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

People in Vienna are set to get the lowest
People in Vienna are set to get the lowest "climate bonus" payment in Austria. (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.

Autumn is coming 

The warm sunny weather Austria has enjoyed in September and on Monday and Tuesday is about to come to an end. On Wednesday night, top temperatures will drop from the 20s to around seven to 17 degrees. The cooling weather means it will start to snow above 2,000 metres.

Broadcaster ORF reports Austria’s glacier ski areas will get snow by the end of the week. It says from Kitzsteinhorn via Hintertux to the Kaunertal its weather department expects 30 to 80 centimetres of fresh snow by Thursday.

People living in Vienna to receive lowest amount in new “climate bonus”

People living in Vienna (around 21 percent of Austria’s population) are set to receive the lowest “climate bonus”, while the third of  Austrians living in rural areas will get the largest amount, according to a list published by Statistics Austria, Der Standard newspaper reports. 

The climate bonus, which will be paid for by Austria’s new ‘eco’ tax on carbon, falls into four categories. Only the Viennese will receive the lowest amount, €100, due to the city’s excellent public transport infrastructure.

Citizens living in cities such as Graz, Innsbruck and Linz will receive €133 annually. People living in areas surrounding cities will receive €137 per year, while those living in rural areas will get the maximum amount, €200. The climate bonus reflects the availability of public transport; heating costs and energy supply are not taken into account. 

According to Der Standard newspaper, the new carbon tax premium for fuel is not very high. It reports if the CO2 tax means an extra 30 euros per tonne, a litre of petrol including VAT is around ten cents more expensive, and a litre of diesel around 11.3 cents more expensive. However, there will also additional costs for those who use fossil fuel for heating.

READ MORE: Austrian government unveils ‘eco’ tax reform

Covid tests to ‘remain free until end of March’

Austria’s Covid-19 tests should remain free until the end of March, according to the Ministry of Health today in response to an APA request. However, from the end of October there will be no more free self-tests from pharmacies. The decision should be finalised with a new funding package for tests on Tuesday. 

Austria’s GIS TV and radio licence fee could increase by eight percent

The Austrian public broadcaster ORF’s general director Alexander Wrabetz wants to raise the GIS licence fee by eight percent the Krone Zeitung newspaper reports. 

The program fee would increase by five cents to 60 cents per day or by 1.38 euros to 18.59 euros per month – and bring ORF a total of 20 million euros more per year. 

Before the hike can go into effect, it must be approved by the board of trustees and the media authority KommAustria. The increase would come into effect on March 1st at the earliest

Austria’s President travels to Auschwitz to open memorial

Austria’s Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen travelled to the former Nazi Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp to open a new Austrian exhibition – “Distance – Austria and Auschwitz”.

National Council President Wolfgang Sobotka, said while Austria’s original exhibition at the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum in 1974 described Austria primarily as the ‘first victim of National Socialism’, the focus was now on not only the victims but also the perpetrators of Austrians – not only in relation to Auschwitz, but also in the wider context of the holocaust. 

Van der Bellen said it was Austria’s “obligation to remember that not only the victims, but also the perpetrators were part of our society” in his speech.


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