The Latest News from Austria & Vienna

All that’s currently moving Austria – short, concise and in English.

We bring you all the latest scoops and news from Austria, so can shine with your insider knowledge at your next dinner invitation in Vienna.

We introduce this new format based on positive feedback on our coverage of the coronavirus in Austria and Vienna. This regularly update static article is your go-to address for the latest news and developments.

August 31 – September 6

Here we go with our weekly wrap-up.

Corona-Ampel launched

September 6

  • A new traffic light warning system for the coronavirus was presented and launched today by the Austrian government.
    • The system shows every district and region in Austria with one of four colors: green (low risk), orange (medium risk), orange (high risk), red (very high risk).
    • A 16-headed advisory board will determine the regions’ colors every Thursday. Regional authorities and politicians are then called on to take appropriate measures.

No border closures

September 3

  • The parliamentary presidents of Austria, Czechia and Slovakia vowed to avoid border closures in their fight against the coronavirus.
    • At a meeting in Grafenegg, 50 km outside of Vienna, all three representatives criticized Hungary’s unilateral move of closing its borders on September 1.
    • Instead, the three want to deepen cooperation and coordination in their fight against the pandemic.

Refugee children

September 2

Refugee children in the camp of Moria, on the Greek city of Lesbos (c) Flickr / Fotomovimiento
  • Vienna City Council passed a resolution that said the city is willing to take in 100 refugee children from the overcrowded Greek refugee camp of Moria.
    • The motion was supported by the SPÖ, Greens and the NEOS and opposed by the ÖVP and the FPÖ.
    • Asylum law is federal competency, hence city council called on the Austrian government to participate on its behalf in an EU-wide refugee children resettlement scheme – the chances of success, however, seem to be slim at the moment.

Schools reopen

September 2

(C) Unsplash/Taylor Wilcox
  • Schools in Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland will open their doors again next Monday, on September 7; all other federal states will follow on September 14.
    • Education Minister Heinz Faßmann (ÖVP) presented a 35-page plan for reopening schools, with measures ranging from airing classrooms to holding outside classes.
    • Schools will be coordinated with the Health Ministry’s Corona-Ampel warning system.

Austrian Citizenship for Descendants of Nazi Victims

September 1

  • A new law that entered into force on September 1 allows the descendants of victims of the Nazi regime to reclaim their Austrian citizenship.
    • Passed by parliament in the interim period of the Übergangsregierung (interim government) of Brigitte Bierlein one year ago, the measure is seen by many as long overdue.
    • Victims of the Nazi regime have been able to regain their citizenship for several decades already; now the right also extends to their children, grandchildren and so forth.
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Benjamin Wolf
Benjamin studied Journalism, History and International Affairs. After stints with Cafébabel in Paris and Arte in Strasbourg, he is now working as managing editor and COO for Metropole in Vienna. Fields of expertise are politics, economics, culture, and history. Photo: Visual Hub

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