Societe Generale confirms the Buy recommendation for Erste Group – and reduces its target price from EUR 26.0 to EUR 25.0. Last closing price: 18.34 euros – average target price: 27.3 euros.
HSBC confirms the recommendation to buy – and increases the target price from 27.0 to 28.0 euros.
HSBC increases Raiffeisen Bank International’s recommendation from Hold to Buy – and its price target from 17.0 to 18.0 euros. Last closing price: 13.34 euros – average target price: 19.18 euros.
HSBC confirms the Buy recommendation for Bawag – and increases its target price from EUR 44.0 to EUR 46.0. Last closing price: 34.24 euros – average target price: 40.98 euros.
Kepler Cheuvreux confirms the Reduce recommendation for voestalpine – and increases the target price from EUR 15.0 to EUR 16.0. Last closing price: 25.2 euros – average target price: 20.77 euros.
Kepler Cheuvreux increases the recommendation from Reduce to Buy for Verbund – and the price target from EUR 30.0 to EUR 60.0. From lowest to highest of all price targets. Last closing price: 52.15 euros – average price target: 43.8 euros.
It is an inglorious return for Heinz-Christian Strache, the former leader of the Austrian far-right, deposed in May 2019, following a scandal. His new party, “Team HC Strache – Alliance for Austria”, obtained only 3.6% of the vote, Sunday, October 11, in the municipal elections of Vienna; below the 5% threshold required to sit on the municipal council.
→ IN MAY 2019. In Austria, the leader of the far right, Heinz-Christian Strache, resigns
What’s more, his former party, the Freedom Party (FPÖ), now led by Norbert Hofer, collapsed with 7.7% of the vote, a loss of more than 20 points compared to the last elections. , in 2015.
Social democrats comforted in their bastion
The Social Democrats, in charge of the municipality of Vienna without interruption since the end of the Second World War, came in first with 42.1% of the vote (+2.5 points). In second position, the Popular Party (ÖVP) of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz more than doubled its result (18.8%, + 9.6 points) by recovering a good part of the voters of the extreme right. The Social Democrats should renew their coalition with the Greens, who came in third (14.1% of the vote and +2.2 points), and renew in office the outgoing Social Democratic mayor Michael Ludwig. The Liberals won 7.8% of the vote (+ 1.7 points).
The Ibiza case
The implosion of the Austrian far right and its former leader shows that Austrian voters have not forgotten ” the Ibiza case “. In May 2019, a video published in the German press brought his rise to an abrupt end. It shows Heinz-Christian Strache, on the Spanish island of Ibiza, promising a woman, believed to be the daughter of a Russian oligarch, public contracts in exchange for illegal donations to the FPÖ and redemption of the main Austrian daily.
The next day, Heinz-Christian Strache resigned from the government and the leadership of the FPÖ. Following a motion of no confidence in parliament, the whole government fell with him and the FPÖ lost 10% of its supporters in the legislative elections, held a few months later. Winner of the election, the conservative party of Sebastian Kurz now governs at the federal level in coalition with the Greens.
→ EXPLANATION. In Austria, Sebastian Kurz returns to power with his friend Green
Since then, revelations about Heinz-Christian Strache’s lifestyle have multiplied and the prosecution has opened an investigation to verify whether he had charged his personal expenses by the FPÖ, to the tune of more than € 580,000. A vertiginous fall for this native of Vienna who had almost ravished his red bastion on the left, collecting more than 30% of the votes in 2015.
It didn’t take a second until the leader of the Greens in the Austrian National Council, Nina Tomaselli, found an answer on Monday when asked about her role model: her former party colleague Gabriela Moser, who has since passed away. In the ongoing committee of inquiry into the »Ibiza Affair«, Tomaselli is currently regularly scrutinizing her coalition partner ÖVP. On Wednesday she added it there. The People’s Party and its benevolent donors are said to have benefited from various “real estate deals” during the coalition with the FPÖ. A constellation that Tomaselli’s role model should not have been unfamiliar with: 17 years ago Moser started the biggest corruption process in Austrian post-war history. At that time, too, the ÖVP and FPÖ ruled and handled various “deals” which, from today’s perspective, seem anything but clean.
After a total of 168 days of taking evidence with 150 witnesses, the judges’ senate, chaired by Marion Hohenecker, withdrew to deliberate on the judgment last week. A total of 15 people are accused in the mammoth trial. A verdict is expected in mid-November.
At the center of the process are the former FPÖ finance minister Karl-Heinz Grasser and his role in the privatization of 60,000 federal apartments of the “Bauen und Wohnen GmbH” (Buwog). Grasser, who was finance minister from 2000 to 2007, is accused of embezzlement, gift acceptance and forgery of evidence. He is said to have used his ministerial post to enrich himself and others by passing on inside information.
