You are on page 1of 28

‘To show modern man his true face.

’ Otto Wagner

Euro 2,- | June 2006

Young Voices of the New Europe
The Newspaper of Webster University Vienna | Vol. 4 No. 2

Fears Flooding On the Danube
by Duska Gonja Something is amiss in Europe. Sickness-inducing algae in Genoa, severe flooding in central Europe, Portuguese wildfires, ticks carrying Lyme disease northward into Sweden – all are recent occurrences that scientists have attributed to global warming. Countries and politicians, faced with the severe evidence of the trend, are starting to consider the changes they will have to make in order to adapt to a warmer Europe. Eastern and Central European regions that had still not recovered from the devastating floods of 2002 were once again were forced to battle the rising waters. In 2002 economic losses amounted to EUR 9.2 bn in Germany, EUR 2.9 bn in Austria and EUR 2.3 bn in the Czech Republic. Total economic damage exceeded EUR 15 bn. And history seems repeat itself year after year in Central and Eastern Europe. In April, a swollen tributary of the Danube river rose to a record level in Hungary and Serbia, threatening at least 160,000 people and 50,000 homes as southeastern Europe battled massive floods. Emergency crews scrambled to bolster the banks of the Tisza River that flows into Serbia from Hungary after it reached its highest level in parts of the two countries already hit by flooding of the Danube. Further downstream in Romania, the rising Danube forced authorities to evacuate more than 4,700 people, mainly in the southern towns of Calarasi and Fetesti. In neighbouring Bulgaria, thousands of volunteers joined Continued on Page 20
Courtesy of the City of Vienna: Eine Stadt Ein Buch

In Iran: ‘No
Smoking Gun’
US Amb. Schulte Speaks at WUV
by Mazin Elfehaid In an Apr. 12 guest lecture at Webster University Vienna, U.S. Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency Gregory Schulte fielded tough questions from students about his government’s policy towards the perceived threat of a nuclear Iran. While admitting that there was no “smoking gun” that could prove that Iran seeks nuclear weapons, Schulte maintained that “the greatest security challenge facing Europe and the world is [Iranian president Mahmood] Ahmedinejad and his nuclear ambitions,” while Iran’s actions threaten the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), of which it is a member. The lecture sponsored by WUV and the IAEA gave the 50 or so students gathered in the Conference Center the opportunity to get a first hand glimpse of international diplomacy in action. Schulte, who is charged with pushing US President George Bush’s agenda in negotiations with the Iranian government, proved a skilled public speaker, unfazed by Continued on Page 6

Record Water Levels in Eastern Europe Threatened Thousands and Suggest Impacts of Global Warming

Literary Encounter: Writer John Irving, author of best sellers, The World According to Garp and Cider House Rules, was in town for the annual celebration of literature, “Ein Buch – Eine Stadt” (One Book – One City). This year, 350.000 special-edition copies of Irving’s Free the Bears, set in Vienna, were distributed free. Story on Page 19

In Austria, Crime Is Down
With More Policemen on the Beat and Better Cross-Border Cooperation, More Crimes are Solved, and Vienna Remains One of Europe‘s Safest Cities
by M.T.M. Childs Crime is down in Austria. Although you would never know it, judging by the headlines in the Subway tabloid Heute. “Kriminalität wächst: 16% mehr Häftlinge!” (“Crime is Up: 16% More Prisoners”) was the screaming front page headline in early April. The newspaper had made a deceptive leap from the increase of prisoners to an increase of crime. In fact, the reverse is true. The actual monthly statistics of the Ministry of the Interior, published in February, show a nationwide decrease in reported crimes in Austria. In the first two months of 2006, 2,026 fewer crimes had been committed nationwide than for the same period the previous year, a decrease of 2.1%. And the percentage of solved crimes has actually risen from 0.2 % to 39.5%. The decrease in crime rates has to do, to a great extent, with the organised, cross-border strategies to uncover the members of Eastern European gangs, according to public statements by Interior Minister Liese Prokop. This has meant more thorough checks at EU entry points, pin pointed action in more populated areas and many EU-instituted changes for the divisions of Police and Justice. “Our successes in crime fighting are due in part to the close cooperation with new EU-member countries.” Prokop stated in the ministry’s monthly report? “The acceptance of these new EU countries has made cooperation Continued on Page 3

Wiener Börse Booming
After years of respectable growth, the Austrian Stock Index ATX has seen a 285.71% rise since 2000, while other European and U.S. indexes have hovered nearly unchanged for six years. As Western European markets battled for control, Vienna has quietly pursued collective interests to the East, in a region whose growth shows no signs of waning. Story on page 23

‘Neighbors by Necessity’
Joschka Fischer Fears ‘We Are Forgetting the 90s’
by Dardis McNamee The coincidence was uncanny: March 28, an ordinary Tuesday evening at the Wiener Rathaus, and Joschka Fischer, former German Foreign Minister and pillar of the Green Party, had come to Vienna to speak about the importance of the Middle East for European Security. It was also Election Day in Israel, and the revolutionary Hamas regime had come to power with a solid majority, leaving the West shaken and uncertain. The Rathaus Festsaal was packed for the 2006 Jan Patocka Memorial Lecture, of the Institute for the Human Sciences. Fischer smiled as he looked out at the rows fading out past the lights. Even out of office, he could still attract a crowd. But the former Foreign Minister would be speaking “from a distance” tonight, he said, not from any political position: Joschka Fischer representing himself. With his boyish face, even now that his hair has turned silver grey, Joschka Fischer looks younger than his 57 years. Yet for 40 years, he has been close to the heart beat of change, and hearing him speak of his experience is to become, fleetingly, a witness to modern German history. Today, Fischer is troubled by the speed with which the lessons of Europe’s past are being lost. “With all these discussions of who will be excluded or included, we are forgetting the 90s,” Fischer said. In a time of globalization, Europe cannot close off borders, or slow economic growth, population growth or terrorist threats. Europe and the Middle East are “neighbors by necessity.” Continued on Page 4

Europe and the East:

What’s Inside
Land of Migrants?
At a time when E.U. restrictions are becoming tighter, Austria continues taking in immigrants in increasingly large numbers and folding them into economic and social life. Page 3 For thousands of young women from all over Eastern Europe, poverty and dreams of a perfect life leads them into selling their bodies. Page 12

Paid Company

‘Code‘ of Sacrilege
The Vatican is right to be scared of the Da Vinci Code. In an age when psychology has supplanted philosophy as the defining language of human experience, organized religion is in trouble. Page 3

