Simon Ballam

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.
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...
Blood doping scandal

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 syri...
ISIS Retournees in Austria

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 ...
Asylum seekers in Austria

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

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...