Sebastian Kurz Admits That Kurzarbeit Means We’re All Working for Him

The Austrian Chancellor is now the country’s largest employer.

As the country gears up to implement the latest round of measures against the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, continued confusion regarding the government’s Kurzarbeit model to keep businesses afloat has compelled Chancellor Sebastian Kurz to clarify his administration’s policy.

“Yeah… you’re all working for me now. Personally. As in, ‘I am the boss of you,’” he spelled out for Metropole and other totally serious media sources. In fact, our young head of state seemed rather baffled at the misunderstandings: “Seriously, it’s right there in the name – just like Obamacare, Reaganomics and the Marshall Plan. How did no one get this? Next thing, you’re going to tell me Panama papers are used to roll cigarettes!”

Indeed, it would appear that our chancellor is now the country’s largest employer – or will be, rather, once businesses figure out how to apply for the initiative on the AMS website.

“That’s a bit of a problem and could have gone more smoothly,” Kurz admitted, “but what do you expect? The AMS, like all bureaucracies, is conditioned to make applications a pain and hoard funds like a dragon. Perhaps I’ll merge them with the SVA, that ought to teach them efficiency and customer service. Even better: I’ll put the Greens in charge. They’re so happy to be back in the big leagues they’ll go along with anything.” The Chancellor then exchanged high fives and fist bumps with Finance Minister Gernot Blümel.

Either way, the moment cannot come too soon for Kurz. “I was beginning to worry about how I’d meet the needs of the Wirtschaftskammer *cough* I mean, my fellow Austrians this term. This will definitely come in handy once the next round of collective bargaining comes around!” Once Austria’s workforce is safely in Kurz’s fold, however, he sees great things ahead for the country: “We’ll probably end up merging everything into my personal brand, starting with the easy ones like ORF, Novomatic, Raiffeisen and OE24. It’ll be just like the good old days when everyone knew their place and pledged fidelity to the emperor.” Kurz chuckled. “The ÖVP bigwigs will love it!”

When asked whether he foresaw any resistance from the population, Chancellor Kurz just laughed. “Nonsense! Vollbeschäftigung – full employment – has been the Austrian ideal since the likes of Kreisky, if not longer. And I plan to govern at least as dominantly as that old socialist. Maybe I can even surpass Metternich. It’ll be fine as long as I portray myself as benevolent, just like the Habsburgs did. Which should be a cinch, as I’m way more handsome. Also, I personally closed the Balkan refugee route all by myself.”

And while Kurz is committed to being a benign overlord, he also cautioned his many new employees from testing his patience. “Just remember: Whenever you start binging maschek during ‘home office,’ that’s my dime you’re wasting!”

More on these measures.

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Binu Starnegg
Manila born, Brooklyn bred and a longtime resident of Vienna, Binu Starnegg is currently managing editor for Metropole, where he completes myriad tasks with style and aplomb. Photo: Visual Hub
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