The so-called Buwog affair began in 2003 when the privatization of the 60,000 federal apartments was put out to tender. With a bid of 961 million euros, the contract was awarded to a consortium of bidders that included Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberösterreich (RLB OÖ) and the real estate group Immofinanz. This means that the real estate company CA Immo, the highest bidder to date, was – curiously enough – outbid by just one million euros. Grasser’s former head of cabinet Heinrich Traumüller accuses the former finance minister of having passed on inside information about the amount of the CA Immo bid. Michael Ramprecht, a former cabinet employee of Grasser and as managing director of Bundesbeschaffungs GmbH (BBG) responsible for the Buwog privatization at the time, also spoke of a “game in hand”.
The intermediary is alleged to have been the former lobbyist Peter Hochegger, who – via a mailbox company – received 9.6 million euros from Immofinanz (which corresponds to one percent of the subsequent purchase price). In addition to Grasser, parts of the commission should also have received his best man, the former FPÖ politician Walter Meischberger. The fourth main defendant is real estate agent Ernst Karl Plech. He is also said to have received part of the 9.6 million euros, but left for health reasons at the beginning of the proceedings. The indictment speaks of a “joint crime plan” by Grasser, Hochegger, Meischberger and Plech.
Hochegger, who was already serving a prison sentence as a result of the so-called Telekom affair, claims not to have known about a “crime plan”, but made a partial confession in the course of the proceedings. In this he burdens Meischberger and Grasser heavily. Both are said to have received 2.4 million euros each for the deal, which they deny. Another central charge is Grasser’s role in renting the tax authorities in the Terminal Tower office tower in Linz. Here, too, he is said to have cashed in, with a total of 200,000 euros in commission. Grasser and co-defendants deny that.
Investigators discovered the inconsistencies in the Buwog privatization in 2009 through a chance discovery in the course of another process. In the course of the investigation there were 15 raids in January 2010, twelve of them in Austria and three in Liechtenstein. After seven years of research by the Economic and Corruption Public Prosecutor’s Office (WKStA), the proceedings began in December 2017. A verdict is due to be made in mid-November.
In their closing arguments, except for Hochegger, all of the main defendants denied the allegations. According to Grasser and Meischberger, the accusations of the public prosecutor and those that Hochegger had made in his partial confession are all unfounded. The latter only wanted to evade another prison sentence by means of willingness to cooperate. Even after three years of trial, the end result is one statement against one statement.
So far, nothing has been made public about how the final judgment will be. Neither lawyers nor judges commented publicly on the alleged outcome of the proceedings. If convicted, Grasser faces up to ten years in prison.
June 1789. In the Russo-Austrian Turkish War, which last year cost the Austrian army thousands of dead and a further 80,000 men who died of illness or fell into Turkish slavery, the Habsburg troops besieged Belgrade, which they will take in October – but are in May 1789 there, in the swamp area around Semlin, 172,000 soldiers fell ill with dysentery and malaria, 33,000 died of the epidemic. Joseph II had returned from the battlefield with tuberculosis and malaria (and will die in early 1790), dysentery and malaria were also brought to Vienna by returning soldiers. The campaign of the previous year had devoured vast amounts of money, almost as much as the Seven Years War. The situation in Vienna is desolate, both politically and economically, soldiers and deserters crippled on the streets, an epidemic is to be feared.
Down and out
But the world situation is probably Mozart’s smallest problem. He is completely in debt, and composition commissions are to be expected neither from the emperor nor from the aristocrats, who are subject to the war tax. From a costly trip to Prague, Leipzig and his actual destination, Berlin, Mozart returns disaffected and, above all, without the income and orders he had hoped for. The Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm II. Had allegedly signaled an interest in employing Mozart at the Berlin court, but when he arrived in Berlin and wished to “show his talents to Ew. To lay the feet of your royal majesty «, the Prussian king reacts very coolly and orders that his cello teacher should take care of the Viennese Kapellmeister. The king doesn’t want to hear him, not even a few weeks later, only the queen, writes Mozart, “in the thiergarten in an inn,” “but there’s not much to do,” he explains to his wife, whose name he is throughout his journey (“Make your dear, beautiful nest clean, because my Büberl really deserves it” is one of the more harmless passages) and occasionally sends quite jealous letters. Conclusion: Nothing but expenses, “When I come back you have to look forward to me more than the money”.
