AUSTRIA - Second lockdown in the service of major tourism

Numerous countries around the world are currently once again affected by sometimes massive measures to contain the pandemic. The fact that these measures do not serve public health, but rather ensure profit at the expense of freedom and the right of assembly, is well illustrated by the example of Austria. Here it is particularly winter tourism that is to be " rescued". Below we publish excerpts of an article of the "Antifascist Action Info Sheet" (own translation).


Second lockdown in the service of major tourism

"A second lockdown is to be prevented by all means" - so the Federal Government announces. In the same moment it passes a series of measures that are dangerously close to the first lockdown, with the difference that these now almost exclusively imply a "lockdown" of the private life. As in the past months, especially the workers and the people are to be further restricted, to save the "economy" and especially tourism.

It was not only the drastically increasing cases of Covid-19 that brought the ruling politics to new measures, decisive for this was the classification of Austria as a risk area for tourists. And just as at the beginning of the pandemic, political decisions were made primarily dependent on the interests of the big capitalists (like in Ischgl, Tirol), it is now being repeated in the "second wave" regarding winter tourism. The government is unanimous in emphasizing that it is above all "economic considerations" that are now urging action. Minister of Agriculture Köstinger made this more than clear with the words: "Without guests there can be no tourism, we must do everything possible to reduce the number of infections - only then safe and beautiful winter tourism in Austria will become possible". Also the large businessman in tourism Christian Harisch [1] demands to implement the "Lockdown light", which is fixed in the Covid regulation, because without such a lockdown especially Germany would not withdraw the travel warning on Austria "in time": "The essential thing is: We have to save the winter season and we have 8 weeks time for it".

Not the public health is in the center of the considerations of the measures, also not the situation of millions of families which already now in chaos of different measures often do not know any longer how it should go on, and certainly it is not about the protection of jobs, which are destroyed at present to thousands. No - at the center of the considerations of the current measures are the interests of the major tourism. Actually little surprising, if one considers that the most influential tourism capitalists, the so-called "Tiroler-Adlerrunde" ("Tyrolean Eagle Circle") are among the most important major sponsors of the ÖVP (Austrian People's Party) and they alone "provided" 1.1 million for the costs of election campaigns. And as it is in bourgeois politics, one hand washes the other, which in the past for example brought the introduction of the possibility of the 12-hour day, and now pushes a second lockdown.

The goal of "declining infection rates" is to be achieved primarily through more renunciation, discipline and restrictions by the majority of the population, as well as through the further abandonment of civil liberties and freedom of assembly. The workers and the people should "sacrifice" themselves in the service of securing the winter and Christmas business. Rightly, the new measures are finding less and less approval among large sections of the population. For while the blame for the pandemic is to be shifted to the individual, it is precisely the ruling politics that has created and continues to create the ground for the fatal consequences of the pandemic.

That the rulers would learn lessons from this in the interest of the majority of the population is just a naive dream that has long been shattered by reality. The workers and the people must learn their own lessons from this crisis, which shows us clearly that we must stand up for the protection of every job, for the preservation of public health, for the welfare of our children!

Resist and struggle! Against new restrictions! Against a second lockdown!

Struggle for each and every job! Rise the unemployment benefits up to 80%!