Simon Ballam

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English, studied in NY and worked in London, DĂĽsseldorf, 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.
European Parliament, European Union

Springtime in Strasbourg

The EU parliamentary elections are in May. In Austria, results may broadly reflect the current national parliament, but right wing nationalist parties across Europe could tip the balance in Strasbourg. Voting for people most citizens hardly know, to send them to a far off parliament city that most people have never visited, to do work […]
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wine girls

Mixed Blessings

Vienna is the only European capital with expansive vineyards inside the city limits. Austria’s iconic grape may be the GrĂĽner Veltliner but for the city’s own winemakers the magic mix is the Gemischter Satz. The annual presentation of Wiener Gemischer Satz, the classic wines from the hills around the north-west edge of the city, is […]
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Identitären Politics

The massacre in a New Zealand mosque has detonated an explosive debate in Austria: The gunman had contributed to a Vienna-based nationalist group with multiple connections to the FPĂ–, junior partner in the present coalition government. “The first major crisis” headlined the centrist daily Die Presse April 6.  Reference was to a very public rift […]
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Woman in headscarf, muslim

Whose Country?

A video posted online showed a disturbing encounter: an older woman harangues and spits on a younger, who films the incident. The attacker has been widely condemned, but it is not that simple. An elderly woman seated at a tram stop in Vienna’s 7th District starts shouting racial abuse at a younger woman wearing a […]
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From Empire to Republic inside 3

Trojan Dragon?

Austria is likely to benefit from the New Silk Road, the mammoth Chinese infrastructure project spanning two continents. But strategic thinkers in Washington and European capitals are warning of the G...
students at the university library - Ethics will now join religious studies in the Austrian junior and senior high school curricula

Ethical Dispute

A 2000 year old religion long at the heart of the established power structure can sit uneasily in a 100-year-old modern republic – with the balance of values particularly thorny in the public schools....
Headquarters of the ORF in Vienna

The Price of Independence

The FPÖ would like nothing better than to hobble the independence of Austria’s public broadcaster, the ORF.  Now Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache picked up the banner again… A serious news m...
Pamela Rendi-Wagner

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 Wurst

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 an...
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