150 business people from the city, state and federal government are now demanding rescue operations or full compensation for two years of loss of business. It’s about the roadblocks around the planned construction sites for the regional subway in the center of Salzburg. There are already protests against possible expropriations.
In the first construction phase, the companies will no longer be accessible by car – and it will only be more difficult to reach on foot. So far, only a so-called “hardship fund” is planned, which, for example, only replaces rents – up to a maximum of 10,000 euros per transaction and year.
Hotelier fears the destruction of his existence
The construction site could be really expensive for hotelier Georg Imlauer, for example, with his 700 beds in three buildings on Rainerstrasse. No car access for two years, massive construction noise – it’s a catastrophe, says the entrepreneur: “We will lose at least half of our sales. Nobody wants to live in a construction site. If the city and state do this project of the century, then I assume that they are also correct – and also compensate the companies on this street properly. It’s really all about survival here. If we only make half of the turnover, then we only need half of the employees. So there are a lot of jobs attached to it.”
According to Imlauer, he alone is responsible for losses in the millions. A row of shops not far from the train station with around a dozen shops will be hit even harder. It will be demolished in whole or in part.
Bookseller criticizes the lack of transparency in politics
The compensation for this is unclear – the ultimate consequence would even be expropriations. The long-established bookseller Christoph Steiner from the Motzko bookshop was appalled: “After three quarters of an hour of insisting, they suddenly came out with the idea that part of the storefront had to be demolished in order to create these curve radii to get. You simply left out things that are simply important. It is disinformation and a lack of transparency that we are dealing with here.”
Chamber President: “We will never allow expropriation”
The Salzburg Chamber of Commerce is the advocate of the city subway. At the same time, however, they will strengthen the support of the affected business people. Expropriations – never, says President Peter Buchmüller: “From our point of view, that is out of the question. We demand full compensation for our members. Lives are at stake. We would never allow that.”
Transport Provincial Councilor Stefan Schnöll (ÖVP) states that the subway project company is examining various compensation models. There will be individual solutions.
The next political deadline for the city subway is the vote in the Salzburg municipal council in two weeks.