Dispute over corona fund

Minister Rauch storms out of press conference in anger

07.05.2024 17:55

Another political exchange of blows arose on Tuesday in connection with the Corona Fund in Lower Austria. The responsible FPÖ state councillor Christoph Luisser strongly criticized Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens), who in turn countered and left a joint press conference prematurely during the question and answer session.

There are more exciting things than a conference of state health ministers. However, the "great unanimity" that Health Minister Rauch spoke of afterwards at Luberegg Castle (Lower Austria) quickly fizzled out. After a verbal exchange about alleged vaccination damage with Lower Austrian state councillor Luisser, the minister left the press conference in a huff with the words "my patience has run out".

Dispute also over funding applications from anti-corona activist
The 24 associations of Carinthian anti-corona activist Martin Rutter, who had applied for funding in Lower Austria, were also the subject of dispute. The decision lies with Luisser.

Rauch and Luisser clashed violently. (Bild: Screenshot/ORF)
Rauch and Luisser clashed violently.

According to earlier information from Luisser's office, several applications from associations around Rutter were approved. None of the money has yet been paid out. The final disbursement of funding will only take place after a final review to ensure that all requirements have been met and that there is no multiple funding, it was said.

FPÖ identifies "lack of awareness of guilt"
The verbal exchange of blows continued to stir the waters in the aftermath. FPÖ Secretary General Michael Schnedlitz stated in a press release that Rauch had left the press conference early because he did not want to face "the completely justified criticism of his and the entire black-green federal government's lack of awareness of guilt".

Health Minister Rauch repeated the criticism already made at the press conference via X (formerly Twitter). "If the responsible state councillor supports such events, he is complicit. Vaccinations save lives," was the conclusion of the Green politician.

ÖVP Lower Austria: "No payments for abstruse associations"
There had been a "clear debate", emphasized Lower Austria's government coordinator Jochen Danninger (ÖVP): "The constitutional service of the state of Lower Austria has clearly expressed its opposition to a payout. It is therefore also clear that there will be no payout for these abstruse associations. Quite apart from that, anyone who appears in public as a member of the state government also represents the state and bears responsibility for Lower Austria's reputation. Every member of the provincial government must be aware of this responsibility and act accordingly. There is no room for propaganda."

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