Property taxes to refinance the Corona crisis are “not a particularly relevant issue” for him.
Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler (Greens) defended the Austrian government’s corona management on Saturday.
When asked about the high numbers of infections and deaths in the fall, he said in the Ö1 Journal guest that “all European countries underestimated the second wave”. Overall, Austria is in the numbers up to Christmas “far below the European average”.
Regarding the question of the “Friday at the earliest” in the week starting January 18, Kogler pointed out that the legal basis for this had not yet been worked out and that details had not yet been determined. In this respect, the unequal treatment with gastronomy, complained of by some cultural workers, cannot yet be determined. By the middle of the month, the aim is to reduce the number of new infections.
Kogler cannot yet foresee whether and how there will be the possibility of “free vaccination” in the future, that is, restrictions could be lifted selectively for people who have already been vaccinated.
Whether, for example, sports and cultural events will only be accessible to vaccinated people in the future is also the responsibility of the organizers. In any case, according to Kogler, there should not be any state “mandatory vaccination”.
The Vice Chancellor also made a non-binding commitment to refinancing the government debt, which rose sharply in the wake of the corona pandemic. The debt level is about as high as after the financial crisis, but the interest burden is significantly lower. “First of all, it is important to borrow the money” and invest properly, says Kogler. There will also be a “Corona budget” in 2021.
Tax increases, for example through the introduction of wealth taxes, are “not a particularly relevant issue” for Kogler in the current legislative period. Should they be necessary at a later point in time, however, “the heirs of millions and billion-dollar donors should have to make a contribution”.
Kogler admitted that there was a conflict within the coalition over the issue of accepting refugees. In any case, the Greens would support that. You are working here with Christian organizations, some of which are close to the ÖVP, to persuade the People’s Party to give in. The Vice Chancellor rejected a referendum on the subject, which would only mean time being lost in view of the situation.