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Today in Austria For Members

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

The Local Austria
The Local Austria - [email protected]
Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
Pollen levels are high. (Photo by Philippe HUGUEN / AFP)

Protest attack against Minister Edtstadler, houses remain unaffordable, Austrian Finance Minister proposes tax-free overtime and more news from Austria on Tuesday.

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Austrian Constitutional Minister attacked with fake blood at anti-Semitism conference

On Monday, a fake blood attack targeted Austrian Constitutional Minister Karoline Edtstadler (ÖVP) as she arrived at an anti-Semitism conference in Vienna, ORF reported. 

The assailant, identified as a former member of the protest movement Last Generation, poured red paint towards participants at the event entrance.

The attacker claimed the act was a protest against the "normalisation of genocide" and for a "ceasefire" in Gaza but denied anti-Semitic motives. However, political leaders swiftly condemned the assault, emphasising the need to combat extremism and anti-Semitism.

Edtstadler's office labelled the attack as targeted, emphasising its anti-Semitic nature. 

READ ALSO: New measures against anti-Semitism online

What’s open and what’s closed on Ascension Day in Austria?

On Thursday, it is Ascension Day, or Christi Himmelfahrt in German, one of the many May public holidays this year. Here is what is going on in and around the capital and what will be closed.

Houses remain unaffordable in Vienna, even for higher earners

Despite recent drops in property prices and interest rates, owning a home in Vienna is still out of reach for many average earners. 

A new analysis by durchblicker.at shows that even a double-income household would need to dedicate nearly 60 percent of their income to afford a 90m² new-build apartment. This falls far short of the recommended 40 percent debt repayment rate, according to a Der Standard report.

Government housing initiatives like reduced fees and subsidised loans haven't significantly improved affordability, particularly for lower-income households. 

Experts suggest alternative models, like cooperative ownership with mandatory purchase options, could be more effective in increasing homeownership rates.

READ ALSO: How much does it cost to buy an apartment in Austria?

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Austrian Finance Minister proposes tax-free overtime

Finance Minister Magnus Brunner (ÖVP) has expressed support for making overtime work more attractive by eliminating taxes on overtime pay. 

Currently, only a portion of overtime bonuses is tax-free. Brunner did not provide a concrete timeline for implementing the change, suggesting it would be addressed in the next legislative period after the upcoming national elections.

READ ALSO: Is Austria planning to adopt a longer work week of 41 hours?

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Early summer heat triggers early grass pollen season in Austria

Unusually warm weather has triggered an early start to the grass pollen season in Austria, particularly in eastern regions. Experts from Vienna's Pollen Service warn that allergy sufferers are already experiencing the first symptoms significantly earlier than usual.

"The season began right after the recent cold front," said Maximilian Bastl of MedUni Vienna. "Due to the high temperatures, some grasses are blooming earlier than expected, making this a unique pollen year."

Grass pollen allergies are among the most common, affecting a large portion of the population. This is partly due to the widespread presence of sweet grasses in everyday life, responsible for most grass allergies. Meadows, roadsides, parks, and even the Danube's banks in Vienna are all considered allergy hotspots.

READ ALSO: Where in Austria are pollen levels the highest?

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Comments (1)

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Paul Covello 2024/05/07 09:19
Many articles about moving/working and living in Austria focus on foreigners or expats. Please produce some articles with a view of people like myself who are considering how to plan a move to Austria as a newly recognized Austrian citizen born and raised abroad. (in my case, born and raised in the US with little to no Austrian German language skills, working in IT). Danke!
  • ben.mcpartland 2024/05/07 09:49
    Thanks for the comment. We will definitely aim to produce articles relevant for you. Check out our topic page on Moving to Austria: https://www.thelocal.at/tag/moving-to-austria Feel free to email us with any specific questions you ant us to try to answer...

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