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Today in Austria For Members

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

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
The economic costs of traffic accidents in Austria totalled around 8.6 billion euros last year. Pictured are buildings in Vienna. Photo by Raymond Morland on Unsplash

Austrian chancellor calls for stricter family reunification control, the financial costs of traffic accidents in Austria, and other news on Monday.

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Anzengruber initiates coalition talks with Greens and SPÖ in Innsbruck

Johannes Anzengruber (Yes - Now Innsbruck) party has announced his decision to start coalition discussions with Georg Willi of the Greens and Elisabeth Mayr of the SPÖ on Monday. This move dismisses the possibility of forming a centre-right coalition.

Confirming the start of coalition talks on Monday, Anzengruber conveyed to ORF Tirol on Saturday his approach of conducting discussions with appreciation and respect, focusing on people rather than party ideologies.

The exploratory talks revealed a significant alignment of interests with the Greens and SPÖ, leading to the decision to pursue a "coalition of winners."

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Chancellor Nehammer pushes for tighter family reunification measures

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer of the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) is advocating for stricter control over family reunification.

During the weekend, Nehammer called for more frequent DNA testing to verify familial connections.

Nehammer also said that DNA testing should be utilised whenever there are doubts regarding the authenticity of family ties, according to ZIB1.

He further said that the Interior Ministry and the Foreign Ministry have been tasked with preparing a strategy to address the issue.

The chancellor also highlighted the necessity for stricter legislation at the European Union (EU) level.

Road accident damages add up to billions in Upper Austria

The economic damage inflicted by road accidents in Upper Austria alone amounts to almost 1.6 billion euros annually, according to the VCÖ, an organisation specialising in mobility and transport. 

Last year, Upper Austria saw 6,502 traffic accidents, resulting in 75 fatalities and over 8,000 injuries.

Examining the financial aftermath, the VCÖ looked at treatment expenses, emergency response costs, property damage, economic losses from absenteeism and sick leave, as well as the intangible costs associated with suffering and diminished quality of life.

The cumulative impact of these factors in Upper Austria added up to 1.57 billion euros, with the economic costs of traffic accidents in Austria totalling around 8.6 billion euros last year.

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Explosive grenades found in Klagenfurt

Three young people discovered two explosive grenades on Saturday afternoon in the Klagenfurt area. Recognising the danger, they promptly alerted the police.

The area where the grenades were discovered was cordoned off as a precaution.

Due to the historical origin of the grenades as war relics, the de-mining service was called in to handle the grenades safely.

While police conducted a thorough search for additional grenades, none were found.

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Mauthausen holds liberation ceremony

Thousands gathered at the Mauthausen Memorial on Sunday to commemorate the 79th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp.  Over 9,000 people worldwide attended, with a particular focus this year on "Law and Justice under National Socialism."

The ceremony featured speeches from survivors and youth representatives in multiple languages, emphasising the importance of freedom and the fight against discrimination.  Austrian dignitaries were also present, including President Alexander van der Bellen and Governor Thomas Stelzer.

Mauthausen, now a memorial site, served as a brutal concentration camp during World War II.  An estimated 200,000 people were imprisoned there, with at least 90,000 perishing.  Since 1946, the liberation by US troops has been commemorated annually.

Willi Mernyi of the Mauthausen Committee highlighted the growing importance of engaging young people in these ceremonies.  He emphasises that remembering the past and fighting for justice are crucial for building a better future.

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