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Today in Austria For Members

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

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected]
Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
A woman watches people dancing during the opening ceremony at the Vienna State Opera during the annual Opera Ball in Vienna, Austria on February 20, 2020. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

Police arrests man suspected of two murders, one of Austria's most traditional balls is held again, man attacks wife and goes on a rampage in Linz and more news from Austria on Tuesday.

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  • Police arrests man suspected of two murders

Two murder cases committed in the first days of the new year in Vienna-Donaustadt and in Vienna-Floridsdorf have been solved, according to the public prosecutor's office and the Vienna regional police directorate.

A 50-year-old homeless Polish citizen was arrested, suspected of killing a 74-year-old pharmacist in Donaustadt (22nd district) and a 31-year-old mother of two in Floridsdorf (21st district) in Vienna. The crimes happened on January 1st and January 8th, respectively.

The suspect was identified because he returned to the second crime scene and was seen by reporters, who alerted the authorities. Police were able to question him and match his DNA to a high degree of certainty in the first murder case. The comparison results with traces in the second case are still pending.

The man had already ​​allegedly committed a total of 23 offences ranging from theft to assault to robbery between 2001 and 2018 in Germany before coming to Austria. Here, he was first wanted in 2020 for shoplifting and then for abuse against his partner.

When questioned by the police, he was so aggressive that no motive could be assessed. He hadn't stolen anything besides the pharmacist's wallet and shoes and had left the crime scenes disorganised - he was also possibly drunk. A psychiatric evaluation was commissioned, and he is currently committed to the Josefstadt Prison.

READ ALSO: Brutal murder of 31-year-old mother of two shocks Austria

  • EXPLAINED: How Vienna plans to make its public transport functional again

For months, Vienna buses, trams and metros have suffered from staff shortages that have affected service and train intervals. Here's what the government intends to do about it.

  • Man attacks wife and goes on a rampage in Linz

A man attacked his partner with a knife and went on a rampage running away from the police in Linz, Austrian media reported. The woman called the authorities and was sent to a hospital with serious stab wounds. Her partner went to her workplace, where he threatened a coworker before fleeing the scene.

As he was trying to leave the city, he ran over a police barricade set up to stop him, seriously injuring two officers. The man then stole an assault rifle from one of them and used it to threaten a motorist into giving him his car. 

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The fugitive causes another traffic accident but is then arrested by the police - five to seven shots were fired in total in the process, but nobody else was injured. The public prosecutor's office in Upper Austria said an investigation was underway, and the man will likely be charged with attempted murder.

READ ALSO: What happens if you get arrested in Austria?

  • Opernball 2023: one of Austria's most traditional balls is held again

The Covid-19 pandemic also hit a Viennese institution hard. For two years, the "Ball of Balls", as the Opera Ball is known, had to be cancelled due to the high number of infections. But now it is set to take place again on February 16th.

Tickets go for €350, but it is also possible to watch the rehearsal the day before for €30.

You can check out more information HERE.

  • Thousands of workers are needed in childcare

At a press conference on Monday, Provincial Governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP) called attention to the need to hire 600 elementary teachers and up to 1,750 caregivers in the state, broadcaster ORF reported. According to Education Provincial Councilor Christiane Teschl-Hofmeister (ÖVP), pilot kindergartens in all six education regions will open their doors to two-year-olds as early as the fall.

The plan is to expand childcare successively until 2027. "We assume that at least 150 new elementary teachers will be needed each year," Mikl-Leitner said in St. Pölten. An advance has already been made, she said, by recently adding 60 more educators to the 300 usually needed each year: "At the moment, we don't feel a bottleneck."

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At the same time, a "bundle of measures" is being implemented to attract more elementary educators. For example, there are already binding job offers in the last year of training, and the lower-paid entry phase is being shortened from three years to one year. In addition, paid internships are to be made possible during training.

READ ALSO: The verdict: Is it worth enrolling your kids in one of Vienna’s international schools?

  • Weather

Screenshot from ZAMG  

In general, the clouds will clear up more in the afternoon and the rain will subside for the most part during the day, Austria's meteorologic institute ZAMG said. 

On the northern side of the Alps, from Salzburg eastward, however, dense clouds and some rain are still to be expected. Snow will fall about 600 to 800m above sea level.

 Afternoon temperatures are between 3C and 9C.

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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