German Chancellor Angela Merkel fears that the number of corona infections will rise again if the ski resorts receive tourists. She calls on European countries to close the ski stations.
The reopening of the ski areas is a particularly sensitive issue in European political circles. Earlier this week, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that there will be no skiing in the Italian Alps this Christmas holiday. After the support of France, he can also count on that of Germany.
Merkel is calling for all European ski areas to be closed. During a statement outlining the corona situation in Germany, the Chancellor said that any unnecessary contact should be avoided in the current health situation.
Merkel can count on the support of the state of Bavaria, the largest ski region in Germany. Governor Markus Söder has already said that he is in favor of a general closure in Europe. “Such an arrangement is necessary if the European borders remain open during the Christmas holidays,” said Söder.
Austria against closure
Merkel is working for a European agreement. “We will try to coordinate in Europe whether we can close all ski areas. Unfortunately, when you hear the Austrian statements, it does not seem that it will be easy, but we will try, ”said the Chancellor.
Austria demands financial intervention from the European Union if it has to close the ski areas. According to Austrian Finance Minister Gernot Blümel, the price tag of such a closure would amount to 2.4 billion euros.
Switzerland, a country that is not part of the European Union, has already announced that it will open the ski resorts. The country will monitor compliance with the corona measures, such as the mandatory wearing of a mouth mask.