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News from Austria

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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:22 pm

Pet cat found after marathon journey from Netherlands to Austria.


A cat called Pepper has gained a reputation as a bit of a traveller. Six months after disappearing from her home in the Netherlands, she has been found in an Austrian village 950 kilometres away.

It’s thought that Pepper may have stowed away in a truck travelling from the Netherlands to Aschbach-Markt, west of Vienna.

Pepper was spotted by a hunter, on the outskirts of a farm. She was emaciated and appeared to be sick. He managed to catch her and took her to a local animal welfare centre, where staff had her examined by a local veterinarian.

Luckily Pepper had been microchipped, allowing veterinarian Katharina Zöchling to trace the owner and send her photos, establishing that the cat was indeed hers. As Pepper was "angry, shy and scratched us", the vet had assumed she was a half-feral farm cat. She is being treated for a lung infection.

The owner, who has not been named, was reportedly overjoyed to hear her cat is alive and is now planning to travel from her home in Tilburg to Aschbach-Markt to claim Pepper.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:16 am

Vienna fines increase for dog fouling and fag butt litter.

Fines for throwing cigarette butts on the street and not cleaning up after your dog are set to increase in Vienna from March 3rd.

A staggering 36 million bags of dog poo are deposited annually in Vienna’s rubbish bins, along with 100 million cigarette butts. The fines for not clearing up dog poo and butts are now set to increase from €36 to €50. In cases of gross misconduct, the fine can be up to €90.

Discarded cigarette butts (mainly the filter) are a form of non-biodegradable litter. Cigarette filters are the single most collected item each year in international beach cleanups.

A quick street survey by the Kurier newspaper in the 19th district revealed that most people were not opposed to higher fines, although some said €90 seemed “a bit steep”. Dog owners were pleased that cigarette butt litterers would receive an equally high penalty, pointing out that some dogs even eat the butts which can be poisonous.

Vienna’s Councillor for the Environment, Ulli Sima (SPÖ), said that the maximum penalty of €90 will only be handed out in exceptional cases. "There is a margin of discretion, for example, someone who empties a full ashtray out of their car window onto the street could be given the higher fine”.

The opposition ÖVP criticised the move, saying it was just to “plump up” the city coffers. The FPÖ said that in principle it isn’t opposed but that the extra revenue from the fines should be used to improve lighting and infrastructure in dog walking zones, so that dog walkers can feel safe at night.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:31 am

Good - I confess to being infuriated by people that won't pick up their dog poo.

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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:43 am

bb1 wrote:Good - I confess to being infuriated by people that won't pick up their dog poo.
About 30 yards up the road from my place in Vienna is a 'hund platz' where locals take dogs for walkies; poop bins, plastic bags etc are provided free. Such placs are dotted all over the center of the city, but are less available as you get to the outer areas. You wanna see poop piles, visit Paris! LL
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Re: News from Austria

Post  Sabot on Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:49 am


We pick up other people's dogs poop around here. We have to.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:01 pm

Sabot wrote:We pick up other people's dogs poop around here.  We have to.
Here we also have to or there are hefty fines. LL
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Re: News from Austria

Post  Sabot on Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:04 pm

Lamplighter wrote:
Sabot wrote:We pick up other people's dogs poop around here.  We have to.
Here we also have to or there are hefty fines. LL

"But, it's not my dog." Beat that one without a DNA Test.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:19 pm

There's talk here about using those for persistent offenders.

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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:54 pm

Sausage factory to be built on site of former Nazi forced labour camp.

Plans to build a sausage and bacon factory on the site of a former Nazi forced labour camp in Austria have been heavily criticised by locals.

The 25-acre site in Haiming, west of Innsbruck, housed hundreds of prisoners during World War II. They were made to build a dam for a hydroelectric power plant.

The camp was demolished after the war, and the plot was unused by power company Tiwag until it was acquired by one of Austria's largest bacon and sausage producers, Handl Tyrol.

