Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Monday

Emma Midgley
Emma Midgley - [email protected] • 5 Jul, 2021 Updated Mon 5 Jul 2021 08:28 CEST
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A women cools off with water on August 1, 2017 in the Volksgarten in Vienna. (Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP)

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

Thousands queue to be vaccinated without an appointment in Vienna and Tyrol 

At the weekend, vaccination centres in Tyrol vaccinated thousands of people against Covid-19. The Wiener Zeitung newspaper reports  the Tyrolean "Vaccination Sunday" was very popular.

Around 13,000 of the 16,000 doses available had been used up by the evening, with some vaccination centres extending their opening hours to give those waiting a vaccination. There will be another chance to be vaccinated next weekend. 

People could choose from three vaccines. In the morning, 57.5 percent Biontech/Pfizer, 5.6 percent Astrazeneca and 36.9 percent Johnson & Johnson were inoculated.

In Vienna, people could be vaccinated without an appointment at a pop up vaccination “box” at Vienna's Rathausplatz in front of the Rathaus (Town Hall).

A spokesman for the City of Vienna said interest was “surprisingly strong”. Anyone who could not be vaccinated at the Rathaus was given the  same opportunity at the Impfstrasse at the Austria Centre in Vienna.

The city is considering extending the opening time of the vaccination box .  Vaccination is currently possible daily between 5pm and 10pm.

As The Local reported last week, from Monday people aged over 18 in Vienna can be vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine without an appointment until Sunday (July 11th). 

READ MORE: Covid vaccination appointments possible from Monday in Vienna without appointment

Problems with Biontech/Pifzer second jabs in Salzburg

Hundreds of people have received appointments for their second Biontech/Pfizer vaccination which are too early, according to broadcaster ORF. Around 500 people received an appointment too early. The Red Cross team has been working at full speed since the weekend, according to spokeswoman Roberta Thanner.

Attempts have been made to reach those affected by phone via the health hotline 1450. People have been also sent emails if their vaccination interval is too short. Nobody has been vaccinated at too short an interval between the two doses, the Red Cross told the broadcaster.

You will now receive a new code to set up a new vaccination appointment this week. However, if necessary, more staff will be made available, and vaccination appointments will not fail, Thanner promises. If those affected do not receive a call or e-mail during the day, they can also actively call the health hotline 1450.

Protests over Coronavirus 

Protests took place all over Austria on Friday about the country’s Covid-19 bonus, with the words: "Be the first with the virus, the last with the coronavirus bonus".

The trade union Vida demonstrated in Tyrol together with  numerous employees from the health and social care sector in Innsbruck. The union says too many are excluded from the Covid-19 bonus that the federal government has decided, according to broadcaster ORF

Kocher wants to get tough on unemployment

Austria’s ÖVP Labour Minister Martin Kocher is considering bringing in tougher measures in order to get more people back to work.

Kocher said in a ZiB 2 interview on Sunday that he wants to fight unemployment by providing more incentives for people to work, especially in areas with a high labour shortage such as tourism, the Wiener Zeitung newspaper reports.

Unemployed people who do not accept reasonable jobs should be more "motivated" by sanctions for unemployment benefits or emergency assistance, said Kocher.

He said short-time work should be ended “in line with the economic cycle” and workers needed to be found again for the areas in which there is already a shortage - for example in the catering trade, in the accommodation and also in industry.

Memorial to Jewish Holocaust in Vienna attracts criticism

A memorial which is being built in Vienna’s Alsergrund district with the names of 65,000 Austrian Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust has drawn some criticism, according to the broadcaster ORF.

While some say the memorial is long overdue, others are critical that some groups who were persecuted by the Nazis, such as political prisoners, people with disabilities, homosexuals and the Roma and Sinti population, are excluded from the memorial.

The memorial was first suggested by the Austrian-Canadian artist Kurt Yakov Tutter, who is now 91.

As a survivor of the Shoah, Tutter fled from Austria to Canada. His parents were murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz.

Coalition dissent over murder

The case of a 13-year-old who was allegedly abused and killed by several suspects from Afghanistan is causing dissent in the ÖVP Greens coalition over asylum law, broadcaster ORF reports. While Interior Minister Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) calls for changes to international regulations, Justice Minister Alma Zadic (Greens) sees no reason to tighten the laws.

Seven day incidence is seven

The seven-day incidence, or the number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, is 7.7 (as of 2 p.m. yesterday). No federal state has a value above 20. Carinthia (0.9) has the lowest, Vienna with 18.5 the highest.

Minimum tax rate planned for aviation fuel

The European Commission is planning an EU-wide minimum tax rate for environmentally harmful aviation fuels, the  Wiener Zeitung newspaper. 

The proposal targets aviation, which is exempt from EU fuel tax. This exemption is "inconsistent with the current climate policy challenges," the document says.

The minimum tax rate for aviation fuel is to start at zero in 2023 and then increase gradually over ten years. It is not clear from the document how high the final tax rate should be. The EU Commission is currently revising EU energy taxes.

This will be part of a package of measures that it will propose on July 14 to meet the target of reducing EU greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels



Emma Midgley 2021/07/05 08:28

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