Politics

ÖVP tug-of-war: Short at school alone

On Friday, immediately before the announcement of the lockdown, Stelzer said to the KURIER: “If the federal government should decide to close the schools, at least sufficient childcare must be provided.”

Resistance also comes from Salzburg. ÖVP State Education Council Christian Stoeckl believes: “If health care workers have to devote themselves to looking after their children instead of looking after patients, it will lead to a fatal shortage.” For governor Wilfried Haslauer closing the schools is “one of the last measures on the escalation level”.

From Styria, Lower Austria, Tyrol and Vorarlberg, whose governors have also pleaded for open schools in the past few days, nothing was heard on Friday except for the reference to “ongoing negotiations”. This is not open resistance, but the grudging acceptance cannot be seen as support for the position of Chancellor.

It looks similar in the government. The Ministry of Health and AGES argued against school closings for days. The Minister of Education leaned particularly far Heinz Fassmann out. Two days ago, Faßmann and the Corona Special Representative in the Ministry of Health presented themselves Clemens Martin Auer (also close to the ÖVP, by the way), against school closures.

In federal ÖVP circles, which represent the Chancellor’s point of view, the state governors are said to have hidden behind the Chancellor in this unpopular measure. Motto: You are against it anyway, but if the federal government closes schools, nothing can be done.

At the same time, the number of infected people is exploding in countries like Upper Austria, and the intensive care units are on the verge of overcrowding.

But why does Kurz understand so much about school closings?

He is convinced that the lockdown in open schools will not have the desired effect. With the children, their parents are automatically removed from the field of contact – up to two million people then break up less often in the morning and leave the house. In contrast to March, this time parents have a legal right to care leave.

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