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TODAY IN AUSTRIA

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

Delayed Klimabonus payments, Influenza wave coming to Austria, 2023 budget approved by National Council and more news from Austria on Friday.

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
A flu wave is coming to Austria. (Photo: Getty Images)
  • Not enough information on missed Klimabonus payments

Most people living in Austria have already received their €500 Klimabonus (an anti-inflation measure by the government) payment. However, the government estimates that around 400,000 people are still waiting for the payment – and those expecting it get very little to no information on what is happening.

Many of the people affected are EU citizens or third-country citizens, the Ministry said. However, there needs to be more transparency on who is affected by the delays and why.

“For some groups of EU citizens or third-country nationals, there are currently still some problems with the automated entitlement check by the Ministry of the Interior.”, according to the Ministry of Climate.

The government added: “Every effort is being taken to find a solution, please bear with us.

You will receive your payment for 2022 in the second wave of payments starting February 2023.”

READ ALSO: Klimabonus in Austria: What to do if you miss the pickup deadline for your voucher

  • Have your say: What’s been your experience speaking English in Austria?

It’s not uncommon for immigrants who arrive in Austria without knowing any German to rely on their English skills to get by. But how much can you use it in daily life?

Let us know HERE.

  • Influenza wave expected for the coming weeks

The ‘flu pandemic’ is coming, experts told the newspaper Der Standard. They also said there would likely be a particularly high wave after hardly any cases were registered in the past two years. 

The measures against Covid-19 not only prevented infections with Sars-CoV-2 but also curbed the spread of influenza and other cold viruses.

According to the Center for Virology at MedUni Vienna, only a “slight upward trend” has been observed in influenza throughout Europe so far.

In principle, the influenza vaccination provides good protection against symptomatic infection for four months: “About 80 percent for H1 viruses, about 50 to 60 percent for H3 strains and 60 to 70 percent for B viruses,” said Monika Redlberger-Fritz, a virologist from Med-Uni Vienna.

She added: “But even with vaccine breakthroughs, you are still very well protected against complications, hospitalisations and death.”

READ ALSO: Colds and flu: What to do and say if you get sick in Austria

  • Austria issues more than 115,000 digital driving licences

More than 115,000 people have downloaded their digital driving licences in Austria since the system was introduced last month, Die Presse reported. Police officers have scanned the licences around 4,600 times so far, according to data from the Interior Ministry.

The digital driving licence is Austria’s first digital identity card.

Currently, the digital driver’s licence is only recognised in Austria. However, it is based on the eIDAS Regulation of the European Union and should be recognised throughout the EU in the future.

READ ALSO: Reader question: Can I take the Austrian driving licence test in English?

  • National Council approves 2023 budget

The National Council passed the budget for next year on Thursday evening, broadcaster ORF reported. 

It had been debated in plenary sessions since Tuesday, with some sharp disagreements between the opposition and the government. 

The overall budget for 2023 is marked by rampant inflation and high energy prices due to the Ukraine war.

READ ALSO: Austria’s 2023 budget: Where is the money going and how will it affect you?

  • Weather

Screenshot from ZAMG

Apart from a few clearings, it will be mostly overcast, partly foggy at the beginning and in many places intermittent rain, least in the south, Austria’s meteorologic institute ZAMG said.

The snow line is mostly between 1700m and 1100m. 

In the afternoon, colder air will gradually seep into the northeast, and in the Weinviertel and parts of the Waldviertel, there will be some sleet or snowfall. 

The daily high temperature is 4C to 10C in the afternoon, colder in the northeast.

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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For members

TODAY IN AUSTRIA

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

Austrian rail strike to last all day, mild winter ahead, sale of online tickets for Lower Austrian ski resorts starts and more news from Austria on Monday.

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
  • Austrian rail strike to last all day

Austria’s ÖBB rail workers began a strike on Monday involving all train traffic nationwide after salary negotiations ended with no deal. 

The movement affects ÖBB trains but also some regional transport, including the S-Bahn system that goes through Vienna. In the Austrian capital, transport operated by Wiener Linien, which includes metros, buses and trams, won’t be affected.

Additionally, cross-border rail traffic and trains from Westbahn will be hurt as ÖBB also operates Austrian train stations.

Due to the all-day strike, there may also be individual train cancellations on Tuesday, November 29th. Information on this can be found in the ÖBB timetable information SCOTTY.

Worker unions have asked for a €400 pay rise as inflation increases in Austria.

READ ALSO: Austrian railway workers set to strike after pay talks fall flat

  • Everything that changes in Austria in December 2022

From public holidays, ski season and Christmas festivities to changes in transport timetable and bonus payments, here are some of the most important changes you need to be aware of in Austria in December.

  • More than 800 hospital beds had to be closed in Vienna

The staff shortages in the hospital sector are becoming more visible. Recently, almost 16 percent of the hospital beds in the Vienna Health Network were closed because there weren’t enough people to attend to them or because of renovations or technical maintenance, the newspaper Der Standard reported. 

In the Austrian capital, there are currently 900 vacancies in nursing and 91 vacancies for doctors in the public system.

As of November 22nd, 820 hospital beds were blocked in the Vienna Health Association (Wigev), as the municipal hospital operator stated in response to an enquiry from the newspaper. However, the number of blocked beds could still increase as the flu season peaks and more staff has to go on sick leave.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What is Austria’s controversial project to recruit nursing staff from Vietnam?

  • Mild winter hurts the chances of a white Christmas

Soon it will be Christmas Eve and the suspense is rising on whether there will be a white Christmas, especially at low altitudes, broadcaster ORF said.

The weather models do not yet reach that far, but ORF Vorarlberg meteorologist Thomas Rinderer has looked at the statistics. On average, there is a white Christmas in Bregenz every three to six years. The last time was in 2011, so statistically speaking, a white Christmas in the Rhine Valley would be more than overdue

However, the first long-term forecasts see a relatively mild winter overall. It is also unlikely that an extremely cold winter is imminent..

READ ALSO: ​​Austrian Christmas traditions: The festive dates you need to know

  • Online tickets for ski resorts sale start on Thursday

Daily and multi-day tickets can be purchased online for ecoplus Alpin GmbH ski resorts in Lower Austria from Thursday. The start of the season in the province is scheduled for 8 December.

“The principle is well known: the earlier you book, the cheaper it is. This early booking discount also applies at the weekends,” Tourism Provincial Councillor Jochen Danninger (ÖVP) stated in a press release.

He added: “We want to increase the occupancy rate over the entire winter season. There will be offers for adult day tickets starting at just €29.”

Tickets for Hochkar Bergbahnen, Ötscherliften, Annaberger Liften and Erlebnisalm Mönichkirchen can be purchased at www.freundederberge.at.

READ ALSO: How to save money and still go skiing in Austria

  • Weather

Screenshot from ZAMG

Today there will be mostly cloudy skies in the north, east and southeast with persistent fog, according to Austria’s meteorologic institute ZAMG. 

In the west, there will be some local rain. The snow line will fluctuate between 800 and 1300m above sea level. The wind will be light to moderate, in the eastern lowlands increasingly brisk from southeast to east. Daytime highs are between 1C and 9C, with the highest temperatures in the west.

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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