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

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected] • 18 Jan, 2023 Updated Wed 18 Jan 2023 07:10 CEST
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Vienna city skyline (Photo by Dimitry Anikin on Unsplash)

FPÖ targeted in investigations, rents to go up in April and more news from Austria on Wednesday.

  • Styrian FPÖ leader Mario Kunasek targeted in investigations

Austrian police are looking into allegations of financial irregularities within the far-right party FPÖ in Graz, and Styrian leader Mario Kunasek has now been targeted in the operations. 

Public prosecutors are being urged to lift his immunity as a member of parliament after allegations that he has suppressed evidence.

In 2021, shortly after the FPÖ's election defeat in the Graz city council elections, the police started investigating allegations of embezzlement involving the party. House searches were carried out and several party members are still under investigation.

READ ALSO: Austria ‘grossly deficient’ in the fight against corruption, EU says

  • ‘Explore all options’: How can parents in Austria choose the right school?

Many foreign parents in Austria are divided between choosing a state or international school. We asked some to share their advice.

  • AK warns of strong rent increase in April

The Chamber of Labor (AK) has warned of the subsequent hefty rent increase. "From April 1, the benchmark rents will rise by 8.6 percent. For tenants, these are average additional costs of about €490 a year," said the employee representation.

A family in a 90-square-metre apartment would pay around €620 more per year in rent in Vienna and around €960 more in Vorarlberg.

It calls for a restriction to a one-time rent increase per year plus a rent cap of two percent and an end to contractual time limits. 

The increase affects all contracts concluded in the past 27 years (Neubauen) and new contracts. Austria does not have a rent cap, as other countries have introduced. 

READ ALSO: From rent to bills: How much money do I need to live in Vienna?

  • SPÖ to request freezing of rents until 2025

Deputy club leader Jörg Leichtfried informed on Tuesday that the SPÖ had requested a special session of the National Council on the subject of inflation, Austrian media reported.

The centre-left opposition party wants to request, among other things, the freezing of rents until 2025, a gas price cap and establishing an "anti-inflation commission".

"We are in a dramatic situation and have a federal government that either has not recognised this drama or does not want to see it," Leichtfried said

READ ALSO: What are Austria’s Social Democratic Party’s plans for freezing rents until 2025?

  • School integration needs to get better in Austria

The integration of people with a migration history is crucial for social cohesion and an economic factor, as thousands of workers will be needed by 2030. Two new studies have examined issues surrounding the educational and professional integration of young people with migration background, the broadcaster ORF reported.

In 2021, 2.24 million people with a migration background lived in Austria, 259,000 aged 15 to 24. The University of Linz investigated how they integrate at school and in the workplace. Sociologist Johann Bacher looked at the school attendance rate, the rate of early school dropouts (after completing compulsory schooling), the attendance or completion rate of a Matura schooling and the apprenticeship rate.

The study found almost no differences between native children and second-generation children. However, first-generation kids were behind when compared to both other groups. The authors said that schools need more funds for integration and that schools with a high proportion of students with a migration background (and a first language other than German) should get more resources. 

READ ALSO: What are the best German classes for you in Vienna?

  • Weather

Screenshot from ZAMG

At the beginning of the day, rain or snowfall is still to be expected, especially in the eastern half and above the Alpine peaks. 

The snow line will lie between low elevations and around 500m above sea level. While it will continue to snow at times over the Alpine peaks in the afternoon, clouds will temporarily clear everywhere else. 

Only towards evening, especially in the south, the tendency to precipitation increases again significantly. Early temperatures minus 6C to plus 3C, daytime highs 1C to 8C, warmest in Burgenland.

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 2023/01/18 07:10

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