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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 […]

First-Time Voter

First-Time Voter

I voted for the first time in 1972, when Richard Nixon ran for re-election and trounced George McGovern with one of the largest election margins in U.S. history – 60.7% of the popular vote and every state in the Union except Massachusetts. He ran as “President Nixon – Now, More than Ever!” I had waited […]

No Alarms & No Surprises

No Alarms &  No Surprises

If it weren’t for all the posters splashing the heads of party frontrunners around the city, few would notice that it’s election time in Austria. In the scorching heat of recent weeks, electoral campaigns have had a very slow start. On 29 September, voters will go to the polls and choose which party or parties […]

Riding for Erasmus

Riding for Erasmus

A dozen sturdy bikes whirr past on the sun-scorched path that weaves through the floodplains forest of the Lobau, just east of Vienna. The group say they are a “moving megaphone” for a more integrated Europe. Sprouting from the luggage-carriers above their rear wheels, the bikes sport small flags that wag in the wind, giving […]

Integration: A Paradigm Shift

Integration: A Paradigm Shift

A hundred years ago, in 1913, there were 2.1 million people in Vienna, larger than the 1.7 who live here today – as mix of Serbs an, Poles, Turks, Hungarians, and of course, Germans, who represent the largest immigrant group in Vienna and Austria today. Austria, which stretched from Lake Constance to the Black Sea […]

Reining in the Rents

Reining in the Rents

 Spring brought the first hints of electioneering ahead of September’s national vote with Austria’s governing coalition parties, the centre-right People’s Party (ÖVP) and centre-left Social Democrats (SPÖ), presenting diverging plans for “offensives” to tackle the country’s rocketing housing costs. An increase in the number of Austrian households by over a quarter million, a surge in […]

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