Mozart is broke and desperate, he writes begging letters, especially to his Masonic lodge brother Michael Puchberg: “God! I am in a position that I do not wish for my worst enemy. «On his return his wife falls ill, Mozart pays for himself a celebrity doctor who is actually unaffordable for him and who prescribes an expensive cure for Constanze, Mozart is getting more and more debts, and even his concerts the Viennese no longer want to see: he advertises intensively for two weeks, but there is currently only one ticket buyer in all of Vienna, while five years earlier 176 people had subscribed to his concerts. Mozart is broken, down and out. In June 1789 he entered only one composition in his catalog raisonné: “A quartet for 2 violin, viola et violoncello. For His Mayestätt the king in Prussia ”, the string quartet in D major, K. 575, which he dedicated to the Prussian king because of a very vague hope of subsequent payment.
Under the surface
But what is Mozart doing in his desperate situation? What kind of piece is he composing? “In his life Mozart never had more than ten minutes to think about how bad everything is,” Hans Werner Henze was convinced. That certainly does not apply to Mozart’s financial worries, but it does to his way of composing. It would be a »romanticizing idea« (Georg Knepler) to expect that Mozart had to compose a sad piece in the midst of all the desolation of his existence. No, despite the personal situation, this string quartet is vocal, lyrical, positive, without too strong emotional outbursts: three movements “Allegretto”, first movement and finale even in alla breve time, so practically twice as fast. The main theme of the first movement is a gently ascending triad, followed by calmly descending thirds, and in the final fourth movement Mozart uses these triads again, rhythmically reduced. The slow movement is a variant of his popular song »Das Veilchen«, translated into three time, which frames a concerted dialogue between first violin and cello. Pure understatement.
Is everything in perfect order with the desperate composer? Chamber. As is so often the case with Mozart, there are signs of melancholy, of dissonant disagreement with the world beneath the surface of cheerfulness. Already in the first movement there are first chromatic indications that something might not be right, especially in the development with its harmonies that are wildly led through the keys; and again and again we hear the typical syncopated bars – of course, the syncopations and dissonances are quickly resolved: “Like the quarrel of lovers, the dissonances of the world are. Reconciliation is in the midst of a dispute, and everything that has been separated can be found again, ”ends Holderlin’s“ Hyperion ”.
This is also the case in the middle section of the minuet, which is much more of a “German dance” expanded into a sonata form, i.e. a preliminary form of the Viennese waltz (Mozart wrote numerous “German dances” for the carnival balls in the Viennese redouten halls in 1789). Stumbling blocks are built in by emphasizing unstressed parts of the bar and suddenly there is a two-bar for two bars, before broken seventh chords wander through the voices and lead back to the original dance. And in the finale, which goes far beyond the usual rondo form, the uninhibited modulation of the theme across the most varied of keys with minor insertions, seventh chords and all kinds of fallacies: “As soon as we feel on safe ground, an abyss opens up,” characterizes Eva Gesine Baur Mozart Music and speaks of “unsatisfied longing”, the conductor Daniel Harding mentions “this restlessness”, ETA Hoffmann states: “Mozart leads us into the depths of the spirit realm.” Mozart only allows the cheerful conclusion when he has “the depths of seriousness and the tragedy has measured «(Knepler) – and then such a conclusion is no longer really cheerful. The listeners sense: Something is wrong! And that’s exactly how it is. The cheerful Mozart knows about his precarious situation, he knows about the pandemic that is spreading from Belgrade to Vienna, and he also suspects that an outdated social order is being buried – Mozart has demonstrably campaigned for clarification: »Are you a poor fool – so become K[lerike]r. If you are a rich fool, become a tenant. If you are a noble but poor fool – do what you can for bread. But if you are a rich, aristocratic fool, become what you want; just not a man of understanding – I ask that, «was the text on a leaflet that Mozart had written himself and distributed at a masquerade ball in 1785. The tragic ambivalence, the tragic contradiction in Mozart’s personality, certainly also includes the fact that, as an independent musician who sympathized with the French Revolution, he is dependent on the nobility, for whom the situation is currently becoming extremely precarious, as a client.
It must be!
The Chiaroscuro Quartet is currently playing exemplary music in this Mozart quartet. The fact that the nucleus of the ensemble is likely to consist of Alina Ibragimova as Primaria and the cellist Claire Thirion suits the piece with its cello cantilenas and the dialogues between these two instruments as well as the fact that the musicians with gut strings and Playing historical arcs – so the details emerge more clearly, while the sound appears almost a bit muffled, at least extremely velvety and invites you to listen more intensely. String quartets can hardly be interpreted more lively and more directly, with the Chiaroscuro Quartet we experience very great, fascinating chamber music art.
