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

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

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
Vienna's Josefstädter Straße. ​Von Gugerell - Eigenes Werk, CC0, Creative Commons/Wikicommon

Pandemic measures presented later today

The government will present the Covid-19 pandemic measures it plans for autumn at 10am on Wednesday, although many details have been leaked to the press since Monday. Consultations with the federal states and experts will take place before the plan is unveiled.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz had announced in a recent interview that in future the bed occupancy in the intensive care units should become the new lead indicator for Covid-19 measures instead of the seven-day incidence. Kurz also said that there will “certainly no more lockdowns” for vaccinated people.

Restrictions may only apply to unvaccinated people. He said he wanted to keep schools open and ruled out a general compulsory vaccination, broadcaster ORF reports. 

READ MORE: Kurz promises any future lockdowns ‘only for the unvaccinated’

Governors ‘annoyed’ at lack of consultation

The governors of the federal states, particularly Carinthia and Vienna, have expressed annoyance that there has not been more consultation ahead of the government giving information on the next pandemic measures, broadcaster ORF reports.

Vienna’s Mayor Michael Ludwig called for discussions on equal terms and refuted Kurz’s claim that the pandemic was “over” for vaccinated people, pointing out that if intensive care units were filled with people with Covid-19, it could affect vaccinated people needing treatment for other illnesses or accidents.

No Austrian-French vaccine for the foreseeable future

Even the vaccine refuser and FPÖ leader Herbert Kickl has said he would allow himself to be jabbed, if a vaccine were available which has been ‘made in Austria’, Der Standard newspaper reports.

However, the managing director of the Austrian-French group Valneva, whose products are manufactured in Scotland, does not expect approval of its vaccine until the first half of 2022 at the earliest.

Valvena president and CEO Thomas Lingelbach told the Ö1 “Mittagsjournal” programme that the first results from phase 3 of vaccine development are expected in October. First approval could be granted in Great Britain by the end of the year, and then in the EU in the first half of 2022.

Problematic street names collated in Vienna 

A collection of problematic Viennese street names, relating to Austria’s Nazi past or colonialism, has been published, broadcaster ORF reports. Nine street names related to colonialism are included in the new volume, including the Große and Kleine Mohrengasse (derived from Mohr or moor in English) in Leopoldstadt or the street in Favoriten, named after the explorer Ludwig von Höhnel.

Also listed are four street names dedicated to the writer Robert Hamerling, who died in 1889, who used anti-semitic terms in his works. The City of Vienna wants to continue to install additional signs for the street name which will give  Information on the biography of the namesake.

For example, places named after Karl Lueger, the Mayor of Vienna at the turn of the last century, will show his populist anti-Semitism promoted a political climate that favoured the spread of National Socialism.

Tenant has rent slashed due to drug dealing and petty crime

A tenant in Vienna has had his rent of €750 per month reduced to €500 by the courts, as his refurbished 80 square meter apartment was located near “a hotspot of drug crime” near the U6 station Josefstädter Straße.

The landlord had wanted to charge a “location surcharge” as a subway, doctors, shops and parks were nearby. But the Supreme Court found the street-side apartment was affected by traffic noise and the U6 station Josefstädter Straße was a hotspot for drug and petty crime and rejected the location surcharge, the Kurier newspaper reports.

“This decision proves once again that it is worth having the rent checked,” says MieterHilfe boss Christian Bartok.

READ MORE: How to find out if you are paying too much rent in Vienna

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