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Caught Between East & West

Caught  Between East & West

On the first Sunday of November, 70,000 Moldovans gathered at a rally in the capital Chisinau. They were pledging support for the government’s pro-western policies in the run up to a major summit in Vilnius on 28 and 29 November, where Moldova was due to initial an “association agreement” with the European Union. Moldova, officially […]

Cosying Up to the Iranians

Cosying Up to the Iranians

Iran has been dominating the news since the recent deal with western states, in which the Iranians agreed to limit their nuclear programme in exchange for reduced sanctions. But another side to Iran’s relationship to the West – its ties with Austria – has remained relatively invisible. This fall, Tehran became a hotspot for Austrian […]

Teens help the Philippines

Teens help the Philippines

To support the victims of the category 5 super typhoon, students of the AIS (American International School, Vienna) mobilised. The student club “Habitat for Humanity” held a waffle and cookie sale, raising enough money to buy a “Shelter Repair Kit” which includes the essentials to build a complete shelter for one family. Three days later, […]

The Snail Prevails

The Snail Prevails

Farmers hate snails. The plague of flower and fruit growers, invaders of  kitchen gardens, for many, snails are a bad dream come true.  Not Andreas Gugumuck, who has turned his neighbours’ nightmare into a profitable business: His fields in the outer reaches of Vienna’s 10th District are populated with 200,000 Roman snails. And he is […]

New World Rebels at the Imperial Court

New World Rebels at the Imperial Court

When they met, Austria was a giant empire encountering a dwarf-like distant colony, barely independent and without many allies. Much has changed over the past 175 years.  As the U.S. Congress appointed William Lee in 1777 to be America’s first diplomatic representative to the Austrian-Hungarian court, imperial diplomats declined to recognise an upstart young nation […]

Populists In the Fast Lane

Populists In the Fast Lane

The heads of the traditional Austrian parties, the Social Democrats and the Austrian People’s Party, could teach their cousins in the Czech Republic a thing or two about what it’s like when parties lose power and voter support, and populist movements of various colours jostle to get into parliament. Although the results of September’s parliamentary […]

Escapism in Real-Time

Escapism in Real-Time

Time is not on your side. You realise this in a quiet moment as you watch the clock implacably tick down the seconds remaining before abject failure. Don’t dwell on it, nor on your teammates antics, nor the fact that the forest is so dense with trees that the elephant in the room is likely […]

Where’s Our Money?

Where’s Our  Money?

Time is money. Even so, in banking, we’ve become used to the idea that moving it around can take a while. But it doesn’t need to. A transfer that takes one workday in Austria, takes three to seven days in the United States, and only a few seconds in the U.K.. Most European transfers are […]

For European Farmers, Size Matters

For European Farmers, Size Matters

Before he shoots them in the head, Alpine farmer Ralf Eggenreiter gives his sheep a treat and scratches them behind the ears to help them relax. He knows each one of them by name, so one might imagine a moment of regret.  The real reason is that relaxed meat tastes better. “They have no stress,” […]

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