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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
A man walks past the statue of Saint Mary on a bridge over the Danube canal in Vienna on June 13, 2024. (Photo by Joe KLAMAR / AFP)

Heatwave to grip Austria as summer officially begins, racist chanting at fire brigade festival in Erlauf, and more news from Austria on Wednesday.


Heatwave to grip Austria as summer officially begins

Austria is bracing for a scorching start to summer, with temperatures expected to soar as high as 35C by the weekend. 

On Monday, Vienna recorded its first 30C  day of the year, earlier than the average over the past three decades, signalling a trend towards warmer temperatures.

The heatwave is forecast to peak on Friday, coinciding with the astronomical start of summer. GeoSphere Austria has warned of "severe heat stress," urging people to avoid direct sunlight and stay indoors during the hottest part of the day.

While isolated thunderstorms may temporarily relieve some areas, the heat and humidity will persist through the weekend. Experts advise staying hydrated, eating light meals, and avoiding alcohol to cope with the sweltering conditions.

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Racist slogans at fire brigade festival in Erlauf

A viral video from the Erlaufer Feuerwehrfest has sparked outrage after attendees were filmed chanting racist slogans during a popular party song. 

The fire brigade has condemned the incident, calling it "terrible," and distanced itself from the behaviour. The Lower Austrian Fire Service Association has warned all fire brigades, advising against playing the song Gigi d'Agostino's party hit "L'amour toujours" in the future due to its repeated association with harmful slogans.


FPÖ Lower Austria pushes for pro-car policies

Lower Austria's FPÖ party has announced a campaign to support car drivers, advocating for removing financial burdens associated with private transport. At a press conference in St. Pölten on Tuesday, state party secretary Alexander Murlasits outlined the "Reward instead of Punish" initiative, which calls for the abolition of CO2 pricing, doubling the official kilometre allowance, and increasing the commuter allowance.

The FPÖ Lower Austria also opposes funding for electromobility and potential bans on combustion engines, warning that such measures would "harm the Austrian automotive supply industry". Additionally, Murlasits suggested increasing speed limits to 150 km/h on certain motorways where safety permits.

While the campaign is specific to Lower Austria, the proposed changes require federal legislation. Murlasits expressed confidence that these measures would be implemented under an FPÖ-led government with Herbert Kickl as Chancellor.

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