A group of locals and heirs of former landowners in the area have grouped together to challenge the legality of the sale, claiming that they were forced to sell the land at low rates by the Nazis. They also say that the land was only sold on the guarantee that it would be used for the construction of a power plant, and that Handl Tyrol has nothing to do with generating energy.

However, a commission after the war found that the land was lawfully obtained by Tiwag's predecessor company, and that the heirs to the landowners should not receive compensation.

Handl Tyrol says that the dispute only involved Tiwag and the claimants, adding that it is now the legal owner and that its plans to build a factory would not be delayed.

Planning permission has been granted for the factory, and Handl Tyrol has already started clearing the site for construction.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:33 pm

Sounds as if the locals have a good case, as the land was virtually stolen from them in the first place?

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Re: News from Austria

Post  lily on Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:43 pm

bb1 wrote:Good - I confess to being infuriated by people that won't pick up their dog poo.

Oh me too. If I see someone in charge of a poo-ing dog I quite helpfully tell them to pick it up. biggrin
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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:46 pm

Everything you need to know about Faschingskrapfen.

Fasching, or carnival season in Austria, isn't just about wearing crazy, colourful costumes and watching parades - it's also the time of year when you can eat as many Krapfen, or jam-filled doughnuts as you want. On Faschingsdienstag, or Shrove Tuesday, here are some things to know about Krapfen before you give them up for Lent.

It's got to be apricot

It's not a real Viennese Faschingskrapfen unless it has sticky apricot jam inside. According to strict Krapfen standards, apricot jam must make up at least 15 per cent of the entire doughnut, and at least six fresh egg yolks must be included in every kilogram of flour used to make the dough.

Vienna Krapfen-makers who scrimp on their jam and eggs may end up with a fine from the MA 59 - the food inspection officers.

They are finished off with a generous coating of fine icing sugar. Sometimes rum is added to the jam, so if you feel rather giddy after scoffing a couple, that could be why.

Calorie bombs

A good Krapfen may taste deliciously light and fluffy, but with between 200 and 400 calories apiece, and containing an average of 12 grams of fat, these doughnuts are not kind to your waistline. (Be warned: It takes around 50 minutes of moderate to brisk exercise to burn this many calories.) However, in the past, particularly in times of war and rationing, monks and priests are said to have recommended that their parishioners tuck into the fatty, sugary treats so that they could gain enough strength to get them through Lent.

Still popular

Although consumption may have decreased as Austrians became more health conscious, it's been estimated that Austrians consume an amazing 100 million Faschingskrapfen per year. (That's around 12 doughnuts per Austrian). They don't call it Fat Tuesday for nothing. But luckily it's followed by four weeks of fasting, or Lent. Traditionally Krapfen are only sold between December 31st and Ash Wednesday.

They go way back

Faschingskrapfen are said to have their origins in the ancient world. The Greeks used to offer up their goddess Ceres sweet, baked doughnuts and the Romans served them at festivals and parties. But the real ‘Krapfen' first appeared in Vienna in the 19th century, when a famous Viennese chef called Cäcilie Krapf created “Cilly Balls” - doughnuts with an apricot jam centre, which immediately became the thing to eat at carnival dances and balls in Vienna.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:58 pm

I love doughnuts. smile

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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:19 pm

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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:44 pm

Oh, the last thing I need to be doing to my waistline is making home made doughnuts, LL. rofl rofl rofl

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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:24 am

'Hitlerine' who denied Holocaust given suspended jail sentence.

A woman who denied that the Holocaust took place and displayed a sign over her toilet saying “This Hitlerine needs a clean latrine” has been found guilty of breaking Austria’s anti-Nazi law and given a seven month suspended jail sentence.

A court in the western city of Feldkirch in Vorarlberg also handed the 53-year-old a €1,200 fine.

The woman was charged after she criticized a Facebook posting made by a German football club commemorating the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp and paying homage to the victims. In a response, she accused the club of “spreading lies”.

An anonymous internet user tipped off the police, who searched the woman’s house and found the sign in the toilet.

It is illegal in Austria to praise the Nazi era or to deny its crimes.

