Austria remains Austria |

Come on, dear 21st year, we’re looking forward to you. A new era begins on January 20th at the latest, when a serious man is sworn in as US President, when the years of lies, threats, mistrust of state institutions and the undermining of democracy are over. High time for a break, “sleepy Joe” is probably the right person for it.

But let’s stay in Austria, which this week was shaken like seldom before, and where the rifts have already reached considerable proportions. On the cover of the Sonntags-Zeitung this time we have the title “Vienna stays Vienna”, in view of the fact that the city cannot be beaten down, even in its diversity. Porters let refugees stay overnight in their hotels, people with a migration background became lifesavers. The day after the attack, the Chancellor spoke important words that it was not about religions, but about peace versus war. And the interior minister touched with top professional statements. However: Not only Vienna will remain Vienna, Austria will also remain Austria, because shortly afterwards there was no longer any togetherness, but only opposing one another when dealing with the crisis.

Yes, terrible mistakes were made in the run-up to the attack, people looked the other way, failed to communicate, dangers were ignored, and in other countries the politically responsible would probably have lost their jobs. Nevertheless, it is remarkable how much the Austrian fault lines – right against left, government against opposition, ministry of interior against ministry of justice, federal government against city of Vienna – immediately became visible again. Mistrust, bitterness, and even hatred of those who think differently are so great that blaming and serving one’s own clientele are more important than solidarity. It goes so far that a former interior minister uses the laying of a wreath for a political message by being the only one who does not wear a mask.

Yes, corona and terror have something in common: In both cases you can see how difficult it is here with the often postulated solidarity. And how much debates of the minute displace serious discussions. It probably wasn’t better before. But at least less loud without social media.

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