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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

Final election campaign days ahead of presidential election, Austria increases its defence budget, free flu vaccination campaign and more news from Austria on Friday.

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

Final spurt in the presidential election campaign

Austria’s presidential campaign is coming to an end as the election approaches on Sunday, October 9th. On Friday, almost all candidates will make their last public appearances.

Van der Bellen will close his campaign in Wiener Marx-Palast at 4 pm. Before that, ex-FPÖ and BZÖ politician Gerald Grosz will kick things off on Ballhausplatz in the morning, according to the newspaper Der Standard.

Also on Friday, Beer Party leader Dominik Wlazny invites his supporters to another event. At 5 pm, he will start his tour finale on Vienna’s Stephansplatz.

FPÖ candidate Walter Rosenkranz will also take to the traditional blue campaign field from 5 pm. He is inviting his supporters to the Viktor-Adler-Markt in Vienna, where he will be supported by Vienna’s FPÖ leader Dominik Nepp and federal party chairman Herbert Kickl.

READ ALSO: Austrian presidential elections: Who are the seven candidates?

Austria increases defence budget for 2023

The Austrian government on Thursday announced a 22.29 percent increase to the 2023 defence budget, which will total €3.31 billion.

“We don’t want just to give short-term answers, but rather make targeted investments in areas that will make Austria stronger,” Finance Minister Magnus Brunner (ÖVP) said.

READ ALSO: Austria’s civil defence alarm: What you should know about the warning siren system

Vienna announces free flu vaccinations

This year, the City of Vienna is again offering free flu vaccinations – and it’s possible to get the shots in combination with a coronavirus vaccine. The vaccination campaign starts on November 2nd, the government said.

Everyone can get the vaccine, including babies aged seven months or older. It is not necessary to have a primary residence in the Austrian capital. The influenza vaccine campaign is aimed mainly at people over 65, with chronic diseases, children and medical staff. However, vaccination is recommended for anyone who wants to protect themselves.

After two winters without a flu wave in Austria, influenza could make a more significant comeback due to the greatly reduced coronavirus measures, the authorities warned. The vaccination appointment can be made via the Impfservice Portal.

READ ALSO: Reader question: How do I get a flu vaccine in Austria?

Opening hours of Graz Main Post Office reduced

The main post office in Graz is heavily overloaded, 5min reported, mainly due to the high demand from people seeking to get their Klimabonus or send in their mailed election ballots.

Still, instead of increasing the offers, the city’s main post office at Neutorgasse is shortening working hours.

Those seeking postal services will have to reach them from 8 am to 12 pm and 2 pm to 5:30 pm – the office is closed for one hour longer over lunch and finishes up for the day half an hour earlier.

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

Vienna announces new budget distribution

The City of Vienna has announced a package to relieve the burden on Vienna’s district budgets, giving district councils “the necessary room for manoeuvre”.

The new budget includes a €23 million one-off funding to help the district settle debts connected with structural and population growth, especially considering recent rising building costs. Additionally, the city government is increasing the budget for green spaces by €20 million.

The city will also take over from the district the energy expenses – which would amount to around €20 million. Finally, the reform also changed how funds would be distributed, considering the number of jobs in each district. According to the Vienna government, this provides “a positive incentive for efforts to attract businesses to the district”.

READ ALSO: Energy costs: Vienna to support 200,000 households with up to €500

Weather

Screenshot from ZAMG

Friday will bring widespread sunny, autumnal weather again, Austria’s meteorologic institute ZAMG said.

During the day, a southeasterly to easterly wind will blow in the east. Daytime highs are between 17 and 23 degrees.

If you have any questions about life in Austria, ideas for articles or news tips for The Local, please get in touch with us at [email protected].

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