Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday

Catholics are asking for reductions in the church contribution

Austria’s Church contribution fee is a part of life for all Catholics in the country. If you register as a catholic, you pay a fee depending on your income and means. This allows you to participate in catholic sacraments and receive assistance if needed.

However, as inflation rises, many people have started calling the church to ask for their contributions to be lowered.

“Due to the financial burden of the inflation, and the additional costs in the energy sector and rental sector, people really start to save and count every euro twice”, church contribution centre manager Reinhold Steffel told broadcaster ORF.

Most people can negotiate and “agree on an acceptable church contribution”. However, the church representatives also explain that the fee is “simply one of the fixed costs” for Catholics.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What is Austria’s church tax and how do I avoid paying it?

ÖBB expects a busy travel weekend

Due to the summer vacations and the holiday on Monday, Austria’s rail company ÖBB said it expects a busy travel weekend, Vienna.at website reported.

The company is, therefore, increasing its seat offers and will bring more trains to the rails. Still, ÖBB recommends people make seat reservations to guarantee their journeys.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How to not be ‘bumped’ from an overcrowded Austrian train

Family members of terror attack victims receive €450,000

Nine family members of the four people killed by a jihadist gunman in the November 2020 terror attack in Vienna have been compensated by the Terror Victims Fund. They have received a total of just over € 450,000.

The fund was created by the victim support institution Weisse Ring, a private association.

Two other family members’ requests are still pending, but all 11 relatives have already received a sum of more than € 10,000, the Austrian media said without providing the exact amount. The fund also covered funeral costs, and the state provided them therapeutic care.

On November 2nd, 2020, a man fired opened fire in the city centre of Vienna before being killed by the police. In all 17 people were shot, four of whom died. In addition, several people were hurt while running away, and many were traumatised. In total, the Terror Victims Fund assisted 220 people with therapy, support groups or financial assistance.

BACKGROUND: Vienna attack carried out by Isis supporter who ‘fooled’ Austrian authorities

Fewer Christmas lights this year due to the energy crisis

In order to save energy, there will be less festive lighting for Christmas in Vienna this year. The famous Viennese holiday lights will be scaled back and switched on later in the season, Economic City Council Peter Hanke (SPÖ) said.

The city of Vienna and the Vienna Chamber of Commerce have agreed that there will be no Christmas lights on the Ringstrasse this year, Kurier reported.

The city of Vienna will also only switch on the Christmas lights at the Christmas market on Rathausplatz in the dark (instead of at dusk). That means about an hour later than before.

READ ALSO: How to celebrate Christmas like an Austrian

Dry and warm Wednesday in Austria

The day is primarily sunny in Austria, with some clouds forming around the mountains. Daily maximum temperatures should be between 23C and 29C, with higher temperatures mainly in the west.

At night, low temperatures will be between 8C to 16C.

The day will be mostly sunny in Vienna, with a few clouds in the morning. The maximum temperature is around 28C. The night will be starry and windless, with low temperatures around 15C.

READ ALSO: The five best places for stargazing in Austria

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