Events for April
M T W T F S S
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4
Add your event FREE

Today


Videos


Polls


Cosmo and Nanu - Hey Cool


Cosmo and Nanu

Decision-makers_have_defended_the_construction_of_the_Semmering_tunnel._Pictured:_SP_Traffic_Minister_Doris_Bures.

All-clear for new railway tunnel

Decision-makers have defended the construction of the Semmering tunnel.

Social Democratic (SPÖ) Traffic Minister Doris Bures praised the agreement between the provinces of Lower Austria and Styria, Federal Railways (ÖBB) and the state as an "important signal for future generations". ÖBB boss Christian Kern pointed out that a train journey from Vienna to Graz would take one hour and 50 minutes instead of two and a half hours when the tunnel becomes part of the Austrian railway network.

Styrian SPÖ Governor Franz Voves claimed yesterday – when the fist sod was turned in Gloggnitz at the Semmering Mountain – that the building activities would create and protect 15,000 jobs. The first major part of the construction will start in around two years’ time. Building companies first have to set up temporary offices and access roads.

Lower Austrian Governor Erwin Pröll of the People’s Party (ÖVP) denied that he had to be persuaded to have a change of mind regarding the 3.1-billion-Euro project. Pröll said his government rejected plans to set up a tunnel in the area in the past due to environmental and safety concerns. He claimed the new version of the project fulfilled all of the Lower Austrian government’s criteria.

First plans to create a rail tunnel at the Semmering Mountain were made around 30 years ago. Various environment reports and local residents’ protest initiatives delayed the project throughout the decades. While the current and former governments of the province of Styria generally welcomed the idea to build the 27.3-kilometre tunnel, decision-makers in Lower Austria fought such plans. The Kronen Zeitung, Austria’s most popular newspaper, famously backed the project in its Styrian edition – but launched aggressive campaigns against the construction in its Lower Austrian version.

The cut of the spade in Gloggnitz occurred only a few days after the federal SPÖ-ÖVP coalition decided to amass 33 billion Euros of new debts to ensure ÖBB’s capitalisation in the coming years. Government officials said the move would help ÖBB to reduce its debts from 27 to 18 billion Euros within the next five years.

Already in February, Social Democrats and ÖVP announced that ÖBB must slash its investments by 920 million Euros between 2012 and 2017. The government explained that none of the three major tunnel projects – the Koralm, the Semmering and the Brenner basis tunnel – would be at risk. But the coalition made clear that ÖBB would have to economise also as far as spending on these multi-billion-Euro projects were concerned.

ÖBB has 41,000 employees. Kern said the company planned to reduce its workforce level by 1,000 until 2015. He signalised optimism regarding passenger figures because of the constant car fuel price increase – and the public debate about the development. The ÖBB chief said that especially the company’s regional connections had more passengers in the first three months of 2012. Kern claimed that around two thirds of new ÖBB customers were former drivers who were now taking the train because of the climbing petrol prices.

Vienna Times





Related articles: political scandals

  1. EC warns debt-ridden Austria

    » General News 2012-05-31

    Austria has been criticised for its high public debts.

  2. Graz coalition collapses

    » General News 2012-05-31

    People’s Party (ÖVP) Graz Mayor Siegfried Nagl has ended his faction’s partnership with the Greens.

  3. FPÖ attacks Wrabetz

    » General News 2012-05-30

    ORF boss Alexander Wrabetz is under fire over his latest relocation calculations.

  4. Government's subsidisation reform suffers setback

    » General News 2012-05-29

    The government has failed to reach an agreement with the coalition concerning a reform of Austria’s party subsidisation system.

  5. Vienna road toll on the agenda again

    » General News 2012-05-22

    The Vienna Greens are risking a coalition-internal conflict by calling for a city toll.

  6. Hollande's growth appeal 'nonsense', says Fekter

    » General News 2012-05-22

    Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) Finance Minister Maria Fekter has launched an attack on the new French president.