‘The Downfall’
Whatever else it was, director Oliver Hirschbiegel’s decision to make The Downfall was daring. Would anyone want to watch a film that humanized Adolf Hilter? Page 18

Courtesy of Agence France Presse
Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Ahmedinejad: “Wipe Israel Off the Map“

Can the West Really Make Peace With Nuclear Iran?
In Spite of Reassurances, Much Remains Hidden
by Karla Bavoljak and Nika Bracun Controversies over Iran’s nuclear program were sharpened April 28 with the submission of a report to the United Nations Security Council by Dr. Mohammed ElBaradei, Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna. The report, entitled Implementations of the NPT Safeguards agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran, confirms information previously given to the IAEA by the Iranian government on its nuclear material and activities. However, the agency discovered conflicting information on sources of plutonium, another crucial element for the development of the atomic bomb. “Gaps remain in the Agency’s knowledge with respect to the scope and content of Iran’s centrifuge program, the Report said. On their visit in 2003, the IAEA inspectors found the centrifuge facilities hidden behind a wall, showing traces of highly enriched uranium. Officials were able to trace the equipment back to Pakistan; but not the highly enriched uranium, whose source remains unknown. Continued on Page 6

Future Unknown
In spite of increasing pressures from an increasingly demanding job market, Webster Vienna students feel on the whole optimistic about their futures. Page 7

Quaint or Racist?
Familiar things easily pass unnoticed. Originally designed in 1924, the Julius Meinl logo was once thought exotic, evocative of Baroque Angels. Is it now simply bad taste? Page 20

Chernobyl +20
Controversies over nuclear safety and a laundry list of troubling health issues linger long after polluted reactor sites have been cleaned. What can happen if things went wrong. Page 11

Measuring Beauty
There is little more mysterious and unrevealed than the definition of beauty. Is it possible to reduce attraction to a math formula? For centuries philosophers have sought answers. Page 25


Special Reports
AUSTRIA’S CRIME RATE Continued from page 1 “Our successes in crime fighting are due in part to the close cooperation with new EU-member countries.” Prokop stated in the ministry’s monthly report. “The acceptance of these new EU countries has made cooperation between the various national police departments possible - making it clear that the expanding of the EU has made Austria a safer place.” The picture in Vienna is a little less rosy. As a crossroads for migration from the East, there is a continuing risk of the city becoming an involuntary transit hub for travelling criminals. In Vienna itself, the crime rate has risen by 1.3 percent, although the quotient of solved crimes has remained the same. case of one 12-year-old boy living in the 2nd District, a mugging by a group of 14 year olds. Benjamin was in the Prater with three friends in mid April when the group of older boys threatened and then robbed him and his friends, taking their cell phones and about 40 Euros in pocket money. The boys phoned their parents and went to the Prater police station, where the officers took down the reports. They did not immediately go after the perpetrators. “There’s no point, really,” said Reiter. “By Austrian law, a 14 year old cannot be fined or punished in any way for his crime,” Reiter said, “except for a call to the parents, which might result in a punishment and might not.” He sighed. These types of reported crimes also become part of the statistics, and in this in-

Courtesy of Cafe Sperl

The Viennese meet with clients, have private talks with lawyers, and rendezvous with lovers discretely in a coffee house: Here, the Cafe Sperl.

Everyday Gemütlichkeit
There is no Sense of Hurry in a Viennese Kaffeehaus; Even the Cell Phones Ring Quietly
by Meinrad Knapp It is Monday afternoon, at the Café Griensteidl in downtown Vienna. This is an old, traditional Viennese coffee house, which was once the meeting point for the so-called “Jung Wien,” the artists and intellectuals of the Jugendstil movement after which this newspaper is named. This meeting place of writers Arthur Schnitzler and Peter Altenberg was, I deemed, the perfect spot to meet with a friend from Philadelphia, a place where the strong injections of caffeine set the gears of the brain in motion and the air is full of ideas. So my friend Michael and I drank our coffee and talked, watching the waiters sidling among the tables. Busy as they are, there is no sense of hurry in a Viennese Kaffeehaus. It seems as if a magic hand touches the people on the shoulder; they move at their own speed, selecting their newspapers and settling in. Even the cell phones seem to ring more quietly here. “But don’t these people have to work?” my friend asked me, incredulous. Surely all of these people sipping coffee, reading their newspapers, involved in conversations and talking on the phone must do something for a living! And indeed, they looked far too young to be retired. “Are the people in Vienna so wealthy that they can sit for hours in coffee houses on a Monday afternoon,” he asked? Sometimes you need somebody from the outside to give you another perspective. I was raised here in Vienna, so I am used to the picture of a busy Viennese Kaffeehaus on a Monday afternoon. But people doing nothing? If you think that these people are doing nothing, you do not understand Vienna. Just be patient, I told my American friend. And watch. A Viennese Kaffeehaus is a veritable stew of activity and a sampling of life in the city. It is the best place to get together informally, to try out an idea, discuss a project, or develop a contact. It’s a private spot outside the office to do some reading or get some thoughts on paper. It is the place where first dates take place, where G’spusi (an Austrian’s secret love affairs) begin and end. But perhaps I am moving too fast. Let me explain. A Viennese coffee house is the city’s neutral ground, a low-intensity meeting place, for business, professional or personal life. Initial meetings with clients, private talks with lawyers and consultants, even headhunters meet with their potential clients for the first time in a coffee house. The choice of such a setting is clearer if you understand the hierarchical world of Austrian business. When you make an appointment with a Viennese business person, the venue is chosen according to who is the more influential and powerful. If you want to show your client who is the Donald Trump of this deal, then he has to come to your office. But if you want to meet on level ground, you meet in a coffee house. If you are applying for a job, you have two choices: You can send in your CV and wait. Or you can suggest meeting Mr. or Ms. Human Resources Director in person at a coffee house: if they agree, your chances have improved immensely. Consider a coffee house as your resource center. The typical Viennese Kaffeehaus is equipped with an unwilling and remarkably unfriendly waiter, who also has a remarkable memory. After your third visit, if you are a generous enough tipper, he will remember what your usual order is and provide you with a wide variety of local and international newspapers. And as a bonus, he will pass along a little gossip and you can eavesdrop on the other guests to pick up the latest on current issues, giving you a good feeling of what Viennese people are really concerned with. Finally, and very important, a Kaffeehaus is the setting for romance: If you meet with somebody, you are interested in, the first date is usually at a coffeehouse. It is informal. You do not have to spend the whole evening together. If it turns out to be boring, you can conveniently part ways. And if you enjoy each other’s company, you can move on to dinner. In the end, Michael was, to say the least, impressed. And could I perhaps leave him for a while, so that he could sit by himself in Cafe Griensteidl? I smiled. The magic hand had finally touched him. He had started to feel comfortable within the cover zone, and he spent his time by studying the people surrounding him: Like the young couple sitting next to him, laughing and talking and touching. But “he” was much older than “she” was. Were they meeting for the first time? Or was he married and they were having an affair … And what were those two men dressed in the gray suits talking about? They have been sitting and whispering at the same table for hours. Are they discussing a major business deal, or a secret political affair? And why is that young man sitting alone at a nearby table, reading newspapers, taking notes and reading a book at the same time? Is he a student? But he looks too old to be a student. Maybe he is doing some research for his father’s company … I left my American friend Michael in the Griensteidl, in his own world, thinking about the stories behind the faces. He hadn’t realized it yet, but sitting in the coffeehouse, doing whatever you are doing while having fun observing the other guests, is a very integral part of Viennese Gemütlichkeit. But I will fill Michael in on this fact the next time he visits Vienna. It is definitely easier to enjoy than to understand.

