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

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected]
Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Drag queen Scalene Onixxx (R) gestures seated beside Athena Kills while reading during Drag Queen Story Hour at Cellar Door Books in Riverside, California on June 22, 2019. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP)

FPÖ requests ban on drag queen shows for children, new scam alert, storm warnings issued and more news from Austria on Thursday.


  • Vienna FPÖ requests ban on drag queen shows for children

The Viennese FPÖ has requested a special session of the Viennese parliament on the topic of "Youth protection" to bring an initiative to ban the holding of drag queen shows and events for children.

"This transgender insanity is increasingly spilling over from the USA to Europe," reads a statement from Vienna's far-right leader Dominik Nepp. There needs to be "massive resistance to this sexualisation propaganda for young children," he said.

The politician added: "Children should not be indoctrinated with the nonsense that there are more than two genders and that they can change their gender at any time." At the special session, which is still undated, the far-right party plans to ask for a ban on drag queen shows for children to be enshrined in the Child and Youth Protection Act. 

Stephane Magloire, an organiser of readings by drag queens and drag kings for children ("Drag Storytime"), has assured the online portal BuzzFeed that there is no need to panic. "It's unfortunate that in 2023, the queer community and our artistic expressions are so often misunderstood and labelled taboo, even though drag has historically been present in all art forms worldwide."

READ ALSO: What measures against foreigners is Austria’s far-right trying to take?


  • Everything you need to know about filing taxes in Austria

One of the difficult things about moving to a new country is figuring out the bureaucracy, especially regarding taxes. Here's what you need to know about the Austrian tax system.

  •  Austria arrests suspected trafficker after Italy shipwreck disaster

According to an Italian police official, a fourth person suspected of human trafficking has been arrested in relation to a shipwreck that occurred off the southern coast of Italy last month. 

The shipwreck resulted in the death of at least 72 people. The suspect, identified as a 27-year-old Turkish national, managed to flee the disaster scene during the early hours of February 26th but was subsequently apprehended in Austria on Tuesday evening. 

No further details were provided.

Shortly after the sinking of a wooden boat carrying an estimated 180 migrants, three individuals believed to be involved in human trafficking were detained by authorities. The suspects were a Turk and two Pakistanis, identified by survivors. 

The vessel departed from Turkey on February 22nd and broke apart on rocks near Steccato di Cutro five days later. Seventy-two bodies have been recovered, including 28 minors and 30 women. While 79 individuals survived, approximately 30 others remain unaccounted for.

READ MORE: Italy launches probe into deadly shipwreck as new rescue saves hundreds


  • Residents in Austria warned over scam ‘Finanz’ messages

Just as people in Austria prepare their tax declarations, hundreds have started receiving a text message allegedly from the tax office – with a dodgy link attached.

The worrying SMS was produced by scammers seizing an opportunity and using a new trick. Clicking on the link will take you to a fake site mimicking the tax office in Austria with a request to transfer €379 to an Austrian bank account.

Another variant of the same crime would lead to a fake site, imitating the tax authorities, saying that you have a repayment ready and asking for your personal information, including your bank account, to send it. 

The authorities ask people to only make money transfers after adequately checking the site and recommend that you access the Finanz Online site directly instead of clicking on any links.

READ MORE: Residents in Austria warned over scam ‘Finanz’ messages

  • Storm warnings issued for most of Austria

Stormy hours are ahead in the west, north and east of Austria. Since Thursday's early hours, strong gusts of wind have been felt in western Austria. In the morning, strong winds are expected in Upper Austria, Lower Austria and Vienna.

According to the storm centre, the gusts reached 70 to 80 km/h in the morning and sometimes even 90 km/h at higher altitudes. However, the stormy wind will also end - already in the afternoon, the situation calms down, and the storm subsides. 

According to the current forecast, the evening should be calm again, but renewed gusts could arrive as early as Friday evening.

READ ALSO: Top tips to protect yourself from storms in Austria

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