Today in Austria For Members

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

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected] • 30 Nov, 2022 Updated Wed 30 Nov 2022 07:56 CEST
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People walk during the twilight at Vienna's famous shopping Mariahilfer street decorated with Christmas lights. Commerce will remain open as strikes were avoided. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

Retail strike avoided as workers and companies reach salary deal, neonazis on trial, heating in Graz to increase and more news from Austria on Wednesday.

  • No strikes expected for the retail sector

Union workers and company representatives finally reached a deal on salaries during the fifth round of negotiations this Tuesday, Austrian media reported. They agreed on a salary increase of up to 8.67 percent and avoided a strike in the sector just ahead of Christmas. 

Rainer Trefelik, the chief negotiator for the employers, described the agreement in an interview with der Standard as "an absolute limit". He said the industry can now only hope for a good, trouble-free Christmas business.

"For us, it was very important that we could achieve a permanently effective salary agreement above the underlying inflation rate for all and a stronger increase for the lower salary groups," said trade unionist Helga Fichtinger.

READ ALSO: Strikes in Austria: How will transport and services be affected?

  • How Austria plans to secure the food supply in the event of a blackout

The energy crisis and war in Ukraine have raised fears of blackouts in Austria this winter. While the risk is low, there are plans to distribute food if the worst happens. Here is how Austria plans to secure food supply in the event of a blackout.

  • Neonazis found guilty in Wiener Neustadt court

At the Regional Court of Wr. Neustadt, two defendants were sentenced to conditional prison terms for violations of the Prohibition Act and the Weapons Act, broadcaster ORF reported. 

Among other things, they are alleged to have kept objects with Nazi connotations and prohibited weapons. The two 54-year-old defendants - a man and a woman - were sentenced to two years and 18 months in prison, respectively, in a jury trial Tuesday. However, the verdict is not yet final, according to court spokeswoman Birgit Borns.

The accused are alleged to have sent photos and videos with National Socialist ideas and kept pictures with swastikas, Nazi songbooks and other objects with Nazi references freely accessible in their residence in Landegg (district of Baden).

Furthermore, the two are alleged to have illegally possessed numerous prohibited weapons as well as war material, some of which were stored loaded and unsecured. Category B weapons, which includes revolvers and semi-automatic firearms, were also found in their home. 

READ ALSO: Is Austria’s Freedom Party a ‘far-right’ party?

  • District heating prices in Graz rise significantly

Energie Graz is increasing its prices for district heating as of December 1st, broadcaster ORF reported. The increase amounts to around €50 per month for an average household in Graz. However, the instalment amounts will be adjusted, Energie Graz said.

The current challenging situation on the energy markets, which has led to a massive increase in electricity and gas prices, also means significantly increased costs for generating district heating", the company added.

As of December 1st 2022, the energy price for district heating will increase to 15.913 cent/kWh (net) - at the same time, the energy levy will be reduced from currently 0.641 cent/kWh to 0.3 cent/kWh.

READ ALSO: ENERGY: How Austria has drastically reduced imports of Russian gas

  • Weather

Screenshot from ZAMG

Apart from only a few areas of blue skies near the Alps, the sky will be cloudy in the country due to high fog and dense clouds, Austria's meteorologic institute ZAMG said. 

From the cloud layer, it will rain intermittently in Vorarlberg as well as in the south and southeast. The snow line will be between 600 and 1000m above sea level. 

In the afternoon, the clouds will finally replace the high fog in general and in the northern foothills of the Alps, but especially in southern Lower Austria, rain must be expected locally until the evening. The wind will be light, with early temperatures between minus 3C and plus 5C. The daily high temperature will reach 1C to 8C.

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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Amanda Previdelli 2022/11/30 07:56

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