In 2002, 73.1% of all drug-related criminals were Austrians and only 26.9% foreigners, a level that has not increased since the opening of the E.U. borders.
So the city is on the alert. An internal police reform put into action on July 1, 2005 cut desk jobs to allow for more officers on the street, according to a police spokesman. And first-hand observation confirms that beat police are becoming more and more visible. “The types of crime are changing,” said Andreas Reiter, of the Vienna Police Department. “We don’t have the massive drug dealing gangs to piece together, but rather separate felons and instead of serial burglars we have 20 different ones. That’s what makes the crime rate rise.” Small crimes may be small crimes but the Viennese pride themselves on how safe Vienna is, so it is exactly those types of crimes that give the feeling of insecurity. A stolen wallet or handbag, an offer of illegal drugs on the way out of the subway, or in the stance, the case was not solved. Have the Vienna Police been given any special orders to shape up? Apparently not, because no one is surprised. “The weather gets warmer, so crime goes up.” Reiter assures us, “it’s not unusual.” The fear of crime increasing as a result of immigration is also not substantiated. In 2002, for example, 73.1% of all drug related criminals were Austrians and only 26.9% foreigners and although the current numbers of foreigners in jail has reached 46.3%, the level has not increased since the opening of EU borders. In fact, 43.9% of foreign prisoners are doing time on account of their illegal residency, not for criminal activity. So, while it’s still a good idea to hold tight to your handbag, over all, Austria and Vienna can still be seen as a safe place.

‘Surely all

these people chatting, sipping their coffee and reading the newspaper must do something for a living!

Special Reports


The Da Vinci Code

Courtesy of the European Union Students at an EU forum: In the European context, immigration is not only helpful but also neccessary.

The Church Fathers Have Every Right to be Afraid: Organized Religion is in Trouble
Speaking at a Rome conference on April 28 Archbishop Angelo Amato, Vatican secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, urged his audience to consider boycotting the film “The Da Vinci Code,” as one way “to let the world know the story offends and defames the church.” If the kind of “slander, offenses and errors” contained in Dan Brown’s best-selling novel and the film based on it had been written about “the Quran or the Shoah (the Holocaust), they rightly would have provoked a worldwide uprising,” the archbishop told Catholic communications directors. – Catholic OnLine, by Dardis McNamee Oh my! Poor Archbishop Amato! Poor Catholic Church! It’s hard not to smile. In an age when psychology has supplanted philosophy as the defining language of human experience, and morality is best understood in the framework of law and society, organized religion is in trouble. Or even ascribing sinister motives to the Order of Opus Dei that it probably doesn’t deserve. But religion never had anything to do with facts; actually, religion is, by definition, based on something called a “leap of faith,” by which you simply decide to believe something for which there is, and can be, no proof. And anyway, this is fiction, and these quibbles are beside the real point. Because there is a real point. And you can be sure that if these quibbles were all that was at stake, the Church would most probably have left well enough alone. Even they know that censorship is one of the best ways to guarantee the success of a film. The real point is that

Science, communication and prosperity have all conspired to make religion feel obsolete. Science makes it look primitive; communication makes it parochial, and prosperity relieves the feelings of helplessness on which religious belief is often built. So in most developed countries,

Austria - a (Reluctant) Land of Immigrants
While Ambivalent, Austria Continues to Absorb Thousands
by Mazin Elfehaid Austrians worry a lot about immigration. Of course they worry about pretty much everything. But in this case, common wisdom tells them that more immigrants will mean higher unemployment, lower wages, and increasing burdens on the social welfare system. And while immigration is a contentious issue throughout the European Union, it is especially so in countries like Austria, where a high quality of life, economic stability and social benefits attract more migrants than most other parts of the continent. Yet at a time when restrictions throughout the E.U. are becoming tighter, Austria continues taking in immigrants in increasingly large numbers and folding them into economic and social life. In 2002, Austria naturalized 36,382 new citizens, double the 18,321 in 1998, triple the number in 1990, according to Michael Jandl and Albert Kraler of the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). And while these new citizens come from more than 100 different countries the world over, a full half from the former Habsburg lands. Austria has a long history of immigration, largely due to its historical importance and geographic influence. Large parts of what is now Central, and South Central Europe was, at the height of the Hapsburg Empire, part of But for the public, it’s breaking news, the evidence many been waiting for that there is nothing spiritual about male supremacy. It is now, and has only ever been, about power. Together, these radical notions are like land mines in the pastures of the Good Shepherd. Think of it: The DaVinci Code reveals the Church to be fallible, a flawed, evolving human instiAustria – including parts of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, and Serbia. Many contemporary Austrians have roots in these countries, and roughly 9.1% of its current citizenry is foreign-born, significantly higher than the EU average of 5.3%. Its quota of foreign residents is 12.5%, even higher than in the United States. The controversy surrounding immigration largely economically motivated. Many worry that an increase in immigration will bring lower average wages, higher unemployment and strains on social supports like health care. It is for this reason that Austria’s Freedom Party (FPÖ) has called for zero permanent immigration, stating that “unrestricted immigration lead to serious distortions of the job market and to substantial pressure on wages” in their party program. On the other hand, Europe also faces an aging population, whose pensions could depend on the new energy and earning power immigrants could bring to the workforce. While it has been suggested that migrants may help stem these problems, “the EU… says that the numbers of projected immigrants would not be enough to overcome the lack of people of working age,” Steve Schifferes of BBC News reported. It has instead proposed increasing participation of women and older tution, like any other. It shows that Roman Catholicism as we know it emerged out of a confusion of sources and that for political, rather than spiritual, reasons developed a set of rules, called doctrines, that, like civil law, were arrived at through negotiation, power struggles and wars of domination... …whose winner got to write the history. workers in the workforce. These issues have polarized Austrian politics, and public attitudes towards immigration remain ambivalent, as evidenced by the curtailing of labor-migration and family reunification programs following in the wake of the 2002 Aliens Act, which called for “integration before immigration.” This policy, which slowly tries to incorporate long-term migrants through required “integration courses,” and attempts to make them part of the social network, remains in force today. Despite this ambivalence, Austria continues to absorb growing numbers of immigrants: According to the web-based Migration Information Source (http://, the number of naturalizations in Austria has continued to increase from 17,785 in 1997 to about 36,400 in 2002, with the total number of migrants reaching 74,786 in 2001. The evidence in favor of immigration is strong, and contrary to popular wisdom, a well-planned immigration policy can be beneficial to a country’s economy. First of all, there seems to be “no obvious relationship between immigration and unemployment,” according to a study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Trends in Immigration and Economic Consequences. According to the OECD, while immigrant populations experience greater unemployment and lower wages than native ones, immigration also “creates demand for goods and services produced by the host population,” which means there is also a larger demand for both goods and labor. In other words, immigrants can fuel economic growth. Studies support this hypothesis. In recent EU competitiveness rankings, for example, the

