For members


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

Austrian government considering rental cap, Tyrol lags in childcare, avalanche risks and more news from Austria on Tuesday.

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
Members of the ski patrol and bomb experts blast a 2.5 kg dynamite stick as part of avalanche maintenance, on January 10, 2018 in Val Thorens ski resort. (Photo by PHILIPPE DESMAZES / AFP)
  • Austrian government considering rental cap

The centre-left SPÖ and the far-right FPÖ have been calling for a stop to rent increases for some time. Now, the governing parties ÖVP and Grüne are also said to be interested in a change in the law with a possible rent cap, broadcaster Austrian media reported.

“We are currently in parliamentary coordination,” said Nina Tomaselli, member of the National Council and spokeswoman for the Greens on housing and construction, in an interview with APA. The Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) is also sending out signals that a solution to rent increases could be agreed upon, the report added.

One of the possibilities discussed is a cap on the inflation compensation, so rental costs wouldn’t increase by so much even when inflation rises above a certain level.

READ ALSO: Cost of living: Why are rents in Austria rising so steeply?

  • Avalanches in Austria: What you should know to stay safe in the mountains

Austria is an excellent destination for skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports, but the risk of deadly avalanches is real. Here’s what you need to know to stay safe in the Alps.

  • Tyrol lags behind in childcare

With an average of 38 closed days per year, Tyrol has the highest number of “days off” in kindergartens, and many are only open part-time, as the daycare centre statistics for 2021/2022 show, according to an ORF report. 

The state government recognised that the situation for working parents was too complicated, and during the elections, politicians made promises to give Tyroleans a “legal entitlement to childcare”.

However, months after the elections and no new measures were taken, the report said. According to deputy governor Georg Dornauer (SPÖ), crises ranging from inflation to the accommodation of refugees have meant that the topic had to be put on hold. 

But now it is time to start because “implementation will not happen overnight”, said Dornauer.  The province wants to complete a full evaluation this year and negotiate financing with the federal government. 

READ ALSO: Which Austrian states offer free public kindergartens?

  • Avalanches are still a risk in Austrian Alps

According to the Tyrolean Avalanche Warning Service, the avalanche danger in Austria is expected to remain considerable for most of the week, specifically at warning level 3. 

Patrick Nairz of the Tyrolean Avalanche Warning Service appealed once again, as he did on Sunday, to winter sports enthusiasts to simply “practice restraint” in the short term and refrain from ski tours and descents, especially in steep terrain.

Since Friday, eight people have died under avalanches in Tyrol and Vorarlberg. In St. Anton/Arlberg and Kaunerberg (Landeck district), three athletes died on Saturday, as did a 55-year-old in Kleinwalsertal and a 17-year-old in Zillertal. 

In East Tyrol, a snowplough driver was caught in an avalanche and died. In Ötztal, a person died under a snow slab on Sunday. On Friday, a Chinese tourist died in an accident in the Tyrolean Ötztal.

READ ALSO: Eight dead in weekend avalanches in Austria

  • Weather

Screenshot from ZAMG

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].

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


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

Austrians are in 11th place in "happiness" ranking, February inflation stood at 10.9 percent, Lufthansa reduces Munich flights from Graz and more news from Austria on Monday.

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
  • Austrians are in 11th place in “happiness” ranking

Global happiness levels have remained constant despite crises. Finland remains the country with the happiest population, according to the World Happiness Report published today.

The EU country took the top spot in the ranking for the sixth time. As in the previous year, Austria came eleventh.

Finland, the northernmost EU country, is followed at some distance in the annual ranking by Denmark, Iceland, Israel, and the Netherlands before Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and New Zealand complete the top ten.

While Austria remained stable in eleventh place, Israel made a year-on-year jump from ninth to fourth. The most unfortunate among the 137 states surveyed are Afghanistan and Lebanon.

The researchers involved, who publish the report based on surveys conducted by the Gallup Institute, calculate the ranking in each case based on data from the past three years.

They identified six critical factors for happiness: social support, income, health, freedom, generosity and the absence of corruption.

READ ALSO: ‘Bad-tempered locals’: Vienna ranked the world’s ‘unfriendliest city’

  • COMPARED: Germany’s Chancenkarte vs Austria’s Red-White-Red card for skilled non-EU workers

In their race to recruit expert workers, Germany and Austria have recently announced overhauls to the visas skilled non-EU citizens can get. Germany’s Chancenkarte or ‘opportunity card’ and Austria’s ‘Red-White-Red’ card aim to make it easier for skilled non-EU workers to take up jobs in the two countries. But how do they compare?

  • Number of winegrowers increasing in Upper Austria

Climate change also offers some opportunities, broadcaster ORF reported. For example, good wine now grows in Upper Austria because of the changed climate, and more and more farmers are getting a taste for it and are cultivating different grape varieties. According to winegrowers, the potential is enormous.

Grüner Veltliner, Chardonnay, Riesling, Zweigelt and Blauer Burgunder – these grape varieties also grow in Upper Austria. The vines of the winegrowers thrive mainly along the Danube, in the central region and the Innviertel. On the other hand, the Salzkammergut and the upper Mühlviertel are peripheral areas in viticulture, says Upper Austria’s winegrowing president Leonhard Gmeiner.

According to him, there are currently around 50 wineries in Upper Austria., but more are being added. Gmeiner speaks of annual growth of 20 to 30 percent. He said that the climate along the Upper Austrian Danube is similar to that in the Wachau in Lower Austria.

READ ALSO: How to drink wine like an Austrian

  • February inflation stood at 10.9 percent 

In February 2023, Austria’s inflation rate stood at 10.9 percent, a slight decrease from January, when it was 11.2 percent, according to recent Statistik Austria data.

It’s still higher than the average in the EU (9.9 percent) and much higher than the euro inflation, which was 8.5 percent in February, according to Eurostat.

“The slight decline in inflation from 11.2 percent in January to 10.9 percent in February 2023 is mainly attributable to less pronounced price pressure on household energy and fuels,” said Statistics Austria Director General Tobias Thomas.

READ ALSO: High inflation: What’s keeping prices high in Austria?

  • Lufthansa reduces Munich flights from Graz

Due to preventive cost-cutting measures, Lufthansa will operate the Graz-Munich connection only once a day from summer instead of three times a day. As a result, the business location in Graz will lose important links to Bavaria.

Over the summer, Lufthansa has proactively withdrawn more than 34,000 flights in Munich and Frankfurt. Graz is also affected. 

“There are several reasons. One is that at major airports, there are sometimes staff shortages – both at the airlines such as Lufthansa and at the airports themselves, at the handling and security companies,” said Graz Airport Managing Director Wolfgang Grimus. In addition, a new air traffic control system in Munich means fewer takeoffs and landings are possible in the summer.

READ ALSO: UPDATED: What Austrian travellers need to know about the German airport strikes Friday

  • City of Vienna seeks 21,000 new employees

Austria’s capital Vienna is looking to fill 21,000 positions by 2030, as many workers from older generations retire, and the government will start a major advertising campaign to attract new talent, mayor Michael Ludwig and personnel city councillor Jürgen Czernohorszky (both SPÖ) said on Friday.

According to Ludwig, there are “various” possible fields of work. For example, employees are sought in the government’s social, technical and digital areas.

Currently, the City of Vienna employs around 67,000 people – not all of them need to be Austrian citizens. However, due to the high demand, the capital will organise its own “job fair” for the first time.

READ ALSO: Jobs in Austria: City of Vienna seeks 21,000 new employees

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].