In February, Chancellor Carl Nehmer (ÖVP) announced a commission that would review the government’s corona decisions. He promised a critical, ruthless analysis of all Covid measures: “We also want to reach out to all those who do not feel welcome in society because of the pandemic and its consequences.” If necessary, we also want to admit mistakes, Nehmer said.
When Constitutional Minister Caroline Edstadler (OVP), Health Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens) and Education Minister Martin Polachek (OVP) came before the cameras in early May and presented the so-called reunification process, the key word was “reconciliation.” Edstadler said, “These measures could have saved lives, but they also created polarization and uncertainty in society.” But at present there are no concrete solutions to bridge social distances.
The review process basically consists of two parts: The Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) is to conduct an empirical review of the corona policy of the last three years. It aims to address topics such as scientific skepticism and polarization. At the same time, there will be a citizen dialogue with a total of 360 selected citizens from all the federal states.
eXXpress asked the government about its plans, but received only a vague answer. The first civil dialogue began in the autumn. The government has assured that the review process is proceeding as planned and that final results and a report will be available in December 2023. “The focus of the editorial is on recommendations to increase the resilience of the Austrian population, political leadership, media and science,” it continues without giving any specific details.
The question of a possible public apology for controversial measures, such as lockdowns for unvaccinated people and vaccination requirements that were never enforced, also remains unanswered. Then-Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) promised an “inconvenient Christmas” for people who did not get vaccinated. “The reins must be pulled tight.” These were statements that many citizens have still not forgotten. In the eyes of many critics, such a gesture would perhaps be the first step towards regaining trust…