Austria News Update

News Update Austria


Google to raise online advertising fees to cover Austrian tax

Austria News

(Photo by ALAIN JOCARD / AFP)

American tech giant Google will ramp up charges to its advertisers to cover the costs of a new Austrian tax, a source close to the company said on Saturday.

Austria started imposing a five percent levy from January 1 on online advertising revenues of some big firms — the latest of a string of countries trying to ensure tech giants pay their way.

A source close to Google said the firm would add five percent to the invoices of companies whose adverts are clicked on or seen by web users in Austria, “regardless of the location of the advertiser”.

“We’ll be doing that in the second half of the year,” said the source.

Officials around the world are grappling with ways to tax tech companies, who often report profits in low-tax jurisdictions like Ireland or Luxembourg, enraging other governments.

The United States has threatened to take action against countries introducing digital taxes, but Austria promised to maintain the levy until an international solution is found.

The Austrian law applies to firms with annual sales of more than 750 million euros ($830 million) — providing at least 25 million euros are generated in Austria.

The government claims that it has introduced “tax equality” between digital and traditional media, which is already subject to the same levy on advertising revenues.

Austrian newspaper the Standard broke the story on Saturday, publishing excerpts from a German-language email purportedly from Google to its advertisers announcing the rise in fees.

Canada is the latest country to promise a levy on tech firms after France introduced a three percent tax last year on revenues earned in the country.

Source: The Local


72% of children in Austria surf the Internet.

Austria news

10.02.20

Alarming Austrian study shows that 33% of toddlers play on iPad or similar technology every day!

You can see it everywhere.  A two-year-old who plays on the iPad in the restaurant. An elementary school student pulling out his smartphone. Nothing unusual in today’s world.

A brand new study by the EU initiative Saferinternet.at is bound to cause excited debates: 72% of 0- to 6-year-old children in Austria surf the Internet, 33% use  daily (see table) – and that is from an age of 12 months on average.

An ever greater challenge for parents – who, by the way,  put 37 million photos of their children online each year! So much for privacy!


This is what the children do when on the Internet:

73% watch videos

72% use digital media

61% listen to music on the Internet

51% play online games

48% of parents upload children’s photos

39% use child protection apps

33% of kids are online every day

22% have their own cell phone, iPad & Co.

20% of parents feel guilty

4% of kids use PCs or laptops

Source: Oe24

Photo: © Symbolbild/Getty Images


Austrian Wine to celebrate Brexit!

 

Austrian News

Brexit wine from Austrian Vintner

3rd Feb 2020

Willi Opitz from Illmitz presses his Sweet Brexit on January 31.

Vienna: “This will be a Sweet Brexit, not as expensive as the original, but it tastes better,” says Willi Opitz, a winemaker from Burgenland, about his Brexit wine.

The winegrower from Illmitz pressed, the special sweet wine made from Shiraz grapes on the day of Brexit. These were stored on reeds for eight months to dry and evaporate until only the essence remained. Now they are processed ready for wine making.

The Sweet Brexit wine will be ready in May. “We already have the first orders from Finland,” says Opitz.  Two barrels (225 litres each) are filled with it.

After all, Opitz also sends samples to 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace.

A Vial each has been reserved for Boris Johnson and the Queen…perhaps just in case of an order!!


Opitz, have already bottled a ‘Prince George wine’ and has been a guest of the English royal family, namely as a wine consultant for Prince Charles and Camilla, “a real expert, she is president of the English winegrowers” , said Opitz. The busy also winemaker helped the English plant a vineyard in Cornwall.

The English are the biggest fans of sweet wine. I don’t want them to get away from me!

You won’t hopefully be able to live without Austrian sweet wine, ”says Opitz. Although he is not in favor of Brexit, he has a rather relaxed approach to it.

Source: Die Presse. Photo: Willi Opitz


 

This Article was from the main daily Austrian newspaper. We feel it is an interesting read for our subscribers.

31.01.20

A UK exit from the EU will also be felt in the domestic economy of Austria   There will be new risks for job seekers, students, tourism and politics.

Austria News page

The British – Austrian connection


Great Britain takes a giant step.

The British voted to exit the European Union . The consequences of Brexit are not only felt in the UK, but also in the other Member States. Because in a largely functioning internal market, every exit tears a gap in the structure of trade, investment and political balance. Austria is also affected. Domestic export companies could suffer from the segmentation of the EU internal market. Similar effects can be expected in politics. Austria would become even less prevalent in the EU, because the other large countries would gain influence if the Kingdom left the country.

An overview of the effects on Austria:

Net contribution

Austria will have to pay more membership fees to Brussels after the UK leaves. Despite its negotiated discount, Great Britain is a net payer – most recently with around five billion euros annually. Most of this amount would have to be paid by other net contributors. Experts estimate that Austria would receive an additional annual membership fee of up to 150 million euros.

Trade

Great Britain is the eighth most important trading partner for Austria.

Due to the Brexit, business slumps are to be expected that the trade in goods with the island would have to be put on a new legal basis and currency fluctuations can be expected. However, the effects should be within a narrow range.
The Chamber of Commerce expects economic output to be reduced by 0.05 to 0.18 percent. In the financial sector, business can be expected to be redistributed from London to Frankfurt and Paris. This would affect Austrian banks that are currently active in the City of London.

Tourism

It is to be expected that fewer British holidaymakers will come to Austria because the pound has depreciated massively. Travel to Austria will be significantly more expensive for British guests, some will switch to cheaper destinations outside the euro area. Around 800,000 Britons currently come to Austria on vacation each year.

Labour market

Leaving the EU will reduce the chances of a job in the UK for many EU citizens – including Austrians. “Since the restrictions on EU immigration are one of the main arguments for the supporters of a Brexit, there could be problems here,” said economic expert Kurt Bayer in a rating for the Austrian Society for European Policy (ÖGfE).

He also points out that domestic metal and machine manufacturers alone employ around 32,000 people at their UK subsidiaries. Such companies founded by foreign companies would reduce their engagement and cut jobs. Around 25,000 Austrians live in Great Britain. For the time being, they have no expectation of an end to their work permit. However, it will be difficult for all new arrivals.

Students

Brexit could also limit the opportunities for local young people. Currently, 500 to 600 students take part in the EU Erasmus program each year to study in the UK. Whether this possibility remains depends on the negotiations between Brussels and London on future cooperation.

Political balance

 

The UK’s exit will change the 28-member balance of political power in the EU. The quorum for qualified majority decisions will change in the EU Council (government representatives). So far, Great Britain with countries like Sweden and Denmark has always been a counterweight to the Franco-German axis.

Leaving…. London will strengthen power for the two major Member States. This affects Austria and other smaller countries, which have so far often been able to tip the scales. Great Britain currently has 73 members in the European Parliament. If the total number of MPs remained the same at 751, Austria would receive one or two additional MPs in the event of a Brexit. However, according to information from the parliamentary administration, this is not yet certain.
There were many comments for the article, and mostly positive for the UK concerns!!  Here is one very sensible post.

A restriction of the influx for Austrians in the UK is hardly to be expected. The British want to restrict immigration from the “new” EU countries from Latvia to Poland to Bulgaria, but certainly not from Austria. Because the mass influx affects – like the weather a balancing air flow from high to low – a migration flow from poor to rich.

In any case, it was an adventurous decision to want to form a “union” between countries that have economic power as diverse as Luxembourg (GDP € 84,400 per capita) and Bulgaria (GDP € 5,400 per capita). GB with a GDP of € 29,600 per head is therefore an incentive to move for Bulgarians and also for Poland (€ 10,100  per head).

For Austrians, with a GDP of € 37,000 per head even ahead of Germany (€ 33,300), GB is only an incentive if they get more attractive offers from there than here. There won’t be very many. Of the approximately 400,000 Austrians living abroad, only 25,000 live in the UK – none of them take a job away from a Briton.

And why companies founded by Austrians in the UK should “reduce engagement and cut jobs” is Mr. Bayer’s secret, who wants to mix a sour potion with his statements like Mirakulix, but cannot find the ingredients.

 


Austria’s MEP’s feelings after EU Brexit vote.

As reported by Oe24 for Austria new consumption.

Austria News

Eu Parliment votes for Brexit.

30.01.20

Austria’s MEPs regretted the upcoming Brexit vote. “The Brexit is a historic mistake,” said Andreas Schieder (SPÖ). “This is not a day of joy and celebration,” said Othmar Karas (ÖVP). “Of course, the British do say goodbye hurts,” said Harald Vilimsky (FPÖ). Monika Vana (Greens) spoke of a “painful break”, NEOS European spokeswoman Claudia Gamon was “sad”. 

In his function as President of the European Movement Austria (EBÖ), Christoph Leitl called for “now to get the best out of Brexit” and to promote European integration.

The German co-chair of the left faction, Martin Schirdewan, warned against moving to that agenda. Otherwise “other countries could leave the EU” and thus “question the pan-European project”.

The EU Liberal mep’s handed EU flags to their outgoing British counterparts. Group leader Dacian Ciolos was confident that the blue banner with the yellow stars would one day fly back to Great Britain. The Greens also did not wish their British colleagues “farewell”, but “goodbye”.
Farage left the European Parliament with a reprimand

The British Brexit pioneer Nigel Farage, on the other hand, was extremely satisfied. He expects other countries to leave the Union. Farage named Denmark, Poland or Italy as possible candidates. The EU is an “anti-democratic” and “very dangerous political project,” he said. “I want it to be torn down.” He would continue to fight for that.

Together with the members of his Brexit party, Farage waved British flags after his last plenary speech and therefore received a reprimand from Mairead McGuinness, the Deputy Parliamentary President: “Put your flags away,” she said. “And take them with you if you go now.”
What’s next?

The EU, meanwhile, is concerned with what future relations with Britain will look like after the transition phase. The EU Commission wants to submit a proposal on Monday, the member states will then decide on February 25. The talks could then start in March.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promised Great Britain a “unique” partnership. The EU side would “use all our energy” to make this possible.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) also campaigned for “the closest possible partnership with Great Britain”. The negotiations about this would become a “Herculean task”, he wrote in a guest post for “Zeit Online”. He warned London of dumping and unfair competition.