church attendance is dwindling and candidates for the priesthood increasingly few. What young man of talent will give up a natural human life of sexual love and family for a place in a power structure that is collapsing before his eyes? Enter Dan and Blythe Brown and the worldwide best seller, The DaVinci Code. In the guise of a high-energy intellectual thriller, the Browns have pealed away the mask that has protected the Catholic Church from prying iconoclasts for nearly two centuries. Yes, we all know that they played around with the “facts,” discovering foundations under a cathedral that aren’t there, inventing an academic discipline that doesn’t exist.

The DaVinci Code dramatizes to a mass reading public that the Catholic Church is the way it is by chance – it is something invented that can, therefore, be changed. It could have easily been some other way, if someone, or several someones, had won a round or two somewhere along the way. The novel also brings out into the open old church battles over the position and role of women. These, as much as the feminist movement of the 1970s, threaten the foundations of patriarchy in societies the world over. The history on this point – that women were definitively closed out of the Church’s power structure by the reign of Constantine in the 4th Century – is not contested.

top places went to the countries with the strongest social welfare programs: Austria placing 3rd after Sweden and Denmark, in a European Commission study conducted by the Center for European Reform in London. Immigrants represent a more flexible labor reserve, often more willing to take jobs that require more relocation and mobility than natives. It seems no coincidence that the European countries with the most comprehensive migration policies, Sweden and Denmark, also have some of the strongest economies. In addition, while immigration does influence government budgets, and thus social spending, the report concludes, “the effects are complicated to calculate, while the net impact at the national level is negligible.” The study points to two main reasons why immigration can be beneficial -- both of which apply in various ways to Austria. Firstly, most rich industrialized nations have a shortage of skilled labor, particularly in fields such as Information Technology, or as in Austria, in engineering and the highly skilled building trades. The OECD reports that unemployment rates in these fields are dramatically lower than elsewhere. The second reason is that Europe has an aging population, with the proportion of people of retirement age increasing, and overall population of the continent falling between 12 to 17 percent over the next fifty years. In 2040, the percentage of the Austrian population over 60 will reach 35%, up from 20% in 1995. This means there will be significantly fewer people paying into pension systems, as well as a drop in the overall standard of living, at least as measured in financial terms. Immigration can change these age structures, says the OECD. “Increased immigration would have an immediate impact on the working-age population,” wrote the authors. The report notes, however, that in many places the age-profile of immigrants is similar to that of the native population, and for this reason immigration alone cannot always be relied on to solve this problem. However, in the European context, immigration in most cases is not only helpful, but necessary, in order for countries like Austria to continue growing. While not always openly immigrant friendly, Austria has generally been pragmatic, relying on immigration fuel growth and supply missing skills. This style of accommodation, too, is an old tradition of the Empire. And anecdotal evidence suggests the trend is likely to continue: With the Austrian economy booming, Austrian consulates throughout Central, Eastern and South Central Europe swarm with people hoping for a visa. Applications are up, and while there are no formal statistics of how many people are left waiting in line, officials in consulates in Budapest, Belgrade and elsewhere have been caught issuing hundreds of unauthorized entry documents over several years in exchange for cash, resulting in recalls and embarrassment at the Foreign Ministry. Sometimes the reality is best revealed by what goes wrong.



