Wednesday, 22. May 2013 - 05:05
08. 02. 13. - 15:00
Whether they drive too fast, under the influence of alcohol or use their mobile phones whilst driving, diplomats are immune to penalties for traffic violations like these.
Last year, 3,151 reports were filed against traffic offenders who work at embassies, but they often do not pay their fines.
Most of the times, the offenders would have to pay small and medium amounts up to 70 Euros. This includes violations such as parking where it is prohibited, ignoring a red traffic light or speeding. However, as it turned out, diplomats are rarely paying those fines.
This way, the state loses ten thousands of Euros every year.
If a diplomat is stopped by a policeman, the officer is not allowed to fine the diplomat personally because the latter is not subject to the criminal jurisdiction of the country. It is only possible for the organisation (OPEC, United Nations) or the state to renounce the immunity.
It seems that this immunity is a reason why diplomats in Austria often ignore speed limits. There are only 9,000 registered diplomats in the country, of which many are registered in Vienna. Statistically speaking, every fifth of them is fined for committing a traffic violation.
Whilst many diplomats from abroad, such as Russia or China, almost never pay their fines, Austrian diplomats are strictly instructed to do so with their own money.
Spanish Riding School for everyone
The riding centre of Heldenberg, district of Hollabrunn (Lower Austria) is now offering exclusive courses: professional riders of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna teach interested riders.
Vienna advocates a ban on pesticides
Vienna has now joined those Austrian states that advocate a cooperative strategy for a ban of the neonicotinoids pesticides. Apparently, there are tested alternatives for the pesticides that are harmful for bees.
Huge debate over multilingualism in Austria
Possible projects for a "multilingual oriented educational concept" have led to a debate in Vienna. The SPÖ, ÖVP and FPÖ are currently discussing the two sides of the issue: "multilingualism as a chance" and "German as a priority".
Exhibition Drawing Against Oblivion
The Leopold Museum in Vienna opened the the exhibition "Drawing against oblivion" on 17 May. Manfred Bockelmann drew more than 60 portraits of children and teenagers, who were victims of the Nazi terror.
Swap deals legal case gets underway
The civil case of the city of Linz, Upper Austria, against the Bawag bank about the swap deal will start on 24 May. The maximum amount of damage for Linz could be as much as 417 million Euros in the worst case.
Third man accident leaves man in hospital
A 55-year-old man fell during the "Third Man Tour", which leads visitors through the Viennese canal system. He is said to have suffered a femoral neck fracture.
Charity seeks funds to restore Jewish cemetery
SAFIKG – the Society of American Friends of the Jewish Community Vienna was formed as a U.S. registered charity to allow it to support the IKG (Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Wien) with tax deductible American contributions.
Doves released for funerals offer
The Viennese funeral parlour Furtner now offers a symbolic supplement of the classic funeral. White doves can be released into the sky during the ceremony.
US embassy marks international day against homophobia
The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) took place on 17 May. On this occasion, the rainbow flag was raised next to the American flag at the building of the US embassy in Vienna.
Key for Two at Viennas English Theatre [Review]
Key for Two at Vienna’s English Theatre is a quintessentially British comedy. The play by John Chapman and Dave Freeman has to be one of the funniest and timeless shows about in the Austrian capital.
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