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

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Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
There are more mosquitoes this season. Photo by Mithil Girish on Unsplash

Bomb threat shuts down Innsbruck train station; mosquitoes are back; renovation in Vienna's train lines causes major disruption during the summer and more news from Austria on Monday.


Innsbruck's central railway station evacuated following bomb threat

A bomb threat sparked a major police operation at Innsbruck's main railway station on Sunday evening, causing a temporary evacuation of the station and surrounding area.

An unknown caller reported two bombs at the station, prompting authorities to respond swiftly. Trains were stopped, platforms and the arrivals hall cleared, and train services suspended.

The station area was searched with sniffer dogs, and an armoured police vehicle was deployed. No bombs were found, and the all-clear was given around 9:50 p.m., allowing the station to reopen.

Vienna sausage stands push for UN recognition

From top bankers and politicians to students and factory workers, Vienna's popular sausage stands heaving with bratwurst and meaty delicacies are a longstanding cultural legacy they hope to have recognised by UNESCO.

Mosquitoes return to Vienna after two mild years

After two relatively mosquito-free years, the insects, particularly the floodwater gnats, return to Vienna due to abundant rain and the current heatwave.

Flooding triggers the hatching of gnat eggs, increasing their presence. However, Hans Peter Führer, a parasitologist at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, explained that Vienna is experiencing a normal mosquito season overall. "The last two years have been very weak mosquito years, which is why we may be particularly affected this year," he told ORF.

Eleven monitoring points across Vienna, including one at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna-Floridsdorf, track the occurrence of mosquitoes. Once hatched, floodwater gnats seek shady areas and appear in swarms, stinging during the day, unlike house mosquitoes.

Predicting the course of the mosquito season remains difficult due to its dependence on weather patterns. As usual, the peak is expected in July and August.


Major rail line closure to disrupt Vienna public transport this summer

A critical section of Vienna's busiest local transport route, the main line between Praterstern and Floridsdorf, will be closed for two months this summer from June 29th to September 2nd. The closure is necessary for essential modernization work to accommodate more and longer trains in the future.

While the work aims to improve the line's capacity, it will result in significant disruptions and detours for passengers. A rail replacement service with 27 buses, primarily ÖBB Postbuses, will operate between Praterstern and Floridsdorf at a five-minute interval during the day.

ÖBB recommends alternative routes, such as using the U6 metro line between Floridsdorf and Meidling or switching to trams or buses. For those travelling from Leopoldau, the U1 metro line can be used as an alternative.

This closure is part of a larger project, with similar work planned for July and August in 2025 and 2026.


Austria faces critical labour shortage in key sectors

A new study by the Economic Research Institute (Wifo) warns that Austria could face a critical labour shortage in systemically essential sectors, such as healthcare, food security, public administration, and transport. Within the next five to ten years, an estimated 300,000 employees in these sectors are expected to retire.

Replacing these workers will be challenging, especially considering the shrinking labour market and the need to attract new talent to these fields. Ines Stilling, Head of Social Affairs at the Chamber of Labour (AK), emphasizes that significant improvements in working conditions and incentives are necessary to address this issue.

The healthcare sector is particularly vulnerable. The demand for services is rising due to an ageing population, while a large portion of the workforce is nearing retirement age. This could lead to a significant gap in healthcare provision in the coming years.


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