Austrian Times RSS FeedsLike the Austrian Times Facebook page!Follow us on Twitter!


Events for December
M T W T F S S
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 31 1 2 3 4
Add your event FREE

Today

Videos


BurgKino

Pub Quiz everyTuesday at Johnny's Pub

Popular in Austria


Cosmo&Nanu

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.

Austrian Times


Are you on Facebook? Like the Austrian Times on Facebook and win great prizes!


Cosmo and Nanu
ORF Watch

Related articles: political scandals

  1. Drachma reintroduction 'would mean social explosion'

    » General News 2012-05-31

    A renowned economist has warned from reintroducing the drachma in Greece.

  2. EC warns debt-ridden Austria

    » General News 2012-05-31

    Austria has been criticised for its high public debts.

  3. Graz coalition collapses

    » General News 2012-05-31

    Peopleís Party (÷VP) Graz Mayor Siegfried Nagl has ended his factionís partnership with the Greens.

more related articles tagged "political scandals"

Related articles: crisis

  1. Drachma reintroduction 'would mean social explosion'

    » General News 2012-05-31

    A renowned economist has warned from reintroducing the drachma in Greece.

  2. EC warns debt-ridden Austria

    » General News 2012-05-31

    Austria has been criticised for its high public debts.

  3. Property prices keep climbing

    » Business 2012-05-31

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

more related articles tagged "crisis"

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 carrierís works committee.

  3. Coalition accelerates anti-corruption ambitions

    » General News 2012-05-24

    The government is intensifying its attempts to pass a transparency package in parliament.

more related articles tagged "business scandals"

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. IV demands focus on industry in crisis

    » Business 2012-05-24

    The general secretary of the Federation of Austrian Industries (IV) has appealed on Europeís political leaders to strengthen the continentís industry.

more related articles tagged "business boom"

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

Latest News

 

Ebola's deadly reach impacts Vienna student
Austria has yet to record its first case of Ebola, but the feared virus has already had a severe impact on the lives of Africans living in Vienna.

Grigorij Sokolov Works His Magic At Vienna Konzerthaus
Whilst the world-famous Wizard of Oz played at the Volksoper, there was another Wizard in the Konzerthaus giving his 16th performance in Vienna!

Penelope Cruz To Play The Ice Cream Killer
The memoirs of the woman dubbed the Ice Cream Killer after she shot dead two ex-lovers before hacking the bodies up with a chainsaw and telling neighbours the noise was a new ice cream machine are due to be turned into a blockbuster with Penelope Cruz playing the lead role.

Kid Left In Coma After Beaten By Teacher For Talking
This is the shocking image of a little Chinese girl before and after she was punished by her teacher - for talking in class.

Freezing Rain Causes Chaos In Central Europe
Freezing weather has arrived in Europe with a vengeance with a layer of ice blanketing parts of Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic and causing traffic chaos.

Holey Smoke As Car Disappears Down Sinkhole
Motorist Wei Hsiao found himself in a hole lot of trouble in China when a giant sinkhole opened up on the road beneath him, swallowing his entire car.

Shock Moment Police Helicopter Explodes On Street
This is the moment a police helicopter exploded into a spinning ball of flame in Chile when a fire truck clipped one of its rotors.

More Than Twenty 100,000 GBP Motors Used In Bridal Convoy
A Chinese couple who wanted to have the most expensive wedding convoy possible arranged for a convoy of top of the range cars including a stretch Hummer followed by Lamborghinis, Porsches and other VIP motors.

Riot Police Star In Downs Syndrome Calendar
Spanish riot police have joined forces with Down's syndrome kids to take part in a special calendar for charity.

Chinese Nuclear Winter Smog Leaves Clinics Full
Fresh proof of Chinese scientists' claims that the country's toxic air pollution resembles a nuclear winter are shown by these images that show clinics and hospitals packed with patients suffering with trouble breathing.

 


Mala Vrata

The most popular stories –
last 7 days



Don't moan alone, the Ombudsman Investigates.

Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.

Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.


Austrian Zimmers