Today in Austria: A round-up of the latest news on Monday

Medical personnel is given the Pfizer-Biontech Covid-19 corona virus vaccine at the Favoriten Clinic in Vienna.
ALEX HALADA / various sources / AFP
Find out what's going on in Austria today with The Local's short round-up of the news.

One million doses of vaccines given in Austria

Austria has now given more than one million vaccination doses against the coronavirus, according to the government’s vaccine dashboard.

As at March 14th, 753,824 people (around 8 percent of the population) have received a first dose. Around 272,420 people have received both doses. 

Only a third of Vorarlberg restaurants and hotels plan to open

Only around 30 percent of restaurants and hotels plan to open in Vorarlberg despite the lifting of lockdown measures today in the pilot region, a survey of Vorarlberg Chamber of Commerce by Die Presse newspaper shows.

The rest of participants were negative or undecided.

New seven-day incidence at 209

According to the Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES), the 7-day incidence or the number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, is 209. 

The number is highest in Salzburg (265.8) and Vienna (259.5). The value is still lowest in Vorarlberg (67.5) and Tyrol (133.3).

Austria joins other countries in complaint letter to EU about vaccine distribution 

Austria’s leaders, together with the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Latvia, Bulgaria, and Croatia, have sent a letter calling for talks about fairer distribution of vaccines within the EU to the EU Council and EU Commission, APA news agency reports. 

On Friday Chancellor Sebastian Kurz criticised the EU for what he called unequal distribution of vaccines to different EU countries.

However, the Commission says vaccine doses have been distributed in proportion with the population of each country and said it was up to governments to decide how to share them. An EU summit is already planned for 25th and 26th March. 

EU fight leads to rift in Austria’s coalition government

The vaccine row between Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and the EU has led to a rift inside Austria’s federal government coalition. The way in which Chancellor Kurz and others in the ÖVP party have criticised the Ministry of Health, suggests a deep rift between Kurz and the responsible minister, Rudolf Anschober, a Green party politician Der Standard newspaper reports. 

Pandemic will cost Austria €100 billion

According to calculations by Agenda Austria, the pandemic crisis will burden the domestic economy with €100 billion. The economic losses are estimated at €60 billion, while the cost of state aid at €40 billion Die Presse newspaper reports

Austria will not return to pre-crisis level ‘until 2023’

Ratings agency Standard & Poors has left its rating for Austria at the second-best AA+ with a stable outlook.

The rating agency assumes that after the coronavirus-related slump there will be a slight recovery in the economy this year, although the pre-crisis level of 2019 will not be reached until 2023. Debt is also unlikely to decrease until 2024, Die Presse newspaper reports.

State aid ‘working well’ says Austria’s finance minister

The federal government measures for those suffering the consequences of the pandemic reached €33.5 billion by 12 March, according to the Finance Ministry.

Finance Minister Gernot Blümel explained that the measures providing aid have been continuously improved and that they are now working “very well”, according to the Wiener Zeitung newspaper.


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