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Austrian report
by Euro Reporter
2015-01-05 10:56:08
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Long-lost, super-secret Nazi R&D facility reportedly uncovered in Austria

A team of researchers believe they have discovered a massive, long-lost Nazi weapons facility hidden in secret tunnels near a small Austrian town. Is this where Hitler was hiding the zombie soldiers and space rockets? Austrian filmmaker Andreas Sulzer has been looking for the mythical base for years, poring through military documents and communications from World War II in an effort to pinpoint the secret base’s location. Now he believes he’s found it.

The facility was apparently found following descriptions of secret tunnels hidden near the old Mathausen-Gusen concentration camp, near St. Georgen an der Gusen. According to Sulzer, the facility was described as Hitler’s “largest secret weapons facility,” where scientists were reportedly using the site to try and “smash atoms” to create weapons. We’re delving into Wolfenstein 3D territory here, folks.

The place has remained hidden for so long because the entrance tunnels were apparently destroyed by Allies forces, but Sulzer and his team have been excavating the area recently — and they’ve apparently made one heck of a discovery. The team peeled back a 6-foot-deep clay layer to find a granite entrance with concrete steps leading to a large open area underground. Sulzer said he believes part of the facility was used as a silo for V-2 rockets, though the base likely also doubled as a research facility for chemical, bacteriological and radioactive warheads. Sadly, we may have to wait a while to actually find out what’s inside. The dig has been halted by the Austrian government at this point, and there’s no word on when (or whether) a team might be approved to continue exploring.


Austria returns to growth with PMI spurt in December

Manufacturers in Austria saw their operating conditions improved to the best level in four months in December as output returned to growth, according to the purchasing managers' survey by Markit and Bank Austria. Austria's economy contracted 0.3% in the third quarter after showing 0.1% growth in the first two quarters. The seasonally adjusted Bank Austria Manufacturing PMI remained below the 50.0 mark at the end of the year, but at 49.2, up from November's 47.4, the downturn eased and was the weakest in the current four month stretch of contraction. Austria is the world's 12th richest country. It is also the seventh largest contributor of Eurozone GDP after Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium.

"Austrian manufacturers reported a return to production growth in December, thereby ending a three month period of continuous decline. That said, the rate of expansion was only marginal and largely driven by higher output at investment goods producers," Markit said. Markit said the amount of new work placed with Austrian goods producers fell further in December, but the rate of contraction was the weakest in five months. Analysts at the research house said that a weak economic environment weighed on demand. "The fall in new orders reflected lower demand from both domestic and foreign markets, as new export orders also declined," the report said.

On jobs front, things are still bad, though the rate of job losses eased only marginally. The December PMI data signalled continued fall in manufacturing employment in Austria, extending the current sequence of job cuts to four months. Survey participants linked job shedding to weak demand, the report said. Meanwhile, input costs declined at the sharpest rate in eight months and manufacturers reduced their selling prices further, the report showed. Input costs declined further in December amid reports of lower oil prices and the rate at which input prices fell was the strongest in eight months, Markit said.


Austria's labour minister urges tax reform as jobless rate jumps

Austria's labour minister on Friday urged the government to push ahead with tax reform to boost growth after the unemployment rate in December jumped to its highest in at least two and a half years. Rudolf Hundstorfer's Social Democrats want to introduce a tax on the super-rich to help finance tax cuts for people on lower incomes but coalition partner the People's Party opposes such changes.

Hundstorfer listed the tax reform, a housing construction programme and a European Union-wide 315-billion-euro ($380-billion) investment plan as crucial steps to fight unemployment. His statement echoed comments made after previous jumps in the jobless rate. Data showed unemployment rose to 10.2 percent in December, compared with 8.7 percent in November and 9.5 percent in December 2013. Under seasonally-adjusted EU definitions, the rate is 5.1 percent, second-lowest in the bloc after Germany.

Austria's main economic research institutes slashed their 2014 and 2015 growth forecasts for the export-dependent economy last month as a tepid euro zone recovery and the conflict in Ukraine tensions weigh on sentiment. The dispute over tax reform threatens to bring down the coalition of social democrats and conservatives should they not agree on a package by a self-imposed March deadline. The finance minister has said the tax reform would aim to reduce the initial income tax rate from 36.5 percent on incomes over 11,000 euros.


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