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

Winter is on the way (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)
Winter is on the way (Photo by Christof STACHE/ AFP)
Find out what's going on in Austria on Wednesday, with The Local's short roundup of today's news.

Austrians wake up to snow in parts of the country

After days of summer temperatures, some regions of Austria saw the first morning snow on Wednesday, the Kurier newspaper reports. Last night there was a notable drop in temperature across most of the country.

A cold front crossed Austria and lowered the maximum temperature east of Innsbruck by more than ten degrees within 24 hours.

Snow also reached mountain valleys in the northern Alps and more is expected on Thursday, even at 1,200 meters.

Most of the snow is in Pinzgau, Pongau and Upper Styria, with Michele Salmi from the Ubimet weather service telling the Kurier newspaper that high pass roads will have to be prepared for winter conditions. 

READ MORE: From sunshine to snow, a week of autumn weather forecast in Austria

Brenner motorway traffic at a record high in summer

Traffic on the Brenner motorway increased last summer to levels higher than the pre-pandemic year 2019.  Both truck and car traffic recorded increases in the months of July, August and September.

Almost 611,000 articulated lorries and truck trains were recorded at the Schönberg toll station between the beginning of July and the end of September. In 2019 there were a good 606,000 trucks. Tourist traffic on this motorway also increased sharply once borders opened and tourism started up at the end of May. 

More than 3.9 million cars were counted on the Brenner motorway in the past three months, 700,000 more cars than in 2020. In last year before the pandemic (2019), 220,000 fewer cars drove on the Brenner motorway from July to September, broadcaster ORF reports. 

“Pandemic” pets disposed of in rubbish bins

The Vienna animal rescue charity TierQuarTier Vienna says it is seeing an increase in abandoned pets which were purchased during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Within a few days it says a French bulldog and a kitten were found in rubbish bins in Penzing and Brigittenau respectively. Both are now being cared for by the charity, which says every year around 150 animals are being abandoned in Vienna.

Many of these animals are around a year old and have not been socialised or taught commands. Abandoning of animals is forbidden by law, and people who do so risk fines of up to 7,500 euros, broadcaster ORF reports. 

British tennis star Raducanu to come to Austria

British U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu will come to Austria to play in next month’s WTA, tournament organisers said on Monday, in a report by Reuters. The 18-year-old Briton stunned the tennis world by becoming the first qualifier to win a major last month with her triumph at Flushing Meadows.

More criticism of climate bonus

Criticism of Austria’s climate tax is continuing from city leaders belonging to the centre left opposition SPO party. It was revealed this week that Viennese dwellers and those living in cities such as Linz would receive the smallest ‘climate bonus’ payments, due to their well-developed public transport networks.

Vienna’s Mayor Michael Ludwig said the government should reward climate-friendly behaviour and not punish it. Linz’s mayor Klaus Luger said the new bonus system would disadvantage city dwellers, who create fewer CO2 emissions but have higher housing costs than the rural population.

He said instead it rewarded house builders in the country, who concrete over the ground and “commute to the city by car every day”, broadcaster ORF reports.

READ MORE: Austrian government unveils ‘eco’ tax reform


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