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.
- 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.
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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.
- 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.
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.
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