At the same time, the EU wants to show that it is looking ahead despite the Brexit. Von der Leyen, Parliament President Sassoli and EU Council President Charles Michel announced a joint press conference for Brexit Day on Friday. Topic: “The future of Europe”

Source: Oe24


And on a different note about the EU!

Austria news

The crazy mobile phone cable connections!

Are you annoyed by the constant tangle of cables? Well it is possible the EU have done something useful and the phone cable tangle could be over!

D-Day for the iPhone giant from Silicon Valley! Because the EU Parliament wants to finally solve the plug connector chaos on smartphones.

Apple does not participate…. Why is this?   If you want to charge an iPhone with the charging cable with connector of an Android smartphone, then no chance: the connections do not fit!    Perhaps this has always been simply a money spinner, that locks owners into their charger units.?

The EU has been advocating a uniform charging cable (USB-C) for years – also to reduce 51,000 tons of electronic waste per year.  But the plug chaos still exists – mainly because Apple is resisting and relies on its exclusive Lightning cable for iPhones.

After more than 10 years of connector disputes in Brussels, the EU Parliament should vote today on an application for EU-wide charging cables for cell phones, tablets, etc.

But it could take years before the cable standard finally becomes reality!!…

Source: Oe24

From Tax cuts to immigration controls: What the new Austrian government has planned for the country?

 20th Jan 20

Austria news


Austria’s new government, has set out plans to make the country pioneering, so what is in the detail?

The chancellor Sebastian Kurz says the unlikely coalition of Conservatives and Greens offers “the best of both worlds”.

Here are some of the main points of the government’s 300-page programme.

Carbon neutral by 2040

The government is aiming to be carbon neutral — meaning greenhouse gas emissions are balanced with measures that absorb or eliminate carbon — by 2040, a decade ahead of the European Union’s 2050 ambition

With this goal, the country of 8.8 million, wants to be a “forerunner” in Europe, the programme says.

Finland, Norway and Sweden have similarly declared their intentions to be carbon neutral before 2050.

Between 1990 and 2017, Austria together with five others were the only EU members who saw their greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, while across the whole union they have fallen by 22 percent.

Over the same period, in the transportation sector alone emissions increased by 71 percent in Austria, according to Environment Ministry figures.

Green transport and energy

While the Greens campaigned — along with environmentalists — for higher eco taxes to be introduced, such as in Germany and other EU members, the government programme makes no direct promise of that.

Instead, a task force will be set up to see how taxes can be “ecologised” from 2022.

The plan does, however, stipulate a tax of 12 euros ($13.40) on every plane ticket for both short and medium-distance flights, up from 3.50 euros and 7.50 euros respectively.

On the other hand, the government wants to introduce a yearly pass, costing three euros a day, to be used on public transport throughout the country, while also investing more in the sector.

Besides raising the percentage of bicycle usage from six percent currently to 13 percent, new taxis, rental cars and public cars should all run on clean energy.

The programme also spells out that all energy should come from renewable resources by 2030 and seeks to ban oil or coal heating in private homes and gas boilers in new construction.

Tax cuts and balanced budget

“Investment, for public transport or to protect the climate, will also stimulate the economy,” Kurz said, aiming to show that economic growth and fighting climate change can go hand-in-hand.

Economists stress, however, that balancing the budget could be difficult as besides green investments and no debts, Kurz also promised tax cuts as one of his main campaign pledges, besides fighting immigration.

Income and corporate tax cuts are planned.

“While solid growth will increase tax revenues somewhat, the new coalition has not provided a complete answer on how they plan to finance their fiscal plans,” Katharina Koenz of Oxford Economics said.

Immigration vs transparency

Kurz’s People’s Party (OeVP) appears to have imposed its policies on immigration and security without concessions. Meanwhile, the ecologists pushed to include a chapter on transparency in the programme.

The conservatives insist on two emblematic measures: extending the headscarf ban for school girls from 10 to 14 years and introducing a form of preventive detention for those judged a danger to society.

They also want to strengthen EU frontiers and see more border guards deployed.

However, the notion that Austrians be given preference over non-Austrians — a hallmark of Kurz’s previous administration which cut social benefits for immigrants and stepped up deportations — has disappeared from the new programme.

After numerous scandals shook the country and even caused the previous government to collapse, the measures to improve transparency include strengthening the power of the Court of Audit and introducing a right of access to administrative documents.

Source: The local

(Photo by Robert JAEGER / APA / AFP)


More rental apartments and fewer owner apartments!

Austria news update

15th Jan 2020 –   The prices for the Viennese housing market will only know one direction this year…….. upwards.

 

Even if, as was emphasized in a recent press conference the time of the big price jumps is over. An average price increase for condominiums of three percent is expected. Rents are likely to rise even more moderately: Real estate experts expect an increase of around 1.5 percent in 2020 and 2021, which will roughly correspond to the inflation rate.

Trend towards residential towers

Construction prices, which have risen sharply in recent years, would slow down slowly, reported Sandra Bauernfeind, a residential real estate expert. The trend towards small apartments will continue in 2020. Interestingly, High-quality apartments, which are 35 square meters in size, are also architecturally demanding.

Another trend: “The next few years will be the time of residential towers,” said Bauernfeind, for example with the Marina Tower in Vienna-Leopoldstadt.

The real Estate broker network also recently forecast that prices for the whole of Austria will continue to rise for the real estate year 2020 – albeit more moderately than recently.

Vacancy is a problem

The “boundless gold-digging mood on the housing market” has now evaporated, the large excess demand has been partially reduced. However, the price level in some areas of the country is so high that for some sections of the population property is neither attainable nor desirable, according to a broadcast by estate agents.

With the broker network, however, it is also estimated that in the Vienna 10th, 21st and 22nd districts alone, “thousands of apartments” are empty. On the one hand, because they do not fit or are not affordable for interested parties and therefore cannot find buyers.

However, some apartments would also remain unused because owners have recently become too hot for illegal short-term rentals on booking platforms such as Airbnb. Estate agents are therefore expecting some of these apartments to come onto the market soon – and to bring a “minimal relaxation effect” to the market.

Source: Der Standard


 

Britons who have studied around Europe have expressed anger the scheme will end.

Britons who have studied around Europe have expressed anger and incredulity after the UK parliament voted not to seek to negotiate to continue the Erasmus student exchange programme after Brexit, although the government will be considering exchange programmes as part of the Brexit process.
Austria news

Conservative party MPs in the British parliament used their majority to block a clause which would have required Boris Johnson’s government to negotiate the continuation of the programme, which allows British students to study in the EU and European students to study in Britain.

In other words continuing Erasmus after Brexit is not an objective for the British government.

Erasmus has been in operation since the late 1980s and has allowed British students to study at universities in the EU member states for set periods of time.

Tens of thousands have taken advantage of the scheme and the small financial grants it offers to help students study abroad.

While the vote does not necessarily mean the UK won’t participate in the Erasmus scheme or something similar in the future it has been taken as a kick in the teeth by pro-Europeans and those who took advantage of it.

The Lib Dem MEP Layla Moran, who tabled the clause said: “Let us remind ourselves what Erasmus does. It allows our young people to go abroad to European universities, to learn new languages, to meet new people, to put down some roots abroad and to build the international understanding that, in my view, is a big part of what it means to be British.

“When people who have used the scheme return and apply their skills, the economy is boosted. The scheme increases their chances of getting a job and increases their confidence and sense of independence – and Brexit ​puts all that under threat.”

The government’s Junior Brexit minister, James Duddridge said that in the future the UK will be “open to maintaining and expanding cooperation in education” with the EU.

“We strongly believe… in the value of international exchange, not just European exchange, and it is very much part of our vision for global Britain to extend that concept,” he said.

The minister added that the talks on the “future relationship” between the EU and the UK, which will begin March will look at the possibility of the UK taking part in exchange programmes.

Source: The Local.


 Climate concerns put Glacier project on ice.

Austria news
6th January.
In Austria’s snow-capped Pitztal valley, Eberhard Schultes is among those pushing to expand the region’s skiing sector — but environmentalists alarmed about the region’s vanishing glaciers are pushing back.

Schultes is the managing director of the Pitztaler Gletscherbahnen mountain lift company, which is trying to win approval for a new ski area to connect the Pitztaler glacier to the neighbouring Oetztal formation.

Even though the last winter season saw Austria break records for accommodation booked, visitor numbers have stagnated in Schultes’ native valley. He is banking on the scheme to bring them back.

But the project has drawn the ire of environmentalists and the Greens, at a time when the party is negotiating to be in government — and amid growing concerns about the sustainability of winter sports.

“The Pitztal glacier has hardly changed for the past 30 years in terms of offer — the amount of slopes and facilities — and given that this is winter guests’ number one criteria, it is absolutely necessary to carry out this 
merger,” Schultes says.

In Tyrol state, where the 3,440-metre (11,290-feet)-high Pitztal glacier is located, every fourth job and every third euro ($1.10) earned come from tourism and leisure.

The project was first floated five years ago and has been gradually winding its way through the approvals process, with an environmental impact hearing due in January.

If it does get the go-ahead, the project — estimated to cost more than 130 million euros ($140 million) and take six years to build — will add more than 64 hectares (160 acres) of slopes to the current 120 hectares.

In addition it will link up to the Oetztal glacier area, which encompasses the popular Soelden resort. Its spectacular scenery may be familiar to anyone who watched the snow-chase sequence in the last James Bond film, ‘Spectre’.

The project envisages a summit station with restaurant, two new cable cars, a ski tunnel, artificial snow generators and, most importantly for the Pitztal, a new gondola — a cable lift to bring guests up from the valley into the new ski area.

Schultes says the current mountain railway built in 1983 is outdated, as it can only carry a maximum of 1,100 people per hour. With the new gondola, that capacity would triple.

But the project in the area, which already boasts Austria’s highest mountain gondola, has drawn criticism from those questioning the sustainability of such plans.

