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

Today in Austria: A round up of the latest news on Tuesday
Bars and restaurants at the  Naschmarkt market in Vienna, Austria are due to open tomorrow. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)
Find out what's going on on Tuesday in Austria with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Austria to phase out AstraZeneca soon

Austria is ending vaccinations with the AstraZeneca vaccine, with only a few first vaccinations planned in June, Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein (Greens) said yesterday on the Puls24 channel. The reason is delivery problems from the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company, not because of the effectiveness of the vaccine.

According to the Minister of Health, there is still enough AstraZeneca in stock for second jabs. Instead, Mückstein only wants to use vaccines from Biontech and Pfizer as well as Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. 

While Germany recently decided to remove AstraZeneca from the priority list, thereby allowing all adults to get it, Austria indicated it would not be following suit. 

Home working reforms planned

ÖVP Labor Minister Martin Kocher said he wants to further regulate working from home in a discussion by Magenta Telekom, suggesting Austria could make bilateral arrangements with neighbouring countries to enable employees to work from home from abroad, according to broadcaster ORF.

As social security and tax are related to residence, Magenta management said  this was a problem for Slovak employees of the group, for example, who were not allowed to work from home.

Seven day incidence at 65.5

The seven-day incidence, or the number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, is 65.5 according to the AGES database.The number is highest in Vorarlberg, which at 118.6 is the only remaining federal state with an incidence over 100. The number is lowest in Burgenland (31.9).

Austria wants to work with Great Britain again

ÖVP Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg has said he wants to work more closely with Great Britain again after a visit to Foreign Minister Dominic Raab in London. Specifically, Schallenberg named the areas of foreign policy exchange of information, cooperation between security services, cyber crime and counter-terrorism as well as climate protection, the Western Balkans and freedom of the media.

Head of Wifo calls for Europe to focus on domestic market

The economist and head of Wifo (The Austrian Institute of Economic Research) Gabriel Felbermayr, is calling for Europe to focus on its domestic market in the Wiener Zietung newspaper. He says this market gives Europe a strong international presence and means it can ensure that international European standards are adopted, arguing Europe has more influence than is sometimes said. He warns against increasing imports tariffs with China, and says intensifying trade with India would be a great opportunity. 

Better rail connections for Vienna

A new rail connection between Vienna, Prague and Berlin is to bring the three capitals closer together, allowing a journey time from Vienna to Berlin of four hours by the mid 2030s Der Standard newspaper reports.

A connection via Dresden and Prague is to be part of a European network of new rail connections that also include night trains. The high-speed connection between Berlin and Dresden should be ready by 2025.

Erdogan ‘curses’ Austrian state

Turkey’s President Erdogan has condemned the solidarity of the Austrian government with Israel in the recent conflict the Wiener Zeitung newspaper reports. International agencies quote him as saying: “I curse the Austrian state. It probably wants the Muslims to pay the price for genociding the Jews.”

Foreign Minister Schallenberg told the APA press agency he did not believe Austria was losing its bridging function through symbolic solidarity with Israel and flying the Israeli flag as the  Palestinian ambassador in Vienna, Salah Abdel Shafi, said on Monday. 

READ MORE: Austria flies flag of Israel on official buildings ‘in solidarity’

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‘No enthusiasm’ for elections

Der Standard newspaper is looking at the prospect of elections in Austria and says none of the five parliamentary parties shows any real enthusiasm for new elections. However, this scenario has been on everyone’s lips since the public prosecutor’s office investigated Chancellor Sebastian Kurz for making false statements in the investigative committee. It says the Greens are “torn”, between losing their reputation as an anti-corruption party and ending up in opposition. 

Read more: Austrian Chancellor Kurz sees image dented as he faces investigations

Commerzialbank owes millions to creditors

The claims of 401 creditors in the insolvency proceedings of Commerzialbank Mattersburg has risen to €820 million, €620 million of which has  been recognized by the bank trustees Kosch & Partner, broadcaster ORF reports. €105 lost millions has already been found and auctions of bank property brought in seven million euros. The outlet reports €52 million have still disappeared without a trace.

Bars and restaurants at the  Naschmarkt market in Vienna, Austria are due to open tomorrow. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)


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