The far right spies have a chance at a new European wave of Covid pain and protests

A new line of error emerges in Austrian and European politics: whether the party supports Covid's restrictions.

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As the Covid-19 crisis in Europe intensifies, there are also cries of protests from those who oppose the closure and vaccination orders now facing parts of the continent.

While skepticism about the vaccine is not new to the region, the violent protests sometimes for the past few days and weeks have something relatively new: radical far right.

On Tuesday, the World Health Organization described Europe's challenge as "extremely serious," with an estimated 4,200,200,100 people per day last week - compared to 2,100 2,100 a day in September. The death toll across the country could rise from 1.5 million to 2.2 million by the spring of 2022, the WHO said.

But that warning came after a weekend of protests against ways to prevent the virus. Amaphoyisa athi bangu-40,000 ababhikishi behlele edolobheni laseVienna, okuyikhaya lokuqubuka okubi kakhulu ezwenikazi, elingene ngoMsombuluko wesine.

The Vienna rally was organized by the far right-wing Freedom Party, Austria's third largest political party, claiming that experts had used the epidemic to advance its anti-establishment credentials and to re-establish public support in the aftermath of the genocide.

"STOPP Impffaschismus," one vaccine in Vienna was read. "Kontrolliert die Grenze, nicht euer volk," (control the border, not your people) says one - some slogans that combine vaccination skepticism with the right wing view.

At least one "Q" sign was displayed in Vienna, indicating support for QAnon, a conspiracy theory linked to certain supporters of former President Donald Trump and other participants in the Jan attacks. 6 Capitol.

A sign that reads "stop vaccine fascism" during a protest in Vienna. Florian Schroetter / AP

Similar protests and signs can be seen in Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Croatia.

Freedom Party chairman Herbert Kickl has fought for a vaccination campaign in Austria. Kickl himself was diagnosed with Covid in the days leading up to Saturday's meeting, forcing him to stay home.

"You are politically united against the principles of Covid-19," said Katharina T. Paul, a vaccine skeptic at the University of Vienna. "You have spread false information, to put it bluntly."

"I think he and the Freedom Party played a major role in promoting the promotion of political policy," he added. “What is important about Austria, especially recently, is the relationship between populism on the one hand and the vaccination skepticism on the other. This is not true of Austria - we have seen it in Italy and France - but Austria stands out.

Austria has a long history of skepticism about the vaccine, but what is happening now has never happened, says Paul.

The Freedom Party - which did not respond to a request for comment - ruled jointly with Austria for 16 months until a humiliation brought down its then leader, Heinz-Christian Strache, in 2019. The Austrian People's Party, in partnership with the Austrian Greens.

From February 2022 all Austrians will need to be vaccinated, which will make it the first European country to enact the law - and add fuel to the Covid frontier.

Observers held a sign that read "border control, not your people" in Vienna. Florian Schroetter / AP

The 10-day closure in Austria now comes after new cases increased on November 19 by more than 15,000, in a country with a population of less than 9 million, and health experts expect the worst. To date 64.4 percent of the total population has been fully vaccinated, below the European average and far behind in countries such as Spain where the figure is nearly 80 percent.

"Why the rate is not high, and not so low compared to other European countries, it is because they are always sweeping the negative effects under the table," said voter Sabine Amsellem-Gaisbauer of Upper Austria, who declined. to disclose any personal information of a person who is in conflict with the guidelines of the policy.

He argued that vaccination was very low because people decided that the vaccines they were given did not work. Evidence from around the world has shown that vaccines are very effective in reducing the risk of infection, serious illness and death from Covid.

Professor Richard Greil, an infectious disease specialist in Salzburg and a regular communicator of the disease in Austria, said the government had failed to take control of the issue, leaving others unable to enter.

“The chosen strategy has been very bad; communication with vaccines was inadequate, ”he said. "We also have qualified right-wing groups, [supported] by about 20 percent of the electorate, and there is excellent evidence around the world that the more eligible parties are, the lower the immunization rates."

In September, another Austrian party, the newly formed MFG - in German for "People, Freedom, Fundamental Rights" - also rose to prominence by winning 6.4 votes in the Upper Austria regional election, enough to win three times. seats in the State Parliament.