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TERRORISM

Police in Austria raid dozens of ‘Islamist-linked’ addresses

Austrian police launched raids on more than 60 addresses allegedly linked to radical Islamists in four different regions Monday, with orders given for 30 suspects to be questioned, prosecutors said.

Police in Austria raid dozens of 'Islamist-linked' addresses
AFP

The Styria region prosecutors' office said it was “carrying out investigations against more than 70 suspects and against several associations which are suspected of belonging to and supporting the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas organisations”.

It stressed in a statement that “the operation has no connection to the terror attack in Vienna of November 2” but was the result of “intensive and comprehensive investigations carried out for more than a year”.

Among the alleged offences are forming a terrorist association, financing of terrorism and money laundering.

The raids took place in the Styria, Carinthia, Lower Austria and Vienna regions.

Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said the raids were aimed at “cutting off the roots of political Islam”.

“We are acting against these criminal, extremist and inhuman organisations with all our strength,” he said in a statement.

Last Monday's attack by a jihadist gunman in Vienna's historic city centre left four people dead.

It was the first major attack of its kind in Austria for decades and the first blamed on a jihadist.

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ENERGY

Energy costs: Vienna to support 200,000 households with up to €500

The City of Vienna is expanding its group of homes that can receive an energy cost voucher by the end of the year. Here's what you need to know.

Energy costs: Vienna to support 200,000 households with up to €500

Austria’s capital Vienna is expanding a program to subsidise part of the energy bills of around 200,000 eligible households, the City said in a press release.

“Energy costs are difficult for many Viennese to cope with in the current situation. We are helping those who need the support most urgently – and we are doing so in a targeted manner by settling outstanding bills with energy providers”, City Councillor for Social Affairs Peter Hacker said.

The City has already agreed with state-run energy company Wien Energie that, from December 2022 to February 2023, no electricity, gas or heat shutdowns will happen – regardless of any payment issues.

READ ALSO: From lighting to ice skating: How Vienna plans to save energy

Now, a group of more vulnerable people can apply for Energy Support Plus to get up to €500 in aid with their energy bills.

The following people can apply online at wien.gv.at for Energy Support Plus: Recipients of Vienna minimum income (Bezieher*innen von Wiener Mindestsicherung), housing assistance (Wohnbeihilfe), AIVG benefits (AIVGLeistungen), a compensatory or supplementary allowance (einer Ausgleichs- oder Ergänzungszulage), GIS-exempt persons and low-income earners (GIS-Befreite und Geringverdienende) who are covered by the cost cap of the Renewable Expansion Act, those entitled to sickness benefit (Krankengeld), rehabilitation benefit (Rehabilitationsgeld), reintegration benefit (Wiedereingliederungsgeld) or transitional allowance (Übergangsgeld).

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: How to keep energy bills down in Austria

Applications can be submitted until December 31st, 2022. The maximum subsidy amount is €500 per household.

The service telephone of the Department for Social Affairs, Social and Health Law, is available at 01/4000-8040 for information and assistance with applications. Wien Energie’s customer service also offers personal assistance with the application process at Spittelau.

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