Autocrat in Belarus
Winning Soundly, Lukashenko Ended Hopes for Change
to obtain 50% of Beltransgas. by Andrey Siletski As the smoke of public dis- However, uncomfortable with sent and revolutionary temper the practical takeover of essential settled on October Square in the national economic resources, Lucenter of Minsk, ardent support- kashenko demanded harsh terms ers of Alexander Lukashenko were that had left Russian authorities celebrating the re-election of their resentful. Referring to international president for the third term. Winning an overwhelming majority market prices, Lukashenko estiof votes, Lukashenko successfully mated the cost of Beltransgas to dismantled Europe’s last hope for be at least $5bln, while Moscow change in Belarus, vainly strug- tagged its price at only $700 milgling for democratic elections and lion. Nevertheless, since the early freedom of speech. Scheduled for Mar. 31, the 1990’s, Russia has been enjoying presidential inauguration was privileged transit prices on gas postponed for twenty days, dur- and its export to Western Europe. ing which Lukashenko unexpect- Currently, it pays $0.75/tcm per edly disappeared from the national media, raising the speculation of his deteriorating health among opposition activists. In reality, however, L u k a s h e n k o’s orchestrated triumph was overshadowed by a series of unfortunate events. Immediately after his victory on Mar. 19, Lukashenko received an urgent note from Moscow, in which Russian authorities declared a sharp increase in Alexander Lukashenko won the presidency by a gas prices to European export rates. one hundred kilometers through Russian gas would be sup- Beltransgas pipelines, a ridiculousplied at prices “equivalent to Eu- ly low charge that Belarus grants ropean levels,” announced Alexei its neighbor for both political and Miller, head of Russian gas giant economic support, according to Gazprom on Mar. 30, to $270 per Interfax on Mar. 7. thousand cubic meters (tcm) in Thus, Russian vindictive2007, from the current $46.99/ ness is nothing less than a note of tcm, according to a report in the warning that may have irreversible Financial Times the next day. consequences for Lukashenko. By accepting Russian terms Energy Minister Alexander Ageev was bewildered. Prospects of ownership, Beltransgas will of skyrocketing gas prices were become a powerful political and causing panic in official Minsk. economic tool in hands of KremThe Belorussian president’s un- lin authorities, while Lukashenko disguised confidence quickly will most likely see the demise of changed to uncertainty and even his power and the gradual take over of Belorussian sovereignty. despair. He realized that his widely The twilight of Lukashenko’s heralded success in the elections presidency has been further accelwas largely due to perceived eco- erated by EU diplomatic sanctions nomic stability and promises of protesting the allegedly fraudulent increasing social welfare benefits. elections in Belarus, a true mileAware of Russia’s vindictive re- stone for Europe. sponse to complaints by Ukraine Speaking on behalf of the and Moldova of soaring gas pric- European Union on March 24 in es, which had led to a brief cut in Brussels, Austrian Foreign Minissupply of natural gas in January, ter Ursula Plassnik announced the Lukashenko realized that he is not decision to take restrictive measures, including a ban on travel in the position to bargain. The surprise was Russia’s for Lukashenko and other top drastic policy reversal, which now Belarus officials, to “express our threatened to remove Lukashenko misgivings about the violations of from power. Apparently, he was international electoral standards,” paying for the unsettled dispute according to a report in the Associover privatization of Belorussian ated Press on March 24. Plassnik state-owned Beltransgas, a gas dis- also called on Belorussian presitributor that controls 6,742 km of dent to stop violent persecution pipelines and transports devalued of protesters, after police forces Russian gas to Europe. stormed an opposition tent camp In May 2003, Gazprom held in the center of Minsk and arrested official negotiations with Minsk more than 200 demonstrators. With Lukashenko ignoring the warnings, the E.U. Council of Foreign Ministers on Apr. 10 declared Lukashenko and 30 members of his government persona non grata, restricting their presence in any of the 25 European member states. The list of top officials, banned from traveling to Europe, included senior members of the presidential administration, top officials of the KGB, or Committee of National Security, which still bears its name from the Soviet Era, election supervisors, judges, and a prosecutor involved in processing cases against opposition members, according to the International Herald Tribune. Praising Europe’s action, presidential candidate Alexander Milinkevich, also leader of the Belorussian United Democratic Forces, called the sanctions “one of the most effective measures that the European Pa r l i a m e n t and the European Commission have,” according to huge margin Belorussian news agency Belaplan on April 10. Meanwhile, there is growing concern that Lukashenko’s government, labeled by the E.U. the “last remaining dictatorship” in the West, may be confronted with a new kind of resistance that no security apparatus will be able to contain. A series of blasts that shook the city of Vitebsk in the northeast of Belarus last year suggest a shocking pattern that could develop if the current political scenario persists. Troubled by predictions of increasing unrest, Lukashenko was a changed man when he reappeared before the public after his twentyday absence. He appeared pale and sullen on television, standing most of the time with his fists clenched. There were noticeable bags under his eyes, even at the euphoric announcement by the head of the Central Election Commission, Lydia Ermoshina that “people made this decision in free, fair and democratic elections,” according to the Moscow-based Kommersant. Lukashenko seemed to sense the growing resentment – of political isolation from Europe and economic pressure from Russia, of his political status as the dictator and oppressor of freedom and democracy. Finally, it was resentment of his unwelcome presidency that will bring the last autocratic government in Europe to its end.
Courtesy of the Associated Press

NEIGHBORS BY NECCESITY Continued from page 1 Fischer’s realism has helped make him popular outside of Germany, and particularly here in socialist Vienna. “Fischer is certainly a personality admired by Austrians,” agreed Karl A. Weilguny, a management consultant in Vienna who had come simply out of interest to hear this important, if often controversial leader. Joschka Fischer was a “ ‘68er,” part of the German student protest movement against and a left-wing labor organizer at the automobile factory where he worked. However left-wing terrorist attacks by the Red Army Faction (RAF) during the 1977 Deutscher Herbst (German Autumn) caused him to abandon violence as a tool for change, and turn to the new Green Party. Today, Fischer describes himself as “the last of the live Rock-and-Rollers of German politics,” in the era of “the Playback-Generation.” He is puzzled by the political mood he sees today, as seen in the French “non” and the Dutch “nee” to the EU Constitution. Although the European standard of living keeps rising, the idea of Europe appears to becoming less and less popular. “I have the impression that the better things get and the more we overcome the ghosts of the past, the less popular it is with the young,” Fischer said, “—how much the EU Expansion means, and yet how unpopular it is.” This is the paradox of EU ambivalence, that the success of transformation carries within it the seeds of forgetfulness and the dangers of complacency. In 1989 Berlin was still divided. “We had the luck to break this control,” he remembered. “I thought so often during those negotiations, ‘You won’t be able to hold out, to find a solution to all these different issues. During the Cold War, Germany had the greatest U.S. military presence in Europe and a budget growing every year. In 1989 this disappeared overnight.”

But open societies are not automatic, and gains can be lost. In Central Europe, the idea of freedom means a great deal. But the chances are not good that all of their newly-built institutions will succeed without a single government. “You cannot have a Europe that is open and have these countries closed off,” he said. “We cannot live under two different principles.” By extension, Fischer sees an open Europe dependent on the success and stability of all of its neighboring countries. In the East, he sees a “cultural decision” to make, to bring the New Independent States under the Euro-

