On Friday, the last day of the plenary week of the National Council, two fairly successful referenda were discussed. One of the initiatives had called for the government to resign, also in view of its Corona policy. The other immediately turned against the (long ago abolished) Covid vaccination obligation. It was decided to continue to pay for the subway in Vienna and to extend the fixed book prices.
The referendum “No mandatory vaccination” received 242,169 statements of support in June this year, which corresponds to a participation of 3.81 percent. This puts the initiative in 37th place among the previous referenda. It was the fourth request on this subject and the least successful. It has been discussed today in “first reading”, ie in a first debate.
Referendum called for government to resign
The second initiative, which demanded the resignation of the government, also found its justification in the Covid policy, among other things. 172,713 people or 2.72 percent of those entitled to support joined the request, ranking 43rd.
Changes to the Epidemics Act then created a legal basis for sending reminders for Covid-19 vaccinations. ELGA GmbH is responsible for the practical implementation of the measure. It is intended to identify, based on the Covid-19-related information stored in the Central Vaccination Register, the persons for whom completion of the basic vaccination or a booster vaccination is recommended.
Expansion metro approved
There was then unanimous approval for an agreement between the federal government and the state of Vienna on the financing of the fourth and fifth expansion phases of the Vienna metro, as before in a ratio of 50 to 50. The total cost is 5.741 billion euros. The project includes the intersection of the U2 and U5 metro lines, already under construction, with an extension of the U2 line to Wienerberg and the U5 line to Hernals by 2033.
With the votes of all political groups, new regulations for the design of fixed book prices were also adopted. The term “retail price” is replaced by the gross “minimum price”. The price maintenance stipulates that end sellers may undercut the minimum price by a maximum of five percent. Exceptions apply to expressly announced “clearance sales”. The exceptional rules for deviating from the fixed minimum price are also stated. When sold to public libraries and school libraries, it can be undercut by up to ten percent. Originally 20 percent was planned, but this was withdrawn after protests from the industry.