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Property and land for sale in Austria
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In a statement released following the result, Chancellor Christian Kern described it as a bad day for Austria and warned that Europe would lose its position and role in the world. “This is a bad day for Great Britain, a bad day for Europe, and also a bad day for our country,” he said.
He added that the economic impact “will be felt for some time”, the negative developments must be “kept as small as possible” and reform must start in Europe. “This must have a clear direction,” he said.
The Chancellor and leader of Austria’s Social Democratic (SPÖ) party said, however, that there will not be a domino affect and that no referendum will follow in Austria.
Austria’s Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, from the conservative OeVP party, said he was surprised by the result as he believed – as many others – that Britain would vote to stay.
“Not a stone is left standing, that is a political earthquake,” he said, adding that it could set off a domino effect with other countries who will also consider exiting. There must be “much change and the speed has to be quick,” he added.
Speaking to the Local Austria, Austrian MEP Eugene Freund (SPÖ) – who made headlines this week after his Brexit Poem appealing for the UK to stay made it onto a late-night US satire show – said he was “flabbergasted” when he woke up to the news this morning.
“It’s a catastrophe, I do not want to imagine the consequences,” he said, arguing the case was not made for how important the EU project is. “Nobody talks about the real issues, about the peace the EU has protected for seventy years.
“It was over-shadowed by immigration and by refugees, although the UK has not been that affected by that.”
On the UK’s future relationship with the EU, Freund says he expects the divorce to be an “ugly” process. “It’s going to be a hard divorce trial, both sides will try to get the best out of it.”
With around 25,000 Austrians living in the UK and 9,000 British people in Austria, the long-term question of what will happen to these people is also unclear. “Nothing will happen today or tomorrow but in two years will you need a visa and work permit? Will you get flown out of the country? We don’t know what the future will be,” said Freund.
Austrian Green MEP Ulrike Lunacek also told The Local Austria she is disappointed with the result but added it “must not leave the EU paralysed or stuck in limbo while negotiations take place.”
“They cannot distract the remaining 27 EU member states from concentrating on tackling the issues that really matter to the citizens of Europe. This should not mean more deals done between member states behind closed doors – this clearly did not work for David Cameron,” she said.
“Now Britain must decide quickly what kind of relationship it wants with the remaining 27 member states, and they must be just as clear about the kind of relationship they want with the UK.”
Meanwhile the head of Austria’s far-right and EU-sceptic Freedom Party Heinz-Christian Strache congratulated Britain for voting for an exit.
“We congratulate the British for regaining their sovereignty. The result of their referendum yesterday is paving the way for democracy and against the political status quo, but also against the continuing migration madness,” he said.
Holidays more expensive for British tourists
The fall of the pound is also expected to affect those holidaying in popular destination regions like Tyrol, making holidays there pricier.
Head of the region’s Chamber of Commerce Jürgen Bodenseer agreed that for many English holidaymakers will find visits to Tyrol becoming more expensive.
Source: The local
The Dutch tourist was on holiday in Austria and travelling near the remote rural community of Raggal in the country’s mountainous province of Vorarlberg when he spotted the waterfall.
Stopping the car alongside the river over the narrow ravine, he walked to the other side to take a picture of the waterfall….but a pity he forgot the handbrake!! He was then powerless to act when it rolled over the edge and down the steep slope!!.
The car which was wrecked after falling over 10 metres had to be pulled out by firemen.
Neither the man nor his passenger, who was walking towards the waterfall, were hurt although police confirmed that the car was a complete write-off after the accident. Wonder how he is going to get along with the insurance company?
Source: Central Euro News.
The measures are the latest attempts to combat mobile phone use and repeated drink driving, which authorities in Austria have struggled to tackle in recent years.
A ban on mobile phones
Everyday drivers send 200,000 texts and make 900,000 phone calls in Austria while they are driving.
Distracted driving caused 38 percent of car accidents in 2014, leading to 111 deaths, according to derStandard.
Stricter laws for mobile phone use while driving are coming into effect starting immediately. The new amendment to the Motor Vehicles Act makes using your phone to surf the web and writing and reading text messages while driving illegal and punishable with a fine of €50.
