jobs as possible. A work foundation will be founded in order to bring more jobs in the healthcare industry closer to job seekers. Additionally, about an improved legal basis for the home office will be discussed with the Social Partners.

Kurz further addressed the difficulty for parents when their children are sent home for digital schooling. Therefore, it will be again possible to take a three weeks special vacation to support and care taking of children at home. He also mentioned that a new technical university will be built in Linz, Upper Austria.

In order to support Austrian companies and farmers, the public sector will buy from now on mostly regional products for canteens. If 20% of the products are bought regionally 46,000 workplaces can be created, calculated Kurz.

Finally, he addressed the problem of isolation which occurred for many people, mostly old people, in the last few months. Therefore, the government will be working on a "pact against isolation" to provide an "aging with dignity".