Source: The Local: Photo: AFP


Is Smaller living the way of the future?

austria news

In the past few decades, the motto for living space has been “it can be a little bit more”. Recently, however, a new minimalism gained popularity with the Tiny Houses. Is this the future for Austrians instead of their Wohnmobiles(camper vans)and caravans?  It remains to be seen, but the future looks mini houses and I passed one on my drive around the lake last week!

How things are built and used is not only subject to technical and aesthetic trends, but is also always a reflection of the applicable cultural values. In the consumer societies characterized by the maximization of property, the houses have become bigger and bigger with increasing prosperity.

According to the statistics from ‘Statistics Austria’, a single-family home had an average of 122 square meters of living space in 2001, ten years later at least five square meters more.

The more space also means higher costs for the purchase and maintenance of the property. In the course of increasing economic uncertainty, the desire or the need for more mobility in work and private life, the limited and increasingly expensive space in metropolitan areas and not least the questions about the ecological effects of modern lifestyle, more and more people are questioning the thesis that bigger is basically better.

austria news

The Tiny House is an equally radical and optically charming counter design and kills several birds with one stone. It takes less material and time to erect, is inexpensive to maintain, offers great comfort thanks to sophisticated design and furnishing concepts and can be transported from one location to another by car or truck, depending on the size and weight.

The Tiny House is an equally radical and optically charming counter design and kills several birds with one stone. It takes less material and time to erect, is inexpensive to maintain, offers great comfort thanks to sophisticated design and furnishing concepts and can be transported from one location to another by car or truck, depending on the size and weight.

The Tiny House movement began in the United States at the end of the 20th century. The architect Sarah Susanka published the book “The Not So Big House – A Blueprint For the Way We Really Live”. The idea was initially picked up by hobbyists and dropouts who converted old circus and construction wagons or containers into portable mini-houses and shared their experiences and construction plans with the people at workshops and via the Internet.


Silvester (New Year) in Austria.

Austria news
New Year’s Eve is known as Silvester in Austria, referring to the anniversary of Saint Sylvester’s death.
There are many ways to celebrate whether it be a New year concert or a New year Ball at the Imperial Palace, Vienna. But below we have put some general Austrian style celebrations.
Here’s how to celebrate Austrian-style.

Brew some punch.

A traditional drink for New Year’s Eve is a punch made with red wine, cinnamon and sugar, which is dedicated to Saint Sylvester. It can also be made with rum and fruit juices.

Glücksbringer

Stock up on these little good-luck charms and trinkets to give to your friends on New Year’s Eve. You may have noticed that the Christmas markets have made way for small stands which are selling little marzipan or toy pigs, as well as four-leaf clover charms, chimney sweeps, mushrooms, horseshoes and ladybirds. Pigs are considered lucky as they were traditionally a sign of wealth and prosperity – indicating that their owners would never go hungry.

Fortune-telling, Austrian-style

Bleigießen is an Austrian tradition of melting lead or tin as a way of predicting what the next year will hold for you. You can buy the Bleigießen kits at various shops or stands in most cities. You melt the lead in a spoon over a candle or a stove and pour it into a bowl of cold water. The form that the lead makes is used to predict what the future holds for you. For example, a bubbly surface can refer to money, a fragile or broken shape could mean misfortune. Ships refer to travelling, keys to career advancement, and a horse points to a new car

Serve up some pork and lentils

As pigs are considered lucky, it’s traditional for many Austrians to cook pork ribs, chops or a roast on New Year’s Eve – served with fresh horseradish and sometimes lentils. Lentils are also considered to be lucky as they are shaped like coins and indicate money and wealth for the New Year. Fish is traditionally eaten on New Year’s Day, as it swims forward, taking you in the right direction for a fresh year. Cookies, chocolates and marzipan will also be prepared in the shape of a pig or a fish, and green peppermint ice-cream is sometimes served in the shape of a four-leaf clover.

Waltz into the New Year

If you tune into the national broadcaster ORF, it will be playing the Donauwalzer, the traditional song to accompany the first moments of the New Year. If you find a good dance partner, then this is the moment to do a midnight waltz.

Guten Rutsch!

Wish your friends a Guten Rutsch before midnight (which translates as “sliding well into the next year” and a Frohes neues Jahr after the clock has struck 12. It’s traditional to hug and kiss your fellow party guests, and then sit back and enjoy the fireworks displays.


Playmobil Mozart conquers the whole world!

Austria news

Sought after like his great role model: Around 20,000 mini-Mozarts have now been sold over the counter.

He became a “hit” like his Musical role model, but within a short time he “traveled” a lot further: the little Playmobil Mozart, which the Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg only presented to the public about two months ago. Demand is so great that a new edition is already being decided on, Mozarteum Marketing Director Rainer Heneis said in an APA interview on Wednesday.

The foundation initially ordered 50,000, almost 20,000 mini-Mozarts have now been sold. The figurine is only offered in the shops of the two Mozart houses (birthplace and his home) and with selected partners at tourist hotspots in Salzburg and on the Internet.

“We expect the 50,000 units to be gone in the spring and plan for the summer business.” With regard to the festival anniversary in 2020, many guests from all over the world are expected in Salzburg.

There will be another edition almost certainly, Heneis could not yet give any information about the number of pieces. But since he announced that he would bring in a few more sales partners, such as Salzburg Airport, it will at least not be smaller than the first.

The figure is primarily intended not as a new source of income, but as an advertising medium for Mozart’s work. “We can address other target groups with the figure. We have just produced a ten-minute film in which the Playmobil Mozart explains the ‘Marriage of Figaro’.” This goes online towards the end of the year.

The proceeds – between 70 cents – one euro for each toy sold – go to the Mozarteum Foundation’s youth development programs. The purchase price is 3.99 euros.

Source: Kurier.


 

Austria in Top 6:

Tax burden grows faster than economy

Austria news
Source:  Michael Bachner – Kurier

In the coalition negotiations between the ÖVP and the Greens, Austria’s tax policy plays a not insignificant role, not least because of the necessary greening of the system.  In any case, there is scope for greater relief, especially with regard to the labour factor – considering the latest OECD data.

Accordingly, the burden of taxes and duties in this country in 2018 with 42.2 percent put it the sixth highest  within the compared industrialized nations. Only in France, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden and Finland do citizens and businesses pay more to the state than in Austria. The OECD average of 34.3 percent is almost ten points below the domestic value. .

In recent years there was much talk of tax relief.    In reality, there was a slight increase in the tax and duty rate – now even above the level of Italy!

Agenda Austria Vice-Director Lukas Sustala explains that the increase in the tax rate without changing the tax rates is as follows: “Total tax revenues grew noticeably faster than gross domestic product in the previous year, by 8.2 billion euros or 5.2 percent. In good economic years, tax revenues are traditionally stronger if you do not counteract with reforms. “

In detail, it can be seen that, for example, wage tax receipts rose by 7.1 percent in the previous year, but the gross domestic product (nominal) only increased by 4.2 percent.

Other taxes have increased significantly faster than GDP, for example, the corporate tax by 14.7 percent (+ 1.2 billion euros) – because of good employment and the social security contributions.


Possibly the most efficient and feared police in Austria!!

news update

Illegal workers: entire staff arrested in a Vienna Local Restaurant!

Many of the employees may also have worked in Austria without the correct residence permits.

The ‘Foreign aliens police’ and the ‘Financial tax police’ conducted a check-up on Friday evening in a restaurant venue in Vienna-Meidling. The entire catering staff was arrested on suspicion of missing residence permits and moonlighting.

The Austrian tax police as their name translates, are probably the most efficient police in Austria, as many online comments stated that if the normal police were as on the ball…there would not be illegal workers!!

At this time of year with the busy tourist season, the Tax police are always on the lookout. They do not have blue flashing lights, but with the large BMF decals on their cars they simply drive around in an area, to put a little stress on people and employers!

There were five men and six women from Serbia between the ages of 21 and 51 years arrested.


Austrian rail ticket sales up as passengers choosing trains over planes!Train travel

Austria’s state rail operator has really increased its night train ticket sales this year.

ÖBB, said on Wednesday that ticket sales for its long-distance night services were up substantially this year, as more and more passengers choose train travel as a more ecological alternative to flying.

One of Europe’s leading operators of night rail services, it said in a statement that bookings on both its regular seated and sleeper night trains were up 11 percent year-on-year in the period until mid-October.

With prices for seats alone as low as €19  to most destinations, the services were “competitive with low-cost airlines”, said ÖBB chief Andreas Matthae.

ÖBB operates, either alone or in partnership, some 26 night train services to destinations in countries such as Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Croatia and Poland.

It is developing its network and is ordering new rolling stock, and at the end of 2016 bought the night trains of the state rail operator in neighbouring Germany, Deutsche Bahn.

ÖBB is planning to launch a new service between Vienna and Brussels starting from January and between Vienna and Amsterdam in 2021.

Nightjet

Nightjet is ÖBB’s night train. It travels overnight through Austria and into neighbouring Italy, Switzerland and Germany. Nightjet also runs to Eastern European destinations such as Poland and Croatia.

Nightjet offers three different ticket options –

Seated carriage – the cheapest way to take the Nightjet. You’ll share six-seater carriages with other travellers – seats are upright. The carriages contain a couple of plug sockets and a small table.

Couchette – available as 4-berth or 6-berth cabins. Upright seats convert into single beds with a blanket, sheet and pillow included. Ideal for families or groups. Couchette tickets also include a “Viennese Breakfast” and bottled water free of charge. ÖBB offers women’s compartments and wheelchair accessible compartments on request.

Sleeper cabin – the most luxurious way to travel in the Nightjet. Choose between a standard or deluxe cabin in single, double or triple sizes. Standard cabins come with a washbasin, while deluxe cabins come with a full basin and bathroom. You’ll be welcomed into a sleeper cabin with a freshly made bed, a welcome bag and drink as well as an a-la-carte breakfast.

Find out more about Nightjet trains.


Austria smoking ban commences!

Austria smoking ban

(Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

Austria, on Friday 1st November, became one of the last European countries to ban smoking in bars and restaurants, after years of debate.

