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National Council: government campaigns for unity

At the special session of the National Council convened by the coalition this afternoon, the government campaigned for unity in sanctions against Russia and measures against inflation. Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler (Greens) and Chancellery Minister Karoline Edtstadler, who represented Prime Minister Karl Nehammer (both ÖVP), who is in Hungary at a conference on migration, urged parliamentarians to work together.

Early in his speech, Kogler offered the other parliamentary groups the opportunity to work together in the committees on issues such as energy security. Edtstadler called parliament “the heart of our democracy” and recalled decisions made in the early phase of the CoV pandemic “across party lines”.

These need it now too. “Let’s shape the future together and hand in hand”, says Edtstadler: “And let’s not make the mistake of allowing ourselves to be divided. Together we can find solutions, I invite you to do so.”

Kogler: “If you do nothing, you are an accomplice”

Before that, Kolger criticized that, given Russia’s “bestial war of aggression” on European soil, one cannot stand aside neutrally. “Those who do nothing are complicit in mass murder, rape and kidnapping. There can be no neutrality,” said Kogler, who urged perseverance. Sanctions would work, but perseverance is needed.

A key to this is the ecological energy transition, which will also guarantee greater energy security. Kogler doesn’t think much of a gas price cap, as that would only lead to a shortage. And Kogler was convinced that Russian President Vladimir Putin would use gas supplies as weapons even without sanctions.

Edtstadler: “The government is not letting anyone down”

Edtstadler emphasized that everything is being done to fight the wave of inflation: “This federal government is not letting anyone down.” Austria is a “pioneer” when it comes to relieving people. She admitted that not always everything worked out in the smallest details.

But “we shouldn’t stop at just looking at mistakes and small complaints.” At European level, electricity and gas prices must be decoupled. It was found “that the market is not currently self-regulating”, emphasized Edtstadler.

After the debate, a legal clarification will also be made at the meeting on who can issue special authorizations for the export of goods to Russia. This task falls to justice, even in matters that really fall within the competence of the federal states.