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TODAY IN AUSTRIA

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

Cancellations for Austrian Airlines, Vienna's Mayor targeted by cyber criminals, hot weather on the way and more news from Austria on Monday.

A girl plays in a sprinkler.
Hot weather is on the way in Vienna (Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP)

Austrian Airlines cancel dozens of flights

Austrian Airlines had to cancel dozens of flights at the weekend due to staff taking sick leave after catching Covid-19. Broadcaster ORF reported 42 of the planned 346 flights to and from Vienna were canceled on Sunday. At the moment, city flights in Europe such as Berlin, Stuttgart, Zurich, Barcelona and Sofia are particularly affected. 

READ MORE: Vienna airport reassures travellers over summer concerns

A press spokeswoman for Austrian Airlines told the Ö1 programme that passengers would be informed immediately if their flight changed and rebooked on other flights if possible. Nevertheless, AUA recommends its passengers to check the flight status online at Austrian.com before driving to the airport.

READ ALSO: Austria sees scores of flight cancellations after airline staff contract Covid

Vienna’s mayor targeted by cybercriminals

It emerged at the weekend that Vienna’s Mayor Ludwig (SPÖ) had taken part in a video conversation on Wednesday with a deep fake whom he believed to be the Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko,. The mayors of Berlin and Madrid also reported being targeted by someone pretending to be the former Ukrainian heavyweight boxer turned politician.

On Saturday the City of Vienna’s official account put out a statement that Ludwig appeared to have been the victim of a “serious case of cybercrime”.

Now the Foreign Ministry will ask the relevant embassy to be contacted before making such phone calls or video calls to prevent further deep fake incidents.

The Ministry of the Interior announced that state security would now investigate the incident. It called for a recording of the video call to assess what information had been given out and clarify whether a criminal offense was committed.

Vienna gives out fourth vaccination to anyone aged 12 and over

The City of Vienna has made it easier for anyone to have a fourth coronavirus vaccination. From now on, everyone in Vienna aged 12 and over whose third vaccination was six months ago can get the booster vaccination from any vaccination centre. 

Presidential election date set

The date forAustria’s federal presidential election has been set. The Federal Chancellery announced on Sunday the election will take place on October 9th. The date will be officially fixed on Wednesday by the Federal Government by a decision of the Council of Ministers.

In addition to the incumbent candidate Alexander Van der Bellen, ex-Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ) politician Gerald Grosz and  “Beer Party” chief Marco Pogo have announced they will run fro the post. The FPÖ has said it will put up a candidate but has not named any individual so far.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How does Austria’s presidential election work?

Austria’s highest mountain hut can’t find staff

Austria’s highest mountain hut, the Erzherzog-Johann-Hütte on the Großglockner, is urgently looking for a chef. Every day, the six-person hut team has to cater for up to 70 mountaineers and an additional 15 mountain guides, which is really tough, landlord Toni Riepler told broadcaster ORF. He said if possible he would love to find someone to start tomorrow. 

Heatwave coming to Eastern Austria

It’s going to be hot today on Monday, with temperatures reaching up to 34 and 35 degrees. It’s going to get even hotter by the end of the week. Temperatures are expected to reach between 35 and 38 degrees on Friday in Eastern Austria.

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TODAY IN AUSTRIA

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

Authorities looking to curb illegal racing, energy prices rising, traffic expected ahead of the extended weekend and more news from Austria on Friday.

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

Vienna wants to take action against speeding drivers

The City of Vienna is looking for ways to deal with illegal races across its street, especially in its 19th-Döbling district, where accidents happen too often, daily Der Standard reported.

Some measures have already been taken, including adding concrete guard walls in parking lots where racers meet and adding a 30km/h speed zone.

Now, Viennese authorities want changes in laws at a federal level, specifically a way to legally confiscate cars in cases of serious infractions or multiple offences.

READ ALSO: What happens if you get arrested in Austria?

Rising energy costs

Austrian households paid 45 percent more for energy in June than in the same month the year before, Die Presse says. The prices of fuels, heating oil and gas have risen sharply. Wood pellets and firewood are also more expensive.

When it comes to electricity and gas, many providers are also increasing prices.

In addition to the gas crisis, other factors also affected the price of electricity: drought in large parts of Europe reduces production in river power plants. Besides that, many nuclear power plants are not in operation due to technical defects; others have to be throttled because the rivers used for cooling lead were either too warm or had too little water.

“The high prices are a signal for diversification towards more wind power, photovoltaics, and geothermal energy and at the same time, more energy efficiency and energy saving”, Austria’s Energy Agency said.

READ ALSO: Cost of living: Austria’s postal service announces prices increases

Austria wants to reopen its embassy in Baghdad

Austria is looking to reopen its embassy in Iraq by September 1st, daily Kurier reported. The Austrian ambassador left Baghdad in January 1991, with other Western diplomats, due to security reasons.

According to the Kurier, the embassy in Baghdad is now to be “housed in a protected, international area as a first step”, with security forces hired locally. The authorities believe permanent representation in the country will be a “decisive advantage” for Austrian companies and organisations.

Additionally, a specific officer in the embassy should inform Vienna of “current developments and the prevailing situation in Iraq” and, in particular, any news on the topic of migration.

READ ALSO: MAP: Who are the foreigners in Austria?

Traffic and troubles for the extended weekend ahead

Austria’s ÖAMTC expects heavy travel on the country’s transit routes ahead of the long weekend and warned motorists to expect traffic jams and queues by the borders.

The transport club said many travellers continue to drive south while some are already driving in the opposite direction returning from vacation. The extended weekend due to the Monday holiday (Mariä Himmelfahrt) also favours day trips and short breaks, especially with the nice weather forecast.

The worst traffic should be divided into Sunday and Monday, ÖAMTC warns.

READ ALSO: ‘Bad and hasty drivers’: Your verdict on scrapping Austrian autobahn speed limits

Heat and thunderstorms this Friday in Austria

Though the day starts sunny in most of Austria, the afternoon should bring showers and thunderstorms, especially above the mountains. In the east, it should be more stable and sunny, Austria’s meteorologic agency ZAMG said. Afternoon temperatures will be between 22C and 27C.

During the evening hours, the rain will subside and dry weather generally prevails. Low temperatures will be between 8C and 17C.

“In Vienna, sunny weather prevails, even if clouds seem denser. Short rains cannot be ruled out”, ZAMG says. Afternoon temperatures will be around 27C. The night will be around 16C.

READ ALSO: Wild weather in Austria: How to protect yourself during summer storms

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