71st Vienna City Council: Clearance of accounts 2019 (6) | PID press

Special debate business group finance, economy, digitization and international affairs

Vienna (OTS / RK) GR Christian Oxonitsch (SPÖ) announced that he wanted to subject the “nonchalant claims” of the opposition speakers to a “fact check”. Among other things, one of the previous speakers would have said that Vienna “spent millions on schools in South Africa, but nothing on schools in Vienna.” That was not the case, explained Oxonitsch. In ten years, almost 500,000 euros in funding for school projects in South Africa had flowed, compared to 1.2 billion euros that the city would have invested in the expansion, expansion, modernization or new construction of schools in Vienna. Also, the assertion that Vienna did not go was wrong. The 750 million euros in reserves are evident in the accounts, and Vienna has already paid back debts with surpluses. With the expansion of public transport, Vienna is investing in renewable energies such as a sewage sludge power plant or in the health infrastructure to secure the city’s future. The opposition would argue that the city’s health system “is on the verge of collapse” – this claim has been refuted in recent weeks. “The Viennese health system with its dedicated doctors and nurses worked excellently in the time of Corona – also because the city provides sufficient funds for it,” said Oxonitsch. Vienna is celebrating one record after the other with international business settlements – a sign of successful economic policy. Measures against the corona crisis, such as the gastro vouchers, would also be well received by consumers and innkeepers. “This is unbureaucratic help,” said Oxonitsch.

GR Thomas Weber (NEOS) sharply criticized the federal government for refusing to bring women and children from the Moria refugee camp in Greece to Austria. “Moria is hell,” said Weber. In the camp, which is designed for 3,000 people, 10,000 people seeking protection have been living under inhumane conditions for a year and a half. An outbreak of Corona in the camp would have unimaginable effects: social distancing, regular hand washing or quarantine are impossible in crowded tents and in a confined space and with few resources. It was cynical for the ÖVP-led federal government to advocate effective protection of the EU’s external borders at EU levels, but then to vote in the EU Parliament against the increase in expenditure for border protection. He submitted an application in which the City of Vienna campaigned for the admission of refugees from Moria to the Federal Government.

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GRin Mag.a Caroline Hungerländer (ÖVP) countered her previous speaker Weber. He summarized the facts, that the budget negotiations for the EU’s external border security were more complex – and the rejection of the increase in expenditure should be understood in this context. Corona would have shown at EU level that reforms are urgently needed. “The Union is different from what we have known so far: it is larger, it is a Union that has been abandoned once, it has no clear answer to the question of migration and, due to the policies of Merkel and Macron, it faces the debt cliff” said hunger countries. Austria has a capable federal government that would have coped well with the corona situation. Despite all the autonomy, it was “important” that the European states would act together on the world stage of global politics in order to be perceived as a “player” alongside the USA and China, said Hungerländer. She called for an upgrade of the international committee in the local council: the work of the committee was too substantial to be just a “stake in the finance chapter”, Hungerländer criticized. She submitted an application.

GRin Yvonne Rychly (SPÖ) recalled that Vienna implemented corona relief measures worth 50 million euros – including the 300,000 taxi vouchers for 50 euros for the older generation; Opportunities for artists to perform on city television; the accommodation of foreign nurses in hotels during the lock-down, so that 24-hour nursing was still possible; the abolition of the short-term parking zones and the waiving of sidewalk fees or support for SMEs and EPUs when setting up home offices or online shops or guarantees for corporate loans. The aim of the city was “to get people into employment quickly, in jobs that they can live on, so that the economy gets going again,” said Rychly.

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GR Ing.Christian Meidlinger (SPÖ) reminded that Vienna would still have celebrated a record on the job market in 2019 with 864,100 employees. The corona crisis and the lockdown caused many of these jobs to disappear in the medium term, and unemployment to rise. Just as the record for the number of employees is a merit of the waff with its programs such as the “Digi-Winner”, the job offensive 50 Plus or the qualification offensive “Opportunities Check” for young people, the Vienna Workers’ Promotion Fund is also a proven means against the labor market crisis after Corona, Meidlinger recalled.

GR Leo Kohlbauer (FPÖ) said that his previous speaker Weber had given “a nice lecture” about the conditions in the Moria camp – but it was cynical to demand that people from “Africa and the Islamic countries” should be brought to Europe and Vienna : “We have other concerns here”. Kohlbauer also criticizes the fact that “1.2 million euros in development aid are being sent to Albania, money that we need in Vienna – especially since Albania and Turkey have no business in the EU.” Street battles between Turks and Kurds are taking place, in which the “Gray Wolves” promoted by the Turkish government and Erdogan on the one hand and the sympathizers of the terrorist PKK on the other, “said Kohlbauer. Among the supporters of the Kurds on the street was the green Vice Mayor Hebein, who had participated in the demo in favorites with party friends, Kohlbauer criticized. He submitted an application to terminate negotiations with Turkey on joining the EU.

GR Peter Florianschütz, MA, MLS (SPÖ) countered the previous speaker. An end to the negotiations with Turkey to join the EU was not expedient, rather the EU had to insist on the observance of human rights. These are anyway a prerequisite for EU accession. On the occasion of Austria’s 25th anniversary of Austria’s accession to the EU, Florianschütz recalled Vienna’s pioneering role in European cities. This would have shown itself most recently in Vienna’s statement in the Committee of the Regions on the subject of platform economy and housing. Vienna had campaigned for legal certainty in housing brokerage platforms and for access to the data of the platforms for municipalities. With development aid and a grant for projects in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe, Vienna is committed to its role as a human rights city and to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Vienna benefits from EU projects, specifically from the poverty reduction programs of the European Social Fund, which also benefit people in the city. Finally Florianschütz recalled Vienna’s leading participation in city networks such as the “Eurocities”, the network of cities in the Danube region, and in other city networks in Europe.

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StR KR Peter Hanke (SPÖ) was delighted at the end of the general and “his” special debate that “today we discussed many issues at eye level” – although not always with one opinion, but that was “good in a democracy”. There is no dispute that Vienna’s health system is “top” – in times of Corona, the Viennese could feel “safe”; the much-cited “public services” in the city had also proven that it worked. With more than 150 million euros in “unbureaucratic, quick help”, the city also helped business people in Vienna and “invested against the crisis”. Despite all criticism from the opposition, Hanke referred to the “1.8 billion euros in reserves that we have as a city” – it was by no means “handled carelessly”, which was “a very high value”. He, Hanke, had “worked a lot in the past four months” – that was no false praise, but as a “bluff” he did not allow the accounts to be talked down: one thing was certain, said Hanke: “A zero deficit is a zero deficit.” Explicitly he responded to the opposition criticism of the “Vienna gastro voucher”: “We transferred 1.2 million euros to the restaurateurs in Vienna within six working days. It couldn’t be faster and less bureaucratic. ”(Cont’d) ato / esl

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City of Vienna Press and Information Service (MA 53)
City Editor, Duty Editor
01 4000-81081
dr@ma53.wien.gv.at
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