Parliamentarians approved the ban in July in a bid to rid Austria of its status as the “ashtray of Europe”. Only members from the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) opposed the measure.

A quarter of the country’s 8.8 million inhabitants smoke, exceeding the European average of 18 percent, but calls for bans dated back more than a decade.

The FPÖ – formerly led by a keen smoker – had stymied a previous attempt to ban smoking in pubs and restaurants when it entered the government in December 2017.

That prompted a backlash from large sections of the public and the Austrian medical association, which organized a petition in favour of the ban signed by almost 900,000 people, or around 14 percent of voters.

However, in May the FPÖ left government under the shadow of a corruption scandal, paving the way for the proposal to be voted again in parliament.

Up until now, smoking has been legal in bars and restaurants larger than 50 square metres as long as it was done in a separate area – although this rule was not always rigidly implemented.

No separate area was necessary in smaller establishments if the owner was happy to allow smoking on the premises.

However, a growing number of restaurants and cafes had already banned smoking of their own accord.

Source: The local


Ski-ing this winter… tips on how to behave in an Austrian sauna!

New update

Winter warmth in th Sauna

Going ski-ing in Austria this winter?  As the days and nights get colder, chances are that you may want to warm up in an Austrian spa, or Therme. For Brits and Americans Austria’s spa culture can come as a bit of a surprise – most of the saunas are mixed gender for starters, and swimming costumes are not allowed. For anyone unsure of what to expect or how to behave, here are some pointers.

Dress code. Yes, you do have to be naked, and no, you can’t keep your underwear on like you did in the showers at school. You’ll probably be asked to leave if you insist on wearing any clothing. It’s a good idea to have two towels. One to place on the wooden bench under your feet (this prevents the spread of nasty things like verrucas) and one to sit on. Remember to remove any metal jewellery before you go in the sauna, as it could get very hot and burn your skin.

It’s also a good idea to bring a bathrobe, as larger public saunas normally have a cafe or snack bar serving light meals and drinks, and a robe comes in handy. Flip flops are also a good idea for wearing in between sauna sessions, but leave them outside the door when you go in the sauna.

Cleanliness. Do have a shower first, before entering the pool or sauna. And do hose down the bench where you’ve been sitting in the steam room before you leave. No one wants to sit in a pool of your sweat.

Close the door! When you go into the sauna room itself, you must open and close the door quickly. If you forget, you may hear cries of  ‘Tür zu!’ (close the door). It’s important that the heat is retained within the sauna.

Grooming. Going to the spa and shaving your legs in the shower or steam room is a no no. Same goes for plucking chin hairs, clipping nails or any other grooming routines that should only be done in the privacy of your own bathroom at home.

Talking. Is allowed but keep it quiet and to a minimum. People do greet each other as they enter the sauna, and sometimes there is a bit of banter but don’t let it get out of hand.

No ogling. Yes, everybody is naked and you will see bodies of all shapes and sizes but this isn’t an excuse to stare. Saunas are about relaxing and Austrians consider them a holistic treatment which benefit the body and mind – especially after a long day hiking or skiing. If you’re looking for a hookup, stick to Tinder.

Laughing. Try not to giggle and snigger when the usually male sauna attendant comes in for the ‘Aufguss’, and whirls a towel around his head. This is when the water is mixed with essential oils and poured onto the glowing coals of the sauna – making the heat shoot up drastically for a few minutes. Try not to go in or out of the sauna during these moments and keep the door closed. Do clap when the sauna attendant has finished.

Fainting. If you feel very unwell and think you might faint because of the heat, please leave the sauna as soon as you can. Vomiting or passing out on the naked person next to you is a no no.

Avoid the top bench if you’re a newbie. This is because heat rises, and it’s a long way down if you start to feel unwell. It’s recommended that those who are new to the sauna only stay in for around 8 to 10 minutes and sit on the middle or lower bench, at a temperature of 60 to 70C.

Sex. Absolutely not!!   Do not see an empty sauna or steam room as an excuse to get active with your partner!  You will be banned from the spa if you are caught in the act.

Don’t over do it. People generally take up to three sauna sessions in one visit, lasting anything from 5 to 20 minutes each. The ‘rest periods’ in between – either outside in the fresh air or in a cooler relaxation room – should last at least as long as the previous sauna session; 20 to 30 minutes is recommended. A complete sauna visit takes two to three hours. Don’t be surprised if you feel tired after the sauna. Remember to drink plenty of water after your sauna session (but not during) and avoid alcohol.

Source: The local, Photo: Olaf Tausch/Wikimedia


‘Only by taking a tough line with EU has Austria stopped rise of fascist right’

SEBASTIAN Kurz’s refusal to kowtow to Brussels has not only won him respect and greater political clout in Austria but has helped snuff out the rise of right-wing nationalism, a leading political analyst said today.

’s political power base has been strengthened by his party party’s impressive showing in ’s snap election at the weekend – and he will be ready to take an ever tougher stand against eurocrats in Brussels when he inevitably returns as Chancellor, according to Pieter Cleppe, head of the Brussels office of the Open Europe think tank.

Read the complete News article from the Express here:


 What problems is Brexit causing for property purchase in Austria.

amazing austria

Yes of course the uncertainty of Brexit is causing delays to UK-Austria investment in property, whether it is holiday home or permanent residence.

Generally the market has changed ever since the Brexit vote moving to more European based investment. The main change to the UK market has been the switch from holiday homes to more permanent residences, for Guesthouses, B&B, apartment rental business or retirement.

But this change has not been entirely to do with Brexit, the change in holiday rental regulations have made it very difficult for UK buyers to obtain  a mortgage as income required in Euros not sterling!!  So even before the UK leaves, there has been a bias towards UK buyers.

This has had the effect of UK owners actually selling up their holiday homes in Austria.  Also property prices have risen considerably over the last few years, giving a good return on their intial investment.  The fact that UK sellers can get more money for their property and also buy more Sterling for less Euros is one considerable inducement to sell up


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Mallnitz Holiday chalets and Guaranteed income sells out first phase.news updates

The new Mallnitz chalet and camper project is one of the developments that is attracting buyers in the investment property market.

With a guaranteed income starting at € 11.865,00 for the professionally managed holiday rentals, one can see the attraction.  The developers have been able to create a rental plan for owners that not only gives them a guaranteed income but Owners are able to use their holiday home for 3 weeks of the year.

Besides a yearly payment of 400 euros to the local Gemeinde, there are no additonal costs for owners as the management company has included in rental prices, all the services, such as heating, lighting and water.  read more on our webpage


Austria’s love of using cash… in  political campaign spotlight

Austria's love of cash
It may sound like a strange thing to enshrine in a country’s constitution: the right to pay cash.
But a debate on whether to do just that has entered Austria’s election campaign, shining a light on the country’s love of cold, hard currency.

The Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) recently made the suggestion as part of
its campaign for a parliamentary election in late September, for which it has a commanding poll lead.

This led to other parties — though sceptical of the ÖVP’s proposal — vaunting their commitment to protecting cash, with the centre-left Social Democrats (SPÖ) demanding an end to fees levied at cashpoints.

And it is not hard to see why all major parties see protecting cash as a vote-winner.

“In Austria, attitudes change slowly,” an employee of Weinschenke, a burger restaurant in downtown Vienna, told AFP.

The woman in her 30s, who only gave her name as Victoria, says she prefers to use cash because “you don’t leave a trace”.

Financial law expert Werner Doralt says Austrians put a high value on privacy and are wary of anything that could be used to keep tabs on them, such as card transactions.

“If for example I go shopping, and it’s recorded exactly how much schnapps I’ve bought, that’s an invasion of my privacy,” he says.

A recent survey conducted by the ING bank in 13 European countries, Australia and the US, showed Austrians were the most resistant to the idea of giving up cash payments.

Just 10 percent of those surveyed in Austria said they could imagine doing without cash, compared to a European average of 22 percent.

According to European Central Bank data compiled in 2017, cash accounted for 67 percent of money spent at points of sale in Austria, compared to just 27 percent in the Netherlands.

Even in neighbouring Germany, another country known for its attachment to cash, the rate is only 55 percent.

Academic and author Erich Kirchler, a specialist in economic psychology, says in Austria and Germany, citizens are aware of the dangers of an overmighty state from their World War II experience.

“In that case the efficiency of state institutions becomes dangerous,” Kirchler told AFP.

It is a theory that finds a resounding echo in the slogan printed in bold on the menu of one Vienna restaurant and bar, Caffe Latte: “Cash is lived freedom!”

“When we have no more cash, we become totally exposed. A totalitarian state would then have unfettered power over us,” the menu reads.

Admittedly the cafe accepts cards as its owner Philipp Klos says he has to think about business too.

“In five years, there will be no more cash. I’m 100 percent sure,” he told AFP, saying the ÖVP proposal to amend the constitution is “empty talk”.

Other parties and experts have also pointed out that Austria would not have the unilateral right to protect cash through constitutional changes because it uses the euro, which is under the purview of the European Central Bank.

Even 17 years after the euro came into circulation, some Austrians are still finding notes and coins in their previous currency, the schilling, much of it left in forgotten hiding places in homes.

The haul from under the nation’s mattresses, which until now could be exchanged at the “Euro-Bus” of the Austrian National Bank (ÖNB), which toured the country, was almost 19 million schillings (1.38 million euros) this year.

Unlike several other parts of the eurozone, Austrians still have an unlimited period to exchange their schillings at the ÖNB.

Austrian banks, too, are behind some of their counterparts elsewhere when it comes to the ease with which clients can access debit or credit cards.

Following a recent EU directive, Austrian banks are phasing out “ATM cards” and renaming them debit cards.

And some banks are currently planning to equip the new debit cards with the ability to make payments online, as is common elsewhere.

Source: The local


Brexit: Why won’t the EU act to protect the rights of Britons in Europe?

Austria property

While the British government appears to have cottoned on to the importance of protecting the citizens’ rights of Brits in the EU and EU citizens in the UK, Brussels appears reluctant to act. Five million people living in limbo are in need of action.

This week the British government published updated correspondence between its Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.

