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TODAY IN AUSTRIA

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

Tyrol coalition talks begin without the FPÖ, Austria and Germany in negotiations over gas deal, rents are going up in Vienna and more news from Austria on Tuesday.

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
Some rents in Vienna are going up in October

Tyrol coalition talks to happen without the FPÖ

The ÖVP, the centre-right party that got the most votes and is tasked to try and form a government in Tyrol, said they would start exploratory talks to form a coalition – with everyone except the far-right FPÖ.

The Tyrolean centre-left SPÖ, which came second after the FPÖ, said they were willing to have talks with the ÖVP, broadcaster ORF reported. However, they added they would reject a tripartite coalition, such as an alliance with ÖVP and NEOS.

The western state of Tyrol had state elections on Sunday, with ÖVP receiving 34.71 percent of the votes, down by 9.55 percentage points from the previous election.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Who will be Tyrol’s new governor?

Austria and Germany in talks over gas deal

Austria’s Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) said she was convinced that Germany would show solidarity in the event of a gas emergency.

She added there was an agreement with German Minister Robert Habeck (greens) and that a contract for a gas deal would be closed “in the next few weeks”, public broadcaster ORF said.

The comments were made during a visit to the Austrian state of Vorarlberg, where the government is asking for faster approval procedures to develop projects in renewable energy such as wind and hydropower.

READ ALSO: How European countries are spending billions on easing energy crisis

Rents in Gemeindewohnungen in Vienna are going up

Some 600 families will see their rents in their subsidy-backed apartments (the Gemeindewohnungen) going up in Vienna.

As of October, the monthly rent for the apartments with expired subsidy contracts will increase by €2.14 per square metre. This means that flats of 70 square metres could cost tenants almost €150 more a month, for example.

The renters affected are considering a class action against the state-owned Wiener Wohnen company, Vienna.at reported.

READ ALSO: Reader question: How does Vienna’s rent control system work?

Civil alarms will be tested this Saturday

Don’t get scared: on Saturday, October 1st, Austria will be testing its civil alarm system all over the country. The loud sirens (more than 8,000 of them) will be tested from 12 pm to 12:45 pm.

This particular yearly test is also intended to help people get familiarised with the alert system.

That means that besides the 15-second siren, you will also hear: a three-minute steady continue tone, which is intended as a warning, a one-minute ascending and descending wail, which is an alarm, meaning there is danger, and the one-minute steady, continuous tone that is intended to signify an all-clear.

READ ALSO: What is Austria’s official emergency-warning phone app and do I need it?

Weather

Screenshot from ZAMG

In the western half of Austria, clouds will predominate until mid-morning with local rain, Austria’s meteorologic institute ZAMG said. Then there will be an interplay of clouds and short sunny spells, with a few rain showers.

Further east, the sky is often grey in grey all day. Only towards evening the cloudiness gradually decreases. In these regions, rain is to be expected at times, especially until the early afternoon. The snow line will fluctuate between 1500 and 2000 m above sea level.

The wind will be light in the south and initially also in the east, otherwise moderate to strong from south to northwest. In the afternoon, temperatures will range from 9 to 16 degrees.

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 Friday

Inquiry commission on Wien Energie begins, verdict on Leonie-case expected for today, province leaders meeting and more news from Austria on Friday.

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
  • Austria starts inquiry committee over Wien Energie

Starting on Friday at 10 am at the Vienna City Hall, the City Council’s investigative commission on the Wien Energie case will meet every two weeks.

On the initiative of the centre-right Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) and the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ), it will investigate the events surrounding the dramatic financial needs of Wien Energie that became known in the summer. The commission can summon people to testify and request documents. 

They will focus on two issues. 

The first concerns the extent to which Mayor Michael Ludwig and City Finance Councillor Peter Hanke have exercised their ownership rights regarding Wien Energie, which is wholly owned by the city via Wiener Stadtwerke. Specifically, the commission wants to know whether the two SPÖ politicians reacted in time and appropriately to the price increases in the electricity markets in the summer. 

The second matter revolves around Ludwig’s emergency powers as head of the city, with which he granted Wien Energie loans totalling €1.4 billion. It is to be clarified whether this procedure was legally compliant and whether Ludwig should have informed committees such as the City Senate earlier.

READ ALSO: Why did Wien Energie ask for €6 billion from the Austrian government?

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

Naturalisation processes may be on the rise in Austria, but citizenship is still hard to get, and any mistake could mean you miss out on the opportunity. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Verdict on the case of the death of 13-year old that shocked Austria expected on Friday

The court case about the killed 13-year-old, Leonie W., is coming to an end, with a verdict expected on Friday. 

Zubaidullah R. (24), Ibraulhaq A. (19) and Ali H. (20) allegedly mixed ecstasy tablets into a drink for Leonie W. and then raped her in June 2021, according to prosecutors. The girl did not survive. She died of a fatal triple overdose and by suffocation inside the apartment of one of the defendants in Vienna-Donaustadt.

The men all admitted to having had sexual intercourse with a minor. However, they claim it had been consensual.

The verdicts are expected on Friday. In case of a guilty verdict, Zubaidullah R. could face ten, 20 years or life as he was older than 21 at the time of the alleged crime. Ibraulhaq A. and Ali H. each face up to 20 years.

READ ALSO: Fall-Leonie: charges filed in case of death of a 13-year-old girl in Vienna

  • Province leaders to meet in Vienna

Vienna’s mayor – and provincial governor – Michael Ludwig (SPÖ), is hosting a conference with the provincial governors on Friday. 

At the meeting in Vienna’s City Hall, the heads of the provinces will discuss, among other things, fiscal matters, broadcaster ORF reported. They had already announced in advance that they wanted a bigger slice of the revenue shares in future. But the energy crisis is also a “central focus”.

“Rising energy prices and their consequences for the economy and society are among the greatest current challenges”, the provincial governors said in a joint statement on Thursday. 

The conference will, therefore, also discuss a motion calling on the federal government to present “as soon as possible” an energy protection umbrella for business and labour as well as all households to cushion the high energy costs for Austria’s companies.

READ ALSO: Vienna Energy Bonus: How to get a €200 payout

  • Weather

Screenshot from ZAMG

Dense clouds will cover the sky; in the south, there may be some sleet and snow at low altitudes, Austria’s meteorologic institute ZAMG said. 

The snow line will be between 500 and 900m above sea level in the west. In the afternoon, the snowfall will decrease in the south. In the northern half, it may continue to snow a little.

Towards evening the snowfall will stop almost everywhere. The wind will be mostly light in the east, partly moderate from northeast to southeast. Daytime highs are between 0C and 5C.

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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