Did you consciously put together the program of your Berlin guest performance on October 11th along the theme of melancholy? At the beginning, three of Henry Purcell’s nine “Four-Part Fantasias for 3 to 7 Violas da Gamba” were performed, which are rarely seen in a concert hall, and if so, then more by gamba consorts like Jordi Savall’s than by a string quartet. That is a shame, because with these fantasies the Chairoscuro Quartet laid a keynote for its guest performance: Each is made up of several short parts, mostly alternating between quieter and moving sections, which sometimes end abruptly. A kind of melancholy polyphony, as unusual as it is enchanting. In Beethoven’s String Quartet in B flat major, Op. 18 No. 6 with its Mozartian first movement, the last movement even bears the title “La Malinconia”. In the 18th century this no longer had a direct negative or even pathological meaning, but was expressly understood as “noble” as in Kant, whom Beethoven read again and again: “Mournful removal from the noises of the world from a legitimate weariness is noble. “Already in the second movement, a magical Adagio ma non troppo, we hear the Chiaroscuro Quartet’s interpretation of the melody of the song with sharp, sharply dotted contrasts,“ queste note ben marcate ”, in the two lower instruments; the variations take place in the secondary voices. Here, too, wild harmonic entanglements: the theme is in E flat major, the middle section in E flat minor, which is very far from it, in the coda then suddenly C major, before the movement ends in E flat major again. In the last sentence the dialectic of melancholy and cheerfulness, of disgust and weariness in the face of the “noises of the world” that seems to be bearable only through averted sadness – who would not know such feelings, in Beethoven’s time as it is today? And then again the cosmopolitan, cheerful, letting oneself get involved in the course of the world, only become endurable through the quiet contemplation of a melancholy basic feeling. But the serenity is interrupted again and again by quiet, thoughtful pausing, by recollections of the Adagio – until we finally experience a “Must it be?” Moment that seems to point to Beethoven’s last work, the String Quartet op. 135. The Chiaroroscuro Quartet and, above all, the onrushing Alina Ibragimova answer this last Beethoven question with a ludicrous Prestissimo sweep: Yes, we understand, it has to be! No question …
At the end of this fascinating concert Mendelssohn Bartholdy, the string quartet in E flat major op. 12, the mature work of a twenty year old. It begins with an Adagio introduction, which defines the character of the entire work: the first movement with its cantilever Allegro remains lyrical like Mozart’s, and like this Mendelssohn also introduces new thematic material in the development. This is followed by a magical, wistful dance-like canzonetta, one of the most beautiful string quartet movements ever. A short, slow movement and an artfully constructed finale, in which themes relate to those of the first movement – Mendelssohn – like Mozart, like Beethoven – is concerned with cross-movement units: »The relationship between all 4 or 3 or 2 or 1 pieces of a sonata the others and the parts, so that by simply starting through the whole existence of such a piece one already knows the secret … «Everything is connected with everything: the different movements of a string quartet, the different string quartets of the composers, the moods. Only rarely are there such artfully compiled and interwoven concert programs. And of course Mendelssohn is also a master of melancholy, the entire work also a work of yearning.
Melancholy also includes “aimless longing” (Laszlo F. Földenyi), that is, “this unfortunate tendency to all places where I am not and all things that I do not have” (Walter Benjamin). Presumably, you can add personal and social conditions to the places and things that we do not (yet) have, but which we long for: last but not least, a different, better, more just world. Thoughts and mental states during a pandemic, focused in a magnifying glass by the excellent Chiaroscuro Quartet. An experience of particular depth!
The Viennese themselves are rather morbid. No matter what he says, his dialect gives every thesis, no matter how steep, a soft touch of coffee house and the Habsburg monarchy. Helmut Qualtinger’s “Herr Karl” got its dangerous charm from this, and Lisa Eckhart posed in front of an audience with her “metrical tactlessness”, made up like a craft product. Between the clumsy Qualtinger and the smug, smug Lisa Eckhart, Josef Hader seems pretty lost. Maybe it’s age, at the end of fifties you inevitably get caught between all fronts of the zeitgeist.
His cabaret solo programs (five so far) do not fit into any scheme, have no thesis, no target group and actually no choreography. He has obviously been preoccupied with himself since his first program “Hader privat” in the mid-1990s. In other words: How do you survive as an independently thinking person in Austria? By trying again and again to swim to the safe shore. In a country as little maritime as Austria, however, this is a rather hopeless endeavor. Jumping is better for such notorious dry swimmers – from one state of consciousness to another, from reality to the surreal.
Listening to quarrels is like a never-ending roller coaster ride – and anyone who does not jump along as a listener is lost in this torrent of associations, volts and sottisen. The performance artist Hader, now with a Corona makeshift program at the Berlin cabaret theater “Die Wühlmäuse”, is initially an artist who refuses to perform. He drags himself onto the stage with little relish, apparently something always hurts him, and begins to read out what is written down on loose sheets of paper, soon interrupts himself again with: “Have I already said that?”
