Interview with city councilor – cut the wages of unvaccinated people, Mr. Hacker?

In his first interview after the serious fall, Vienna City Councilor for Health Peter Hacker (SPÖ) tells everything about the accident in his apartment, how narrowly he escaped the wheelchair, about the celebrity bonus for the rescue, 3G at work and the fifth wave. His conclusion: “I am assuming that we will be able to draw a line in 2022.”

“Crown”: Alderman, it’s the boringest introductory question you can think of, but how are you? Especially after a fall on the terrace?
Peter Hacker: The biggest worry point has been my broken vertebra. It heals excellently, I have no inflammation. My hips give me insane difficulties, all of which is painful for a long time. Doctors say it will be a long story.

Was it close, could it have ended up in a wheelchair?
Yes it was close. The jump was between the eighth and ninth thoracic vertebrae, and the ninth thoracic vertebra is torn across. So far up in the upper body area is of course the extremely sensitive spinal cord. That could have ended tragically.

How did the accident actually happen?
I have such a small terrace in my apartment and there are two steps from the terrace to the kitchen. I took it all at once and slipped my heel away. Then my feet flew up and with all the weight and speed of this step I slammed my back onto exactly these two steps.

The fact that four ambulances rushed to you while others had to wait two hours with broken hips caused outrage. Is that fair to all the Viennese who are not city councilors?
Whoever said there were four rescue vehicles reported incorrectly. Of course there was only an ambulance and an ambulance. They’re two rescue cars, but it was a rescue car.

The so-called quality control was also there. There were four vehicles in total, which the rescue officially confirmed.
As always, when the emergency doctors determine that there is a serious back injury, an emergency vehicle is ordered so that the transport can then take place on the appropriate upholstery. This happens routinely during the rescue. That has nothing to do with city council or city council at all.

So there wasn’t a celebrity bonus, you say?
No no. Of course, when you hear that the city council has to be taken to the hospital with a special transport, the technical supervisors are also nervous. That is clear.

You are currently taking a lot of medication. They all have side effects. Are you capable of office?
I hardly take any more medication. In the second week, I mostly stopped taking heavy painkillers and only take one drug that is anti-inflammatory. I don’t take any painkillers anymore.

Since we are currently talking about the ability to officiate, how do you assess the current situation of the federal government?
The situation is such that we all actually need pain medication. But even they don’t seem to be helping with what’s going on in our country. This is unlikely to be tolerable even with a high dose of pain medication. Actually to be ashamed of what happened there.

Should Sebastian Kurz have had to resign from all offices?
I think so. It’s a question of morality and decency.

Assuming there would be new elections: Should the SPÖ go into one with Pamela Rendi-Wagner?
We don’t even need to discuss the question. This is our party leader, we have re-elected her.

What is she doing so well? Tell me three things.
She is the party leader and we have expressed our confidence in her with a very, very large majority. Period. It doesn’t take more than that.

It is remarkable that the SPÖ would have worked together with the FPÖ in a kind of alliance. Because you mentioned morality and decency just now: is your party throwing all principles overboard for power?
The initiative came from Werner Kogler, who invited all parties to talks. Of course, you also talk to each other afterwards. Even if parties don’t want to govern with one another, they should still be able to talk to one another.

With which three words would you describe FPÖ boss Herbert Kickl?

That was a word.
You could put that together. He and Stingy. After all, there are two.

Let’s stay with vaccination. 60 percent of Viennese are currently fully immunized. Nothing goes on now.
We have already achieved a lot in the past two months. The 30 to 50 year olds are 70 percent vaccinated, the 50 to 80 year olds 80 percent and the over 80 year olds more than 90 percent. That is a remarkable rate of vaccination coverage. And in a pandemic there is not always just one measure, but always several that have to be intelligently interlinked. I am convinced that these statements by the federal government in June that the pandemic was over were in fact deadly for the entire vaccination campaign.

Is Community Building Inoculation a Success?
Yes. In the first round, 900 Viennese were vaccinated.

500,000 people live in municipal housing, 900 are not a success.
We have only just started, we are far from finished.

Please be specific: next week, Mayor Michael Ludwig will meet again with his experts. Will tightening, easing or will everything stay the way it is?
We want to deal with the forecast in peace. The invoice will be ready in time for the expert appointment. We will discuss it – as we have done before – and then decide calmly.

Burgenland is already talking about easing. What does Governor Hans Peter Doskozil do better than Michael Ludwig or you?
Hans Peter Doskozil has the advantage that he does not have a city of two million, but rather flat land with a completely different population structure. Apart from the small detail that Vienna provides 13 percent of the residents of other federal states with vaccinations. No federal state has vaccinated more than Vienna.

Many of Vienna’s rules are a contradiction in terms. I am not allowed to go to the disco unvaccinated, but the bartender who looks after all the guests can very well be unvaccinated because a PCR test is enough. I do not understand that.
We also need rules of the game that are compatible with other laws. Anyway, I regret that we’ve been talking about 3G in the workplace for ages, but the federal government has brought nothing further. And I also don’t understand what makes it so difficult to sit down with the social partners and clarify the central labor law issues. We only hear announcements all the time.

Should unvaccinated people who do not want to show a test and do not show up at work have their salaries reduced or canceled?
No, it’s not about punishment at all, and it’s not about a cut in salary either. It’s about the intelligent rules of the game of a pandemic. But that is the central question to be determined between employer and employee.

How long are the tests in Vienna free?
As long as there is an Austria-wide regulation. I think the time will come again when we no longer need all of this. I’m already looking forward to the moment when we can hire the crisis team and stop testing and taking measures. I’m not at all sure if there is still a fifth wave. It could be that we are nearing the end of this pandemic with the post-fourth wave vaccinations.

Do you see it like epidemiologist Eva Schernhammer, who says yes that we will have the pandemic behind us in two or three months?
That’s a bit too ambitious for me, but it’s not about months. In itself, I assume that we will be able to draw a line in 2022.

Finally, maybe we want to take a look at your cell phone together? Does the bad word Ar … appear in your chats and how often?
No, it only appears in my press review.

source site