‘I have the
impression that the better things get and the more we overcome the ghosts of the past, the less popular Europe is with the young’
pean umbrella. For while Russia has European roots, it is “so huge it has its own character” that must not be allowed to influence Eastern Europe. Bigger challenges await in the Middle East, also “our immediate neighbor.” he said. “Globalization means that we have to care for our neighbors – not (just) militarily, but with chances for development. We have to invest not primarily financially – although that when necessary – but with opportunity.” “To overcome a modernization blockade – this is our special challenge – without coming to any military conflict.” In relation to the US invasion of Iraq, he seemed to make a distinction between US government policy and the American people. “Most Americans would not have done that,” he said. “But we all have to deal with the consequences. These are our neighbors,

and they will stay our neighbors.” On Iran, he urged great caution. “All I can say is, I have experienced [things like this, and the harm] is not only the suffering of the people, but the damage to the spirit of the country” From a recent gathering of American, European and Middle Eastern leaders in Washington D.C., Fischer had left convinced that “we must combine modernization with an Islamic government” – an opinion he expected to be unpopular. Yet how quickly this could happen was very problematic. Even Turkey, far more modern than many of its neighbors, he expects, will be hard pressed to meet EU standards within the 10-year goal set for membership. However, he did not see how Turkey – the southern most member of NATO “ensuring our security against the USSR” – could be kept out. “If we close the door, where will we be?” he asked. “We will have a Turkey full of disappointment, with a Russia standing by.” Whether modernization will happen in these countries is, then, the decisive question for Europe, with decisions based on the consequences. “But decide we must,” Fischer said. “Because when Africa begins to export its problems, the Mediterranean will not be wide enough, walls will not be high enough, to protect us from all this.” The Jan Patocka Memorial Lectures are in honor of the Czech philosopher, who though banned from teaching and publishing under communist Czechoslovakia, became an intellectual and moral leader of the Czech underground.With poet-president Vaclav Havel and others, Patocka was also a signer of the Charter 77 defense of human rights. The series has included financier and philanthropist George Soros, distinguished Middle East scholar Edward Said, former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, Polish Nobel Prize winning novelist Czeslaw Milosz, and Austrian writer and human rights activist Eli Wiesel.



Still in Hiding
Serbia’s Ties to the EU Hang on Delivering Karadzic and Mladic
by Duska Gonja their territory. But the truth was, Carla Del Ponte, remains comThe April 30 deadline has that most of the time, they didn’t mitted to their capture and has come and gone, and Serbia’s know whether he was or wasn’t. promised to expose those who leading war criminals are still at Radovan Karadzic has been have been blocking the arrest of large. Accused of genocide, the somewhat harder to track down, Karadzic and Mladic, as an estwo former Bosnian-Serb leaders, as very little evidence of his move- sential step for establishing EU Ratko Mladic and Radovan Kara- ments has emerged since he disap- standards for human rights. dzic have been on the top of the peared from his former wartime The deadline expired on Hague’s “most wanted” list since headquarters in the Bosnian-Serb April 30, and the European Union has called off talks on closer the capture of former president stronghold of Pale. Slobodan Milosevic in 2001. For Most recent intelligence re- ties with Serbia because of its failmore than a decade, the two had ports suggest Karadzic has been ure to arrest war crimes suspect managed to evade arrest. living in the remote mountains of Mladic. Olli Rehn said he was disWith failure of Serbia & Mon- North-western Montenegro, not appointed that Belgrade had not tenegro’s Prime Minister Vojislav far from his hometown of Niksic. detained Mladic. Rehn said he had discussed Kostunica to hand over either one International peacekeepers cannot as agreed, the European Union act there, as the area is part of Ser- the situation with Carla del Ponte, Commissioner for Enlargement bia and Montenegro. who said Serbia had let the tribuOlli Rehn has suspended talks on Unlike Mladic, Karadzic is nal down. closer ties with Belgrade, prompt- not believed to be protected by “Her assessment is negative,” ing the resignation of Serbian military structures, but rather by he said. “I must say that it is disDeputy Prime Minister Miroljub devoted followers. Peacekeepers appointing that Belgrade has been Labus, head of the county’s nego- have carried out a number of ar- unable to locate, arrest and transfer rest attempts that resulted in fail- Ratko Mladic to The Hague. tiating team. Radovan Karadzic, the former ure. Some believe that much of “The Commission has therepolitical leader and his military the information about Karadzic fore to call off the negotiations on commander Ratko Mladic have is actually disinformation put out the stabilization and association managed to exploit not only their by his followers. agreement.” Del Ponte said: “The obvihero status among many Serbs Circumstances have been albut also the remote, inaccessible tered recently, however, in ways ous conclusion I can draw is that I mountains and valleys was misled when I was told at the end of where they are believed March that the arto have spent much of rest of Mladic was their time hiding. In 2004, docua matter of days or ments prepared by weeks.” Ko s t u n i c a , western diplomats suggested that Mladic was who had promised that Mladic would still enjoying the protection of the Bosnian be located, arrested Serb military. The EU and transferred peacekeepers in Bosto the Tribunal, nia opened up a secret said everything Bosnian-Serb underhad been done to ground military comtry to bring in the plex near the town of fugitive. He said Han Pijesak, where it Mladic was “alone” Serbia’s Former General Ratko Mladic was claimed that Mladic on the run since the govhad been as recently as July 2004. that have made the arrest of either ernment had cracked down on his However, a NATO-led operation man more likely in Serbia. support network. One is that the Serbian govat the time failed to find him. “His entire network has been It was also revealed that ernment has changed its attitude uncovered; Mladic is now hiding all Mladic was still an official mem- and now is co-operating with The alone,” Kostunica said. Serbia was ber of the Bosnian-Serb military Hague Tribunal. hoping to reach a new deal with the A video showing killings of EU by July to take its first step on as recently as 2002 and was still receiving a military pension. Srebrenica captives shocked many the road to eventual membership. Although he is originally Serbs who, up until now, had All other countries in the Balkans, from Bosnia, however, there are simply not believed a massacre of except Bosnia, already have such strong rumors that his real sup- 8,000 Muslims had actually taken stabilization and association agreeport comes from Serbia. Leading place in Srebrenica in 1995. With ments, providing for closer political Serb politicians have admitted for less sentiment on Mladic’s side, and economic ties with the EU. some time that democratic con- Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav But Del Ponte has already trol over every aspect of and part Kostunica pledged to hand over called for the EU to take a tough of the Serbian security structures Mladic by the end of April. stance on Belgrade and Rehn said has been little more than wishAnd in the background, the that the next round of talks, set for ful thinking. Serbian politicians irrepressible figure of the UN’s 11 May, could be called off unless have always denied Mladic was in Chief Prosecutor at The Hague, Mladic is arrested.
Courtesy of CNN

Prime Minister-elect, Prodi: How could the predictions, pre-election and exit polls be so wrong?

