by Art Moore, WND News Center
Last month, Austria became the first country in the world to make it illegal to be without proof of COVID vaccination, but the European nation has suspended its law after protests and reports the measure had no effect.
The government said Wednesday the law was “not proportionate to the threat” of the omicron variant of the virus that caused COVID-19, which while more contagious presents with mild symptoms.
The Austrian daily Kronen Zeitung reported the announcement was made only days before the government was set to impose fines of up to 3,600 euros, about $4,000, for the unvaccinated.
However, Austria’s constitutional minister, Karoline Edtstadler, and Health Minister Johannes Rauch said the law remains on the books and could be implemented again.
The German news magazine Der Spiegel reported the Austrian law had “practically no effect” on increasing vaccination, with about 1 million people, or 13% of the population, remaining unvaccinated.
In January, WND spoke with Austrian activist Alexander Tschugguel, who has helped lead a nationwide movement against forced vaccination and other COVID measures.
Tschugguel, 28, said Austrians were being used as “lab rats” for the Western world, noting the “terrible idea of a vaccine mandate” was being copied by Germany despite the admission that the vaccines don’t prevent infection and transmission, and the evidence that the vaccinated are equally susceptible to hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
He warned that the the next logical step after the vaccine law is that, among other things, unvaccinated parents could lose their children
See the WND interview:
In May 2020, a consultant of then-Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told the Financial Times that nations must get used to tools that are “on the borderline of the democratic working model.”
Tschugguel argued that if something is on the border, it can be “on either side.”
“This thing,” he said of the universal vaccine mandate, “is definitely on the other side. It is definitely not in our democratic model.”
Significantly, the chancellor’s consultant, Antonella Mei-Pochtler, told the Financial Times that the government won’t need to do the enforcing, contending the people “will want to control themselves.”
“So, what the government said,” Tschugguel commented, “is we are going to create an atmosphere which pushes the people so that they go along and be their own secret service for each other.”
It’s “step-by-step Machiavelli,” he said, of the “plan to create social pressure.”
He cited the example of Austrian restaurants being fined $30,000 euros (about $34,000) if they don’t police their customers and remove anyone who is unvaccinated.
‘God saved us’
But the “resistance is huge” among the Austrian populace, Tschuggel said, like nothing that has been seen in the lifetime of his parents.
He recounted the many times over the past two centuries that Austria has faced oppression or a threat to its existence, from the Gates of Vienna, to the Napoleonic era, to the Nazi occupation to the threat of communism.
“Always what brought us to a solution to the problems was prayer,” he said, asking God, “Please save us, we need your help now.
“And what happened? God saved us.”
And it’s no different now, he said, as typically reserved Austrians fill streets across their nation.
“Faith is what keeps people fighting,” he said. “If you go to our demonstrations, hundreds of thousands of people there. You see signs with Bible quotes.”
But going forward, the Austrian activist said, “those people need to understand that if you follow Christ, Christ expects that you are ready for a sacrifice.”
“You don’t have to bring the sacrifice he brought. That’s impossible. But he gives you your little cross to carry.”
At the moment, he continued, it’s a matter of sacrificing one’s reputation or money.
“But we have to be ready,” he said. “Who knows? If we don’t stop this movement, in the future we will have to sacrifice our lives — our public lives at the beginning, so that we live underground, and maybe then our physical lives.”
In any case, he said, “God prepares us as always, and he shows us and he helps us.”
“And I believe that whatever is going to happen in the next weeks and months, at the end of the time you will see good people coming out of this, you will see saints coming out of this … you will see a strong and good and working society come out of this,” said Tschugguel.