August 31 – September 6
Here we go with our weekly wrap-up.
- 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
- 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.
- 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 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.
Austrian Citizenship for Descendants of Nazi Victims
- 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.