“Distraction is one of the main cases of car accidents on our roads. We want to counteract this trend with the stricter mobile phone ban,” Transport Minister Jörg Leichtfried told der Standard newspaper.
The Ministry have said, however, that drivers are still allowed to make phone calls on speakerphone and use their phone as a navigation system, as long as the phone is safely attached to the inside of their vehicle.
Alcohol locks planned for 2017
Along with this amendment to the driving laws, the government also hopes to soon introduce alcohol locks to prevent drink drivers from repeatedly offending.
Approximately 26,000 motorists lose their licence every year in Austria due to drinking driving, 7,000 continue to drive without a licence and 4,000 continue to drive while over the limit, according to a 2015 report from the Austrian Road Safety Board (KFV).
This led to calls for alcohol breathalyser immobilisers for drivers who are caught drink driving. This is going to become a reality for Austrian drivers in 2017.
The law amendment necessary to introduce these ‘Alco-locks’ will be evaluated before the summer and the plan is to have the first locks in use by 2017, according to the APA.
Most drink driving offenses take place during the month of August!
Instead of piloting Alco-locks on a test group first, drivers who are caught drink driving will be given the choice between the locks and getting their licence revoked. However if they choose the Alco-locks, their probation period will be twice the length.
Whether many people will choose to have Alco-locks remains to be seen, especially as the drivers will be expected to pay for the equipment. This could cost up to €3,000 euros for one year of driving with the Alco-lock.
Although Transport Minister Leichtfried added: “The appeal of being able to continue driving is relatively strong.”
Source the Local: Written by: Helena Uhl
A research team has made huge gains in one of the global energy industry’s most critical issues. Managing to store world record amounts of thermal energy in Austria
The works means solar energy could in the future be stored more efficiently for heating in the winter, currently one of the biggest problems facing renewable energy.
AEE intec, a research institute in Gleisdorf in the Austrian state of Styria that led the project, reported this week that the record amount of stored solar heat would cover 85 percent of the warm water and heating demands in the winter.
However, they warned that the storage technology still relies on the very expensive material Zeolite.
Storing thermal energy has become a major issue worldwide in recent years as more and more renewable energy is being used. Due to variations in the amount of solar heat that can be collected depending on the season, storing it efficiently is thought to be vital for the future of renewable energy.
The Austrian research team are working towards ensuring solar energy collected during the summer months will cover 100% of winter heating costs.
Lower Austria – the country’s largest state – announced last year that 100 percent of electricity is now produced by renewable energy.
Source: The Local – Writer: Helena Uhl
Sebastian Kurz suggested in an interview with Die Presse newspaper published on Sunday that the bloc follow the “Australian example” to discourage migrants from setting out on the often perilous journey to Europe.
Under Australia’s harsh and much-criticised immigration policy, asylum-seekers who try to reach Australia by boat are turned back or sent to Pacific camps in Nauru and Papua New Guinea where they are held indefinitely while their refugee applications are processed.
They are blocked from resettling in Australia even if found to be refugees.
“The Australian model of course cannot be completely replicated but its principles can be applied in Europe,” the minister said, adding that he was skeptical about the impact of a recent agreement with Turkey aimed at reducing the number of migrants traveling to the continent.
A similar model was used in the United States in the first half of the 20th century, with new arrivals being held on Ellis Island as they travelled to New York, he said.
Kurz added that the EU should adopt a resolution whereby those who try to enter Europe illegally lose their right to demand asylum.
Some 204,000 migrants and refugees have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe since January, the United Nations refugee agency said this week.
More than 2,500 people have died trying to make the journey this year — the vast majority of them on crossings between Libya and Italy — as Europe battles its worst migration crisis since World War II.
Many migrants saved from the sea are already directed to Greek islands or the Italian island of Lampedusa.
Austria, governed by a coalition of social-democrats and conservatives, welcomed some 90,000 asylum seekers last year, but since then Vienna has hardened its conditions of asylum and tried to close the migrant route from Greece to the north of Europe via the Balkans.
Last month a candidate from the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) narrowly lost the election for the largely ceremonial but coveted post of president.
Source: The local.
Photo. Sebastian Kurz. Photo: Bildagentur Zolles / Mike Ranz
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