Simon Ballam

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English, studied in NY and worked in London, Düsseldorf, NY, Fankfurt, Prague and Vienna. This covered stints in market research and the film industry, international advertising coordination and strategic planning. Currently business school lecturer and journalist.

Pam’s Jam

She’s a fresh faced, bright-eyed optimist with an easy laugh. She is also confronting a task daunting enough to wipe the smile off the sunniest of dispositions: To restore the fortunes of a political ...

Conchita – Down to Wurst

"No branding, no standing" say the admen, and this is especially true in showbiz. May 2014 Austria was center stage as winner of the European Song Contest, that annual jamboree of national pride and p...

Doping Scandal

Say it Ain’t So, Max! Another ski season, another scandal – and yet another case of national heartbreak, as the Nordic Ski World Cup in Seefeld (Feb 19-Mar 3) saw Austrian athletes, found with syring...

The Return of the Jihadi

When two Viennese girls who had left in 2014 as 14 year-olds to join ISIS in Syria announced they wanted to come home, front page coverage in the Boulevard press was predictable: blue eyed Sabine and ...

Sign Language

As travelers we're used to following signs: Left or right, in or out, arrivals, departures and baggage claim. At the Interior Ministry's processing centers for asylum seekers, the sign reads Erstaufna...

Deportation Instead of Training

Come if You Can Cook "The law" as Charles Dickens' Mr. Bumble sagely observed "is an ass." Austria's economy is currently desperately short of skilled workers. Officially there are 27 Mangelberufe...

Beating the Heat

The 2018 Austrian wines are defined by last year’s long summer and sweltering temperatures Like love and moonlight, wine and sunshine go hand in hand, but too much of a good thing can be as harmful as too little. Many of the world’s best wines have always come from cooler climes, with Champagne and Burgundy […]
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News Monitor

European Elections Ahead When an entire continent goes to the polls, we should pay attention to what people have to say. From May 23-26, a new European Parliament will be elected ...

News Monitor

Trouble in Lederhosen All the ingredients for a slow news day story were there: a much-loved local showbiz star, Nazi-accusations and some holier-than-thou Germans. Andreas Gabalier, Austrian “Volks-Rock-’n Roller” who sings rock ballads in Lederhosen, had been awarded a prize by the Munich Carneval Club Narrhalla and reaped a storm of abuse as a closet […]
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