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

The view from Pyramidenkogel in Carinthia  (ALEXANDER KLEIN / AFP)
The view from Pyramidenkogel in Carinthia (ALEXANDER KLEIN / AFP)
Find out what's going on in Austria on Friday with The Local's short roundup of the important news.

Austria stays ‘red’ 

Austria’s traffic light commission has decided all states should stay “red” or high risk, and says there is a particularly negative situation in Vorarlberg, where restaurants and cafes have opened both indoors and outdoors. However, the committee did not advise further restrictions according to Der Standard newspaper. According to the Commission’s documents, Vorarlberg had by far the highest number of infections in Austria last week, and the trend is still rising. Elsewhere, apart from Styria, the numbers went down nationwide. The development looks particularly favourable in Burgenland and Lower Austria. 

EXPLAINED: How does Austria’s traffic light system work?

Seven day incidence at 161.5

According to the AGES database, the seven-day incidence, or the number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, is 161.5.

The number is highest in Vorarlberg (250.5) and Salzburg (189.3). The value is lowest in Burgenland (93.1) and Lower Austria (116.5).

Governor of Styria is ‘cautiously optimistic’

Governor Hermann Schützenhöfer said he was ‘cautiously optimistic’ about the situation in Styria on Thursday according to broadcaster ORF. Around 560,000 people in Styria have registered to be vaccinated against Covid-19, a number he said was “gratifyingly high”. The number of unemployed people in Styria has dropped from 64,000 people unemployed in March 2020 to 51,000 at the end of March 2021. The numbers of people in short term work have also reduced, from 180,000 in April 2020 to 63,000 in 2021.

Vaccines for everyone by June

Katharina Reich, Director General for Public Health in Austria’s Ministry of Health, expects there will be more vaccines than people who want to vaccinate by June, Die Presse newspaper reports. She believes that starting vaccination for children in autumn is realistic.

Austria’s wage costs exceed Switzerland and Belgium

Austria’s wage costs now exceed Switzerland’s and Belgium’s and are only behind Germany according to the current income tax report of the OECD, Der Standard newspaper reports. Once tax is calculated for a single-income household with two children, Austria is in eleventh place in the top third of the OECD members. The outlet reports the government has started to reform tax and lowered the initial tax rate from 25 to 20 percent retrospectively as of January 2020.

 Wages fell in Austria in 2020

Wages in Austria fell by 0.7 and 0.8 percent in real terms in 2020, according to data from the OECD and the Economic Research Institute (Wifo) the Wiener Zietung newspaper reports. Wifo expert Christine Mayrhuber told APA since 2010 there have been five years with real wage losses, in Austria. She also said   there would be no real wage increases in 2021  and she did not expect any recovery in 2022 either, it reports. Wifo expects real wages to fall by 0.9 percent  this year.


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