ECOAustria Study: Austria ranks top in Europe for COVID-19 support In 2020, at almost EUR 2 600 per person, Austria has paid out or approved more than twice the level of COVID-19 assistance as Germany or Switzerland

In a study recently carried out by ECOAustria, a comparison was undertaken of international assistance measures provided in EU countries. Across a European comparison, Austria performed exceptionally well. The outcome of the survey is summarised by Finance Minister Gernot Blümel thus: "In 2020 and 2021, Austria approved in total over 10 % of GDP for deficit-based COVID-19 assistance measures, making us number one in the EU. The EU average is 5.5% of GDP. This assistance directly benefits employees; 38 % alone of the financial support provided relates to short-time working."

The data sources for the study comprised analysis of the Draft Budgetary Plans from autumn 2020 and actual payment records, provided by the individual Member States. The study firstly compared the amount of deficit-based COVID-19 measures in EU countries and the link with automatic stabilisers as well as, secondly, the amount of assistance paid out or granted so far, in a detailed comparison with other countries.

The study reveals that Austria has paid out significantly more funds than Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy or Sweden. Specifically, this means that, in 2020, at almost EUR 2 600 per capita, Austria has paid out or granted more than twice as much in COVID-19 assistance as Germany (EUR 1 300) or Switzerland (EUR 1 300) and significantly more than Sweden (EUR 1 300), Italy (EUR 1 700) or the Netherlands (EUR 2 200).

"Above all due to the importance of tourism to the economy, Austria has been harder hit than comparable countries like Germany or Switzerland. For this reason, we are also deliberately providing a greater level of assistance. For business operators and employees, however, it is not only the volume of support that matters, but also the speed with which the financial support is received. In Austria, significantly more assistance has been paid out per capita than in the other countries of the EU. As a result, we have secured businesses and jobs, and mitigated the impact of the pandemic on Austria," explains Finance Minister Gernot Blümel.