In Italy, No Clear Winner
If You Look Inside the Political Scene, There is Chaos
by Endri Fuga The Italian elections are over. The outcome is a divided country without a clear winner or a clear loser. Romano Prodi, after having of the election, Berlusconi will try in the coming weeks to form a parliamentary commission that, according to him, “will investigate the numerous irregularities.” But the question most of the Italians are asking themselves these days is: “How could the predictions, pre-election polls, as well as exit polls, turn out to be so wrong”? Yes, in Italy everyone had predicted the victory of the left, but not by this tiny margin. All polls and surveys had shown Prodi at least 5-8 points ahead of Berlusconi. The overall opinion was that Berlusconi’s government had not achieved much. The economy was stuck and taxes had not been lowered as promised. More to the point, the leader of the right and richest man of Italy had himself been accused of tax evasion, of controlling the media and accumulating too much power into his own hands. And according to the polls, there was a clear majority of Italians who were against Italy’s involvement in the war in Iraq. Most of the foreign newspapers as well as almost all the Italian dailies not owned by Berlusconi had clearly positioned themselves in favor of Prodi and the left. The Economist’s front page headline on the election day was: “Berlusconi, Basta! (Berlusconi, Enough!)” Nevertheless, the Union won elections by only 0.1 percent of the votes. Berlusconi’s party, Forza Italia, ranked first among the political parties, leaving the biggest leftist party, Democrats of the Left, more than 8 points behind. How can this all be explained? As a start, Berlusconi had more media support on his side throughout the weeks of the electoral campaign. One of the biggest daily newspapers as well as three national private TV channels, all owned by Berlusconi, obviously played his game. According to a study published by the Italian Institute of Media Monitoring, investments in Berlusconi’s three national private TV channels had increased by 15% during the final month of elections. Recently released movies, soap operas and serials were being televised by Mediaset, Berlusconi’s media group, in order to increase the shares of the Italian audience watching his channels. By doing so, his political advertisements would influence more and more Italian voters. A.C. Milan, one of the top international football clubs, owned by Berlusconi as well, was part of the trick. As soon as the football club made it to the semifinals of the Champion’s League, Berlusconi was proclaimed by his media as “a man who leads only to victory.” Not a bad move considering the strong relation of Italians to football. Furthermore, Berlusconi had studied the Italian electorate quite well. He knew that the left coalition, successor of the Communist Party, had very strong roots with older people, the unions and the poor. Berlusconi understood that leftist voters were a very rigid group of people that had voted in every past election for the left and would continue to do so. That is why he decided to appeal to the undecided voters. It was in Bersluconi’s favor to have as many people as possible participate in elections. Only by having a large number of those that were undecided or had not voted in the past, could the right narrow the disadvantage and maybe win the elections. Finally, one must never forget that in Italy anything can happen. This is a very curious thing about Italians; most of them do not believe in the state, rather they tend to believe in the person. And from this perspective, Berlusconi has always appeared in their eyes as a successful entrepreneur. More than a vote between the Italian right and the left, as in the last elections in the United States, Italians voted in favor or against Berlusconi. And although most of his critics accused him of not having done enough for the Italian economy, North Italy, the most industrialized part of the country, still voted for him. Even after the elections it is hard to tell who the real winner in Italy is. It is hard to predict what will happen in the coming months. But one thing is for sure: Prodi will form the new government of the left, while Berlusconi will not be Prime Minister anymore – at least for the time being.

led the European Commission for nearly five years, managed to be back on top of Italian politics and will be heading the government for the second time in the last 10 years since 1996-1998. Silvio Berlusconi, will have to step down as Italian Prime Minister, but will be remembered as the only head of the Italian government able to govern for a full four-year term. But if you take a look inside the Italian political scene, there is chaos. The center left coalition led by Prodi was able to win only by a remarkably thin margin of 24,000 votes, meaning only 0.1 percent of the overall vote. Although many believe the center-left coalition the Union (L’Unione) is strong and united, there are already a couple of small leftist parties that have started asking for more representation in the new government that is yet to be formed. A new election law that came into force only a couple of weeks prior to the elections favors the Union in the lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, where they hold a comfortable majority of more than 60 votes. But when it comes to the Senate, the lead narrows down to only two votes. Knowing that the Italian constitution allows perfect bicameralism, Prodi will have a tough task getting his program through the Senate. More to the point, the Italian Senate has seven lifelong members, who are all respected senior politicians, but at the same time unpredictable, when it comes to casting their votes. The situation isn’t much better in the other camp. Berlusconi and his House of Liberties Coalition (Casa delle Liberta) are having a difficult time accepting defeat. Indeed, Berlusconi has made it clear that he will ask for a recounting of the votes because of the many irregularities that, according to his party, occurred. Although the courts have given their final decision and have validated the results

