Today in Austria For Members

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
Police cars stand in front of Schoenbrunn Palace on February 14, 2023. (Photo by Alex HALADA / AFP)

Austrian government to increase benefits to police recruits, Germany to face another transport 'megastrike', bear scratched parked car in South Tyrol and more news from Austria on Friday.


  • Austrian government to increase benefits to police recruits

The Ministry of the Interior plans to introduce a measure to reimburse police students for the cost of a Klimaticket (Austria's federal transport ticket) as part of an effort to enhance recruitment, according to a statement to APA. 

However, the move has faced criticism from the FSG trade union. Hermann Greylinger, head of FSG, acknowledged that their request had been partially granted but emphasised that extending the benefit to all police officers would have been "more favourable", as expressed by the union representatives.

Under the new arrangement, all police students in Austria, including administrative trainees and apprentices, will have their Klimaticket expenses covered by the ministry during their two-year basic training. The implementation of this regulation is expected in the summer of 2023, confirmed spokesperson Markus Haindl.

Additionally, future police officers will be eligible for reimbursement of their driver's licence costs during their training, provided they successfully complete their basic training. 

The ministry stated that the reimbursement would be capped at a maximum amount of €1,400. In addition, proof of a valid driver's licence must be submitted by the sixth month of training. Previously, possessing a driver's licence was a prerequisite for entry into the police service.

READ ALSO: What happens when a foreign national gets arrested in Austria?

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  • Germany to face another transport 'megastrike'

Starting Sunday at 10 pm, all regional and freight transport in Germany is set to come to a halt for 50 hours, The Local Germany reported.

With a 50-hour warning strike, the Railway and Transport Workers' Union (EVG) wants to bring all rail traffic in Germany largely to a standstill starting Sunday evening.

From 10 pm Sunday until the night of Tuesday to Wednesday at midnight, there will be no long-distance, regional and freight traffic, the EVG announced. The walkout is the latest in a series of strikes on Germany's rail system in an escalating dispute between the union and management.

In addition to Deutsche Bahn, around fifty other transport associations have EVG members, who are also likely to strike. Deutsche Bahn said it anticipated the walkout having a "massive impact" on the rail network. Previous strikes have seen the entirety of the country's regional and long-distance services grind to a halt.

Trips from and to Austria should also be affected.

READ ALSO: What are your rights if your trip is delayed or cancelled in Austria?


  • Bear scratched parked car in South Tyrol

According to a report from broadcaster ORF, a parked car in Völs am Schlern, South Tyrol, was apparently scratched by a bear during the night on Tuesday. Wildlife experts expressed surprise at this behaviour, although they speculated that the bear might have been attracted to the sweet taste of radiator fluid, which resembles honey.

Foresters discovered bear DNA on the car, and further analysis will be conducted to determine if any previous traces of this bear have been found elsewhere, explained Director Günther Unterthiner. Along with the scratch marks, bear fur hairs were also discovered on the front bumper.

The authorities stated that currently, three bears are active in South Tyrol, specifically in Ulten, Barbian, and Eppan. It is possible that the bear in Barbian made a detour to Fiè. However, according to the report, these bears have been deemed non-threatening and do not pose an increased risk to the population.

READ ALSO: Reader question: Are there wild bears in Austria?


  • Do foreigners in Austria have to carry ID?

The short answer is yes—as a foreigner in Austria—you need to both have ID and generally carry it with you. But the police are bound by certain rules as to when and in what circumstances they can ask you for it. Here's what you need to know.

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