The latest letter from Barclay to Barnier gave some hope to those campaigning for the rights of five million EU nationals in the UK and Britons throughout Europe.

Campaigners, backed by Conservative MP Alberto Costa, have been fighting for the citizens’ rights part of the much-maligned Brexit Withdrawal Agreement to be ringfenced, meaning that part of the deal will still stand even if Britain crashes out of Europe without an agreement.

From his letter at least it appears that Barclay has clearly taken the side of campaigners from groups British in Europe and the 3Million which represents EU nationals in Britain.

“I’m sure you agree they make a persuasive case on the need to provide certainty to citizens in all scenarios,” says Barclay.

And while EU member states have taken steps to reassure the rights of Britons living in their countries that certain rights will be protected for a certain length of time Barclay points out “there are gaps in a number of areas in a number of member states”.

The British in Europe campaign group, which says ringfencing is so “crucial to our rights and our lives”, welcomed Barclay’s “clearly worded letter” that reflects “fairly and fully the issues we raised” in a recent meeting between the minister and campaigners.

British in Europe’s co-chair Jane Golding said: “Mr Barclay is right that we are not asking for the withdrawal agreement to be re-opened. And a ringfenced withdrawal agreement is infinitely better than 28 unilateral national solutions that cannot resolve issues such as cross border social security contributions for working people, or health insurance for pensioners.”

With the British government apparently onside, the ball seems firmly in Barnier’s court.

Kalba Meadows from British in Europe and Remain in France Together (RIFT) told The Local: “So far the EU hasn’t been willing to consider ringfencing citizens’ rights under Article 50, though we hope that position will soften in the weeks to come, with a no-deal exit back on the table as an increasing risk. So we await Michel Barnier’s response to this latest letter with anticipation.”

But despite support for ringfencing apparently growing among members of the European Parliament and indeed member states and lawyers firmly of the opinion that it can be done, the EU’s Brexit negotiator Barnier has previously called it a “distraction” and already spelled out his reluctance to go down that path.

In a first letter to Barclay, Barnier stressed that the rights of Britons in the EU were a priority for Brussels and each individual member state, but that ringfencing would be too complicated given that so much of the Withdrawal Agreement is linked to citizens’ rights.

“It is therefore far from straightforward to identify which provisions would need to be ‘carved out’ as part of the ringfencing exercise proposed by the House of Commons… with the risk of unequal treatment of certain categories of citizens,” Barnier wrote.

The EU’s negotiator has promised that no British citizen would be “left in the dark” but with the next British Prime Minister likely to be ardent Brexiteer Boris Johnson, who has vowed Britain will leave the EU “with or without a deal” Barnier’s promise offers little comfort to five million citizens living in limbo.

They need something far more legally binding than a promise not to be left in the dark and it needs to happen quickly.

“Both sides have a special duty of care to agree to do the right thing as quickly as possible, so that the people most directly affected by Brexit, and without a say about it, can get on with their lives with certainty’,” writes British in Europe’s co-chair Jane Golding.

A spokesman for the European Commission told The Local: “We confirm that we received a letter this morning on citizens’ rights from Steve Barclay, the UK Secretary of State for Exiting the EU. Michel Barnier will reply swiftly to this letter.

“The Commission has consistently made clear that the rights of EU citizens in the United Kingdom and UK nationals in the EU are our priority.

“The best protection for citizens is through the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, which contains substantive rights as well as an effective enforcement mechanism. The latter is particularly crucial in guaranteeing the protection of all rights over time.

“In case of a ‘no-deal’ scenario, the EU and the Member States have adopted contingency measures to ensure that UK nationals could remain legally resident in the period after a ‘no-deal’ Withdrawal. The Commission has worked with the EU27 Member States to ensure coherence in the overall approach. ”

Source – The Local


Austrian house prices continue to rise.

wooden chalet

Austrian housing prices continue to rise strongly, as economic growth picks up.

During the year to Q3 2018, the residential property price index in Austria was up by 7.97% (5.71% in real terms), after y-o-y rises of 4.94% in Q2 2018, 7.32% in Q1 2018, 4.7% in Q4 2017, and 4.56% in Q3 2017, based on figures from the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB). During the latest quarter, nationwide property prices increased 2.83% (2.57% in real terms) in Q3 2018.

  • House prices in Vienna, Austria’s capital, rose by 6.54% during the year to Q3 2018 (4.31% in real terms). During the latest quarter, Vienna’s residential property price index increased 2.92% (2.66% in real terms) from the previous quarter.
  • In the rest of Austria, the residential property price index rose sharply by 9.71% (7.42% in real terms) in Q3 2018 from a year earlier. In Q3 2018, house prices increased 2.62% (2.36% in real terms) from the previous quarter.

 

Statistics Austria’s figures were more muted, reporting that the overall house price index rose by 4.9% (2.71% in real terms) during the year to Q3 2018, following y-o-y price rises of 3.74% in Q2 2018, 5.34% in Q1 2018, 6.55% in Q4 2017 and 4.86% in Q3 2017.

  • For new dwellings, the average price dropped slightly by 0.6% (-2.68% in real terms) during the year to Q3 2018, and fell by 0.79% (-1.04% in real terms) from the previous quarter, according to Statistics Austria.
  • For existing dwellings, the average price rise was 6.97% (4.73% in real terms) y-o-y in Q3 2018 and increased 2.42% (2.16% in real terms) from the previous quarter.
  • For existing houses, the average price rose by 4.9% (2.7% in real terms) in Q3 2018 from a year earlier and by 3.64% (3.38% in real terms) from the previous quarter.
  • For existing flats, the average price surged 8.64% (6.37% in real terms) y-o-y in Q3 2018, and increased 1.49% (1.23% in real terms) from the previous quarter.

 

Supply is falling despite robust demand. In the first three quarters of 2018, the total number of apartments approved for construction in Austria dropped 5.6% y-o-y to 54,494 units – after rising annually by 9% from 2013 to 2017. Total housing loans rose by 7.1% in November 2018 from a year earlier, to reach EUR 111.89 billion (US$ 127.25 billion), according to the European Central Bank (ECB).

Austria’s economy grew by 2.7% in 2018, an improvement from last year’s 2.6% growth, according to the Oesterreichische Nationalbank. The economy is expected to expand by 2% in 2019, and by another 1.9% in 2020, according to the country’s central bank.

Source: Global property


 Austria’s first female chancellor to lead interim government

Brigitte Bierlein is Austria's first female Chancellor. Photo: Hans Punz/AFP

President of the Constitutional Court Brigitte Bierlein looks named as interim chancellor by Austrian President on May 30, 2019, at the Chancellery in Vienna.

Austria’s first female chancellor has taken office. President Alexander Van der Bellen appointed the head of the country’s constitutional court to lead an interim government until elections later in the year.

Brigitte Bierlein will now be tasked with forming a cabinet after the previous government collapsed spectacularly over the so-called “Ibiza-gate” corruption scandal.

“I will seek to win Austrians’ trust,” Bierlein said alongside Van der Bellen in a televised statement on Thursday, saying she would hold talks with political parties and civil society organizations in the coming days.

She said that Clemens Jablons, a previous president of the Supreme Administrative Court, was “ready to take up the posts of vice-chancellor and justice minister”.

She added that she would put forward diplomat Alexander Schallenberg for the post of foreign minister.

“If this is surprising for you, it is for me as well,” Bierlein told journalists gathered for the statement.

Van der Bellen called Bierlein a “prudent, far-sighted and highly competent personality”.

Bierlein, 69, has been president of the constitutional court since last year and previously held several other prominent positions as a judge and prosecutor.

The appointment comes after Sebastian Kurz became the first chancellor in Austrian history to be thrown out of office by a no-confidence vote of MPs on Monday.

Opposition MPs brought the motion as they said Kurz had to take responsibility for the scandal which brought down his government.

The crisis began with the publication of hidden-camera footage in which former Freedom Party (FPÖ) leader and Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christan Strache appeared to offer public contracts to a woman posing as a Russian investor in exchange for help in the 2017 parliamentary election campaign.

The video led Strache to resign and prompted Kurz to end his coalition with the FPÖ and call snap elections.

Kurz’s centre-right People’s Party (ÖVP) won an impressive 34.6 percent of the vote in Sunday’s European parliament elections and at the moment looks on course to easily re-emerge as Austria’s largest party at the upcoming elections. 

Source: The Local – Photo: Hanz Punz – AFP.


Austria’s Sebastian Kurz: from wonder child to deposed leader

SEbastian Kurz deposed

Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is deposed

“Whizz-kid,” “Basti Fantasti” and “Messiah” were a few of the nicknames given to 31-year-old Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz back in 2017 when he was able to form a coalition with the far-right and become the youngest leader in the world.

One and a half years later, he himself has been forced from office over a scandal that already brought down his government and now finds himself the holder of some less positive records.

He becomes the country’s shortest-serving chancellor, as well as the first in Austria’s post-war history to be removed in a no-confidence vote.

But despite this setback, Kurz is currently in a strong position to profit from snap elections which have been called due to the crisis and are expected in the autumn.

In European elections on Sunday, his People’s Party (ÖVP) won 34.9 percent of the vote overall, up almost eight points on the last such vote in 2014 and a record for any Austrian party since the country joined the European Union in 1995.

‘One-man show’

The only child of a secretary and a teacher, Kurz had joined the ÖVP’s youth wing in 2003.

As its chief, he had drawn ridicule with a 2010 council election campaign featuring the slogan “Schwarz macht geil”, or “Black makes you hot” that saw Kurz posing with scantily-clad girls on top of a black Hummer, the “hot-o-mobile”, and distributing black condoms.

But despite this blunder, the former law student – he never finished his degree – enjoyed a meteoric rise, becoming secretary of integration in 2011 and foreign minister two years later, aged 27.

In May 2017 he then undertook a swift and effective power grab within the ÖVP, and brought down the unhappy “grand coalition” with the Social Democrats (SPÖ).

In the early election that followed, Kurz fronted a campaign as slick as his trademark gelled-back hair under a slogan of “putting Austrians first”. He claimed credit for closing the Balkan migrant trail in 2016 and rebranded the ÖVP and its black party colour as a turquoise “movement”, tough on immigration and easy on taxes.