  7. Petrol traders plan legal action

    » Business 2012-05-17

    The domestic mineral oil industry plans to sue the government about plans to set up a tool regulating fuel prices.

  8. Turmöl sales soar

    » Business 2012-05-11

    Austria’s main discount petrol station network earned more in the first three months of this year thanks to the current developments on the energy products sector.

  9. SPÖ's big guns trained on Strache

    » General News 2012-05-02

    Vienna Mayor Michael Häupl has warned from a coalition between the People’s Party (ÖVP) and the Freedom Party (FPÖ).

  10. Bonuses must mean tax cuts, says ÖVP boss

    » General News 2012-05-02

    The People’s Party (ÖVP) has suggested to lower the tax pressure on companies which share their profits with employees.

Related articles: crisis

  1. EC warns debt-ridden Austria

    » General News 2012-05-31

    Austria has been criticised for its high public debts.

  2. Property prices keep climbing

    » Business 2012-05-31

    A real estate expert has expressed concerns about property prices in Austria.

  3. Graz coalition collapses

    » General News 2012-05-31

    People’s Party (ÖVP) Graz Mayor Siegfried Nagl has ended his faction’s partnership with the Greens.

  4. FPÖ attacks Wrabetz

    » General News 2012-05-30

    ORF boss Alexander Wrabetz is under fire over his latest relocation calculations.

  5. AUA under pressure as pilots quit

    » Business 2012-05-30

    The number of pilots and stewardesses leaving Austrian Airlines (AUA) because of the upcoming pay cuts is on the rise.

  6. TV tax increase ahead

    » Business 2012-05-30

    TV consumers in Austria must pay higher taxes from Friday.

  7. Pay cuts scare off AUA pilots

    » Business 2012-05-29

    Dozens of pilots have left Austrian Airlines (AUA) in the past weeks, according to the loss-making carrier’s works committee.

  8. Brauner discloses austerity course details

    » General News 2012-05-29

    Viennese Social Democratic (SPÖ) Finance Councillor Renate Brauner has revealed how the city government plans to save one billion Euros within the next five years.

  9. Austrian skiers create overnight stay record

    » Business 2012-05-29

    The number of winter season overnight stays by Austrians has reached a new record.

  10. Government's subsidisation reform suffers setback

    » General News 2012-05-29

    The government has failed to reach an agreement with the coalition concerning a reform of Austria’s party subsidisation system.

Related articles: business scandals

  1. AUA under pressure as pilots quit

    » Business 2012-05-30

    The number of pilots and stewardesses leaving Austrian Airlines (AUA) because of the upcoming pay cuts is on the rise.

  2. Pay cuts scare off AUA pilots

    » Business 2012-05-29

    Dozens of pilots have left Austrian Airlines (AUA) in the past weeks, according to the loss-making carrier’s works committee.

  3. Pecik defends TA engagement

    » Business 2012-05-24

    Telekom Austria (TA) investor Ronny Pecik has declared himself a team player.

  4. Petrol traders plan legal action

    » Business 2012-05-17

    The domestic mineral oil industry plans to sue the government about plans to set up a tool regulating fuel prices.

  5. Sickness surge causes AUA cancellations

    » Business 2012-05-15

    Passengers are finally feeling the full impact of the emerging labour conflict at Austrian Airlines (AUA).

  6. TA recovers as CEO rejects Pecik fears

    » Business 2012-05-11

    Telekom Austria (TA) is back in the black.

  7. Turmöl sales soar

    » Business 2012-05-11

    Austria’s main discount petrol station network earned more in the first three months of this year thanks to the current developments on the energy products sector.

  8. Maier demands rail tunnel referendums

    » General News 2012-05-01

    Outgoing People’s Party (ÖVP) parliament member (MP) Ferdinand Maier has suggested to let Austrians decide about the future of the various Austrian railway tunnel projects.

  9. Cooperating clinics 'can save €2bn'

    » Business 2012-04-27

    A study has made aware of immense savings potential in the health sector.

