Participants in the demonstration, mainly supporters of the right-wing populist Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ), demonstrated their opposition to the government’s decision to introduce a series of restrictions from next Monday, such as a ban on leaving the house outside of going shopping for food, for medical advice and the need to exercise.
The cancellation of cultural events, the closure of non-food retail outlets and the imposition of the COVID-19 vaccination obligation on all for whom preparations are available – these are other reasons that have brought tens of thousands of people to the streets of the Austrian capital. According to the police, about 30,000 people demonstrated people.
– I estimate that about 20-25 percent. society is not entirely happy, and at the same time they are close to various types of conspiracy theories. This is a group that right-wing extremists are trying to recruit, said journalist and writer Michael Bonvalot.
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He added that in parts of the country where the right-wing movement is strong, fewer people get vaccinated and more get sick. The leader of the FPÖ (Freedom Party of Austria – ed.) Herbert Kickl, who called the pandemic restrictions “dictatorship”, also received a positive test for Covid-19 earlier this week.
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Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg on Friday apologized to all vaccinated people for the restrictions introduced, saying it was unfair that they had to suffer the blockade, although they used all means at their disposal to protect themselves and others from infection and to stop transmission of the virus.
“Sorry I did this,” Schallenberg said about the lockdown on public television ORF.
The police informed that approximately 1,300 officers will control compliance with the restrictions in various parts of the country, the validity of which will be assessed after 10 days. It is assumed that the lockdown period will be extended to a maximum of 20 days.
According to government data, less than 66 percent. of the 8.9 million inhabitants of Austria are fully vaccinated. (PAP)
Authors: mnw / mal /
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