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

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected]
Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
Cars parked in Vienna (Photo by Martin Fahlander on Unsplash)

Centre-right ÖVP party exceeds campaign budget, negotiations in Lower Austria stall, verdicts in Linz Halloween trial and more news from Austria on Friday.

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  • ÖVP significantly exceeded election campaign costs

The centre-right party ÖVP has exceeded the agreed, but not in legally-binding, campaign budget ceiling of €1.5m euros by about €900,000, reported the Tiroler Tageszeitung on Thursday.

The party leaders of the then black-green state government, Jakob Wolf (ÖVP) and Gebi Mair (Grüne), had announced before the election campaign that they did not want to spend more than €2.85 per eligible voter. This resulted in the sum of €1.5 million.

ÖVP manager Sebastian Kolland argued that certain costs were added to the total amount for the first time starting from the cut-off date of June 27th, which led to the €900,000 additional expenses.

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  • EXPLAINED: How can foreigners have their say in Austria?

Living in Austria as a foreign citizen means you don't have certain rights, such as voting for parliament members. However, there are other ways to have your say.

  • Negotiations stall for Lower Austrian coalition 

The governor of Lower Austria, Johanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP) is increasing the pressure on the SPÖ by hinting at a possible coalition with the far-right FPÖ, Austrian media has reported. However, experts say the ÖVP and SPÖ are de facto the only possible partners for a governing coalition.

"Since the election Sunday, it has been clear to us that the parties in government must approach each other," Governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP) was quoted as saying in a press release. 

However, the demands of the SPÖ are "largely detrimental" for Lower Austria, Mikl-Leitner continued. She said that they want to now have conversations with the FPÖ to "then decide which path we take in Lower Austria".

"Whether the ÖVP wants to meet us on this bridge of cooperation is solely a decision of the ÖVP. The ÖVP is completely free to choose its government partner itself", countered the designated SPÖ regional party leader Sven Hergovich in a press statement.

Despite their disagreements  on issues such as unemployment, heating cost cap, kindergarten costs and more, a deal with the FPÖ is hardly on the table. The far-right said it would refuse to reelect Mikl-Leitner.

READ ALSO: Why it really matters who the new governor of Lower Austria will be

  • Halloween trial in Linz: two guilty verdicts

In the trial at the Linz Regional Court against three young people who are alleged to have played a leading role in the Halloween riots, two final sentences were handed down this evening, Der Standard reported.

The 15-year-old girl received twelve months' imprisonment, two of them unconditional. The boy of the same age received an additional sentence of seven months, one of them unconditional. The trial against the now 17-year-old was separated and is to continue on March 27.

The prosecution had accused the friends of aggravated joint violence, grievous bodily harm and burglary. 

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What happened at the Linz Halloween riots?

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  • What are the most common crimes in Vienna?

Vienna frequently tops rankings of “most liveable city in the world” for many reasons, including how safe the city of about two million people is. 

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) gave Vienna the highest score in  “Stability”, which is measured based on several indicators, including the prevalence of petty crime and violent crime. But, of course, even if the city is safe, it doesn’t mean there is no crime in the capital.

A new report by the State Police Department (Landespolizeidirektion) shows that the total crime increased by 16.7 percent year-on-year in 2022 in Vienna, reaching 168,303 offences recorded. During the two pandemic years of 2020 and 2021, criminal offences numbers were much lower in Austria, but Vienna continues to see a long-term decreasing trend in crimes, according to the report.

In 2019, there were 2019 offences recorded, while in 2013, 212,503 charges were filed, the police said.

So, what are the most common crimes in Vienna? You can read more HERE.

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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