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Military Service

Military Service

Not So Bad at the Bundesheer, 7 Sept. by Peter Krobath […] I personally describe myself as a military-service-nostalgic, although my time in the Austrian Army was a long, boring joke with virtually no punch-lines. However, the older one gets, the more the dull is quickly forgotten and only the few jokes remain. There were […]

The Balance of a Ball Night: Scandals, Lawsuits, and Violence

“Dancing on the graves of Auschwitz” is how Green Party head Eva Glawischnig referred to the WKR ball on 27 Jan., during a memorial ceremony on Heldenplatz. The nationalist fraternity ball coincided with International Holocaust Day, commemorating the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945, and was hence seen as a provocation by critics. The organisers countered […]

Uproar Over a Volunteer Army

Despite all appeals to authority, the hasty attempt to reform universal compulsory military service has turned into a royal snafu. For a start, Minister of Defense Nobert Darabos’ plan for an all-volunteer army was not well received in some quarters, and when General Edmund Entacher expressed reservations, the minister fired him. Many were outraged. “Darabos […]

Long Live SPÖVP!

2nd Dec. 2008. It’s a beautiful Winter morning as Austria’s President Heinz Fischer comments on his good mood on national radio, informing his peasants that his country finally has a new government. The SPÖVP is dead!  Long live the SPÖVP! So, who are the people willing to carry the heavy load of responsibility for a […]

Who Needs the SPÖ?

When Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer (SPÖ) announced a minor reshuffling of the social democratic ministers on June 15, the political commentators were not particularly astonished. The announcement of a split between the positions of a Chancellor (Alfred Gusenbauer) and the SPÖ party leadership (Werner Faymann, to be appointed), however, was a major political development, for which […]

Mission to Africa

Mission to Africa

It’s a grey January morning and a military band leads the Austrian Guard of Honour into the pinkish brick-walled courtyard of the defense ministry with a jaunty march that defies the weather. The ceremonial guard, elegantly dressed in long green winter coats, is here to give the 160 Austrian troops (and one dog) headed on […]

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