Customs and traditions
Austria has a long tradition as a tourist
destination and in many places is characterized by a
pleasant atmosphere and hospitality to visitors. Many
Austrians are proud of their country, not least the
beautiful alpine landscape. Protecting the environment
is important and many people spend their time on skiing
and other outdoor activities.
In smaller towns and villages, local collaboration
and close community are common. The club life is well
developed and many people play some instrument or sing
in chorus. In the mountain areas in the west there is a
rich folk culture that has a strong connection to
southern German Bavaria.
Overview of the capital city of Austria, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
Cafe life is an important ingredient in cities. The
capital Vienna's famous cafes (Kaffeehaus) have ancient
origins, the first was founded as early as the 17th
century, and serves good Austrian pastries as the
well-known Sachert cake.
The Austrian food, with dishes such as Viennese
schnitzel, goulash and dumplings, has taken inspiration
from German cuisine as well as Hungarian, Czech and
Visitors are often struck by the cleanliness and
order that characterizes the urban environment, with
functioning communications and without debris on the
streets. The Austrians have a reputation for being
orderly and keeping formalities. Getting in time for
dinners and meetings is important. It is common for
people to shake hands both when they meet and at a
farewell and the Austrians greet each other with a "Grüss
Gott". The meal is often started with a "Guten Appetit".
It is accepted to appeal to people with whom you have
no close relationship with you or Mr or Frau and the
surname. It is also considered nice to include a
professional title, such as Frau Doktor. In the working
world there is a hierarchical order, with a clear
division between managerial positions and subordinates.
Work meetings are expected to be effective and will
result in concrete results.
Weekends are often devoted to family life, preferably
in the form of outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking
or ice skating.
Still, some Austrians in the countryside can wear
traditional attire on festive occasions, women's
swimsuits and the leader's trousers (leather shorts) for
men, and tyrolical hats.
In addition to traditional Christian feasts, such as
Easter, there are several other feasts and festivities.
The Carnival, Fasching, is celebrated on November 11,
with parties and masquerade. On December 6, St. Nicholas
Day falls when children are often given presents.
Christmas celebrations take place on December 24, while
December 25 and 26 are public holidays. The new year
opens with a New Year's salute, early January 1st. A
popular celebration still celebrated in the Alps is
Glöckerlauf on January 5. Then white-clad men and boys
hang ringing bells around their waist and wear huge
headgear to drive away the evil spirits of winter.
The ESM is approved by Parliament
The Government Parties and the Greens are voting for the Eurozone Financial
Pact and the Permanent Rescue Fund, the ESM Stability Mechanism, which will
provide support to euro area countries in economic crisis. Resistance to is
strong from FPÖ and BZÖ.
Party sponsorship is regulated
With the support of the Greens, the government parties succeed in pushing
through a legislative package in Parliament that regulates, among other things,
the political parties' sponsorship and campaign funding.
Tightening packages are approved
Approves the Government's austerity plans with a view to achieving a balanced
budget by 2016. This includes close to EUR 28 billion in, among other things,
tax increases and cuts in pensions and subsidies.
Credit rating is lowered
Austria is downgrading a step by the credit rating agency Moody's, just weeks
after Standard & Poor's did the same. The economic outlook is considered to be
Corruption scandals should be investigated
A parliamentary committee is set up to examine the politicians' connection to
the scandals discovered. The Committee will be headed by the Greens, the only
party not affected by the scandals.
Schüssel leaves politics
The former Chancellor withdraws after a series of corruption scandals (see
Modern History) concerning his time as head of government. He himself is not
suspected but announces that he is leaving to simplify ongoing legal
Emperor death dies
Otto von Habsburg, eldest son of Austria's last emperor Karl I, dies.
New OVP leader
Josef Pröll resigns as Vice Chancellor and Minister of Finance and also as a
leader of the OVP due to poor health. He is succeeded as Vice-Chancellor and
Party Leader by Michael Spindelegger.
MEPs are leaving
Two members of the European Parliament and members of the ÖVP, Ernst Strasser
and Hella Ranner, are forced to resign following allegations of corruption.