Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
More train strikes likely ahead, Vienna announces €200 energy payout, masks in public transport and more news from Austria on Tuesday.
- Employers have 'little hope' in negotiations with rail workers
After a 24 hours strike that affected all nationwide trains in Austria, employers have "little hope" in the negotiations with trade unions, the newspaper Der Standard reported.
They expect further industrial action from the transport and services union Vida. The parties in the dispute have irreconcilable demands, the newspaper added. On Monday, the head of trade union Vida said there was a lot of "catching up" to do in terms of wages for the approximately 50,000 railway workers and that what employers had offered was not nearly sufficient.
Vida, the trade union representing the workers, has asked for a wage increase of €400 – an average increase of around 12 percent. In response, Austria’s Chamber of Commerce offered a rise of 8 percent.
- Vienna Energy Bonus: How to get a €200 payout
The City of Vienna announced on Monday, November 28th, more government assistance to cushion rising costs for residents.
Viennese households will receive €200 in a new “energy bonus’, according to statements given by the City Councillor for Finance Peter Hanke (SPÖ). The administration said the bonus would benefit about two-thirds of all city homes, as The Local reported on Monday. Here is what you need to know about the scheme and how to apply for the benefit.
- No road traffic chaos after the train strike
There was no vast traffic chaos on Monday - especially at the entrances to the city of Vienna.
Commuters had, as far as possible, organised substitutes for the train or stayed in their home offices. "The morning peaks lasted a little longer than usual, but there were no kilometre-long traffic jams," said a spokeswoman for Asfinag, the public company that operates the autobahn.
She said they had increased route staff and cancelled daytime roadworks to keep roads clear to relieve the situation. After the coronavirus pandemic, companies and workers were also better used to switching to working from home.
- Mask mandate to stay unchanged during Vienna winter
The FFP2 mask mandate in the Austrian capital Vienna is likely to stay in place during the whole winter, Mayor Michael Ludwig (SPÖ) told Austrian media.
He said: "It makes sense to keep certain measures in place during the colder months of the year."
The head of the city assumes that the rules will apply until the end of winter because the situation is not likely to ease significantly during the cold season. In any case, he said he would continue to consult with his team of experts. "They have guided me well through the crisis so far," Ludwig added.
Measures such as PCR tests and the compulsory use of FFP2 for hospital visitors will also stay in place for the time being.
- Austrian satisfaction with politics plummets
Satisfaction with the political system in Austria has fallen to its lowest level since the survey began in 2018 in SORA's annual Democracy Monitor. More people than ever also want a "strong leader".
In concrete terms, only 34 percent of those surveyed now think that the political system in Austria functions well. Five years ago, satisfaction in the "Democracy Monitor" was 30 percentage points higher (64 percent).
Trust in institutions also continued to decline year-on-year: the federal government is currently trusted by 33 percent (down nine percentage points), parliament by 38 percent (down eight percentage points) and the federal president by 53 percent (down six percentage points).
Thirty-eight percent of respondents also currently cannot find a political party that represents their concerns, compared to only 13 percent in 2018.
According to SORA, one reason for the loss of confidence is that political actors are failing to address particularly important issues in a way that inspires confidence.
Most people name inflation (42 percent) as their most pressing political concern at the moment, followed by economic inequality (20 percent), climate change (15 percent), the war in Ukraine (14 percent) and immigration and integration (13 percent).
- National vaccination panel updates recommendations
The Austrian National Vaccination Panel has updated its recommendations on Covid vaccination on several points.
Among other things, the protein vaccine from Sanofi and the variant vaccine for children aged five years and older from BioNTech/Pfizer were included in the recommendation. In addition, it is specified that a further booster vaccination (5th dose) is currently not yet generally recommended, except for risk groups and persons over 60 years of age.
In order to ensure the best possible protection during the cold season, the experts continue to strongly recommend the completion of the basic immunisation as well as the booster vaccination (totalling four doses).
Today it will remain mostly cloudy in Austria, the country's meteorologic institute ZAMG said.
In the western half, it will rain or snow a little at times. The snow line will be between 700 and 1200m above sea level. There are only a few temporarily sunny areas, and the sun is most likely to come through briefly in the afternoon in the centre of the country.
The wind will be light in the east, moderate to brisk from north to southeast. In the afternoon, temperatures should be between 0C and 7C.
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