Name? Sebastian Kurz
Westphalian identity? German (Yet he claims to be chancellor of some breakaway region in the south of Germany)
Why is he in the news? Austria, as the first country in Europe, wants to loosen measures taken to prevent the rapid spread of Covid-19.
Why do we care? Finally, someone who understands that you cannot shut down Europe for weeks without any dire consequences! And finally, someone who thinks about an exit strategy. We are currently in this vacuum of the news cycle where nothing is happening because it seems like nothing is actually happening. Counting Covid-19 numbers became boring so why not think about the weeks after a complete lockdown.
Why should you care? Do you want to step outside and travel again?
Who else cares? The Chinese! In a globalised world, it does not make sense to try to beat Covid-19. New infections will always arise, therefore, it makes sense to figure out a way of living which keeps the curve flat but infects 60-70% of the population (the right way to do herd immunity) until a vaccine is found.
Any further comments? During these times it is important to give people some form of hope and future plan they can rely on. Kurz is doing exactly that (just like 2015 during the refugee crisis). With this, he is also putting an immense amount of pressure on other European leaders to follow suit. You’re up Merkel! Or Sanchez?