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TODAY IN AUSTRIA

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

Energy cost subsidy announced, the latest Strache controversy, weather forecast and more news from Austria on Thursday.

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

Energy cost subsidy for companies is increased

Since many companies can no longer afford the sharply increased energy costs, the government has decided to increase the budget for a subsidy from €450 million to €1.3 billion. 

Specifically, funds are earmarked for companies that spend at least much of their turnover on electricity, gas and fuels, the daily newspaper Die Presse reported.

The first money is supposed to flow later this year, but the subsidies will be retroactively paid to bills from February to September 2022.

Each company can receive up to €50 million.

READ ALSO: From lighting to ice skating: How Vienna plans to save energy

Tyrol could have a three-way coalition

In Tyrol, there will likely be either a two-party coalition of centre-right ÖVP and centre-left SPÖ or a tripartite alliance of ÖVP, Greens and Neos. 

Anton Mattle, the  ÖVP candidate tasked with forming the state’s new government, will invite these parties “in a timely manner” to an exploratory round before a final decision on coalition negotiations, he told journalists on Wednesday evening after the initial discussion round in Innsbruck’s Landhaus.

Tyrol had state elections on Sunday, and the ÖVP suffered a significant loss, though it was the most voted party. It now needs to enter into an agreement with other parties to form a parliamentary majority.

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

Former vice-chancellor Strache makes headlines again

If you see the face of former vice-chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache (formerly FPOe) on the news often this week – and maybe even on one or two satirical drawings, that’s because of the latest, well, gossip regarding the politician.

The once powerful politician fell in disgrace after a video of him bragging about his party’s influence on Austrian media and organisations leaked. The video, shot with a hidden camera and the help of people pretending to have ties with Russian oligarchs, was filmed on the Spanish island of Ibiza. It was released in 2019 and crumbled the OeVP-FPOe coalition. 

Since then, both parties, and Strache, have faced corruption allegations and charges.

Now, the controversy surrounding the former vice-chancellor also involves his personal life. He recently divorced from long-time partner Philippa Strache, an Austrian politician who stood by him during the Ibiza affair. 

The reason came out this week: Strache apparently hid the fact he had a child with another woman from his wife. A daughter was born in 2016, just eight months before the lavishing Strache wedding ceremony in Wachau.

READ ALSO: ‘Ibizagate’: What you need to know about the Austrian political corruption scandal

Weather

Screenshot from ZAMG  

Numerous cloud fields will cover the country, the sun will only appear occasionally and there will still be rain showers in the morning, especially in the eastern half, Austria´s meteorological institute ZAMG said.

In the afternoon, the precipitation will decrease, but in the west and south of Austria, rain and showers will set in again with the arrival of the next disturbance. The snow line will be around 2000m above sea level. 

Winds will often be light from mainly northerly directions. Afternoon temperatures should stay between 9 and 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 Thursday

Start of the electricity price brake in Austria, inflation to drop slightly in November, Austrian released from Iranian jail for medical treatment and more news from Austria on Thursday.

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
  • Start of electricity price brake in Austria

From Thursday, the electricity price brake will come into force for every household with a valid electricity contract and the effects should be seen in the electricity bills. 

According to the government, the measure will save households an average of €500 a year. 

The price of electricity will be subsidised up to a consumption of 2,900 kilowatt hours, the government said. Until that limit, it will cost only ten cents per kilowatt hour – the energy price from before the current energy crisis.

Above that consumption limit, people will have to pay market prices for what they consume.

READ ALSO: How could Austria’s new electricity price brake benefit you?

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

Austrian doctors and virologists have warned of a particularly strong flu wave this winter and recommend that people get vaccinated. Here’s how to get the shot in each province.

  • Flash estimate puts November inflation at 10.6 percent

The inflation rate for November 2022 is expected to be 10.6 %, according to calculations by Statistics Austria, as part of a flash estimate. Compared to the previous month, consumer prices rose by 0.3 %.

“After reaching 11.0% in October 2022, the highest inflation rate in 70 years, it is expected to ease to 10.6% in November 2022. This is mainly because the upward pressure on prices for the main inflation drivers, household energy and fuel, is weakening slightly”, said Statistics Austria Director General Tobias Thomas.

The index level of consumer price index and other results for November 2022 will be announced on December 16th 2022.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: 10 ways to save money on your groceries in Austria

  •    Austria welcomes Iran freeing Austrian for medical treatment

Vienna on Wednesday welcomed the release of an  Austrian from prison in Iran to get medical treatment.

Massud Mossaheb, a 76-year-old Austrian citizen of Iranian origin who was jailed in Iran on charges of espionage, was freed last week. He has spent almost four years at Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.

“We have been raising the issue at the highest levels and we welcome that  these diplomatic endeavours have now produced first results,” a foreign  ministry spokeswoman said

 “As far as we are concerned, we will continue with everything in our hands  to work for a humanitarian solution in all cases of Austrians imprisoned.”

Two other Austrians are currently detained in Iran.

  • Austrian actress Christiane Hörbiger died aged 84

Christiane Hörbiger, one of Austria’s most beloved actresses, died on Wednesday at the age of 84, several Austrian media reported. She was one of the actress daughters of legendary Austrian actors Attila Hörbiger and Paula Wessely. 

She had great successes with television series such as ‘Das Erbe der Guldenburgs’ or ‘Julia’, but also with cinema and television films such as Helmut Dietl’s award-winning satire ‘Schtonk’.

Hörbiger, known as the grande dame of Austrian cinema, also performed in theatres in the Alpine country and Europe.

READ ALSO: Austria’s empress: These are the latest TV shows and movies about Sissi

  • The city of Graz promotes Counselling Café

Do you need information, advice, support with family or even neighbourhood issues? Do you need to learn how to get social benefits or care allowances? Do you have questions about allowances or the Senior:innencard? Or about the SozialCard? Do you need an overview of services for the disabled? Or do you have questions about compulsory training or youth coaching?

If so, you are welcome to the Beratungscafe, or counselling Café, an open counselling table on social issues promoted by the City of Graz.

Just drop by – without registration: the counselling service is free of charge and voluntary for children, young people and adults, the government said.

The counselling café takes place twice a month, on Wednesdays and the next date is December 7th from 2 pm to 4 pm at the SMZ Stadtteilzentrum Jakomini. You can see all the dates, times and addresses HERE.

READ ALSO: Salzburg, Linz, Graz: Where are Austria’s biggest companies?

  • Weather
Screenshot from ZAMG

Especially in the south, there will be dense cloud masses, and it will continue to rain and snow occasionally, Austria’s meteorologic institute ZAMG said. 

The snowfall limits lie between 500 and 800m in the east during the day and in the south around 1000m. In the afternoon, the clouds will clear from the east. In Tyrol, the sun will even show up for a bit.

Early temperatures are minus 3C to plus 2C, while daytime highs are 1C to 6C.

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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