VIENNA – COVID-19 crisis fund increased by almost 400%

The government will increase its corona-crisis-fund from €4 billion to €38 billion to help businesses hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis.  Channelling former ECB-president Mario Draghi, vice-chancellor Werner Kogler of the Greens said the state will do “whatever it takes – at whatever cost – for jobs and businesses”.

To safeguard national network capacities, Austrian regulators empowered telecom operators to circumvent net neutrality and de-prioritise certain internet services, like video streaming, over others, like official information platforms. However, Austrian operators assured EURACTIV that national bandwidth still has a large buffer in capacities.

As the first batch of €4 billion dedicated to providing company liquidities, secure jobs, tax relief and credit guarantees to help businesses during the crisis was spent in a matter of days said conservative Finance Minister Gernot Blümel (ÖVP), the government has now approved the allocation of €38 billion to support businesses.

On Friday (20 March) at noon, Blümel will inform parliament about the impact of COVID-19 on the Austrian budget on Friday (20 March) at noon. Following that, there will be a debate and decisions on new laws to combat the virus and support the economy. (Philipp Grüll | EURACTIV.de)

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