How would you currently describe the domestic political climate in Austria?
“We notice that the political debate has been particularly heated in the past few weeks. One reason for this is the corona pandemic and the rifts it has created – not only in politics, but also in society. It is therefore my aim for the next few weeks to invite colleagues from the other parties represented in Parliament to a meeting and talk to them about how we can fill the trenches on the one hand, and how we can develop a new type of cooperation and, above all, one thing on the other be able to establish sensible behavior between us. As politicians we have a very special responsibility. “
Speaking of trenches. The green government partner has now joined a U-Committee that is directed against the ÖVP. How does the ÖVP feel about this?
“A U-Committee is a democratic means and therefore legitimate. I hope that all parties are really aware of their responsibility and that it is actually about the search for the truth and not again about political allegations. “
Another big issue at the moment is the planned compulsory vaccination, the necessity of which is also doubted within your electorate. How can one restore unity here?
“The compulsory vaccination is of course a drastic measure that we are taking – that is perfectly clear. We all hoped that we would not need them, but that we could achieve the necessary vaccination quota in another way. Unfortunately, you now realize that this is not the case and therefore it takes a duty to finally get out of this pandemic and regain our freedom. We know that vaccination is de facto the only means that can get us out of this pandemic. That’s what all the experts say, in this respect compulsory vaccination is indispensable and the only way out. “
Are you personally vaccinated against the corona virus?
“Yes, I have been vaccinated three times and I am very happy that there is this possibility.”
According to a new study by the Ministry of Health, vaccination skepticism is particularly pronounced among citizens from Eastern European countries. Part of your maternal family is of Polish descent. Did you experience reservations about your vaccination policy within your family?
“No not at all. In my personal environment I do not notice any vaccination skepticism. “
Many women, including you, are repeatedly confronted with hostility on the Internet. Do you want to be a prominent voice for those affected in the future?
“I think the reason I polarize sometimes is that I speak very clearly about some issues and don’t mince my words. I think a lot about addressing things clearly and openly. But I find it frightening how the public debate is going and I am appalled at what young women have to endure online. I’m no exception, but I don’t want to feel sorry for myself. Because unfortunately it now gives the impression that this hostility is part of the political dispute. On the other hand, there are women who are much, much more affected by it than I am. I am firmly convinced that we need a different social approach when it comes to the subject of online hatred, especially towards women. This does not only affect women politicians, but many women in our society. Crossing borders must be clearly stated and condemned at all times. “
Among other things, it is criticized that you are still very young …
“My age is completely irrelevant for this job, I find it strange that this is an issue. People should be measured by their ability, not their age. I am aware that my career to date differs from that of my predecessors in the General Secretariat. But I see that as an advantage. Politically, I come from Vienna’s local politics, so I’m used to drilling hard boards. This is also something that will set me apart in my future role. I have been involved in various functions in the People’s Party for over eight years, so I know the work of the functionaries and know how challenging it can be. For a general secretary, it is important not only to know the People’s Party, but also to live it. ”