For Hader, distance is a matter of instinct – you can like many things, but people? For Hader, this is a full-length topic. A virus like the one with the illustrious name Corona should actually be an ally for him. No more shaking hands, least of all hugs, you almost never have to leave your apartment – ideal times for misanthropes. Unfortunately, viruses are not ironic per se. However, in contrast to the common influenza virus, which does its work more in secret, the coronavirus seems to have a narcissistic tendency: It is constantly pushing itself into the foreground in the media. But other things inevitably take a back seat, undeservedly.
Hader bluntly expresses what many city dwellers think outside of their habitat: You only go there to earn money and then quickly leave! In the Weinviertel near Vienna the world is anything but intact, but at least the alcohol is cheap. And what would creative people be without alcohol? A desert in which no more ideas bloom. Hader’s one-man shows have always lived in multiple breaks, so that as a viewer you run the risk of completely losing your bearings.
»Hader plays Hader« is the 90-minute short version of his five previous programs with all kinds of contemporary sprinkles. It has something of a hastily produced sampler with the title »Corona Edition«. Creative chaos of a loose-leaf collection, in which the lecturer can get lost in the dark forest. Even his first solo program “Hader privat” over 20 years ago drifted off into the irretrievably surreal in seemingly inappropriate places. You were just sitting in the sauna, then suddenly you were in hell with Adolf Hitler. You should be damned careful who you let the infusion do.
Infection is contact that you do not want, an uninvited visit that is difficult to get rid of. Kind of like the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Although prayer is otherwise a reliable help against the virus. If you firmly believe in God – and gargle with disinfectants and combine intermittent fasting with bioresonance therapy – this cannot harm you, Hader is sure. In general: Meditation makes life easier, Hader believes. For example, when one, bored by small talk, drifts successfully into another metaphysical state, but still gives the impression of concentrated listening to the outside world.
Jehovah’s Witnesses have good news: Did he know that he was personally saved and that he was going to heaven with 144 righteous people? Of course, those who do not know that are blind to connections. “But, I said, Witness, there is even worse to come: the earth’s magnetic field is a gigantic hard drive where everything is stored, good and bad deeds. Don’t you know that? ”At this point, the Jehovah’s Witnesses fled, says Hader.
They are relegated at a high level who like to pass their creeping slide from the middle class as a voluntary renunciation: »I don’t need anything. If I’m in a hurry, take a helicopter, nothing else. ”As a club vacationer, he lies“ deeply relaxed ”in Sri Lanka with an aromatic oil massage, in the distance the explosions of terrorist attacks roar:“ I’m so balanced. ”That is what Hader conveys, no matter where or how it occurs: the horror of our idea of normality. That started with “Hader privat” with the “Nöchling elementary school” or “Back then in Niedermair” – the sheer state of emergency that continues to this day. The normal is absurd and the absurd is normal.
Conceit dies last. Life humiliates us all the time; but to pass this off as good news, that is the challenge that Austria is particularly brave about. Hader has cultivated this principle for a long time in his films, legendary as a sad representative in Paul Harather’s “India” or – on his own – in “Wilde Maus”, which ran in the Berlinale competition two years ago. Hader in a brilliant role as a resigned Viennese opera critic who confronts his newspaper boss with all the restarrogance he has left: “There will be a revolt of the readers!” The answer: “Your readers are long dead.” Silence.
It’s difficult to do alone. But Hader is not alone in his exile in the Weinviertel, after all he has “pack”, his wolf, his “dark self”. With Rudel, who is not a dog, but a proud wild animal that presumably only exists in his imagination, he fearlessly confronts the hostile world. Regardless of whether it’s plague or prohibition. Although the latter would be the ultimate disaster and the sure end of Rudel, the loyal companion.
Therapies against Covid-19 have been worked on since the beginning of the corona pandemic. Numerous drugs have already been tested. Here is an overview of the results.
Corticoids work in severe cases, hydroxychloroquine or anti-AIDS drugs are ineffective: Since the beginning of the corona pandemic, pharmaceutical companies and researchers around the world have been working on therapies against Covid-19, but there is now greater clarity about some of them. The latest findings on the fight against the virus will also be the topic of the World Health Summit from Sunday, which this time will take place digitally. One thing is already clear: a miracle cure has not yet been found.
Coronavirus: WHAT WORKS
Dexamethasone (and corticoids)
The steroid dexamethasone shows promise in patients in need of oxygen – as the only drug that has been shown to reduce mortality – according to early studies. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Medicines Agency therefore endorse its use. According to the studies, however, it could possibly only work in the most severe cases.
Recent research suggests that other steroids may also lower mortality in hospitalized patients.
