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

A couple dance at a ball
Balls are being cancelled for next year in Vienna due to the Covid-19 pandemic (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.

Austria’s new Chancellor sworn in 

Austria’s new Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg was sworn in on Monday, and has promised he will continue in “very close cooperation” with the previous Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, who stepped down over a corruption investigation. Schallenberg said he was certain the allegations would be proved wrong, broadcaster ORF reports. He said “responsibility and stability” were now needed for Austria, as well as “mutual respect and trust”. The broadcaster notes there was no time for journalists’ questions after the statement.

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      Governor describes Schallenberg as a “puppet for Sebastian Kurz”

      The Governor of Burgenland, Hans Peter Doskozil, who is in the centre-left opposition SPÖ party in Austria said that  Schallenberg was “heavily dependent on Kurz and certainly a puppet for Sebastian Kurz”, the Kurier newspaper reports. Doskozil was opening a photovoltaic system in Bad Tatzmannsdorf on Monday when he made the comments. He also called for elections and said he believed the government would “not survive the year 2022″, claiming “everyone is already thinking of new elections behind closed doors, and a lot will come to light”. He also accused the Greens of being too fixated on keeping in office. 

      Tabloid owners sue Republic of Austria over corruption allegations

      The head of the Austria media group, Wolfgang Fellner, has denied creating biased surveys or reporting in exchange for money, after the tabloid “Österreich” (“Austria”) was rumoured to be the publication which had benefited from the scandal which led Chancellor Sebastian Kurz to resign. Speaking in court during a sexual harassment hearing, he said he could “one hundred percent” rule out the possibility of manipulated surveys or benevolent reporting in return for cash. He also added “we are victims and not perpetrators”, broadcaster ORF reports.

       Wolfgang Fellner and his brother Helmuth Fellner are listed as suspects in connection with bribery and breach of trust in the course of investigations by the Economic and Corruption Public Prosecutor’s Office (WKStA). The publishing group is suing the Republic of Austria, claiming house searches and cell phone surveillance carried out by corruption investigators were illegal. The WKStA  stated today that the house search itself was legal.  

      Viennese balls cancelled in 2022 due to pandemic

      Some major events in Vienna in 2022 are being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Tirolerball, which should have taken place on January 8, 2022 in the town hall, has been postponed to January 2023, it was announced on Monday. The organizers of the Jägerball announced in September that it would not take place until the next year. The Kurier newspaper reports advance ticket sales had been lower than expected.

      Tennis player Thiem still hasn’t been vaccinated

      The Austrian tennis player Dominic Thiem is still not vaccinated, but plans to get the jab in time for the Australian Open, he revealed at a press conference on Monday. This means he will have to be vaccinated by the end of November to enter the tournament. He said he had not been vaccinated yet against Covid-19 because he wanted to wait for the Novavax vaccine, which has not yet been approved, broadcaster ORF reports. He is hoping his injured right wrist will be healed by then.


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