VIENNA, Austria — The Austrian government said Monday that ministers would forgo a month’s net salary as a sign of solidarity with those who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Millions of people are having to tighten their belts or are facing financial difficulty,” said Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
“In this difficult time, we want to send a signal of solidarity,” Kurz said, explaining that the ministers’ salaries would be donated to organizations involved in the fight against COVID-19, without providing further details.
According to the latest official figures, 470 people have died in Austria from coronavirus.
The small Alpine country has a population of 8.8 million and nearly 900,000 people are working reduced hours.
Elsewhere in Europe, ministers in Bulgaria have also said they would donate some of their pay. And there are similar initiatives around the world, notably New Zealand.