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

Enjoy the sunshine of the Indian summer today. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)
Enjoy the sunshine of the Indian summer today. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)
Find out what's going on in Austria on Tuesday, with The Local's short roundup of today's news.

Kurz says pandemic is ‘over’ for vaccinated and reveals new five-point plan for autumn

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has re-iterated his view that the pandemic is “over” for vaccinated people in the summer talk interview with broadcaster ORF.

Media outlets including the Wiener Zeitung newspaper have seen a leaked government five-point plan for managing the pandemic throughout the autumn, which is designed to reduce hospital admissions while still avoiding a general lockdown.

According to media reports, in future bed occupancy in intensive care units should become the new lead indicator instead of the seven-day incidence.

There should also be no more general lockdown in Austria. However, “protective measures” may be taken if necessary, which will only affect unvaccinated people.

Suburban living in the ‘bacon belt’ more popular than ever in Austria

The so called ‘bacon belt’ or suburbs surrounding the cities of Vienna, Innsbruck, Linz, Graz and Wels are seeing an influx of buyers in Austria. While Vienna saw an increase of 1,138 people moving to the city in 2016, in 2020 the statistics show 3,431 people  left the city. However, fewer people are moving out of the city of Salzburg than in previous years.

Broadcaster ORF reports that while the pandemic has seen demand rise for homes in the suburb, this is also a long term trend, noting the Viennese suburb of Mödling has been the district of Austria with the most immigration for more than two decades.

Fears prosecution of whistleblower could deter freedom of the press in Austria

Eleven Austrian and international human rights organisations have written an open letter ahead of a trial for drug offences for Julian Hessenthalter,  the whistleblower and private detective who was involved in revealing Austria’s Ibizagate scandal.

The scandal brought down the ruling coalition government and has led to a number of corruption investigations, one of which has resulted in the conviction of Austria’s former vice-chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache.

The letter voices fears “excessive” criminal prosecution could have a deterrent effect on future investigators, as well as on freedom of opinion, the press, and freedom of information in Austria, Der Standard newspaper reports.

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German train strike is over

The German train strike is over, meaning Austria’s railways (ÖBB) will return to normal schedules again on Tuesday. However, an agreement in the German labor dispute is not in sight, the Wiener Zeitung reports.


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