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

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Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
Zell am See, in Austria (Photo by Anand Shetye on Unsplash)

Austrians want people to 'speak German and be law-abiding', explosive device found at Jehovah's Witnesses' hall, and more news from Austria on Tuesday.


Austrians want people to 'speak German and be law-abiding'

In Austria, the Linz Market Institute delved into citizenship and belonging inquiries on behalf of Der Standard

Results revealed that Austrian respondents view proficiency in the national language as a defining characteristic of national belonging, with 71 percent considering it very important and 21 percent still important.

Further analysis of the Austrian data unveils nuanced insights: Older Austrians place greater importance on German language proficiency, with stricter views prevalent among far-right FPÖ and centre-right ÖVP supporters. Conversely, Green and Neos voters exhibit less stringent attitudes. 

Additionally, loyalty to Austrian laws and constitution emerged as the second most crucial trait, with 60 percent considering it very important and 32 percent also important. This constitutional patriotism resonates particularly strongly with ÖVP supporters. Citizenship ranks third in Austrian identity markers, deemed very important by 55 percent and also crucial by 26 percent, with FPÖ and ÖVP voters assigning it greater significance compared to Neos and Green supporters.

Where you’ll be able to watch Euro 2024 in Vienna

If you're not up for trekking across the border to watch UEFA's Euro 2024 in its German host cities, there are plenty of places in the capital to gather and watch.

Zell am See named among the world’s top 100 beaches

Zell am See has one of the best beaches in the world, according to an annual ranking by BeachAtlas.

The 2024 “Golden Beach Awards” place on the lakeside beach near Salzburg in the 94th spot.

Beaches are ranked according to their natural beauty, community, lifestyle, and cultural significance. Zell am See earned the distinction for its “magnificent mountains and tranquil waters” and “being clean and quiet, even during the holiday season.”


Explosive device found at Jehovah’s Witnesses hall in Kalsdorf

Following the discovery of an explosive device on Friday evening at the Jehovah's Witnesses site in Kalsdorf, south of Graz, investigations are in progress. However, there is not much information yet, ORF reported.

The incident unfolded around 8:30 p.m. when authorities received an emergency call reporting a "suspicious package" in the entrance area of a property owned by the religious community. Subsequent examination revealed that the contents of the package constituted a functioning explosive device, indicating a potentially grave threat, according to police spokesman Markus Lamb.

In response to the situation's severity, numerous emergency services were deployed on Good Friday. The area was cordoned off, and explosives experts, sniffer dogs, and the riot unit were mobilised. The defusing service of the Directorate for Special Forces at the Ministry of the Interior was also called upon.

As a precaution, approximately 50 individuals attending a church service were evacuated to safety, receiving initial assistance from the fire department, Red Cross, and crisis intervention team. No injuries were reported. Police spokesman Markus Lamb remarked that the placement of the package appeared deliberate.


Former special agent arrested on suspicion of espionage

Der Standard reports that “mirrored content” of the smartphones of three former top officials from Austria’s Ministry of the Interior was given to Russian secret services. 

Egisto Ott, a former Austrian intelligence official, was part of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counterterrorism (BVT) and has been arrested on suspicion of espionage, according to a statement made by a spokesperson from Vienna public prosecutor’s office.

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