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TODAY IN AUSTRIA

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

ÖVP suffers election setback in Tyrol, Austria relegated in Nations League, Vienna investing billions in hospitals and more news from Austria on Monday.

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
Austria's midfielder Christophe Baumgartner celebrates after scoring the equalising goal 1:1 during the UEFA Nations League, league A, Group 1 football match betwen Austria and Croatia in Vienna, Austria, on September 25, 2022. (Photo by Joe Klamar / AFP)

Tyrol likely to have a black-red coalition in government

Centre-right party ÖVP, which leads the Austrian federal government, suffered a decisive defeat in its stronghold Tyrol. In the eastern state, the “black” party lost 9.6 percent of the votes it had won in the previous elections.

The party, led nationwide by chancellor Karl Nehammer, will now go into coalition negotiations, but experts believe the most likely outcome is an ÖVP-SPÖ coalition in the state. The centre-left SPÖ party has 17.5 percent of the vote.

Another possibility – less likely – is a coalition with the far-right FPÖ, which won 3.3 percentual points from the last elections and now has 18.8 percent of the votes. ÖVP governor candidate Anton Mattle had already ruled out a partnership with the FPÖ but hasn’t ruled out a tripartite coalition.

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

Austria relegated after loss to Croatia

Croatia booked their place in the UEFA Nations League Finals with a 3-1 win over Austria in Vienna on Sunday, which also consigned the Austrians to relegation from League A.

The visitors took the lead early with a Luka Modric goal, but Austria were able to strike back soon after when Christoph Baumgartner scored a header. In the second half, though, the Croatians dominated and scored twice to guarantee a place in the Nations League Finals.

As a result of the loss, Austria’s football team, also known by its nickname Das Team, suffered relegation.

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

Vienna to invest €3.3 billion in city hospitals

The City of Vienna announced it will invest €3.3 billion to modernise all city hospitals by 2040. “Extensive renovations are intended to ensure that the best possible care in all medical disciplines is guaranteed throughout Vienna in the future – from cancer treatment to heart surgery,” according to a government press release.

The first steps have already been taken in the Favoriten and Ottakring clinics.

“The clinics will not only be brought up to the latest state of the art or science, but they will also be converted to climate-friendly standards and their structure will be flexible so that future scientific or medical developments can be integrated without major changes,” said Peter Hacker, Vienna City Councilor for Health.

READ ALSO: Could Austria be spared another wave of Covid this winter?

Heating oil prices are rising in Austria

The new CO2 tax will enter into force in October in Austria, increasing diesel and gasoline prices but also making heating oil more expensive, 5min reported.

While in September 2021, it was still possible to pay 0.802 cents per litre of heating oil, the price almost doubled this month to €1.577 – and it will become €0.9 more expensive yet as of next month.

READ ALSO: ‘I feel ripped off’: What it’s really like living in Austria right now

Weather

Screenshot from ZAMG

In the west and south, showers are to be expected, Austria’s meteorological institute ZAMG said. In the north and east, the the storms will subside and sunny weather will prevail at times, but towards evening the tendency for rain will increase again.

The wind will be light to moderate from the south. In the afternoon, temperatures should be between 14C to 20C.

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].

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TODAY IN AUSTRIA

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

Paediatricians warn of respiratory diseases, ex-Wirecard CEO to go on trial, Austria to seize cars from illegal road racers and more news from Austria on Tuesday.

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
  • Paediatricians warn of respiratory diseases 

Influenza, Covid, colds and, above all, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV): these viruses are pushing paediatric wards and hospital doctors to their limits. 

It’s being exacerbated by the acute shortage of paediatricians and supply problems with medicines, broadcaster ORF reported.

The Viennese paediatrician Peter Voitl told Austrian media that what is happening in his and other paediatricians’ practices is “unbelievable”. 

“Countless children” are currently coming into the practice – and because the children’s departments of the hospitals are also at their limits, many can “currently only be treated as outpatients”. But they actually need appropriate treatment and monitoring in the hospital, he added.

Voitl has appealed to people to get vaccinated against influenza. This is because multiple infections – and thus an illness from both RSV and influenza – is also possible.

READ ALSO: Reader question: How to get a flu vaccination in Austria?

  • Five books to read to understand Austria

Austria is a small landlocked country of about 9 million residents, but it was once a powerful (and enormous) empire. How did that change? Here are five books that can help you understand the country as it is now.

  • Ex-Wirecard CEO goes on trial over ‘unparalleled’ fraud

Austrian-born Markus Braun and two other former Wirecard executives will appear in the courtroom Thursday on charges of commercial gang fraud, breach of trust, market manipulation and accounting manipulation.

Once hailed as a standard-bearer for the German tech industry, Wirecard imploded spectacularly in 2020 after admitting that €1.9 billion missing from its accounts probably didn’t exist.

The Munich district court has scheduled 100 court dates for the mammoth trial, The Local Germany reported.

Braun, who has been in custody for over two years, denies any wrongdoing.

The 53-year-old has pointed the finger at Wirecard’s fugitive former chief operating officer, Jan Marsalek, a shadowy figure with alleged ties to foreign intelligence agencies.

READ ALSO: Austria detains ex-spy suspected of selling secrets to Russia

  • Austria to seize cars from illegal road racers

Austria announced plans on Monday to toughen legislation looking to curb illegal street races in the country, including the seizure of vehicles, as The Local reported.

“If you don’t have a car anymore, you can’t race”, Environment Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) said on Monday when the government announced plans to toughen legislation against illegal street racing. 

According to the government’s plans, drivers in Austria who are found guilty of extreme speeding will have their cars seized and auctioned off. In addition, the administration wants to deter what they called “boy racers” by threatening to take away their prize possession.

If someone drives more than 60 kilometres per hour above the speed limit within a local area – or 70 kilometres per hour outside it – the car will, in future, be confiscated by the police directly on the spot. The driver’s licence will also be taken away.

READ ALSO: Austrian citizenship: Can you be rejected because of a driving offence?

  • Weather

Screenshot from ZAMG

Rain or snow will continue to fall at times, especially in the northern regions, with the snow line at 300 to 900m, Austria’s meteorologic institute ZAMG said. 

On the other hand, there is widespread sunny weather in the west and south, with only a little cloud cover. 

There will be a light to moderate wind from the west. In the east, wind could be brisk in some areas. The daily high temperature ranges between 3C and 9C.

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].

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