Austrian People's Party

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Investigators search Austrian Finance Minister Gernot Blümel's private address
Investigators search Austrian Finance Minister Gernot Blümel's private address
Credit: Bundesministerium für Finanzen / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Economic and Corruption Prosecutor's Office (WKStA) has conducted a "voluntary inspection" at Finance Minister Gernot Blümel's (ÖVP) private home address. This was confirmed by the minister's office on Thursday. He had been questioned about the casino case, after which he was presented with the search warrant, it said. Blümel had then agreed to a "voluntary inspection", otherwise a house search would have been implemented.

Blümel said he now knows the allegations after a conversation with the public prosecutor's office, "these can be cleared up in a few words." Apparently, it is about potential party donations of the gambling company Novomatic to the ÖVP: "No donations from Novomatic were accepted," Blümel stressed.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austria deports schoolgirls amid protests
Austria deports schoolgirls amid protests
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter

Three schoolgirls and their family members were deported to Georgia and Armenia in the early morning hours Thursday. The children were born and raised in Austria, and protests had formed against the deportation.

ÖVP security spokesman Karl Mahrer defended the deportations in advance by referring to the current legal situation. He rejected the idea of facilitating access to citizenship for children born in Austria.

Politicians from the SPÖ, Neos, and Greens had previously joined the protests against the deportation.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austrian job offensive to bring 100,000 nursing staff by 2030
Austrian job offensive to bring 100,000 nursing staff by 2030
Credit: unsplash.com / Georg Arthur Pflueger

The federal government of Austria has launched a job offensive together with the Public Employment Service (AMS), as Health Minister Rudolf Anschober (Greens) and Labor Minister Christine Aschbacher (ÖVP) explained at a press conference on Monday.

Anschober stated that "our goal is to gradually gain 100,000 new employees by 2030". One way to achieve the needed increase personnel will be through through retraining of people from other professions.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austria goes into 4-week partial lockdown starting Tuesday, imposes curfew and restrictions on private gatherings
Sebastian Kurz
Sebastian Kurz Credit: EU2017EE Estonian Presidency (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Starting Tuesday, November 3, Austria enters its second lockdown which is set to last until November 30. Newly imposed restrictions include a nightly curfew from 8 pm to 6 am during which citizen are not allowed to leave their homes except for emergencies, job-related purposes, "necessary basic needs of daily life", help and care of family members and "physical and mental recovery". Restaurants, bars and gyms must be closed, and all events will be cancelled throughout November. The Austrian government has further introduced a "two-household-rule", meaning gatherings are restricted to a maximum of six people from not more than two different households.

"We are aware that these measures are unpopular", said Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) on Saturday.

Regional News • Europe
European Union negotiates over new sanctions against Russia over Navalny poisoning

At a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, the foreign ministers agreed to begin the necessary preparations, as the German Press Agency learned from several diplomats.

Austria's foreign minister Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) confirmed on Monday that there was a "fundamental consensus" among EU countries to impose "sanctions against individuals directly connected with these chemical weapons" in the Navalny case. No details on possible concrete measures have been given so far. According to Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, the preparation of a sanctions list could take several more weeks.

Regional News • Europe
Vienna discusses ban of most cars from inner city
Vienna discusses ban of most cars from inner city
Credit: unsplash.com / Aneta Pawlik

The Vienna city council for transport Birgit Hebein from the Greens party and the district leader Markus Figl from the ÖVP party are reportedly working on plans to establish a ban for cars in the inner city. The current plans reportedly only exclude residents, residents, suppliers, police and emergency services and public transport. The ring road will not be included in the bans.