The woman’s lawyer described her as a “simple housewife” who had never heard of Austria’s Prohibition Act. Cobblers, every Austrian knows about this law

The woman, who has not been named, said she regretted the comments she made online, and that she had been misinformed about the Holocaust after watching a TV documentary. She added that the sign in the toilet was “just a joke”.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:44 am

“This Hitlerine needs a clean latrine”

I take it she made the sign herself, and there isn't a market in Hitler toilet signs? Maybe she should get together with the chubby Hitler tribute act - on condition the pair of them stayed well away from sane people?

And WHY does anyone worship Hitler in the first place? Apart from the genocide, invading other countries, etc., he was totally incompetent, a complete loser, and brought Germany, and much of Europe, to utter ruin. Not forgetting its also his fault the Soviets managed to grab so much territory. Far from being any kind of master race, most of the Nazis were as ugly as sin.

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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:43 am

This relates to a story at the top of page 21.    LL
Happy ending for runaway cat Pepper.

A cat who disappeared from her home in the Netherlands six months ago and was recently found in an Austrian village 950 kilometres away, has been collected by her Dutch owner.

It’s thought that Pepper may have stowed away in a truck travelling from the Netherlands to Aschbach-Markt, west of Vienna.

Pepper, who was found emaciated and sick on the outskirts of a farm, has been cared for by a local vet.

Luckily Pepper had been microchipped, which enabled veterinarian Katharina Zöchling to trace owner Franka Schapendonk and send her photos.

Schapendonk flew to Austria on Sunday and said that she was “very happy to have found Pepper”, who she assumed had died. The story made international headlines, and Schapendonk’s journey to Austria has been sponsored by a Dutch insurance company.

Schapendonk bought Pepper’s favourite treats with her, and said that although her cat appeared shy and timid "she immediately recognized me" and allowed her to pick her up, without scratching or biting.

Vet Katharina Zöchling said that she was astonished to witness how Pepper behaved when she was reunited with her owner. “We did not expect it, because previously she really behaved like a wild cat.” She added that she’s delighted that Pepper is going home but that they would be sad to say goodbye as they had grown attached to the calico cat in the last few weeks.

Schapendonk is travelling back to her home in Tilburg with Pepper by train on Monday. It’s a 12 hour journey but Schapendonk says she has plenty of treats with her and hopes it goes well.

Pepper will have a new playmate when she gets home, as Schapendonk got a new cat when she gave up hope that Pepper would return. Let’s hope the two felines get along and Pepper doesn’t undertake anymore incredible journeys.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:47 am

Trend for ‘home grown’ cannabis in Austria.

When it comes to drugs, Austrians are increasingly turning to cannabis and buying from ‘home growers’ based in Austria, according to a leading public prosecutor in Wiener Neustadt.

“People are not buying so many hard drugs, but are increasingly buying cannabis. What’s interesting is that fewer drugs are being imported and the cannabis is frequently grown in the country," public prosecutor Barbara Haider told the Kurier newspaper.

Last year, there were several cases where police discovered highly professional indoor plantations. The trend may be partly due to the fact that the technical equipment necessary for growing cannabis plants is easily obtainable in so-called grow or head shops.  

Haider believes that another reason for the decline in imported cannabis is that there are now much stricter border controls along the Balkans route to Austria, as a result of the refugee crisis.

Austrian police say that growers are increasingly renting remote industrial premises or houses in order to set up indoor cannabis plantations.

Last week two men were arrested in Lower Austria, on suspicion of dealing cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine. A house search in Leobersdorf found drugs worth €90,000. The suspects are thought to have grown their own cannabis and produced the ecstasy and cocaine in a laboratory.

Anyone found guilty of producing and selling large quantities of cannabis in Austria faces a jail sentence of between 10 and 20 years.

The German parliament passed a law in January that officially makes marijuana legal for medicinal purposes.

