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

Today in Austria: A round up of the latest news on Friday
Funding is available for cross border projects around Lake Constance (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP)
Find out what's going on on Friday in Austria with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Plans to vaccinate 12 to 15 year-olds in Vienna

Parents in Vienna will soon be able to register their children aged 12 to 15 for a Covid-19 vaccination, Health Councillor Peter Hacker has told Der Standard newspaper.

If the Pfizer Biontech vaccine is approved for this age group by the European Medicine Agency (EMA), they could even start vaccinating this group before the summer.

Vienna is currently last in the league table of vaccinations in a comparison of Austria’s federal states, but says this is because it has vaccinated many residents of Burgenland and Lower Austria.

It is currently negotiating with the federal government over the 60,000 vaccination doses it says it is “missing”. 

Scandal surrounding Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz continues

The scandal surrounding Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz continue, with Der Standard newspaper covering claims that public prosecutors suspect Chancellor Kurz made false statements at the parliamentary inquiry into the Ibiza scandal.

The newspaper says chat messages between Kurz and others seem to indicate Kurz was closely involved in appointing Thomas Schmid as CEO of Austria Holdings, a holding company managing state shares in various companies, despite Kurz saying the contrary at the inquiry.

Der Standard writes that the success of any indictment against Kurz depends on the ability to prove whether the false statement was premeditated.

READ MORE: Austria’s chancellor facing investigation over false statement to MPs

Seven day incidence at 83.2 

The AGES database reports 933 Covid-19 cases have been reported in the past 24 hours. The seven-day incidence, or the number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants,  fell to 83.2 cases.The new infections are broken down into the federal states as follows:

  • Burgenland: 17
  • Carinthia: 67
  • Lower Austria: 134
  • Upper Austria: 155
  • Salzburg: 87
  • Styria: 137
  • Tyrol: 99
  • Vorarlberg: 71
  • Vienna: 166

Austria ‘likely to resist’ cash 

Austria is likely to resist the European Commission’s drive to impose an upper limit of €10,000 on cash payments because the country is culturally attached to cash, Der Standard newspaper reports, using the motto “only cash is true” (“Nur Bares ist Wahres“). 

Finance Minister Gernot Blümel said he would not accept “a creeping abolition of cash” and noted cash remains “the most important and preferred method of payment, especially in Austria”.

The Austrian National Bank indicates that 79 percent of payments in Austria are cash-based, which is above the EU average of 73 percent.

READ MORE: Could coronavirus end Austria’s love affair with cash?

Green Party calls for 30 km/h limit in Vienna

Vienna’s Green Party is calling for the city to copy Spain’s example and set all the speed limits to 30 km/h. Spain is the first country in the EU in which the regular speed in local areas has been reduced from 50 to 30 km/h across the country, the Wiener Zeitung newspaper reports. 

Funding for cross border projects

Funding for cross border projects close to Lake Constance  is available, with applications being accepted until the end of May, broadcaster ORF reports.

Private individuals, associations, schools, kindergartens and other institutions can submit applications – for example for projects in the fields of culture and education, sport or the environment.


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