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


Events for October
M T W T F S S
29 30 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
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

    People’s Party (ÖVP) Graz Mayor Siegfried Nagl has ended his faction’s 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 carrier’s 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 Europe’s political leaders to strengthen the continent’s industry.

more related articles tagged "business boom"

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

Latest News

 

Halloween At The Zoo
Pumpkin pie might be the order of the day for people this Halloween but now zoo animals are also getting in on the act.

Baby Naked Mole Rats Born In Vienna
With their pink hairless bodies and fangs for front teeth, these baby naked mole rats were never going to win any cuteness contests at Schonbrunn Zoo in the Austrian capital Vienna.

Jihad Girls Gunpoint Retraction Of Desire To Go Home
Austrian anti-terrorism police believe that an interview given to a French magazine allegedly with one of the two teenage girls who fled to Syria to join in the jihad was probably carried out at gunpoint.

Get Shorty As Confused Bald Ibis Gets Lost Again
A rare bald Ibis that seems to have a different sense of direction to her fellow birds has once again had to be rescued after getting stuck trying to find a different route to the southern Italian feeding ground.

Alpine Trains Venture Into Space As The Final Frontier
Austria’s national railway line the OeBB has raised eyebrows after offering themed toilets including one that is supposed to "look and smell like outer space".

MEP caught In Brit papers Fraud Probe Jailed
A corrupt MEP caught by a British newspaper offering to propose amendments to EU laws in exchange for 100,000 euros a year has been given a three-year-jail term.

Vienna Jihad Girls Want To Come Home
The two Austrian teenage girls who became ‘poster girls’ for the jihad in Syria are now desperate to come home after getting completely disillusioned with their new lifestyles.

Mega-Station Opens
There was a festival atmosphere as Bundespresident Heinz Fischer opened Vienna's new Hauptbahnhof Friday morning.

Apple Truck Causes Traffic Jam
When 24 tonnes of apples are catapulted across a road it can only mean a jam.

Farmer Cleared Over Wolf Shooting
Furious animal rights campaigners have accused an Austrian farmer of lying after he shot dead a wolf that he claimed he thought was a fox.

 


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