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.
op-ed

Op-Ed: Man Without a Country

Breaking its election promises, a Tory government has left expat Britons out in the cold Disenfranchisement is an ugly word. As a UK citizen without a vote in my own country, I feel cheated. I’m a fully paid-up, urban middle class British liberal, tolerant and open-minded, slightly under-done pink in the middle. I even have […]
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Op-Ed: The SPÖ’s Family Feud

Austria’s refugee crisis has not only polarized the political landscape,  it has split the country’s ruling party right down the middle As every seasoned police officer knows, fights within families are among the most unpleasant confrontations on the beat.  As tempers escalate, ancient animosities come spilling out, household implements become lethal weapons and the basic […]
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International: OSCE Vienna – Soft Power At Work

Born in the chilliest era of the Cold War, Vienna’s OSCE fosters common-sense cooperation between people of good will “What we do is soft power,” said Natacha Rajakovic, spokeswoman for the Office for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the OSCE. Not easy to reconcile with trigger-happy hotspots like Ukraine and Kosovo that put them in […]
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On the Menu: The Gourmet’s Who’s Who – Zum Schwarzen Kameel

Serving delicacies to discerning patrons since 1618, the Kameel is a gourmet temple and a place to see and be seen At most top restaurants, the bar is a catchment area, but little more. Not so at zum Schwarzen Kameel on Bognergasse, where it’s the center of the action – as it has been for […]
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Be My Guest: Chef Fuad Vojic – Giorgina

One of Vienna’s few accredited slow food chefs has a special recipe for the Lenten fast: Viennese snails with artichoke ravioli Fuad Vojic has created a slow food oasis at Giorgina, just behind the Burgtheater; in the heart of the city yet almost invisible. Lunchtime hums with the chitchat of political movers – SPÖ, ÖVP […]
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social banking

International: Is Social Banking Europe’s Future?

Banks have reacted to the post-2008 crisis climate in different ways. Some focus on squeaky clean ethical transparency, others on special programs to help poor people There is nothing new in bank bashing: Post 2008 anyone claiming to “like” banks is suspect in enlightened liberal circles. This side of utopia, no one can seriously imagine […]
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February Agenda

Whatever Happened To The U5? The Vienna subway network is fast, safe, and clean – but something has been missing.  The lines are U1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 – but no U5. Now that transport is incorporated into City Councilor Ulli Sima’s infrastructure portfolio (and after years of party infighting), detailed route planning for […]
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On the Vine: Wagram / Kamptal

ON THE VINE guides you through our wine regions, wines and some of the growers behind them. This month we look at the Wagram region.   This is the second in our series of day trips for wine people. Wagram/Kamptal is the heartland of Austria’s classic Grüner Veltliner, just a 40-minute drive from the city. […]
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Grätzl: Servitenviertel – Saints and Sinners in the Neighborhood

The Servitenviertel is almost hidden, with countless side streets and cobblestones walks inviting you to a leisurely stroll. It’s almost impossible to rush anywhere here.   Just off the Ring opposite the old Stock Exchange (Börse), the “D” tram leads you quickly across the Berggasse and into an- other world: The Servitenviertel. With the pedestrian […]
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