Patients suffering from serious illness, such as multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, serious appetite loss or nausea from chemotherapy, will now be able to receive prescriptions from their doctors for medical marijuana.

http://www.thelocal.at/20170220/trend-for-home-grown-cannabis-in-austria
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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:52 am


Schapendonk flew to Austria on Sunday and said that she was “very happy to have found Pepper”, who she assumed had died. The story made international headlines, and Schapendonk’s journey to Austria has been sponsored by a Dutch insurance company.


That was a kind thought, and it's a welcome change to read a story with a happy ending.

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Re: News from Austria

Post  lily on Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:30 pm

YES it is, Bonny.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:21 am

Hungary cheesed off over food 'double standards'.

Hungary on Monday announced an inquiry after a study by the food safety agency suggested many food products sold with identical packaging were superior in neighbouring Austria.

Products made by food giants including Unilever and Nestle, from chocolate spreads to packet soups, were seemingly tastier, creamier or bigger in Austria, according to a study of 24 brands by Hungary's food safety authority.

"This is primarily a moral question, not a legal one," said Robert Zsigo, a government official responsible for supermarket oversight.

The inspections will compare the quality of 100 identically branded products in Hungarian and foreign shops, Zsigo told reporters in Budapest.

The food agency's report, seen by AFP on Monday, looked at the taste, composition and packaging information of products at the Spar, Metro, Lidl and Aldi chains in Hungary and Austria.

Among a list of discrepancies, the agency said the version of Nutella, the children's favourite chocolate-and-hazelnut spread from Ferrero, appeared to be "less creamy" than the Austria version.

The aroma of Coca-Cola was seemingly "less rich, less complex" in Hungary, the agency said, while the flavour of Nestle's Nesquik cocoa powder was "more harmonious and intense" in Austria.

And the report said some of Unilever's Knorr packet soups in Hungary were found to contain about 20 percent less powder than in Austria, despite identical packaging.

Their "Carbonara" product also contained three different types of cheese ingredients in Austria, compared with none in Hungary.

"Hungarians want fair treatment... not double standards," Zsigo said.

He said the first results of the wider inspection could be announced next month.

A comparison conducted in December found similar findings for Slovakia.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Wed Feb 22, 2017 2:22 pm

Tougher penalties for those who attack public transport workers.

Anyone who attacks a bus-driver or a ticket-collector in Austria could face up to two years in prison from September.

This puts public transport employees on the same level as police officers and prison guards. The law has been changed to reflect a recent increase in attacks against public transport workers.

At present, anyone who attacks a police officer or prison guard can be jailed for up to six months but this has been increased by up to two years by an amendment to the Criminal Code.

According to the head of the ÖBB Workers Council and trade unionist Roman Hebenstreit, a public transport worker is attacked every second day. Train attendants were attacked 164 times in 2016. There has also been a rise in attacks against employees of the Vienna transport company, Wiener Linien.

The amendment to the law “gives a clear signal”, Transport Minister Jörg Leichtfried said, adding that "violence against public transport staff is not a cavalier offence".

Justice Minister Wolfgang Brandstetter also welcomed the changes, saying that violence must be "consistently combated".

Deliberately bumping into, kicking, or throwing objects at a public transport employee will all be considered an offence - regardless of whether the victim is injured or not.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Wed Feb 22, 2017 2:25 pm

Good!

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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:50 am

Scottish man killed by high-speed train in Vienna.

A 48-year-old man from Edinburgh was tragically hit and killed by an Austrian Intercity train as he waited on the platform at Grillgasse station in Vienna’s Simmering district.

Police said that the man was standing too close to the edge of the platform and that he was hit by the train as it passed at speed through the station, at around 1am on Wednesday.

He was knocked to the ground and his injuries were so serious that he died at the scene.

Police spokesman Thomas Keiblinger said that the Scottish man lived in Austria, and was waiting for another train. He has not been named.
As far as I remember, there are lines drawn on all platforms marking a no-go area when waiting for a train.   If you stray over the line a reprimand will come over the loudspeakers.     I don't use trains much these days so I can't categorically state there is no longer a no-go area but I would be most surprised if the practice has been discontinued.    LL
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