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

Authorities looking to curb illegal racing, energy prices rising, traffic expected ahead of the extended weekend and more news from Austria on Friday.

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
Drivers can expect busy border crossings and lots of traffic ahead of the long weekend. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

Vienna wants to take action against speeding drivers

The City of Vienna is looking for ways to deal with illegal races across its street, especially in its 19th-Döbling district, where accidents happen too often, daily Der Standard reported.

Some measures have already been taken, including adding concrete guard walls in parking lots where racers meet and adding a 30km/h speed zone.

Now, Viennese authorities want changes in laws at a federal level, specifically a way to legally confiscate cars in cases of serious infractions or multiple offences.

READ ALSO: What happens if you get arrested in Austria?

Rising energy costs

Austrian households paid 45 percent more for energy in June than in the same month the year before, Die Presse says. The prices of fuels, heating oil and gas have risen sharply. Wood pellets and firewood are also more expensive.

When it comes to electricity and gas, many providers are also increasing prices.

In addition to the gas crisis, other factors also affected the price of electricity: drought in large parts of Europe reduces production in river power plants. Besides that, many nuclear power plants are not in operation due to technical defects; others have to be throttled because the rivers used for cooling lead were either too warm or had too little water.

“The high prices are a signal for diversification towards more wind power, photovoltaics, and geothermal energy and at the same time, more energy efficiency and energy saving”, Austria’s Energy Agency said.

READ ALSO: Cost of living: Austria’s postal service announces prices increases

Austria wants to reopen its embassy in Baghdad

Austria is looking to reopen its embassy in Iraq by September 1st, daily Kurier reported. The Austrian ambassador left Baghdad in January 1991, with other Western diplomats, due to security reasons.

According to the Kurier, the embassy in Baghdad is now to be “housed in a protected, international area as a first step”, with security forces hired locally. The authorities believe permanent representation in the country will be a “decisive advantage” for Austrian companies and organisations.

Additionally, a specific officer in the embassy should inform Vienna of “current developments and the prevailing situation in Iraq” and, in particular, any news on the topic of migration.

READ ALSO: MAP: Who are the foreigners in Austria?

Traffic and troubles for the extended weekend ahead

Austria’s ÖAMTC expects heavy travel on the country’s transit routes ahead of the long weekend and warned motorists to expect traffic jams and queues by the borders.

The transport club said many travellers continue to drive south while some are already driving in the opposite direction returning from vacation. The extended weekend due to the Monday holiday (Mariä Himmelfahrt) also favours day trips and short breaks, especially with the nice weather forecast.

The worst traffic should be divided into Sunday and Monday, ÖAMTC warns.

READ ALSO: ‘Bad and hasty drivers’: Your verdict on scrapping Austrian autobahn speed limits

Heat and thunderstorms this Friday in Austria

Though the day starts sunny in most of Austria, the afternoon should bring showers and thunderstorms, especially above the mountains. In the east, it should be more stable and sunny, Austria’s meteorologic agency ZAMG said. Afternoon temperatures will be between 22C and 27C.

During the evening hours, the rain will subside and dry weather generally prevails. Low temperatures will be between 8C and 17C.

“In Vienna, sunny weather prevails, even if clouds seem denser. Short rains cannot be ruled out”, ZAMG says. Afternoon temperatures will be around 27C. The night will be around 16C.

READ ALSO: Wild weather in Austria: How to protect yourself during summer storms

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For members


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

Centre-right ÖVP announces new general secretary, Austria loses against France in Nations League and more news from Austria on Friday.

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

Christian Stocker tapped as new ÖVP general secretary

After the resignation of Laura Sachslehner, who said she no longer felt as if the centre-right party was being “true” to its roots, National Council member Christian Stocker will replace her.

The party announced the decision early this Friday.

Stocker is a lawyer with his firm in Lower Austria. He was a vice-mayor for 22 years in Wiener Neustadt and has been a member of the National Council (Austria’s parliament) since 2019. The 62-year-old has also been a part of the ÖVP Corruption Committee in parliament, where he has been vocal in defending his party against accusations of corruption.

READ ALSO: ÖVP General Secretary resigns

Austria lost 2-0 to France in their Nations League clash on Thursday in Paris

Mbappe showcased his phenomenal pace and strength on the way before finishing emphatically to put the reigning world champions ahead in the 56th minute at the Stade de France.

The recalled Olivier Giroud doubled their lead nine minutes later as France ran out deserved winners to stave off the threat of relegation from the top tier of the Nations League, a competition they won just last year.

After the defeat, Austria stands last in Group 1, with just four points (France is third with five), and could face relegation in the UEFA Nations League.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Who is Austria’s new football coach Ralf Rangnick?

MFG candidate considers runoff possible in presidential elections

Federal presidential candidate Michael Brunner of the anti-coronavirus-measures party MFG (Menschen-Freiheit-Grundrechte – People’s Freedom Fundamental Rights) expects a relatively large number of votes in the election due on October 9th. He also considers entry into the runoff election to be entirely possible.

In any case, he sees “enormous support” among the population, as Brunner noted Thursday evening in an interview with ZIB2.

Brunner disregards polls that see him with only two percent of the vote. “Poll results are one thing, election results are another”, he said.

READ ALSO: Austrian presidential elections: Who are the seven candidates?

Coach crashes down a slope in Salzkammergut

Four people were seriously injured and 20 slightly injured in a bus accident in the Styrian Salzkammergut on Thursday evening, Kurier reported.

A coach with a total of 32 occupants had fallen down a slope near Bad Mitterndorf, district Liezen, and overturned, as the Provincial Police Directorate of Styria told the Austrian press.

The coach from the Styrian district of Hartberg-Fürstenfeld was on its way to Grundlsee, according to police. The bus was travelling on an unpaved road for reasons that are still unclear.


Screenshot from ZAMG

Friday has extremely sunny weather in Austria, the country’s meteorology institute ZAMG said.

Often, only a few thin veil clouds will pass through from the west during the day, and individual spring clouds will also appear. However, rain showers are almost impossible, ZAMG said.

The daytime highs are between 15C and 21C.

If you have any questions about life in Austria, ideas for articles or news tips for The Local, please get in touch with us at [email protected].