The strategy worked, propelling the sluggish ÖVP to pole position and Kurz to near-rock star status with observers saying there had not been such euphoria over an Austrian politician since Joerg Haider, the charismatic but controversial far-right leader who died in 2008.

‘Chancellor of silence’

Under Kurz’s coalition, the government passed numerous measures to crack down on immigration, such as tightening access to apprenticeships for asylum-seekers and effectively cutting child benefits for foreigners who work in Austria but whose children live in poorer countries.

It also vaunted its agenda of tax cuts and raised the maximum working day to 12 hours, in what was seen as a concession to businesses.

But even before the so-called “Ibiza-gate” scandal that rocked his far-right Freedom Party (FPÖe) coalition partner and collapsed the government, there were signs that all was not well.

Some critics within the ÖVP accused Kurz – a private politician who is not often seen in public with long-term girlfriend Susanne – of being a “mini-dictator” running the party as a “one-man show”.

The government’s sharp turn to the right even prompted former ÖVP leader Reinhold Mitterlehner to accuse Kurz of putting Austria on the path to being an “authoritarian democracy”.

Those close to Kurz dismissed that as sour grapes from the man he deposed as party leader.

From the opposition came criticism that he was a “chancellor of silence” who was too indulgent towards a seemingly endless catalogue of incidents pointing to extremist sympathies in the far-right’s base.

He insisted in his announcement ending the coalition that the FPÖ’s scandalous antics had been “hard to swallow”, but critics say he must bear responsibility for bringing the far-right into government in the first place.

Kurz will now be hoping that voters will hand him a strong personal mandate in the autumn, which will leave him less beholden to the far-right.

Source: The Local

Photo: AFP


Dirty Tricks brings down Austrian Goverment!

News update

Austria’s President Alexander Van der Bellen calls for new elections.

20.05

A video sting set up a 2 years ago had  finally seen the light if day and brought about the collapse of the Austrian coalition government over the weekend just past.

There is much discussion as to whether the Kremlin played a part, but as yet there will be a few more skeletons to come out of the  cupboard!

A Russian senator on Sunday (May 19) said the hidden-camera recordings that toppled the Austrian government did not prove any link to Russia and Moscow did not want to spoil its relations with Vienna.

Far-right Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache resigned in disgrace on Saturday following explosive revelations in a hidden camera sting.

Media reports emerged on Friday alleging that Mr Strache promised public contracts in return for campaign help from a fake Russian backer he met on the Spanish island of Ibiza a few months before 2017’s parliamentary elections in Austria.

“You cannot draw a Russian link to this clearly ugly incident based on the existing recording,” Mr Oleg Morozov, a member of the foreign affairs committee of Russia’s Upper House and a ruling party lawmaker, told RIA Novosti state news agency.

“This could be a staged provocation. Or some incident to do with corruption that no state may be behind at all,” he suggested.

“Good relations with Austria are too dear to Russia to squander them on such movie-style thrillers,” he added.

An expert at the Institute of Europe of Russia’s Academy of Sciences, Mr Alexander Kamkin, told RIA Novosti that the situation could be described as “an information terror attack”.

Austrian Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache was shown in the video meeting a woman posing as a Russian oligarch’s niece in 2017, and apparently offering to funnel state contracts towards a company in exchange for political and financial support.

“Once again there is the same hysteria about the hand of Moscow – a standard scare story,” Mr Kamkin said. “We are dealing with a well staged provocation, a trap, that Strache, a fairly experienced politician, fell into.”

Russian state television broadcast the video footage and showed street protests against Mr Strache in Vienna.

Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks with Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen at his residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Wednesday.

The Russian leader met Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz for talks in Saint Petersburg in October last year.

Mr Strache’s Freedom Party (FPOe) is seen as close to Russia and has a cooperation agreement with the ruling United Russia party that backs Mr Putin.

Photo: (Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP)


Austrian Chancellor blasts EU ‘madness’: “we don’t need regulations for chicken and chips”!

News updates from Austria

AUSTRIA’S tough talking Chancellor has lashed out at Brussels, insisting the EU stop “telling people how to live” and accusing the bloc of ruling through “paternalism”.

Austrian leader Sebastien Kurz criticised the “paternalism” of Brussels in a statement released on Sunday. The Chancellor claimed “nobody needs EU regulations – for example for the preparation of Schnitzel and fries”. In a statement published by APA press agency, the hardline leader suggested how “instead of demanding more and more money, the EU should stop telling people more and more how to live”.

Mr Kurz, whose Austrian People’s Party (APP) is part of the right leaning European People’s Party vying for seats in the EU elections on may 23, also called for the scrapping of 1,000 EU regulations.

He said Europe is increasingly creating a “tight bureaucracy corset” for the citizens.

Continuing, the anti-immigration politician said: “People demand answers from the EU on major issues such as security, external border protection or climate change.”

The comments follow Kurz’ calling for a new EU treaty – and blasting bloc members that “gladly take our money”.

His proposed changes would include the introduction of penalties for countries that have accepted too many migrants – and have large or growing debts – while still taking money from the bloc.

Talking to Austrian broadcaster ORF on Monday, Mr Kurz said: “Many, above all the younger heads of government, know that we must change the European Union if we want to preserve it.

“Various heads of government among the liberals but also within the [conservative] European People’s Party have a similar view to me.

“We are talking here about countries that gladly take our money and are fully prepared to cash in.

“If we want to inspire people more for Europe again, we must stop the tutelage from Brussels.

Meanwhile, Austria rejected the EU’s fundamental principle of freedom of movement after extending controls at its borders with Hungary and Slovenia until at least November.

Tensions within Austria and the EU continues as the anti-immigration government sitting in Vienna told Brussels too many illegal migrants are entering its country through the so-called Balkan route.

The European Commission was informed of Austria’s decision with a letter signed by Austrian Interior Minister Herbert Kickl.

Far-right Freedom Party member Mr Kickl, argued the arrival of a persistently high number of illegal immigrants represented a “latent threat of terrorism”.

Photo: Hans Klaus Techt/APA/AFP

Report: D.Express


News updates from Austria

Austria considering Register for internet users.

News updates from Austria

AFP PHOTO / JOE KLAMAR (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

Austria considers making internet users REGISTER with their providers to prevent people hiding behind anonymity to post hate speech.

Austria says it is considering a law to make it mandatory for big internet platforms to register their users and deprive those behind hate posts of anonymity.

‘Unfortunately there have been an increasing number of clear violations, denigrations and humiliations online in the past under the cover of anonymity. That’s why we need a framework for more responsibility online,’ Chancellor Sebastian Kurz wrote on Twitter.

The new law would take effect in 2020 and would make it mandatory for platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to register their users, said Gernot Bluemel, minister in charge of EU affairs, art, culture and media.

It would be up to the platforms themselves to decide the form of registration, but authorities would be able to access users’ identities in case of hate postings or on suspicion of other laws being broken, he said.

‘The online space should not be a space without laws,’ Bluemel told reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting, adding that Austria aimed to set a precedent for other countries in the matter.

French President Emmanuel Macron earlier this year caused controversy by suggesting a ban on anonymous postings on social media.

In Austria, the law would have to be approved by MPs as well as the European Commission to make sure it is in line with EU guidelines.

The proposed law would only apply to internet platforms that have a certain reach – more than 100,000 users or 500,000 euros ($430,000) annual turnover in Austria – as well as online media that receive more than 50,000 euros in state aid, Bluemel said.

Austrian opposition parties have criticised the proposal, saying it restricts online freedom and gives even more user data to online giants, such as Facebook, which is already under fire over how it handles such information.

Source: The Local

 


News updates from Austria

Britons in Europe anger at UK government’s Brexit healthcare offer

News updates from Austria
Photo: egal/deposit photos
The British government’s offer to cover the health costs of UK pensioners in Europe was meant to provide reassurance to elderly British citizens. The time-limited offer has been met with scorn however by rights groups that represent British nationals in the EU.

The offer of a 12-month assurance of health cover in the event of a no-deal Brexit  for UK retirees in the EU was met with scorn and derision by representatives of rights group British in Europe.

“It is shameful that people who have contributed all their lives to the National Health Insurance scheme are suddenly stripped of their rights. They have just as much right to expect the same healthcare as anyone living in the UK”, said Delia Dumaresq, a committee member of British in Italy which is part of the umbrella group British in Europe.

“They came to live in the EU, relying on the fact that they could face old age without having to worry about medical bills. Being abandoned by the British government like this has been their worst Brexit nightmare,” added Dumaresq.

The UK government’s offer was designed to compensate for the loss of S1 reciprocal agreements, whereby the UK’s National Health System paid EU member states to provide healthcare to EU-based UK nationals.

The UK is seeking to extend the current reciprocal health agreements until the end of 2020 but if the EU doesn’t agree then London has offered to fund the healthcare for pensioners for 12 months.

But that depends on EU states agreeing to treat British citizens and then be reimbursed.

Some UK nationals in the EU who have pre-existing conditions could have to pay more than €15,000 per year to obtain a private health insurance that would provide similar healthcare to the currently-active S1 European health scheme. Some Britons in Europe expressed fears that they would struggle to obtain private health insurance.

‘British in Europe’ argues that the offer will only help patients who have existing conditions such as cancer or kidney in the short term. failure to continue to obtain medical treatment for at least another year, regardless of whether the UK leaves the EU on March 29th, as currently scheduled, or at a later date if the EU grants a Brexit delay.

Dumaresq says the offer of health cover for 12 months will not reassure UK retirees who live in the EU and have existing health conditions. “What happens to them when the year is over? People’s lives are literally at stake,” Dumaresq said in the statement.

The UK government’s move is designed to assuage fears but ‘British in Europe’ says it could be derailed by administration.
“What is to happen in those countries where the possession of an S1 certificate, which until now entitled them to healthcare and will no longer be valid, is essential for enrollment in their health service?
“And how on earth is this ill-defined scheme to be understood by hard-pressed administrators in surgeries and hospitals over 27 different countries?  And if they do not know how to administer it, is there not a massive risk that they will either refuse treatment or insist that the patient pays?” asks British in Italy.
Source: The local:

News updates from Austria

Britain leaving on WTO terms could endanger  6,000 jobs in Austria.

