Austrian President Heinz Fischer to O...

Austrian President Heinz Fischer to Open IPI World Congress

There are 1 comment on the World Press Freedom Review story from May 11, 2010, titled Austrian President Heinz Fischer to Open IPI World Congress. In it, World Press Freedom Review reports that:

Recently re-elected Austrian President Heinz Fischer. The President will participate in the Opening Dinner of the IPI World Congress, which will be held in the Hofburg Palace in Vienna on Sunday, 12 September 2010, making him the first Austrian president to be involved in an IPI World Congress.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at World Press Freedom Review.

Gloria Baraks

Forchheim, Germany

#1 May 15, 2010
Sent: Tue May 04 11:01:56 2010
sent to Chancellor and to Austrian pres
> Dear Herr Faymann und Herr Fischer,
> We entered Austria for 3 minutes on May 1, 2010, and, after a negative
> encounter with two of your ASFINAG employees, we concluded that they were
> instructed to "annoy, anger and minimize anyone's desire to ever set foot
> in Austria again."
> We were driving from Munich to Berchtesgaden on the A8. We had done our
> homework on Frommers and Trip Advisor and read about this excursion from
> Munich (where my son-in-law and daughter recently moved) to Berchtesgaden
> to celebrate my birthday. We were surprised to see that we were entering
> Austria, and there were several signs we passed, but none in English. We
> were more surprised when we were pulled over at the Grozig 160D exit by
> the side of the road by two workers in neon yellow vests and were told (in
> broken English), "Austria is a toll road. You must pay the toll." That is
> fine. I am Canadian; my husband and son-in-law with us are American. We
> understand the concept of tolls. In North America, when you use the road
> and when you exit the tollway, you pay the toll. However, when informed by
> these two jocular workers that for not stopping and buying an 8 euro
> vignette (which no sign indicated we should or could), we were fined 120
> euros. We had only driven for 2 minutes over a 3 kilometer stretch in and
> out of Austria. The "toll" taker, also laughing and mocking, had a
> computer in his van and informed us there were many gigantic signs in
> English saying we must have a vignette to use any roads in Austria. We
> asked him to produce a copy of this sign on his computer. He said that he
> could not. My husband and I regularly lead tour groups in Europe, plus I
> speak German, so I do have a trained eye and would have caught such a
> warning sign in English.
> In the meantime, within three minutes of our being unceremonially stopped
> and told to exit the vehicle, the worker with the his neon "Pull Over"
> sign quickly piled up 7 other cars and motor homes to the extent that
> there was no more pull-over space. Both these workers were so unexpectedly
> giddy, so much so that I wondered if this was a "prank" as I did not see
> any particular government markings on their van.

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