European Diary, 29.11.2020: Austria has managed to get to the top again, this time not as a poster boy for anti-corona measures, but as a corona hotspot together with France and Italy. The number of corona victims in all three countries now exceeds the record number of deaths in the USA in relative terms.
What is being discussed in Italy and France, in Belgium and in Germany? How to prevent Christmas and ski tourism from undoing the hesitant success of the second lockdown. After all, Austria was already at the top, in the production of contagions and in the impudence with which one first wanted to cover them up, then play them down and then forget them. To this day, Austria, Ischgl and Tyrol, those responsible for the disaster have never apologized to anyone, even though the small town in the Paznaun valley was the most infectious place in Europe during the first corona wave of the year. And this for reasons that have not changed at all to this day: the budding of a few “real men” in the cable car business and in politics, who have not yet understood that economic success also goes hand in hand with growing responsibility. And probably with a few other things as well.
So now the Bavarians and the Italians and the French are thinking about how to slow down and postpone skiing and everything that goes with it this winter. And they still remember very well that Austria was one of the first states to make some borders tighter again with travel warnings and quarantine threats. As Chancellor Kurz said so beautifully on August 16: “The virus comes to Austria by car.
What is being discussed in Austria? Whether the ski resorts should be allowed to open again as early as next week. And Finance Minister Blümel already knows who should pay if the tourists from Germany and Italy, from France and Switzerland simply don’t come. The EU, of course. He has not yet revealed why “the EU” should do this. Neither can the EU close ski resorts in Austria, nor force the Germans to ski in Ischgl. But it should pay.