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TODAY IN AUSTRIA

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

SPÖ gets significant results in Burgenland elections, chancellor to participate in 'migration summit', weapons arsenal found in Tyrol and more news from Austria on Monday.

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
L-R Roswitha Merz wife of President of Switzerland Hans-Rudolf Merz,Margit Fischer wife of Austrian President Heinz Fischer and Princess Sophie wife of Liechtenstein's Prince Alois meet in Esterhazy castle in Austrian Eisenstadt on October 28, 2009. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

Burgenland municipal elections results are in

Austria’s Burgenland state had municipal elections, and the centre-left party SPÖ saw some gains, though centre-right ÖVP kept the absolute majority in the capital Eisenstadt.

Thomas Steiner (ÖVP) lost 1.9 percentage points but still holds the capital with 53.4 percent of the votes. In contracts, the SPÖ gained almost four percentage posts and elected mayors in Andau, Gattendorf, Geresdorf-Sulz, Heugraben, Horitschon, Lutzmannsburg, Oberdorf im Burgenland, Sankt Michael im Burgenland and in Unterrabnitz-Schwendgraben.

Austria has presidential elections set for this Sunday, October 9th. The country will also elect a new parliament in 2024, with incumbents ÖVO and Green plummeting on polls and seeing losses in local ballots.

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

Nehammer to participate in ‘migration summit’

Austria’s chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) is meeting Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and the head of the Hungarian state Viktor Orbán in Budapest to discuss migration issues as refugee numbers taking the Balkan route have increased, daily Die Presse reported.

The government leaders will talk about increasing police cooperation in border protection, combating smugglers and other joint measures to counter illegal migration flows, the Chancellery said.

READ ALSO: Diversity and jobs: How migrants contribute to Vienna’s economy

Police find weapons arsenal in Tyrolean flat

On Saturday, police found an arsenal of weapons in the house of a German man in Tyrol, public broadcaster ORF reported.

The authorities wanted to serve the 47-year-old man with a weapons ban notice, but he stated that he had destroyed his weapons possession card.

During a house search, the police found several weapons and 1,300 rounds of ammunition, as well as various war materials such as a Russian tank night-vision device, armour-piercing ammunition, a machete, a crossbow and brass knuckles.

In addition, a human skull was discovered. The 47-year-old said he had bought it at a flea market in Germany.

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

MFG Federal Executive Gerhard Pöttler resigns from party

The MFG loses one of its central figures shortly after missing out on entry into the Tyrolean parliament.

Gerhard Pöttler, the federal secretary, federal finance officer and head of the regional group in Salzburg, wrote a letter informing of his departure from the party, the newspaper Der Standard reported.

The reason for the move was probably internal differences with other party members.

“I have come to the conclusion that some of the people in our organisation are no longer putting into practice what we promised our supporters. I can’t and don’t want to be a part of that any more,” Pöttler wrote. In his view, MFG had already become ingratiated with the existing system.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Who are MFG – Austria’s vaccine-sceptic party?

Weather

Screenshot from ZAMG

In the northern regions from Salzburg eastwards to western Lower Austria and Upper Styria, clouds will continue to dominate and there will be some rain, Austria’s meteorological institute ZAMG said.

The snow line is around 1700m above sea level.

Otherwise, it will be cloudy with only a few showers and the sun will shine at times, more in the afternoon. It will be much sunnier on the southern side of the Alps. From Upper Austria eastwards moderate to brisk, in the east occasionally strong wind from west to northwest. Maximum temperatures will be betwee 11C and 19C.

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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TODAY IN AUSTRIA

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

Inquiry commission on Wien Energie begins, verdict on Leonie-case expected for today, province leaders meeting and more news from Austria on Friday.

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
  • Austria starts inquiry committee over Wien Energie

Starting on Friday at 10 am at the Vienna City Hall, the City Council’s investigative commission on the Wien Energie case will meet every two weeks.

On the initiative of the centre-right Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) and the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ), it will investigate the events surrounding the dramatic financial needs of Wien Energie that became known in the summer. The commission can summon people to testify and request documents. 

They will focus on two issues. 

The first concerns the extent to which Mayor Michael Ludwig and City Finance Councillor Peter Hanke have exercised their ownership rights regarding Wien Energie, which is wholly owned by the city via Wiener Stadtwerke. Specifically, the commission wants to know whether the two SPÖ politicians reacted in time and appropriately to the price increases in the electricity markets in the summer. 

The second matter revolves around Ludwig’s emergency powers as head of the city, with which he granted Wien Energie loans totalling €1.4 billion. It is to be clarified whether this procedure was legally compliant and whether Ludwig should have informed committees such as the City Senate earlier.

READ ALSO: Why did Wien Energie ask for €6 billion from the Austrian government?

  • Austrian citizenship: Can you be rejected because of a driving offence?

Naturalisation processes may be on the rise in Austria, but citizenship is still hard to get, and any mistake could mean you miss out on the opportunity. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Verdict on the case of the death of 13-year old that shocked Austria expected on Friday

The court case about the killed 13-year-old, Leonie W., is coming to an end, with a verdict expected on Friday. 

Zubaidullah R. (24), Ibraulhaq A. (19) and Ali H. (20) allegedly mixed ecstasy tablets into a drink for Leonie W. and then raped her in June 2021, according to prosecutors. The girl did not survive. She died of a fatal triple overdose and by suffocation inside the apartment of one of the defendants in Vienna-Donaustadt.

The men all admitted to having had sexual intercourse with a minor. However, they claim it had been consensual.

The verdicts are expected on Friday. In case of a guilty verdict, Zubaidullah R. could face ten, 20 years or life as he was older than 21 at the time of the alleged crime. Ibraulhaq A. and Ali H. each face up to 20 years.

READ ALSO: Fall-Leonie: charges filed in case of death of a 13-year-old girl in Vienna

  • Province leaders to meet in Vienna

Vienna’s mayor – and provincial governor – Michael Ludwig (SPÖ), is hosting a conference with the provincial governors on Friday. 

At the meeting in Vienna’s City Hall, the heads of the provinces will discuss, among other things, fiscal matters, broadcaster ORF reported. They had already announced in advance that they wanted a bigger slice of the revenue shares in future. But the energy crisis is also a “central focus”.

“Rising energy prices and their consequences for the economy and society are among the greatest current challenges”, the provincial governors said in a joint statement on Thursday. 

The conference will, therefore, also discuss a motion calling on the federal government to present “as soon as possible” an energy protection umbrella for business and labour as well as all households to cushion the high energy costs for Austria’s companies.

READ ALSO: Vienna Energy Bonus: How to get a €200 payout

  • Weather

Screenshot from ZAMG

Dense clouds will cover the sky; in the south, there may be some sleet and snow at low altitudes, Austria’s meteorologic institute ZAMG said. 

The snow line will be between 500 and 900m above sea level in the west. In the afternoon, the snowfall will decrease in the south. In the northern half, it may continue to snow a little.

Towards evening the snowfall will stop almost everywhere. The wind will be mostly light in the east, partly moderate from northeast to southeast. Daytime highs are between 0C and 5C.

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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