Although it was only a day and a half to Krems, just 80 kilometers away, the majority of the turquoise-green government team was personally adopted yesterday by Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen in the direction of the government meeting. The visit to the Hofburg was only due to formalities: Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler (Greens), six ministers and the two State Secretaries had to be praised for their functions after the Ministry Act came into force.
The cabinet, which had the correct official designations and was completed by government colleagues waiting in front of the Hofburg, then set off at 10.30 a.m. Two buses, in which media representatives were also allowed to take a seat, were the mode of transport of choice for the first federal government with green participation. There was a relaxed chat during the trip – everything was very harmonious, so the message, which Kurz and Kogler then conveyed before the start of the first working session in Krems: the Vice Chancellor tried to dispel the impression that he had “enough oxygen to breathe”, the ÖVP would have crushed the Greens with their topics in the first three weeks since the sworn in. “Our will to work together will not be broken,” Kurz said pathetically.
The duo only wants to present content today. The focus is on the “greening of the tax system”, as Kurz confirmed. This “reversal” must be “economically reasonable, ecologically sustainable and socially just,” said Kogler. As already reported, the first two stages of wage and income tax are to be reduced in 2021, as an eco-aspect comes an air ticket tax. Measures against tank tourism are also planned. Whether the diesel privilege falls remains open yesterday.
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Measures in the health sector announced a statement on the Coronavirus Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (VP) and Health Minister Rudi Anschober (Greens): For example, an electronic vaccination card is to replace the paper version by summer, and vaccination obligations for certain professional groups are also being examined. When it comes to the virus from China, Schallenberg and Anschober are calming down: in Austria there has not yet been a confirmed case, and very few in Europe as well, and there is currently no cause for concern, Anschober said.
Team building for ministers
The first retreat of a new government also serves team building – even more so with a coalition that entered into Austria for the first time. And so yesterday afternoon all the ministers presented each other with their priorities for the next few months. That closed to the public, the media program yesterday included a reception and subsequent dinner. Today, the exam will take place again before the results are presented at eleven o’clock.
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