  10. Leitl denies 'bullying businesses' claim

    » Business 2012-04-26

    The president of the Austrian Economy Chamber (WKO) has rejected accusations that companies are bullying elderly employees.

Related articles: business boom

  1. Austrian skiers create overnight stay record

    » Business 2012-05-29

    The number of winter season overnight stays by Austrians has reached a new record.

  2. Knoflacher emphasises pedestrian zones' economic effects

    » General News 2012-05-24

    A renowned traffic planner has stressed that shop owners are generally appreciating the introduction of pedestrian zones.

  3. FW turnover takes off

    » Business 2012-05-24

    Austria’s biggest airport has managed to increase its profit.

  4. Congress tourism boosts cities and countryside

    » Business 2012-05-17

    International conferences are becoming increasingly important to the Austrian tourism industry.

  5. Schieder wants technology offensive

    » General News 2012-05-15

    Finance Secretary Andreas Schieder has appealed on politicians and businesspeople to ensure that Europeans benefit from technologic developments.

  6. TA recovers as CEO rejects Pecik fears

    » Business 2012-05-11

    Telekom Austria (TA) is back in the black.

  7. BA almost takes €400mn profit hurdle

    » Business 2012-05-11

    Bank Austria (BA) has achieved a profit of almost 400 million Euros in the first quarter of 2012.

  8. Turmöl sales soar

    » Business 2012-05-11

    Austria’s main discount petrol station network earned more in the first three months of this year thanks to the current developments on the energy products sector.

  9. Bonuses must mean tax cuts, says ÖVP boss

    » General News 2012-05-02

    The People’s Party (ÖVP) has suggested to lower the tax pressure on companies which share their profits with employees.

  10. Strabag turnover soars thanks to EE

    » Business 2012-05-01

    Two of Austria’s leading construction companies had good and bad news for shareholders in the past few days.


Tag cloud:
Mountain  Styria  debts  Semmering  billion  Ouml  rsquo  makers  Euro  railway  coalition  ndash  Kern  Austria  projects  construction  tunnel  Governor  government  ouml


Latest News

 

Property price rise continues
The price of property in Vienna has now spiralled so much that every 4th apartment comes with a price tag of 500,000 or more. And every second flat costs 300,000 or more.

Jetflyers Take The Jet Ski Onto The Road
An Austrian company is making waves after they came up with the idea of taking a jet ski – and fitting it with wheels.

Exploring photography and art through 1960s cult film Blow-Up
Vienna's Albertina is putting on an photography exhibition featuring stills from the cult sixties photography film Blow-Up by Michelangelo Antonioni.

Turtle flies from Vienna to India to try his luck with the ladies
An endangered turtle from Schoenbrunn Zoo is taking a trip across the world to try his luck out with two female turtles in India.

Ricky Martin to perform at Life Ball 2014
In a celebrating of joys of life, sensuousness and a tribute to handsomeness, the Life Ball 2014 has announced that the Latino star Ricky Martin, chosen many times over as Sexiest Man Alive, will perform at the event.

Vienna prosecutors target Ukrainian former government
Austrian officials have announced they are coordinating with Ukraine's public prosecutors over the investigation of former Ukrainian government officials accused of money-laundering and sanctions violations.

Icelandic artist shoots whole film in front of live audience in Vienna
An Icelandic artist is making a film adaptation of the novel World Light in Vienna - but is carrying out the whole project, including filming, in front of a live studio audience.

Free plants and seedlings exchange in Vienna
Green fingered garden growers will have the chance to exchange their plants and seedlings for some new varieties in a plant swap fair taking place in Vienna at the end of April.

Airbus superjet coming to Vienna for one-off visit
The world's largest passenger airliner, the Airbus A380, is coming to Vienna International Airport for a one off visit on 26 May.

Worlds first Viktor Frankl museum to open in Vienna
The worlds first museum dedicated to renowned Austrian psychotherapist Viktor Frankl is to open in Vienna in the autumn.

 


Rieders Digests


The most popular stories –
last 7 days