According to a study published in the “New England Journal of Medicine” in May, the antivirus drug Remdesivir originally developed against Ebola shortens the length of hospital stays for corona patients from an average of 15 to 11 days. This contradicts a study published by the WHO last week on more than 11,000 patients from 30 countries. Accordingly, the agent appeared to have “little or no effect” on mortality or length of hospital stay. However, the data have not yet been peer-reviewed or published in a specialist journal – and appear to contradict other US studies.
Coronavirus: WHAT DOESN’T WORK
Perhaps the most controversial drug in the pandemic is hydroxychloroquine, which is celebrated by its fans as a miracle drug and for a long time had its most prominent advocate in US President Donald Trump. Critics warn of serious side effects when treating corona patients with the anti-malarial agent. In June, the British recovery study came to the conclusion that the drug did nothing to reduce corona mortality – a result that was also confirmed by the WHO study last week.
The drug combination otherwise used to treat and prevent HIV / AIDS has proven ineffective in hospitalized Covid-19 patients. Again, it was the recovery study that led to these results on June 29th. Accordingly, the lopinavir-ritonavir combination, which is marketed under the name Kaletra, neither reduces the length of hospital stay nor the risk of being artificially ventilated. Nor does it decrease the death rate.
Coronavirus: WHAT ELSE WILL BE TESTED
In the fight against viruses like SARS-CoV-2, the body develops antibodies – proteins that are directed against certain pathogens. These can be made synthetically in a laboratory and given to patients to boost their own immune response. Trump got this experimental treatment when he had to go to hospital with Covid-19.
Plasma from the blood of recovered patients showed promising effects early on when administered to Covid-19 patients – by drip or injection. According to some studies, the use of so-called convalescent plasma has already been shown to be effective in treating the Ebola virus or SARS, which belongs to the same family as the new coronavirus. However, according to the unanimous opinion of the experts, further comparative studies are necessary for a clear statement – as is currently the case with the recovery study.
The recovery study is also currently investigating the effectiveness of tocilizumab, an immunosuppressive agent that the researchers hope could prevent excessive and potentially fatal inflammation in severe cases.
In addition, further studies are ongoing to examine the suitability of drugs that are used for other diseases.
Bank Austria expects an unregulated Brexit in Great Britain “no dramatic, but noticeable effects”. “In view of the many points of contention, it is likely to come to a very thin deal,” estimates the UniCredit subsidiary. The Austrian vehicle industry would be hardest hit by potential tariffs; regionally, a Brexit without a deal would particularly affect Styria and Upper Austria.
In the previous year Austria exported goods worth 4.5 billion euros and services worth 2.8 billion euros to the United Kingdom. That is 3 percent and 4.1 percent of all Austrian goods and services exports. In 2019, Austria achieved an export surplus of EUR 1.7 billion and EUR 300 million in both the trade in goods and in the service sector, Bank Austria economist Robert Schwarz calculates in a press release today.
The uncertainties about the future economic relations between the EU and the United Kingdom and the corona pandemic led to a massive decline in goods trade between Austria and the United Kingdom from January to July 2020. The decline in goods exports from January to July was more than half a billion euros or 20 percent compared to the same period last year. Almost half of the decline is due to the slump in vehicle exports, Schwarz points out.
TDespite increasing numbers of infections with the corona virus, many people should hope for a winter holiday. The ski resorts and holiday regions want to do their utmost to ensure that tourists do not stay away despite the pandemic.
Mask requirement, distance and disinfection determine the precautionary measures almost everywhere. Some places also rely on technology. Here is an overview of measures that ski resorts are planning in European countries:
Austria: fun in the snow without après-ski
“Skiing fun, yes, but without après-ski” is the slogan issued by the Austrian government. Food and drinks are only available while seated, in gondolas it is mandatory to wear a mask. In addition, authorities, tourism associations and operators rely on different measures depending on the federal state and ski area.
“Winter sports areas like Ischgl have become synonymous with the pandemic in the course of reporting. Of course, this does not correspond to reality, but nevertheless many people have reservations about traveling to these areas. We take that very seriously, ”says the director of the St. Anton am Arlberg tourism association, Martin Ebster.
Travel warning before winter season
There is a wide range of measures: a multifunctional cloth for mouth and nose protection can be bought in some ski resorts, elsewhere directly with the season pass. When queuing for the ski lifts, keep your distance.
Hotel and ski resort employees should be tested more frequently for Corona, in some cases a fever should be measured every day before starting work. Registration of guests and contact tracking should also be done via mobile phone. Some places want to keep an eye on the situation with wastewater monitoring.
Several ski areas guarantee reimbursements when purchasing season tickets in the event that the lockdown occurs again. Everyone involved is afraid that German tourists could be absent because of the travel warnings from the Foreign Office – they made up more than half of all overnight stays in Tyrol and Vorarlberg.
