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Anti-corruption law affects major events in Austria

Anti-corruption law affects major events in Austria

The recent spate of corruption scandals in ministries as well as in companies associated with the federal government in Austria have had an impact on event organisers.

Before 2013, so-called "generous gifts" to office holders were common practice, including the provision of free tickets to major events.

However, a stricter anti-corruption law came into force this January.

Employees of companies that are closely linked to the federal government, such as the railway company or the postal service, are now not allowed to accept gifts worth more than 100 Euros.

Whilst this new regulation is designed to make corruption more difficult in the future, major prestigious events, such as the opera ball in Graz and the "Styrian Bauernbundball", have suffered from the effects of the anti-corruption law.

Some 80 per cent of the "guests of honour" have returned their free tickets to the "Bauernbundball" which will take place on February 8th.

Event manager Herwig Straka blames the mass refusals on uncertainty amongst guests about the new regulations. Guests who hold a public office also want to avoid being criticized for accepting free tickets. According to Straka, this type of reaction could seriously damage the event sector. Many events are financed by VIPs due to Austria’s relatively small economy, and thus, only small-scale sponsoring is possible.

Violations of the anti-corruption provisions are mostly reported anonymously and only then examined by the public prosecutor’s office. Spokesman Hans-Joerg Bacher emphasizes that it is neither the public prosecutor’s duty to investigate before a report has been made nor to spy on the guests of the events in question.

It is no wonder that people are reacting cautiously to this new law. Violations of the provision can result in 3 to 10 years in custody.

Austrian Times


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What is on at Burg Kino this week? (18 April - 24 April)



This week at the Burg Kino on the Opernring the following films are showing:





Austria Accused Of Ignoring Giant Nazi Swastika
A huge swastika that has scarred the walls of an Austrian castle for the past 80 years is still on view despite breaching strict postwar rules banning all Nazi symbols.

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.

Nuns invite young women to get a taste of Abbey life
In a bid to revive their Austrian abbey that doubles up as a health resort, a group of nuns are inviting young women to come and stay with them to get a taste of nun life.

Austrian women earning over fifth less than men
Austrian women are earning on average 23.4 percent less than men in the country, according to Statistik Austria.

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.

What is on at Haydn Kino this week? (17 April - 23 April)
The following films are on at the English language cinema Haydn Kino on Mariahilfestrasse between 17 April and 23 April:

Two teenage girls go missing as they fly from Austria to fight in Syria
Two teenager girls who say they have left Austria to fight in Syria have trigged an international search operation from the Austrian police. The two - a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old - left identical letters behind telling their families goodbye and that "we will meet in in Paradise". The letters told of their plans to go to Syria to "fight for Islam". The parents of the girls reported that their children had gone missing last week and since then the police tracked them to Turkish city of Adana, where they had flown to from Austria - after that the police lost track of the girls. Adana is 75 miles northwest of Aleppo, a city that became a major battleground during the civil war taking place in Syria. Police spokesman Thomas Keiblinger say that the police are taking the farewell letters "very seriously" and are now conducting an international search for two teenage girls who left farewell letters announcing plans to "fight for Islam" in Syria. Both girls come from families who immigrated from Bosnia but have not been fully identified by Austrian police.

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.

 


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