Austria's head of security warns of possible riots this fall due to looming energy crisis
Omar Haijawi-Pirchner, head of Austria's Directorate of State Security and Intelligence Service (DSN), has warned of possible riots this fall due to a looming energy crisis
"We do not see any riots on the streets yet. But the hatred on the internet has clearly increased. Every crisis means that despair for some people can first turn into verbal actions and then even into violence," Haijawi-Pirchner said in an interview with Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung
Gazprom cuts gas supply to Austria's oil and gas company
Russia's energy giant Gazprom cut the supply of gas to Austria's oil and gas company OMV earlier in July, citing maintenance work. (Related: Gazprom cuts off gas supply to several EU members in response to sanction threats
OMV spokesperson Andreas Rinofner said the company collected around 70 percent less than it had reserved.
The gas supply has decreased because of the yearly maintenance work on a major gas pipeline from Russia to Western Europe. In mid-June, Gazprom decreased gas supplies
by means of Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline due to technical engine issues and delays in repair works.
Previously, OMV claimed Austria has ceased importing and refining oil from Russia since March. But in reality, Austria is still reliant on Russian natural gas, exporting almost 80 percent of its natural gas from Russia.
Meanwhile, the Austrian statistical office reported that Russian imports accounted for only 7.8 percent of the 596,000 tons of oil supplied to Vienna in 2021. Kazakhstan has been Austria's most important oil supplier for many years, which supplies 38.9 percent of oil to the country according to reports.
DSN head trying to avoid mistakes of predecessor
Haijawi-Pirchner, an Austrian-Jordanian, was appointed to head the country's new security agency
after severe criticism of the earlier organization's failure to stop an attack by a supposed Islamic State (IS) sympathizer.
The appointment of Haijawi-Pirchner as head of the DSN follows a promise by Karl Nehammer, Austria's minister of interior, to replace the previous counterterrorism agency, the BVT, with a "genuinely new" security organization.
The BVT was severely criticized after it failed to prevent a deadly attack in Vienna in November last year by a 20-year-old IS sympathizer from North Macedonia. Four people died and 23 were injured during the violent attack.
The gunman identified as Kujtim Fejzulai was killed by police after going on a shooting spree
An investigation into the BVT's management and reaction to the November attack has uncovered several issues, including mishandling of database, disorderly communications between departments and conflicts within the organization.
Haijawi-Pirchner, son of a Jordanian doctor and an Austrian nurse, was born in Austria in 1980. He entered the Federal Police in 1999 after graduating from school and becoming a brigadier.
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