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

The Local Austria
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Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
Lena Schilling, environmental activist and top candidate of Austria's Green Alternative Party in the upcoming European Union (EU) parliamentary elections, poses for a photo at the Viennese section of the Donau-Auen National Park in Vienna, Austria on April 18, 2024. (Photo by Joe Klamar / AFP)

Green's Lena Schilling's EU candidacy hits turbulence, Austria lags when it comes to equality between mothers and fathers and more news from Austria on Wednesday.

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Green's Lena Schilling's EU candidacy hits turbulence

Green EU lead candidate Lena Schilling's campaign faces a notable setback, as Der Standard reported.

Behind the seemingly innocuous file 5 C 300/24i lies what some Green MPs describe as a "catastrophe." It pertains to a legal document in which the 23-year-old climate activist commits to refraining from making certain statements in the future. Notably, Schilling is prohibited from alleging that one of her former best friends was physically assaulted by her husband, resulting in a miscarriage. 

The Greens have officially stated that Schilling made these claims "out of concern for a friend in her closest personal environment." 

The report added that this development casts a shadow over Schilling's campaign, adding to other anonymous statements claiming that the young activist lies, manipulates and is not fit for the political arena. The Greens and Schilling are set to hold a press conference this Wednesday to address the rumours.

Why buying property in Austria remains unaffordable for most

Buying a home in Austria is a dream for many international residents, but it remains out of reach for the average earner.

Austria lags when it comes to equality between mothers and fathers

A new study challenges the idea of Mother's Day as a celebration for all moms. Researchers point out the unequal division of childcare and housework in many families, Austrian media reported.

The Vienna Institute of Family Research study compares Austria and Sweden. In Sweden, significantly more mothers work while their children are young, and a much higher percentage of fathers take parental leave. In Austria, however, mothers are more likely to leave the workforce, and fathers rarely take parental leave.

While some progress is seen in Austria, with men doing more housework, the gap with Sweden remains large. The study also highlights a worrying trend: the number of Austrian fathers receiving childcare allowance has hit a 15-year low.

The research calls for policies that encourage a more balanced distribution of childcare between parents.

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Eleven-month-old boy seriously injured by robot lawnmower in Carinthia

Doctors at Klagenfurt Hospital are urging caution after an 11-month-old boy suffered severe foot injuries from a robotic lawnmower. The child was crawling in the garden when struck by the machine, requiring a two-hour surgery with further procedures needed.

The hospital highlighted a critical safety issue with robotic lawnmowers.  The product descriptions often downplay the risks, and the mowers may not always detect obstacles.  This has led to repeated injuries, with two to three young children needing treatment each year, including amputations. The dangers extend beyond robotic mowers, with serious injuries reported from traditional lawnmowers and tractors.

The hospital urges parents to be vigilant and keep children (and pets) away when operating lawnmowers.

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Tennis star Dominic Thiem is said to be about to retire

Tennis champion Dominic Thiem's career could be nearing its end. According to reports in the "Salzburger Nachrichten," the 30-year-old Austrian has informed his sponsors of his plans to retire after the 2024 season. Thiem himself has not yet commented on the reports.

Thiem, who suffered a wrist injury in 2021, has struggled to regain his former glory. He declared 2024 his "Year of Decision," aiming for a return to the top 50 rankings as justification to continue.  Currently ranked 117th with only two wins this year, his comeback efforts seem to be falling short.

Disappointment has also marked his clay court season, his previous strength. After an early exit in Madrid's qualifiers, Thiem opted out of competing in Rome and faced uncertainty about qualifying for the upcoming French Open, where he was once a finalist.

If you have any questions about life in Austria, ideas for articles, or news tips for The Local, you can contact us at [email protected] or leave a comment below.

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