Whether at the petrol pump or in the supermarket – inflation is currently being felt everywhere. Even if the federal government is now meeting at crisis summits to relieve the Austrian population where possible, the next price increase is already hanging over the heads of Austrians like the sword of Damocles: CO2 pricing, which will come into force on July 1st.
Environment Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) emphasized several times that it will come – despite all the circumstances. The Governor of Upper Austria, Thomas Stelzer, has also repeatedly spoken out in favor of a postponement. The burden of inflation already weighs too heavily on Austrian stock exchanges – fuel already costs 2 euros per liter at domestic gas stations. With the CO2 tax, self-determined mobility would be even more expensive for drivers in the country. That’s why there is only one way for Stelzer: to postpone CO2 pricing.
“If, for example, Germany is already discussing the extension of nuclear and coal-fired power plants in order to bridge states of emergency, then I think we are well advised to postpone new planned burdens for as long as we have to,” Stelzer told the Daily newspaper “Austria” (Sunday edition).
From the current perspective, the government’s measures to cushion inflation would be sufficient, “but if there is no relaxation, there will have to be further steps,” said Stelzer in an interview with the medium. “It should be clear by early summer if that’s necessary.”
Regarding the plans of Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP), who wants to skim off inflation profits from companies, Stelzer said that one should seek advice from experts. “What is enforceable, what is corporate law? But most of all: What is particularly popular with people?”