Today in Austria: A round-up of the latest news on Friday 

Find out what's going on today in Austria with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Cafe in the Naschmarkt

Opening steps ‘possible’ in May, says expert

Opening steps may be possible for Austria in May,  simulation expert Niki Popper has told ZIB. He said modelling showed the situation will get better “very soon”, but he would like to see infections reduce faster.

He said the lockdown in the east was working, even if the willingness to participate is decreasing, the Kurier newspaper reports. 

Memorial service for coronavirus victims to be held this morning

A memorial to honour the Austrian victims of the corona pandemic will be held later today. Austria’s Federal President Van der Bellen, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler and others will gather at 10am in Austria’s Aula der Wissenschaft science building.

Vienna starts vaccinating high risk patients in all age groups

Vienna has begun to vaccinate its high-risk patients.

Now everyone born up to 2005 can register for a jab. So far, around 129,600 high-risk patients have registered with the Vienna Vaccination Service – including people suffering from asthma or diabetes.

Of those, 64,744 people have already been vaccinated. All people in this group should receive their first injection in April, Der Standard newspaper reports.


Posted by Stadt Wien on Thursday, April 15, 2021

Third wave has passed its peak

As The Local reported yesterday  the third wave of the corona pandemic has passed its peak in Austria according to the Covid forecast consortium the Wiener Zeitung  newspaper reports. However, even if the number of new infections continues to decline, this does not mean rapid relief for intensive care units in hospitals.

READ MORE: Why experts believe Austria’s third wave of Covid ‘has peaked’

Optimism ‘has evaporated’ in Austrian companies, says Deloitte survey

Optimism has evaporated in Austrian companies, according to CEO of Deloitte Austria Harald Breit, the Wiener Zietung newspaper reports. Deloitte surveyed 250 Austrian top executives, but only 27 percent now  believe that Austria’s recovery will be “good” or “very good” in comparison to other European countries.

In summer 2020 it was 64 percent. The executives see an urgent need for action in digitisation in the health sector, public administration and education. 

Austria pays most corona aid

More than €34.6 billion euros in corona aid has been promised or paid out by the federal government so far according to Finance Minister Gernot Blümel, the Wiener Zeitung newspaper reports Significantly more aid per capita was paid out in Austria than in other EU countries, according to a study by economic institute EcoAustria. In 2020 and 2021 together, Austria used more than 10 percent of GDP into COVID relief measures. The EU average is 5.5 percent  of GDP, it reports. 

Spying allegations rejected by OMV

The board of the Austrian state-owned oil, gas and chemical company OMV has met and produced a report on allegations it used international espionage companies to monitor environmental organisations Greenpeace and Fridays for Future.

OMV admitted using companies to get information about activities of environmental NGOs, but rejects the spying allegations, saying it was only trying to protect its critical infrastructure Der Standard newspaper reports.

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The essential products that are getting more expensive in Austria

Record inflation spikes have caused basic supermarket products to become more expensive in the alpine country.

The essential products that are getting more expensive in Austria

Austria has been suffering from the high cost of living prices, and inflation for April is expected to reach 7.2 percent, according to a preliminary estimate by Statistik Austria.

Compared to the previous month, the price level is expected to rise by 0.3 percent, the federal statistics office said.

“Life in Austria continues to become noticeably more expensive. In addition to the continuing inflation-determining price increases for fuels and energy products, food also has an additional price-increasing effect,” said Statistik Austria Director-General Tobias Thomas.

READ ALSO: Austria unveils €2 billion relief package to fight the rising cost of living

The increases are very much reflected in supermarket prices.

According to Statistik Austria, oils and fats have had the highest price increases (13.3 per cent in a year on year comparison), followed by vegetable prices (9 per cent in a year on year comparison).

Bread and cereal prices were up by 7.2 per cent, and milk, cheese and eggs prices rose by 5.5 per cent.

Fruits have also been costing 4.7 per cent more in March 2022 than in March 2021. In addition, meat, which is already an expensive product for Austrians, has increased in price by 4.1 per cent.

There were also substantial price increases for non-alcoholic beverages, particularly coffee, which rose 12.3 per cent.

Why is inflation so high?

Prices are rising worldwide, not just in Austria. And much of it has to do with the Russian war on Ukraine, which brings up fuel prices and affects the entire supply chain of several products on supermarket shelves.

However, that is not the only factor.

READ ALSO: Will inflation force tax changes in Austria from 2023?

A special IHS Markit report on food inflation stated that the Russian invasion is just the most recent event exacerbating food inflation, especially as both countries are significant exporters of grains and vegetable oils.

Another factor for rising prices is competition with Chinese demand for feedstuffs such as soybeans, corn, sorghum, wheat and other grains.

Production and logistics issues have also impacted prices globally. For example, adverse weather in Brazil affected the production of corn, soybean, and even coffee.

In addition, transportation issues and even Covid-related labour shortages have also hindered production and logistics and increased prices.