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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,” […]

Nabucco’s Final Curtain

Nabucco’s  Final  Curtain

The European Union needs natural gas. It needs it to fuel its economy and to keep households warm in winter. It needs it because it is a versatile energy source with multiple uses and because it is the least contaminating fossil fuel. And although the EU itself does not have much gas, its neighbors have […]

Swiss limit EU immigrants

Beginning on 1 June, Switzerland is limiting immigration from all EU states for a period of one year. Switzerland signed up to the bloc’s rules on freedom of movement in 1999, but the agreement included a “safeguard clause” allowing a cap on work permits if annual influx exceeds a certain number. A government statement said […]

A New Brand of Luxury

A New Brand of Luxury

Not in Paris, London or Zurich; it was in the imperial splendours of Vienna’s Palais Liechtenstein that the Financial Times chose to host its annual “Business of Luxury” summit on 2-4 June. In a mirage of expensive scent, Chanel suits and flashing Rolexes, the power-brokers of the international luxury industry came to learn about the […]

Hungary: Still Struggling Over Values

Hungary: Still Struggling Over Values

All is not well in the state of Hungary: Anti-Semitism, paramilitary actions against Roma and Sinti, censorship of inconvenient artists and writers, a heavily disputed media law – Austria’s neighbour and important trading partner is facing heavy criticism under Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (Fidesz). At their embassy in Vienna, Peter Györkos, Hungary’s ambassador to the […]

Rolling the Dice in Cyprus

Rolling the Dice in Cyprus

The task was never going to be an easy one: impose losses worth about €5.8 -billion on lenders to the Cypriot government and depositors with the country’s banks. And now that effort has led Europe to its latest impasse. In marathon negotiations, the Cypriot government, under the supervision of the troika (the European Commission, the […]

Private Property: Is Water the Price of Union?

Private Property: Is Water the Price of Union?

Austrians love their water. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 94% of Austrians say they are satisfied with water quality. When restaurant owners attempted to charge for tap water in 2009, it was cultural blasphemy in a city where water, fed by Alpine springs, is seen as a birthright. When Austria held […]

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