President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chambers Christoph Leitl Sunday called for a support package to protect the domestic economy against sanctions by Russia.
The package should include a social plan for businesses and their employees, possibly a labour foundation, warranties and guarantees for companies, as well as the search for new markets, the Nachrichten newspaper reported.
Leitl said the government should work together with the private sector to develop the contingency plan, particularly to prevent massive losses in the case of further sanctions. With warranties and guarantees liquidity shortages can be bridged, and investment encouraged, he added.
He said the Austrian economy had already recorded significant losses as a result of the sanctions, at least sporadically.
"There is increasing feedback from companies that are already reporting high-level contract losses, in some cases even entering the multi-digit million range," he said in a press release.
He said for companies whose existence is threatened by the sanctions, the European Union and the Austria Wirtschaftsservice should step in to provide aid.
Leitl was very critical of the sanctions themselves, saying those who sanction others also sanction themselves. He added the growing crisis must be solved through political means and negotiations, and constructive solutions found, to allow the domestic and European economies to recover.