Austria’s News in English: July 15 – 21

Welcome to the latest edition of MyExpatCommunity’s Austria’s News in English feature! Here we’ll provide you with snippets of the most important news from the last couple of weeks so you can stay up to date.

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1. SPÖ issues a constitutional complaint against the new social welfare system

spö, övp, fpö, social welfare
Three days after the government under Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) was voted out of office, the new social welfare system came into effect. The opposition and aid organizations had criticized the new law in advance, as it aggravates the possibility of receiving welfare. One and a half months after becoming effective, the new law will keep the Constitutional Court busy too, as the SPÖ had issued a constitutional complaint on Wednesday.

The party has identified nine points which supposedly contradict the constitution. How long the Court will take to come to a verdict is not clear. One main complaint by the SPÖ is, that the new welfare system only “supports the cost of living.” Also, the compilation of language skills is deemed unconstitutional.

Source: Der Standard


2. Investigations after an accident with driverless bus in Vienna

driverless bus, wiener linien, vienna
After an accident with a driverless bus of the Wiener Linien, in which a 30-year-old woman was slightly injured, the investigation into the cause has started. The data of the vehicle has been delivered to the French producer Nayya. It is currently unclear when the service will be picked up again.

The incident occurred in the Viennese area of Aspern, as a woman wearing headphones and looking at her phone ran into the bus. She only sustained abrasions though. The Wiener Linien, however, stopped any service with driverless buses. The plan, so the company says, is to introduce the busses back into the streets again down the road, as they are popular with the guests.

Source: Der Standard


3. More than 200 percent difference in mechanics prices

mechanics, prices, öamtc
The difference in prices between mechanics, plumbers, and painters is enormous according to a sample test by the Arbeiterkammer. The service institution tested 39 workshops in Vienna and received offers ranging from 88 to 268 Euro.

Depending on workshop and car type, the checkup for the “Kfz Pickerl”, the vehicle sticker, can cost up to 105 Euro. The sticker itself ranks around 66.92 Euro for petrol-driven gars and 69.98 Euro for Diesel cars. The cheapest option is the check-up for members of the ÖAMTC with 42.40 Euro, whereas the most expensive option was 105 Euro. Members of ARBÖ pay 50.85 Euro. However, some workshops offer the check-up at 45 Euro.

Source: Die Presse


4. Two-thirds of Austrians welcome the wolf back

wolf, austria, approval

A broad majority of Austrians welcomes the return of the wolf to the Austrian forests. 69 percent of the participants of a WWF survey view the carnivore very or rather positive. An even bigger majority, 79 percent of a sample of 1,035 participants, believe that peaceful coexistence is possible.

14 percent, however, see the return rather negative, while 8 percent see it as very negative. These numbers have slightly increased in comparison to a survey done two years prior.

Source: Die Presse


5. It’s over for the Pioneer-Festival in Hofburg

pioneers, festival, hofburg, vienna

For the past nine years, the start-up event Pioneers-Festival has been taking place in Vienna. The new owner startup300 AG, who took over the organizer JFDI GmbH last year, has now announced that the annual event in the Hofburg will come to an end.

The reason given are the immense costs to implement the event each year. The stage alone costs half a million Euro even though people tend to gather information from sources like YouTube these days. Big events, says the organizer, would not be appreciated anymore. For the future, the company is looking into other options of organizing events or to cooperate with existing ones. The last edition of the festival will be called “Walk the Talks” that deals with Cyborgs, Blockchain and artificial meat.

Source: Die Presse


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