Germany: Ski areas hope for day-trippers
Germany does not play a major role in alpine ski tourism. Because the ski areas in the Bavarian Alps are too small to keep up with the competition in Austria and Switzerland – not to mention low mountain slopes in the Black Forest, Fichtelgebirge or Sauerland. Day trippers are therefore important.
There are not yet any hygiene concepts coordinated with ministries, but the specifications for winter will be based on summer operations. That means it is mandatory to wear a mask for gondolas and lifts and distance requirements.
Several ski areas want to hire additional seasonal workers to guide visitors. An app for “guest tracing” will probably not only be used in Bavaria, the use of which would be voluntary and could help in tracking chains of infection.
In the Black Forest, there is also hope for the season. “After all the Corona-related restrictions in the summer, I expect the guests to yearn for a Black Forest winter as they haven’t for a long time,” says Adrian Probst, chairman of the Feldberg lift network.
Lift tickets will only be available online. This would avoid queues in front of counters – “and we know exactly how many people come to us on which day,” they say. If the infection process requires it, the number of tickets will be limited. In addition to the mask requirement and distance rules, there should be stations with disinfectant dispensers. Personnel should ensure that measures are observed.
Switzerland: Keeping your distance on ski slopes is not a problem
The Swiss winter sports regions rely on optimism. “As always, we are planning a winter with some news with a lot of anticipation,” says Markus Meili, Managing Director of Engadin St. Moritz Mountains AG in Graubünden.
In Zermatt at the foot of the Matterhorn, all lifts are opened and the slopes are covered with snow. Zermatt Tourism has developed its own tube scarf, which, when pulled over the nose, is supposed to protect almost every protective mask from viruses.
“With the exception of the mouth and nose protection in closed means of transport and the distance rules in the queuing area, there are no changes to other winters when practicing snow sports,” says Meili. Simona Altwegg from Zermatt Tourismus says: “Nothing changes on the slopes because you are in the fresh air and the minimum distance is given when skiing anyway.”
With the Jungfrau Railways in the Bernese Oberland with the Grindelwald, Wengen and Mürren ski areas, you don’t see any problem. It is compulsory to wear a mask on trains and gondolas, and windows can be opened almost everywhere.
“There will be no mask requirement for the ski lifts and chairlifts,” says spokeswoman Kathrin Naegeli, as the guests are in the fresh air and the journey time is usually less than 15 minutes. The cantons are still likely to determine whether mouth and nose protection is necessary when queuing at ski lifts.
It is said that partying after a day on the slopes hardly plays a role in Switzerland. For the majority of guests, sporty skiing and gastronomy are in the foreground, says Altwegg. And Meili: The Upper Engadin is not known for extravagant après-ski. It is clear to everyone that the season is not going to be booming. A slump in the number of foreign guests is very likely, says Switzerland Tourism spokeswoman Martina Bieler.
Italy: Preparations for winter in South Tyrol
Preparations for the new season have been going on in the Italian ski areas for weeks. “We will take all the necessary precautions so that ski and winter tourism in South Tyrol is also possible this winter,” says the regional councilor in South Tyrol responsible for tourism, Arnold Schuler.
The precautionary measures include the mandatory wearing of mouth and nose protection in cable cars and distance rules. All gondolas would be disinfected on a regular basis, protective barriers installed and the frequency of ski buses increased.
In many areas, visitors can buy ski passes online in advance and collect them in a ticket box on site. According to the authorities, ski schools, ski rentals as well as restaurants and hotels are also developing their own concepts.
France: Vacationers can cancel at short notice
Some of France’s winter sports regions have changed their cancellation policy. Travelers can also cancel at short notice if the Corona situation makes it necessary. Every traveler should check the conditions beforehand.
The winter sports area Courchevel in the French Alps advertises with two pharmacies and three medical centers that are open throughout the winter.
In La Plagne, which is not far away, it is emphasized that hygiene regulations and a nice skiing holiday are not mutually exclusive. Some accommodations offer online check-in to shorten the waiting time in common rooms.
Ski passes can be canceled up to 48 hours before the first day of validity. There are still childcare and ski courses. Helmets could also continue to be borrowed, they would be disinfected regularly.
A mask on chair lifts, in queues or in gondolas is compulsory in most ski areas – including in the winter sports resort Val Thorens in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. In general, the ski areas advertise that sufficient disinfectants are available everywhere and that lifts are cleaned regularly.
Czech Republic: Optimism despite many Corona cases
Traditionally, the ski areas in the Giant Mountains, the Ore Mountains, the Bohemian Forest and the Beskids are popular with tourists from Germany and Poland. However, when it comes to the number of new coronavirus infections, measured by population, the Czech Republic is now at the forefront across the EU. The Federal Foreign Office has issued a travel warning for the Czech Republic.