While the car hub region of Styria hopes to maintain long-term relations with the UK, thousands of jobs could be threatened and Austrian financial institutions could suffer if the UK departs the EU without a deal on March 29th.

A February 2019 report by the German think tank the Leibniz Institute highlights which countries and which industries will be most affected in 43 countries. The report also named Austria as particularly exposed in certain sectors.

“The study showed that 6,000 jobs in Austria could be in danger in case of a no-deal Brexit,” Dr Barbara Kolm, director at think tank the Austrian Economics Center, told The Local – citing a February 2019 report by the Leibniz Institute for Economic Research Halle (IWH) and the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, both in Germany.

“In Austria and Belgium, wholesale and retail trade show the strongest exposure,” states the Leibniz Institute report.

“Austria is a country which will be affected by Brexit more indirectly through trade with Germany and other countries closely connected to Britain than directly,” adds Kolm.

A report by the government in Styria, Austria’s car hub, confirms Austria’s exposure to Brexit through trade with its neighbours.

“An estimated €343 million in goods (exports from Styria) are also potentially threatened indirectly via the three main trading partners Germany, Italy and the USA. This corresponds in total to approx. 5.5% of total Styrian goods trade,” states a risk analysis by the Styrian regional government.

Austria is ultimately more insulated to a no-deal than many of its neighbouring countries, as Kolm points out. The Leibniz Institute report suggests more than 100,000 jobs could be at stake in Germany if the no-deal fears become reality in 25 days.

Kolm says Austrian banks could nevertheless suffer.

“Austrian banks could be affected by a possible partial move of London’s financial sector to Frankfurt or Paris,” says Kolm. “Tourism – and thus, airlines, are another sector which could take a hit,” she adds.

While a no-deal represents a challenge to Austria, the country has a trade surplus with the UK and more than 100 Austrian companies are nevertheless active in the UK market – “among them Novomatic, Wienerberger, and Zumtobel,” adds Kolm.

Alpine states such as Salzburg, where tourism is a key industry, could feel a heavier Brexit burden. Nearly one million Brits, mainly winter ski tourists, visit Austria each year.

One of the strongest trade relationships with the UK is in the car manufacturing sector, which in Austria is nestled around the city of Graz in the region of Styria.

The United Kingdom is Styria’s 4th largest export partner. Just over 4 per cent of all exports from the region are destined for the UK, according to a report by the Styria regional government.

“While there is fear that there could be a downturn after Brexit, Styria still sees Britain as a main trading partner in the long-term,” Kolm told The Local. “Styria, the state of which Graz is the capital city, has a multitude of trade connections with the UK. In total, exports to Britain just from Styria totaled €875 million in 2018.”

Regardless of the outcome of Brexit, the 10,000 or so Brits living in Austria will have been relieved to hear that Austria has passed legislation to protect their rights in the event of a no-deal.

Source: The local.

Photo:Ivosar


News updates from Austria

Austria’s Chancellor Rules Out Renegotiation of Brexit Treaty

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz ruled out new negotiations with the U.K. about the agreement to leave the European Union, offering only tweaks to a political declaration about the future ties between the two sides.

“The Austrian government’s and also the European Union’s message to London is clear: our hand is extended for a common solution, also for clarifications on the issue of the future relationship if that’s what it takes,” Kurz told journalists after the weekly government meeting in Vienna. “But we’re not ready to renegotiate the exit agreement.

Kurz said his cabinet approved a draft omnibus law to cover contingency measures necessary if the U.K. leaves the EU without an exit treaty agreement.

Source: Bloomberg


News updates from Austria

Is a ‘Green card’ for Europe the way forward?

Imagine a card that would let Brits in Europe keep freedom of movement and all the rights of EU citizenship after Brexit. It might sound like fantasy but one organisation is leading the way to make it happen.

A campaign by ‘New Europeans’ is lobbying the EU to intervene in Brexit and issue a card that would offer “privileged status” for UK nationals currently living in the EU, as well as for Europeans settled in the UK and essentially allow them to keep their treasured freedom of movement.

The campaign is being led by Roger Casale, a former Labour MP who now lives near Florence in Italy and who heads the New Europeans.

“The Green Card would ring-fence the rights that you had as an EU citizen,” Mr Casale told The Local. “It would create equivalent status.”

With nearly 55,000 signatures and counting, a petition started by Casale is slowly gathering steam.

An EU-issued “Green Card” could be a vital addition for the 3.6 million or so EU nationals living in the UK, as well as the 1.2 million or more Brits in Europe.

Under his plan the EU Commission would issue a resolution to offer the ‘five million’, UK nationals living in the EU and EU citizens living in the UK, the right to a special recognition for having acquired residency before Brexit.

This would effectively guarantee a sort of privileged status, far greater than the rights agreed under the current Withdrawal Agreement, for five million UK and EU citizens.

A Green Card would enable British citizens who have already exercised their treaty rights before the Brexit to retain free movement, a right that will be lost if Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement is ratified.

It would help restore a sense of “status” and “privilege” that EU citizenship entailed, Mr Casale said.

It would also help EU citizens in the UK prove that they have settled status swiftly and efficiently to obtain the services, employment and housing benefits that settled status affords.

As Mr Casale notes, the Home Office has said it will not offer EU citizens any additional document to prove settled status – everything will be digital. This will make it difficult for EU citizens to prove they have the additional rights guaranteed by the settled status package at any given time.

“The Green Card works regardless of if there’s a deal or no deal,” adds Mr Casale, a British citizen, who has settled near Florence in Italy. “The rights afforded it by such a scheme would be for life.”

Mr Casale is due to give evidence at the Constitutional Affairs Committee of the EU parliament (AFCO) in early 2019.

Source: The Local – Austria

 

News updates from Austria


News updates from Austria

Austria Celebrates 200 years of the Christmas carol – ‘Silent Night’

Austria has something special to celebrate this festive period as it marks 200 years since the first performance of one of the world’s most beloved Christmas carols, “Silent Night”.

Celebrations of the anniversary will culminate with a special December 24th performance of “Stille Nacht” at the chapel in Oberndorf village, near Salzburg, where it was first performed 200 years ago to the day.

“We are expecting around 6,000 people this Christmas Eve, where normally we would have 3-4,000,” Clemens Konrad, the head of Oberndorf’s tourism office, told AFP.

The song’s origins gave little hint as to the global renown it would achieve, being translated into 300 languages and dialects.

It was originally written as a poem by priest Joseph Mohr in 1816, a time of great suffering in the wake of Europe’s Napoleonic wars.

Two years later, Mohr asked his friend, the organist, choirmaster and schoolteacher Franz Xaver Gruber, to compose a melody.

The carol was first performed to a modest church congregation of ship labourers and their families. Years after its premiere, Gruber wrote that it had met with “general approval by all” among the congregation.

The carol became known outside Austria when it was incorporated into the repertoire of two travelling singing groups. The Rainer Singers and the Strasser Siblings performed it around Europe and beyond — including the
United States.

Mohr and Gruber are today honoured in around a dozen sites locally, many of which have been hosting special events this Christmas season to mark the anniversary.

Pope Francis has declared “Silent Night” to be his favourite song, even if he was unable to accept an invitation from Salzburg’s regional government to take part in the anniversary celebrations.

Travel operators have included special stops on their itineraries to mark the anniversary, and visitors have come from as far afield as Sri Lanka and Japan, said Konrad.

The first English versions of “Silent Night” can be traced back to the middle of the 19th century and in the decades that followed it could be heard on every continent, propagated notably by Christian missionaries.

Since then, it has been recorded many hundreds of times by stars ranging from Bing Crosby to Miley Cyrus.

Source: The Local, Photo: AFP


News updates from Austria

Are British Owners selling up and leaving Austria?

For the past few years, British property owners have been selling their holiday properties in Austria.
There are a few factors here…it started with the introduction of new letting rules forbidding Owners to holiday rent their properties.  This was directed at all property owners, so it was not that the Austrian’s themselves were exempt.
Most British buyers, unlike the Germans, want a property investment to be financially effecient, and the new rules have created a property market that can only be used for full time living or own family & friends use. Unless the apartment is in a Hotel complex and managed by the hotel!
With management costs of an apartment running at around 350 euros per month, plus local taxes on holiday properties, it is no longer a viable proposition for many people and possibly simply money down the drain!
We have found that those British who want to maintain a holiday home, are switching to Chalets rather than apartments, so they are not at at the mercy of the house management and residential owners!
Most chalets can be used for holiday renting and the major benefit is that you also have that lovely log fire you always dreamed about….so maybe it is time to consider switching to a chalet if you are considering buying in Austria or selling your existing apartment.?
To this end we have 2 new projects for 2019.  A chalet project in Carinthia and a Chalet project in Niederoesterreich, this is in the Hockar ski region.
You can find information on our chalet pages.

Photo courtesy of Adzuna.


News updates from Austria

UK offers assurances to British citizens living in EU

The British government spelled out last week, what it would do to protect the rights of British citizens living in the EU in the event that the UK crashed out of the union without a deal with the EU, including those who were forced to return home.

The policy paper spells out some of the measures that would be taken to protect the citizens’ rights of EU nationals living in Britain and those of Britons living throughout the EU if there was a no-deal Brexit.

However the government insists that the only way the rights of Britons can really be protected is if the deal is ratified.

“The Withdrawal Agreement is the only way the UK government can guarantee the rights of the one million UK nationals living in the EU,” says the document.

The British government has called on EU member states to uphold their commitments to protect the rights of Britons living in their countries, whom they want to be able to stay and enjoy the same rights and protections as when Britain was part of the EU.

You can read the full policy document here:

Source: The local


News updates from Austria

News updates from Austria

News updates from Austria

News updates from Austria

 


News updates from Austria

Will Brexit affect Austria?

