Refugees in coronavirus, the challenges of a minister Green in Austria

Des réfugiés au coronavirus, les défis d’un ministre Vert en Autriche

Acclaimed for the management of the pandemic in Austria, the minister’s environmentalist of the Health Rudolf Anschober, preparing for the second round: anticipate “the major challenge” of a return in strength of the coronaviruses in the fall and to consolidate the place of the Greens in government.

At 59 years, this former school master in the long history of elected local enjoys the levels of confidence the highest among political figures in austria, closely linked to the low number of victims of the Covid-19 in the country: 706 deaths to fewer than 20,000 cases to date.

But the minister ensures, in an interview with AFP, the head should be kept cold. “Now comes the difficult phase of stabilization ( … ), which is a period of preparation for the fall, the other major challenge “, because the end of beautiful days is going to bring back the population in closed areas, are more conducive to the spread of the virus, according to virologists.

Designated minister-the most popular by the recent survey of a tabloid, unseating the chancellor, conservative Sebastian Kurz, with whom the greens are in coalition, “Rudi” had been “surprised” by the good-government agreement at the height of the epidemic.

“Apparently, in the face of the crisis the people are the body “, said the former mp had already rubbed in the co-management with the conservatives in his province of Upper Austria.

The successor to the extreme right

Hitch right-to-Green has been sucked by the crisis while he had moved to power in January.

“It is quite a challenge,” acknowledges Mr. Anschober, that impose restrictions on the freedom of movement when one is a member of the training policy the most riding on the fundamental rights.

This good agreement is not obvious in a country often tempted by the extreme right, whose representatives ruled with Sebastian Kurz between December 2017 and may 2019, before being blown away by a corruption scandal that has led to early elections.

Six months later, the Greens hold four ministries, including the judiciary. They say not to have anything denied to their principles while Rudolf Anschober, also in charge of social Affairs, was best known in recent years for its commitment to asylum-seekers.

“I’m not the kind to let my convictions to the locker room to integrate the government “, he says. “But I have to say openly that it is difficult at this time” to fight for the refugees, so that voters are widely concerned by the epidemic.

Avoid burn-out

To prevent a second wave as feared at the level of the health of the economy, Austria is set on a plane of detection to large-scale contaminations, with a capacity of 30 000 tests per week in this country of 8.9 million inhabitants.

Priority to the detection of at-risk groups: medical staff, carers, workers of slaughterhouses. “Our goal is to look in all corners for not to forget anything and be the most possible in the anticipation “, stated the minister.

“The big worry of these last weeks is that the population is falling the guard “, he noted all eyes on Singapore, or even Israel, until then, been cited for his mastery of the pandemic, which is experiencing a strong acceleration of new cases.

As in this country, Vienna does not exclude the recovery of measures of restriction and develops a system of ” traffic lights “: if the signals will pass to orange or red, the authorities will adopt targeted policies locally and based on the recommendations of the experts.

Knowing themselves to be engaged in a race to the bottom, the minister who is one of the few elected officials to openly mention the burn-out that hit in 2012 and held three months away from the business, strives to provide rides to the edge of the Danube canal with his dog and without his mobile phone.

“Managing a pandemic without error is impossible in my eyes,” says Rudolf Anschober, adding that he is glad the commission is considering the issue of the outbreak of Ischgl, in the name of a ski resort in the Tyrol, where thousands of vacationers have been infected this winter.

The misstep has undermined the reputation of good management of Austria. A commission of inquiry was put in place to identify possible errors, denied by the local authorities, which are overrun with complaints from tourists.

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