The Czech Association of Ski Areas is preparing a hygiene guide for the winter season. This is done in consultation with health authorities and the Ministry of Health in Prague, says association manager Libor Knot: “Sport and exercise in the open air is one of the safest activities.”
There will be restrictions on après-ski. Currently, in gastronomy, every guest must have a seat. In addition, no more than six people can sit at one table. All restaurants, bars and cafés have to close at 10 p.m. “We remain optimistic – if the weather plays along in winter, we could achieve visitor numbers comparable to the previous year,” says Knot.
The Dutch prime minister was only ready to reach an agreement after receiving a € 1.9 billion discount on his country’s EU contribution.
Hardly any other country in the European Union is as economically successful as the Netherlands: They made Rotterdam the most important hub for all European foreign trade and Schiphol one of the largest EU airports. They sell their greenhouse tomatoes and flowers all over the world and even manage to flood the supermarkets of France with their milk from polderland, which is blessed with incomparably better natural resources.
But the biggest coup was the Christian Democratic Prime Minister Mark Rutte: He is milking the whole EU. As the?
As a pioneer of the “thrifty four” – including the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark and Sweden – he succeeded in the negotiations on the EU reconstruction fund in replacing a large part of the planned grants with loans.
Now it turns out that many countries do not want these loans at all: Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Greece, and even the Netherlands have already given up, others are still hesitating. The loans are either too expensive for them or with too many requirements. Rutte now only wants the subsidies – which he tried to prevent in July.
So is the development to be seen as a defeat for Rutte, whose credit strategy became the air number? By no means! Because the cunning Christian Democrat probably did not defend his demand so steadfastly because he was convinced that the loans made sense. He has built up a position that he could buy for dearly.
Sebastian Kurz said: “It was worth it”
All countries willing to agree, especially Germany and France, suspected even before the summit that Rutte wanted EU money. This is how it happened: he was only ready to reach an agreement after receiving a discount of 1.9 billion euros on his country’s EU contribution. The other countries of the “Sparing Four” also received tens of millions of euros. “It was worth it,” said Austria’s Sebastian Kurz.
Do they have to return the money after it turns out that their credit policy has failed? No. The four countries, especially the Netherlands, behaved like free riders, better still: like fare dodgers who force paying passengers to make a donation. But such an act is only punished in real life, not in the EU.
However, this is how the clever four destroy the European Union. Milking others and then turning a blind eye to the consequences is not an acceptable basis for a community like the EU. And the Netherlands and Austria depend on their well-being.
More: At 9 p.m. it is Zapfenstreich: Macron imposes nocturnal curfews.
The listed developer UBM wants to snack on the market shakeout due to the corona crisis. The question is not whether there will be an adjustment, but only when, said CEO Thomas Winkler on Thursday at the profit fair. As a developer focused on apartments and offices, you have the chance to buy very cheaply in times of crisis and sell at high prices in times of boom. He assured the shareholders of continuity in the dividend policy.
At UBM, they believe that the phase of cheap buying opportunities is only just beginning because project engineers could get problems with bank financing. Especially the housing sector is booming, UBM itself still has around 3,500 apartments in the pipeline. With investors, “concrete gold” is still number one, and the residential asset class is of particular importance. Real estate prices had already risen disproportionately before Corona, which is now accelerating.
They said goodbye to the hotel segment. This also applies to the “Leopold Quarter” on the Danube Canal in Vienna, right across from the Rossauer Lände U4 station, for which an architectural competition is currently running. “It makes no sense to create additional hotel space during the crisis,” said Winkler when asked by APA. According to a newspaper report, around 75,000 square meters of gross floor space in apartments and commercial space are under discussion for the 23,000 square meter area. The “Leopoldquartier” is a very interesting project that invigorates the 2nd district. The area is within walking distance of the 1st district and the Augarten. “We will also take this into account when using it,” said Winkler.
Winkler promised the shareholders a continuity in the dividend policy. In addition to the Ortner-Strauss core shareholders, management is also involved – he himself has invested his “entire retirement provision” here, the UBM boss revealed. For 2019, the company again paid 2.20 euros per share, which corresponded to a payout ratio that was reduced from 41 to 31 percent. This reduction is taking place as a “precautionary measure in view of the recession to be expected as a result of the Covid-19 crisis,” said UBM in April.
The real estate developer had increased the operating result and net profit in the second quarter as well. In the entire half-year the pre-tax result (EBT) increased from 29.3 to 43.8 million euros and the net profit rose from 21.3 to 26.6 million euros. With a project pipeline that has grown by 60 percent to 2 billion euros, one is “ready for opportunities in the market”. At the end of June, liquidity was 235 million euros and equity was 468 million euros, more than before the corona crisis. The third quarter figures should come on November 26th.
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