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


Events for September
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 1 2 3 4 5
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:
Governor  railway  coalition  ndash  construction  Euro  government  tunnel  Austria  ouml  debts  Styria  Ouml  Kern  Semmering  Mountain  projects  makers  billion  rsquo

Latest News

 

Pat On The Back From Manure Explosive
A traffic cop in Austria got more than he bargained for after a booby trap covered him head-to-toe in manure as he was trying to catch people speeding.

Viennese Jihad Girl May Have Been Killed
Austrian police say that one of the two attractive young teenage girls who fled the country to go to Syria to fight on the side of Islamic rebels may have been killed.

Perversion of a Medical Dream
The Decline and Fall of the Otto Wagner Hospital, Vienna.

Fat Can Be Used To Burn Off Weight After New Patent Unveiled
It is being hailed as a sensation after scientists at an Austrian university patented a method that transforms fat storing cells into mini factories capable of actually destroying fat by burning it off.

Three Family Members Dead In Well Tragedy
A mother has lost her husband, her pregnant daughter and her son-in-law after a tragic accident where one of them fell into a well and the other two died while trying to carry out a failed rescue.

Brit Soldier Rescued After Climbing Mountain In T Shirt
A British soldier who tackled the frozen Austrian Alps wearing just shorts and a T-shirt has been rapped by officials after he had to be rescued from the snowy peak.

Mum And Daughter Struck By Lightning In Pool
A mother and her daughter were hospitalised after they were struck by lightning Ė in a swimming pool.

Police Nab Porn Star Who Filmed In Local Church
A woman accused of making a porn movie in a local church has been caught after an informant tipped off police that he recognised her by her breasts after an appeal for information.

Young Hip Hop Dancer Gets 18 Years For Drug Smuggling
A blonde hip hop dancer and charity worker promised an international career after she was spotted by a talent scout has been jailed for 18 years in Indonesia after her work offer turned out to have been part of an elaborate drugs con.

Teen Dying Of Cancer Killed At Charity Event After Ride In Porsche Goes Wrong
The family of a sick boy who was offered a trip in a high-performance Porsche because he was dying of cancer is suing the charity after the Porsche he was travelling in crashed head-on into oncoming traffic.

 


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