Demo chaos expected in central Vienna
Drivers in Vienna are being warned to avoid the Ringstrasse on Friday afternoon with several demonstrations planned and traffic chaos expected.
A group calling for lower rents and higher wages will meet at Keplerplatz at 4pm and proceed down Gusshausstraße, to Schwarzenbergplatz and then to Schwedenplatz.
At 4.30pm a demonstration against the introduction of a 12-hour working day will gather at Wallensteinplatz, walk down Gaußplatz and finish at Schwedenplatz.
And at 5pm a second demo calling for lower rents will depart from Praterstern and make its way to Schwedenplatz.
It’s expected to be particularly busy at around 6pm when the three groups will converge on Julius-Raab-Platz and march together to Schwedenplatz. Around 100 to 150 people are expected to join each group.
Traffic around Dampfschiffstraße, Donaulände, Urania, and Schwedenplatz is expected to be congested between 5.30 and 6.30pm. By 8pm things should have returned to normal.
On Friday morning the Ringstrasse was closed for a demonstration against EU trade talks with the US, known as TTIP. Critics fear a deal could weaken EU standards in areas such as public health and the environment.
Last year 10,573 rallies were held in Vienna - far more than in bigger cities such as Berlin - and the Ringstrasse was shut 80 times for demonstrations or events.
Every demonstration has to be policed, usually by around 50 police officers, at a cost of several thousand euros each time.