Austria to support companies affected by Russian sanctions

Austria to support companies affected by Russian sanctions

67Vienna, Sep 11 (IANS)┬áThe Austrian government and industry leaders have decided on using “tried and tested” methods such as short-time work and export initiatives to mitigate the affects of Russian sanctions on the Austria economy.

The decision was made during a crisis meeting Wednesday, which was attended by Chancellor Werner Faymann, the finance, economy, agricultural, and social affairs ministers, as well as the heads of the trade union, the Chamber of Labour, the Chamber of Agriculture and the Federation of Austrian Industries, Xinhua reported.

Faymann said after the meeting the Austrian budget would not be increased significantly to cater for the measures as the situation did not warrant it, though if the Ukraine crisis continued and intensified an increase would occur, according to Austria Press Agency.

The chancellor also told the media the attendees feared the crisis “would not be over in a month”, and said that measures were being taken with a medium-term view in mind.

Minister of Economy Reinhold Mitterlehner said the sanctions themselves were not the primary problem but that the concern was rather a long-term disruption in economic cooperation between Austria and Russia.

The only significant budget increase to aid against the sanctions would go to his own ministry, with $3.2 million to aid affected companies through the “Go International” programme that promotes Austrian businesses abroad.

Certain companies have been feeling the impact of the sanctions, such as German engineering and automotive company MAN SE, who Monday announced that they would be putting 2,000 of the 2,400 staff at its Steyr operations on short-time work from October, in particular due to the loss of a deal to manufacture 500 trucks for the Russian market.

Additionally, the Austrian Institute of Economic Research said Tuesday under certain circumstances such as a one-fifth drop in exports to Russia that the sanctions could cost the Austrian economy $1 billion and 11,000 jobs.

The government stated it would again report on the state of the sanctions and their impact on the Austrian economy at the end of September.

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