The new finance minister Magnus Brunner (ÖVP) wants to continue the course of his predecessor Gernot Blümel in terms of the stability pact. In order to deal with the corona crisis, it was important to “take a lot of money” in Europe, said Brunner before his first EU meeting on Tuesday in Brussels. However, after the crisis it will be “necessary” to come back to “a sustainable fiscal policy”. “Austria stands for continuity,” he emphasized.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the total debts of the euro countries had grown to an average of 100 percent of economic output. The Stability Pact allows the member states a maximum of 60 percent and an annual new debt of a maximum of three percent. In the Corona crisis, the EU had therefore suspended the rules in order to enable billions in aid for the economy. Austria currently fulfills neither the deficit nor the debt regulation.
At his first meeting with his EU ministerial colleagues, the “Fit for 55” climate protection package proposed by the EU Commission is also on the agenda. Brunner sees this as a “great opportunity for the economy”. In connection with climate protection, the business location and competitiveness must always be taken into account, said the former State Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure. This combination is “important and decisive.”