Austria struggling in battle against inflation
In view of soaring food prices, Austria’s Social Minister Johannes Rauch convened a summit with social partners, industry representatives and experts on Monday. Inflation in Austria is at almost 10 percent, and for food products it stands at 14.5 percent. Among other measures, a reduction in VAT was discussed, but no agreement was reached. Just what was achieved?
Mostly hot air
The fact that the summit ended without a decision is unfortunately no surprise, Die Presse laments:
“They discussed the issue and concluded that everything is very complicated. So, unfortunately, nothing concrete can really be done to combat the high food prices. ... The political representatives agreed that it would be difficult to regulate prices if retailers were unwilling to allow themselves to be regulated voluntarily. So everything remains as it is this time. ... That’s the problem when a coalition is less interested in solving problems and more interested in political posturing. Instead of working on measures together as a government, one summit after another is organised which in the end produce little more than hot air.”
Government must stay on the ball
At least the politicians have recognised the problem, the Kleine Zeitung counters:
“The ‘food summit’ may have fuelled certain expectations among many of those plagued by inflation, but if a discount supermarket cuts the price of butter on Tuesday, it won’t be because of that. ... So was the summit in vain? No. Food prices are on the agenda and that is a good thing. At the moment they are driving inflation in much the same way as energy did last year. ... In any case, the government should not wait until autumn to help the less well-off. New measures must be geared above all towards supporting this group. ”