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A Tour of Corrupt Prague

A Tour of Corrupt Prague

At Jungmannovo Náměstí, a small cobbled square in central Prague, a guide waits for customers for a tour that is sold as “entirely unique in the history of tourism”. Edita Čechová, dressed in tall black boots, a black cloak with a large flat cap atop her flowing blond hair, works for Corrupt Tours which, according […]

Plamen Goranov – Martyr Of the ‘Bulgarian Spring’

Plamen Goranov – Martyr  Of the ‘Bulgarian Spring’

In a desperate act of protest against goverment austerity measures, 36-year-old Bulgarian Plamen Goranov set himself on fire in front of the City Hall in Varna. He is one of six self-immolators in Bulgaria in the course of just one month, the most recent being a 41-year-old man from the village of Sitovo, he remains […]

Whistleblower website

An anonymous whistleblower website was launched in March by the Austrian Ministry of Justice, allowing users to call attention to alleged cases of corruption without having to reveal their identity. Three senior prosecutors will be in charge of pursuing new leads, says Ilse-Maria Vrabl-Sanda, head of the WKStA (Public Prosecutor’s Office against corruption). The virtual […]

Bulgarian PM resigns

Bulgarian PM resigns

Citing a lack of support from the Bulgarian people, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov stepped down on 20 February, following protests over high electricity prices, austerity measures and corruption. His decision is expected to be approved by the country’s parliament, thus leading to new elections at a date still to be set. The action is […]

Revolution (Again) in Hungary

Revolution (Again) in Hungary

From revolution to revolution, I have watched Hungary evolve over the past half-century. The more dramatic of the two revolutions took place in the autumn of 1956 when a beaten, starved and humiliated subject people of fewer than 10 million souls managed to stare down the brutal might of the Soviet Union. The more triumphant […]

Cash for Law

“There were probably only a handful of people that have caused such enormous damage to [this country’s] reputation as you have,” Judge Georg Olschak addressed Ernst Strasser, former conservative Interior Minister on 14 January, on delivering his grounds for preliminary sentencing former high-ranking ÖVP-politician to four years in prison. The verdict drew a line under […]

EADS Bribery Scandal

EADS Bribery Scandal

Europe-wide Bribery Network, 10 Nov. by Hans Leyendecker and Klaus Ott Bribery and embezzlement, money laundering and fraud: Because of the EADS’ [European Aeronautic Defence Space Company] business deals with Austria, prosecutors are investigating all over Europe. The head of the defence contractor, Tom Enders, has announced a crack-down on corruption. It is, however, rather […]

A Verdict on Corruption

A Verdict on Corruption

Other people’s money, 2 Oct. by Michael Völker “The most important thing is to have your picture in the paper. The content is secondary.” That sounds like a very “old fashioned” politician, very old school. But it’s the reality. Take our Federal Minister for the Environment Nikolaus Berlakovich: What counts, he thinks, is to get […]

Chair of Parliamentary Corruption Enquiry resigns

Chair of Parliamentary Corruption Enquiry resigns

The head of an Austrian parliamentary enquiry investigating corruption, the Green Party MP Gabriela Moser, resigned on 18 Sept., following a row with the government over investigating Social Democratic Chancellor Werner Faymann. This has caused a deadlock in the inquiry. Faymann and a top aide are being questioned about claims that they illegally pressured the […]

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