Austria is one of the European Union's so-called "frugal four" along with Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands which act as voice of reason for the 27 member political and economic entity. On Monday asked the EU to suspend its rules on state aid so that Vienna can directly support homegrown companies during the Chinavirus pandemic free of meddling by Brussels.
Austria supported the EU budget that included a rescue package for member states hardest hit by the contagion but opposed the idea of ‘euro bonds’ to fund the bailout. Now this central European powerhouse is asking the bloc to suspend its rules that block countries from helping businesses within national borders. Austria wants to spend 1/10th of last year's GDP to help their countrymen weather the Chinavirus "war" but getting this relief approved by the European Commission would be impossible to do in a timely manner.
“This solidarity cannot be a one-way street. We also want to be able to show solidarity with our own companies, and we therefore demand that this crisis be used for solidarity in that we suspend the EU state aid regime for the duration of the crisis,” Austrian Finance Minister Gernot Bluemel told a news conference.
“I have no understanding for a situation where we support other countries with Austrian tax money and in return we are banned from supporting our own companies with our own tax money. That cannot be,” he added.
It is a situation that might eventually end with Auexit.
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