Friday, May 20, 2022

Hofer reprimands Turquoise-Green: “Decisions made by people who have never been chosen”

Hofer reprimands Turquoise-Green: “Decisions made by people who have never been chosen”

Austria is now putting the currently most controversial political decision in the hands of an “expert panel”. The catch is that the experts are not elected representatives of the people. The third President of the National Council, Norbert Hofer (FPÖ), considers this a mistake.

Rene Rabeder
18 Feb 2022 08:03

In the past few weeks, the so-called gecko experts have already determined which measures and rules we have to adhere to. Now a commission is even supposed to judge whether the vaccination obligation should be carried out or suspended. “The government hides behind its experts” – this accusation is heard all over the country at the moment. The third President of the National Council, Norbert Hofer (FPÖ), also joins in this chorus. On Twitter, he is angry that Parliament would delegate decision-making authority over essential and drastic measures to bodies outside the parliamentary process. He considers it a mistake that people who have never been elected by anyone are now allowed to make decisions.

These experts decide on compulsory vaccination:

Univ.-Prof. dr Karl StoegerMJur (Oxon) (Professor of a legal subject; Institute for Constitutional and Administrative Law Juridicum Vienna, medical law, member of GECKO)

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christiane Wendehorst, LL.M. (Cantab.) (Professor of a legal subject, Institute for Civil Law Juridicum Vienna, member of the Bioethics Commission)

Univ.-Prof. dr Herwig Kollaritsch (medical expert, specialist in tropical medicine, hygiene and microbiology, member of the national vaccination committee, member of GECKO)

Univ.-Prof. DDr. Mag. Eva Schernhammer (medical expert, specialist in internal medicine, professor of epidemiology, head of the department of epidemiology at the Medical University of Vienna, member of GECKO)

Three out of four experts are part of the GECKO Commission

When looking through the names of the “new” advisory body, it is striking that this commission is not new at all. Three of the four experts are already part of the GECKO crisis team. It is also interesting in this context that the GECKO Commission did not recommend the opening steps on March 5th – just as virologist van Laer and other experts had expressed concerns after the announcement of “Freedom Day” that it might still be possible early for such large-scale easing. It remains to be seen to what extent this attitude towards the opening steps will also influence the decision to suspend or enforce the mandatory vaccination law.

1000 times “experts”

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