The Austrian ruling caste knows that the vaccine mandate is unconstitutional. Alexander Van der Bellen, who as the president of the Austrian Republic is the last defender of the constitution, would in all certainty have blocked the move and threatened a constitutional crisis were it not for the fact that his party, the Greens, forms part of the government. Instead, he will ignore the unconstitutionality of the emergency laws, creating a very dangerous precedent in the process.
Ominously, these developments were set in motion well before the Omicron variant made the headlines. The latter will almost certainly be used to ratchet up by several notches the pressure on a large minority of hitherto law-abiding citizens to comply.
This latest policy is only the culmination of a fairly draconian approach on the part of Austria. The unvaccinated have already been subject to lockdowns and have been barred from restaurants, sports clubs, ski slopes, cinemas, and more. A large minority of the population, who are otherwise tax-paying and law-abiding citizens, have been steadily pushed to the margins of society.