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TODAY IN AUSTRIA

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

New appointments available for flu vaccinations, SPÖ chancellor candidate, earthquake in Tyrol and more news from Austria on Thursday.

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
The flu vaccination campaign focuses on people older than 65, but the vaccine is recommended to all. (Photo by JORGE GUERRERO / AFP)
  • Austrian Christmas traditions: The festive dates you need to know

Catholics celebrate the first Sunday of Advent this weekend, and Austrians are ready for the season with crowns, demon-like creatures lurking, and a winged baby that brings children toys. Here are the main festive dates you need to know about.

  • Vienna offers 64,000 Influenza vaccination appointments

The City of Vienna has made available another 64,000 influenza vaccination appointments for December in the city’s vaccination centres and those of the ÖGK. 

The 50,000 appointments available in November are almost fully booked and a total of 226,600 of the available 400,000 influenza vaccine doses have already been used in the capital, according to the city press office.

The City of Vienna is investing a total of €9.9 million to be able to offer the flu vaccination campaign in Vienna free of charge again this year.  The campaign will run until the end of the year unless an extension becomes necessary due to high demand. 

The influenza vaccination campaign focuses on people aged over 65. This is to avoid multiple exposures to Covid-19 and the “real flu”. Chronically ill people, children and health or care workers are also among the priority target groups. However, influenza vaccination is also recommended to all other people.

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

  • Who will be the SPÖ candidate for the chancellery?

Pamela Rendi-Wagner sees herself as the prominent name to head a federal campaign with centre-left party SPÖ. 

“I will be the top candidate in the next National Council election,” she said in an interview with “oe24.TV” on Wednesday. The statement came after a regional Burgenland SPÖ poll saw the party rise in voting intention when led by ​​Burgenland’s governor Hans Peter Doskozil.

Salzburg’s regional party leader David Egger also came out in support of Doskozil: “Hans Peter Doskozil is doing a top job,” he told the Salzburger Nachrichten.

Asked whether the poll commissioned by the SPÖ Burgenland, in which Doskozil does better as a fictitious top candidate, affected her, Rendi-Wagner replied: “No, it doesn’t hit me. There have been countless polls in recent years and they change quickly,” Der Standard reported. However, she reiterated that she is still the candidate for the party.

Austria is scheduled to have a national election for the National Council, and a new chancellor, in 2024.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How do Austrians elect their chancellor?

  • Earthquake of magnitude 2.4 registered in Tyrol

An earthquake of magnitude 2.4 occurred in the Stubai Alps in Tyrol on Wednesday, the Austrian Seismological Service of the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) reported. 

According to the report, the population felt the quake in isolated cases as tremors. However, the institute said no damage to buildings is expected at this magnitude, the institute said.

  • Vorarlberg abandons plans for a large-scale asylum centre

The state of Vorarlberg has abandoned plans to rent a commercial hall in Schwarzach as accommodation for 150 refugees, Austrian media reported.

As the Vorarlberg daily newspapers and ORF Radio Vorarlberg reported on Wednesday, the property owner had put restrictions on use, excluding using the hall as living quarters.

The responsible regional councillor Christian Gantner (ÖVP) declared the project off.

There are currently about 3,100 refugees housed in Vorarlberg, but in line with the deal between Austrian provinces and the government, there should be 4,000. About 57 percent of them come from Ukraine.

READ ALSO: Tents for asylum seekers stir debate in Austria

  • Weather

Screenshot from ZAMG

On the northern side of the Alps and partly in the east, dense clouds will persist during the day, Austria’s meteorologic institute ZAMG said. Rain showers are expected and, above 900m, snow will fall. 

In the afternoon, the clouds will gradually clear in the west. In the south, however, it will remain generally rainless and sunny during the day after a frosty morning. The wind will be moderate in the Danube region and at the eastern edge of the Alps brisk from westerly directions. The daily high temperature is 4C to 11C.

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].

Member comments

    1. Hi! Depends on which province you are. Vienna, for example, has a campaign and you can schedule an appointment with the impfservice.

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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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