The United Kingdom is the eighth most important trading partner for Austria.
It  has generated a trade surplus with the UK over the last decades – mostly driven by sales of machinery and car parts.
Brexit has already affected Austrian trade with the UK – the decrease of the sterling exchange rate after the European referendum in June 16 resulted in a 2% fall in export volume.
Austria exports 4.1 billion Euros of goods and services to the UK. It buys in 2.7 billion euros of goods and services, so a nice healthy balance sheet of 1.4 billion euros.

And then there is tourism… Alpine states such as Salzburg, where tourism is a key industry, could feel a heavier Brexit burden. Nearly one million Brits, mainly winter ski tourists, visit Austria each year.   British visitors constitute the 4th largest visiting national group in terms of overnight stays.

So, there will be areas that are affected.



News updates from Austria

Non-legal holiday Rentals: 

Anger with AirBnb forces Salzburg to take action.

 More and more tourists are not booking hotel rooms, but instead going for on-line private accommodation.  The case of a Salzburg man has blown up, who is said to have holiday rented his local authority subsidized rented apartment 380 times and, in addition to that, obtained Government benefits!.

Last year in the province of Salzburg. 109,100 guest arrivals were recorded by the online rental platform AirBnB. This emerges from the travel report of the company for 2017 . On average, guests book a room or an entire apartment for 3.3 nights.

Besides reducing available accommodation for locals, many private renters do not pay all their due taxes, tourist tax and vat, so having an advantage over the red tape burdened hotel industry.

This is obviously having an effect on the hotels and consequently local employment.

Hundreds of apartments are rented via online platforms. The local court now sends out its investigators – and also criminal charges to go with the visit!

More and more Salzburgers are making a living by renting their own apartment – and more and more tourists are looking for this alternative to the hotel room.

Internet platforms such as Airbnb or 9flats are booming worldwide, with tourists and apartment owners short-circuiting hotels. If you are looking for an apartment in the city of Salzburg on the classic online platforms, you will quickly find it. From 60 euros upwards per day you are there. The Salzburg Institute for Spatial Planning (SIR) has found in it’s current study on housing vacancies in the capital at least 600 apartments that are offered for a short time on various portals. With one or two mouse clicks you can also find offers of private apartments in large apartment blocks. The problem with this: Many “landlords” do not know that a tourist use according to the Salzburg Spatial Planning Act is prohibited for buildings with more than five apartments. The rental falls under commercial accommodation and is therefore unlawful. 

Landlords, who illegally  rent their apartment to tourists, must count on penalties of 500 euros plus.

So, if you are visiting Salzburg, perhaps check that your accommodation is legal…you will be helping the city.

Source: Salzburger Nachrichten.

Photo: Expedia


News updates from Austria

With Brexit, should we be buying in Austria?

This is the question we get asked a lot.   There are lots of scare stories around, but life goes on. Many of our clients want to be in Europe, so maybe they voted to remain? It is not for us to get involved with anyone’s decision on Brexit.

But as far as investment is concerned, many clients also want to run a Guesthouse or have a foothold in Europe.  Individual European countries are not going to block their tourism income and Austria is very happy to have British investors buying into Ski projects or a ski/lake chalet.  They get an income via local taxes no matter what the nationality of the buyer. Also, there is the knock-on from tourist rentals where a local Gemeinde get approx 1.70 euro per person per night!!  Plus tourists eat in restaurant and drink in the cafes & bars.

So, our best advice is to invest where you feel happiest.


News updates from Austria

Any interest now, for the Hotel property market in Austria?

What is happening to commercial property market for Hotels and Guesthouses in Austria. Is it dead or just sleeping for now?

Long has it been the dream of many British to own a small guesthouse or hotel in the alps..ski-ing in winter, swimming in the lakes in summer!

Well, with the fears over Brexit and mortgage availability, the market has changed direction. We have found that the dream has not died, just the method of obtaining it.

Our clients are now requesting the possibilities of renting commercial property for a few years to see how it goes..before committing to buying. Our sellers are willing to accept a rental rather than waiting for sale. In many ways this is good for both buyer and seller. The buyer gets to try the lifestyle at a fixed rental and the seller gets a rent for their property…generally sellers are hoping for 4-6% ROI. and hopefully a sale in the long term. This can also work well for the property investor, as buying a commercial property can give them a better return than money sat in the bank!! So if any investors out there would like to buy into a business property with a guaranteed rental income…please let us know!


News updates from Austria

Is BREXIT affecting the Austria property Market?

Is Brexit affecting the Austrian proeprty Market…this is a question we get asked a lot.  From the UK buyer point of view it can be worrying to invest in a market that perhaps will have restrictions on Uk travellers.  But if one is logical, people have been buying in Europe before the EU seemingly became one large country!!

So even if a visa is required, as when one travels to the USA and other countries, it is only a little bit more paperwork.

So, for property purchase, the problem has been the Banks lack of mortgage availability for the last few years….this has of course meant people with a non Euro income cannot get a mortgage!  This has also affected Banking business and consequently profits.  Many of the major lenders have been lobbying the Gov ernment to ease up on these restrictions…so watch this space.?


News updates from Austria

The buy to let market in Austria

The buy to let market in Austria now seems to be catching up with other forms of investment in Austria.

With the advent of new regulations on Holiday apartment letting, many clients are turning to the long term rental market.

This of course is good as a pure investment, as it should generate a 6% return. Still better tan depositing money in the bank and you also have the Capital gain on value. …but if you wish to have a holiday home for own use and a rental income, this is not suitable.

Many families and friends are pooling their resources to buy a property, so they do not need to holiday rent. This can have great advantages, if say two or more people buy, and share the running costs and the use.


News updates from Austria

New rules for Holiday property renting.

The Austrian authorities have moved the goalposts once again!  The latest regulations for holiday renting are coming into force on 1st January 2018.

These stipulate that second home apartments can not be commercially holiday rented…ie: using websites such as Bookings com etc, to sell rentals . Unless of course the owner gets permission of all the other owners in a building.  As this is very unlikely to happen, it means that if you own a holiday apartment with secondary residence status, you can only use as a second home for yourself, family and friends. You can also rent long term and have a tenant but you cannot commercially holiday rent, the apartment, for short periods.

This of course is going to have quite a knock on effect to the property market.

It will mean of course that the value of many properties will drop, because of the restriction. Part of the benefit was to holiday rent to get a return on your investment, and of course this in itself would have added a premium to the property value.

We will be updating as we get more information.



News updates from Austria

Property prices in Austria  39% increase!

Property prices in Austria have risen by an average of 39 percent since 2010!

A new house in Austria (123m2) now costs on average €359,000. Prices for new-build properties have increased the most over the past six years in Styria (where the average cost is now €301,000), Burgenland (€260,000) and in Lower Austria (€338.000).

New homes are most expensive in the capital Vienna, where a 123m2 apartment or house costs around €471,000 – an increase of 22 percent since 2010.

The value of older properties has also risen on average by around 35 percent. “Anyone who purchased property in 2010 can be very happy from today’s point of view,” according to Christian Nowak, Managing Director of ImmobilienScout24 in Austria.

Bargain prices for older properties can be found in Burgenland, Carinthia and Styria – with average prices for a house between €230,000 and €290,000. In Vorarlberg and Salzburg you can expect to pay double or triple that, with average prices between €515,000 and €560,000. The most expensive older properties are in Vienna (where a house or apartment with 169 m2 will set you back around €710,000) and in Tyrol (where average prices are €640,000).

New-build apartments now cost on average €351,000 euros for 80 m2.

Monthly rental costs have also risen in the past six years. For a used apartment you can now expect to pay on average €9,80 per square metre (not including operating costs) – an increase of 11 percent since 2010.

Rental prices for new properties have risen steeply, by 21 percent, with average costs now €11,50 per square metre. In Vienna council-owned properties, where rents tend to be cheaper and only rise according to inflation, are in high demand. Wiener Wohnen says it currently has 13,100 people on its waiting list, who have registered their interest in renting a council flat.

The fact that property prices are increasing should be cause for alarm, says Georg Spiegelfeld, president of the Austrian brokerage network Immobilienring IR. “There are not enough properties available and this problem will increase. Around 300,000 people are expected to move to Vienna over the next few years… and the city has not prepared for this.”

He said that the only answer is to “build, build, build and redesign”.


News updates from Austria

Am I allowed to buy in Austria?

We get asked this question so many times, and particularly with Brexit looming.  Am I allowed to buy in Austria and would the goverment take my property?? One could ask the same questions about Cornwall, with the changing rules.

Well, people were buying in Austria before the UK joined the common market, and will no doubt still be buying when we are not in the EU.

Yes, you are allowed to buy in Austria, just as a Non European can buy if they conform to the rules. This is the part that has changed.  There are new rules and regulations for buying and financing property, and this applies to all EU citizens and not just the British!

We realise it can be confusing as people hear different stories from friends or read different information on the internet.

We do not have enough space here to cover all in detail, but to try guide and clarify; Austria has separate criteria for different regions, villages and areas, plus differing property designations!

You can generally buy a house or apartment in all regions of Austria to live in as your main residence. The Austrian tax office are very happy with this, because as a main resident all your worldwide income would be taxable in Austria.

So, the parts that are difficult are the secondary residences and holiday useage.

Secondary residence, is the permission to have a second home for your own and family use. It does not imply permission to rent it out for holidays to all and sundry. Many buyers have been caught out with this. We get phone calls and emails saying they have bought a holiday apartment and are not allowed to rent it!

Can we help? Sorry, we cannot, it is too late. It is down to the management company and all the other owners. They would need to get more than 50% of other owners agreeing to their commercially letting for holidays.

Certain areas are designated as holiday use, but this does not mean that every apartment building is a holiday use!  So, there are 2 things to check here. Does the area and the building allow holiday renting use?

It is always best to take legal advice or get your consultant to check all these things for you.


News updates from Austria

Have Austrian mortgages become extinct?

existing 


News updates from Austria

Could the weather affect Austria property prices?

Spring skiing in Austrian resorts like St. Anton or Ischgl could become a thing of the past if a long-term trend

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