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TODAY IN AUSTRIA

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

Austria National Bank to face losses, Austria defeat Italy in friendly match, inflation cuts winter vacations short and more news from Austria on Monday.

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
People enter the building of the Austrian National Bank (Oesterreichische Nationalbank) in Vienna. (Photo by ALEXANDER KLEIN / AFP)
  • Austria’s National Bank faces losses as interest rises

The Austrian National Bank (OeNB) will face losses this quarter after raising interest rates and facing changes in the financial market worldwide, the newspaper Der Standard reported. 

The lender’s only shareholder, the Austrian Republic, will see no more profit distributions “for a while”, the daily added.

On the one hand, central banks now collect lower yields on the investment of their reserves in shares and bonds. Moreover, the days when commercial banks had to pay so-called negative interest rates for their deposits with the OeNB are over.

All these developments will have a negative impact on the OeNB’s operating result for 2022, as they will on other central banks around the world. The bank traditionally only releases yearly results in March of the following year. However, a spokesperson for OeNB already confirmed the forecast is unfavourable “as well as those of other central banks worldwide”.

READ ALSO: How expensive are gas and electricity in Austria right now?

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

With inflation hitting double digits, consumers in Austria are really feeling the pinch, particularly in the supermarket. Here are some simple tips on how you can save money on your grocery shopping.

  • Austria defeat European Champion Italy 2:0

In an almost empty stadium in Austria and on the day of the World Cup opening game, Austria and Italy – both teams failed to qualify for the games in Qatar – faced each other in a friendly match.

The home team, playing at the Ernst Happel Stadium (Vienna) in front of 18,000 people (the stadium holds 48,000) scored twice with Schlager making the first goal at minute six and Alaba kicking off the second at 35 minutes.

READ ALSO: Where to watch the Qatar World Cup on TV in Austria

  • Inflation is cutting winter vacations short

Inflation makes forecasts for tourism demand in winter particularly difficult this year. However, tourism researcher Mike Peters told broadcaster ORF that the increased costs will have an impact on the travel behaviour of guests.

Many guests should arrive later or look for cheaper accommodation. “They are more likely to travel on Tuesday in the morning instead of Monday afternoon,” said Peters. Another possibility: the tourists look for cheaper accommodation. This could be necessary in some cases such as Tirol. There, hotels have already increased their prices by 20 to 30 percent.

However, there is “hope” in “loyal guests”, who are said to be enthusiastic skiers and, in particular, the “good” skiers, the expert said.

READ ALSO: Reader question: Is travelling to Austria this winter worth it?

  • Virologists say now is the time to get the flu vaccination

According to the flu reporting service, there are currently around 10,000 suspected cases per week in Vienna, broadcaster ORF said. A few hundred turned out to be actual cases of influenza, with a slight upward trend. 

“Now is the ideal time for the flu vaccination,” advised virologist Monika Redlberger-Fritz.

“Right now, we’re on the verge of a flu epidemic,” Redlberger-Fritz said. After the vaccination, it takes about one to two weeks until the immune system is sufficiently trained and protected against the flu – so you should get vaccinated now, she stated.

Flu vaccination is generally recommended for all people who want to protect themselves and approved vaccines are available for everyone over the age of six months. 

The National Vaccination Panel recommends vaccination particularly urgently, for example, for people over 60, pregnant women and babies and young children – as they have an increased risk of a severe course.

READ ALSO: Masks against Covid and flu: What’s ahead for Austria this winter

  • Weather

Screenshot from ZAMG

The clouds will remain relatively dense for the time being, from Vorarlberg to western Lower Austria it will rain at times, Austria’s meteorologic institute said. The snow line will be between 700 and 1200m. 

In the course of the day, dry weather will slowly prevail everywhere and the sun will shine more frequently in the afternoon in all parts of the country. The wind will be light to moderate in the Danube area temporarily brisk from southwest to west. 

The daily high temperature is 4C to 10C.

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 percent, according to calculations by Statistics Austria, as part of a flash estimate. Compared to the previous month, consumer prices rose by 0.3 percent.

“After reaching 11.0 percent in October 2022, the highest inflation rate in 70 years, it is expected to ease to 10.6 percent 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 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 clouds, 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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