Courtesy of Romano Prodi’s Website


cent) unemployment rate among young people. The need for more flexibility in hiring seems obvious in the wake of last year’s riots in poor, largely Arab suburbs of Paris, where joblessness runs far higher. Many of the protesters did not seem to have much to do with the law proposed by the French government. Those affected were students who had just finished University but who were without out connections or recourses to enter the job market. For instance, the marchers were not poor. Besides union members, those leading the protests were politically active high school and university students, often with clear objectives, pre-set political goals. One could argue, of course, that solidarity was a value shared by most of the revolutionaries, thus anybody was justified in participating in the protests. True, but in this case those who had little to do with the issue directly outnumbered those affected by it. Slogans against the prime minister and the French government were far more visible than those against the proposed law. Perhaps the British, Germans and Americans have accepted too easily the job insecurities, falling wages and vanishing pensions that globalization has brought. And perhaps Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin did a poor job of selling his package, causing political setbacks. Deep inside, it’s hard to believe that a job with a two-year trial, possibly leading to permanent employment could be worse than the short-term jobs available today. International Herald Tribune columnist William Pfaff described the situation in late April as “…a failure of the French political and economic elites to confront the demands of the globalized economy.” French society, he argued, is hiding behind an unrealistic notion, a “French social model” that no longer has a place in the modern world. And while the world changes, France cannot stay the same. Iran has never officially admitted its desire to create a bomb, however, Ahmedinejad’s suggestion of “wiping Israel off the map” and resuming uranium enrichment had induced further concern within the International Community. During the EU summit at Hampton Court, in October 2005, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair asserted: “if they (Iran) continue down this path, then people are going to believe they are a real threat to our world security and stability.” There is no real evidence that Iran is developing a nuclear bomb. However, suspicion is still strong that Iran may be interested in the nuclear bomb for simple reasons of security among its neighbors, as deployment of nuclear weapons would mean a return to the threat of mutually assured destruction between US and Soviet Union during the Cold War. “Countries enjoy security because they have nuclear weapons,” Rickwood explained, citing the five official nuclear powers – permanent Security Council memNO SMOKING GUN Continued from page 1 controversy and capable of smoothly incorporating pointed challenges into his argument. “I just want you to know that in light of yesterday’s important announcements [that Iran has enriched uranium for the first time], I have asked my assistant to clear my schedule except for Webster University. In fact, I worked on a schedule with President Ahmedinejad personally so that I could come here,” Schulte said, speaking in a clear, succinct and somewhat informal manner. Iran has been developing a nuclear program since the 1950’s and has been party to the NPT since 1970. Members of the NPT are obliged to refrain from producing nuclear weapons, though they may develop nuclear technologies for peaceful means such as energy production. Iran’s recent announcement of a uranium enrichment program has faced severe criticisms from the international community. Because its program was kept hidden for 18 years, the international community continues to be mistrustful of its true intentions. There has, however, been no conclusive evidence that Iran is striving to obtain nuclear weapons, and in fact the Uranium it has enriched is only 3.5% pure, not clean enough to be used in weapons. Despite heavy international pressure, Iran’s government maintains that it has the right to enrich uranium for what it states are peaceful purposes. As a result, Iran was referred to the United Nations Security Council by the IAEA board of governors last February, by a vote of 27 to 3. Schulte, who is in direct contact with the Iranian delegation and President Ahmedinejad, says he is working together with the IAEA board of governors to “find a diplomatic solution.” “Iran’s reaction has been defiant and in disregard of the people of the Islamic Republic,” he said, making his case that if the government of Iran truly cared about its people, it would pursue ways to deal with problems such as unemployment and energy distribution in a way that does not ostracize it from the international community. In addition, he stated that, due to its oil and gas reserves, Iran does not need nuclear power. On April 11, the Iranian govbers, and three unofficial ones – “India, Pakistan and Israel.” Israel has never officially commented on its nuclear program, as it is not a signatory of the NPT, and is not usually included on lists of this kind. North Korea, which has acknowledged possession of nuclear weapons, was not mentioned. In the context of the Israeli-Iranian diplomatic conflict a mention of Israel as a nuclear power could explain Iran’s possible desire to preserve its security. Dr. Karin Kneissl, a Middle East expert and Webster Vienna professor of International Relations, draws a parallel to the case of North Korea, a country that has also acquired nuclear weapons for purposes of security: “While North Koreans were shouting from the top of the roofs ‘Hello! ernment announced that, along with having enriched Uranium, it was also building a complex of 3000 centrifuges to be operational by March 2007. According to Schulte, such a large number of centrifuges of this kind can spin enough uranium to make nuclear weapons within a year. Most experts disagree with this number however. A report published by the Institute for Strategic Studies in London states that, if Iran wanted to, it would take a minimum of 3 and could take as long as 15 years to produce nuclear weapons. It is with this in mind that Schulte says that tough, multilateral diplomatic aims are in order to “reinforce IAEA authority and demonstrate to Teheran that they are isolating themselves.” The goal, he maintains, is to convince the Iranian leadership to “step off the path of confrontation and choose cooperation.” The questioning began with WUV director Dr. Arthur. “I know this may be a naïve question,” Dr. Hirsch began, “but why shouldn’t Iran have nuclear weapons?” The disarming simplicity brought smiles to spread on the faces of several students. Sometimes the obvious needs to be asked. Schulte’s answer was simple: “Nukes are something we want to reduce and eliminate [around the Bookstore. “This would have no impact,” Schulte said, though shied away from any further comment on what appeared to be a diplomatic taboo. The US has joined with the UN in calling for a Weapons of Mass Destruction-free zone in the Middle East “In order to achieve this, countries need to feel free and safe,” he said. “Israel and Palestine need peace and Iran is the biggest opponent to this.” The Arab League, a council consisting of political leaders in the Middle East, has also recently called for such a WMD-free zone, the Gulf Daily News reported in late April, and as reported by the BBC, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has issued a fatwa forbidding the production, stockpiling, or use of nuclear weapons. When asked what evidence there was for the possibility of Iran’s nuclear ambitions being anything other than peaceful, Schulte referred the audience to the IAEA’s website ( The nuclear program had proven links to the Iranian military, he said, and to the Shahab missile program. Iran having a nuclear program makes no economic sense, Schulte continued. However Iranian leaders maintain that in the face of dwindling oil supplies, it requires nuclear energy as a source of cheaper and cleaner energy. Many students seemed dissatisfied with Schulte’s answers. “He was a pure diplomat,” Andrey Siletski said after Schulte left. “He really didn’t say anything.” Concluding, Schulte said: “It is important that dialogue continue. Americans can be impatient; they want things done right away. Sometimes we forget cultural barriers. It’s important that all involved discuss their concerns.” He described two options that he sees for Iran—either following the current course to increasing isolation from the international world, or to comply with the EU’s demands to end its uranium enrichment program. Where non-diplomatic options to the solution of these problems are concerned, the ambassador was quick to deny that the US intended to make strategic military strikes within Iran. “We do not want to go to war over this,” he stated, later adding, “We are looking for a diplomatic solution. I don’t think I can be any more clear than that.” publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, … has intensified planning for a possible major air attack” within the Pentagon. Dr. Kneissl doubts this will occur. “In our current context of the very, very bad situation between the Islamic world and the West,” she insisted “we will not see the UN Security Council resolution leading to some sort of sanction or even Chapter VII operation, in terms of a military strike against Iran.” Such a resolution can only pass if all of the five permanent members to the Security Council agree not to use the veto power, and Dr. Kneissl does not see Russians or Chinese agreeing to that. Besides, she proceeded, “Who has got the guts, who has got the stamina to attack Iran?”

Privileged protesters forced the Prime Minister to back down

French Riots
A Sign of Failiure of the Economic Elites
by Endri Fuga As Alexis de Tocqueville wrote more than 200 years ago, “the French constitute the most brilliant but also the most dangerous nation in Europe. They are the best qualified, to become in turn an object of admiration, hatred, pity or terror – but never indifference.” what France will need to do sooner or later. The first signs of the French revolutionary spirit were visible two years ago when France voted down the European Constitution, and then, a year later, when the French government did not allow the fusion of a private French gas company with an Italian energy concern. The second raised many doubts as to whether the French – both people and government – were ready to accept the consequences of a unique economic market within the European Union, or in a broader concept, the idea of globalization. The recent proposal put forward by the French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, a proposal to encourage the hiring of workers under 26 by allowing employers to dismiss them during their first two years on the job, was a minimal first step toward attacking a troubling (23 perAs a member of the NPT, Iran has an obligation to report on all of its nuclear activities, permitted only for civilian purposes. Therefore, by not reporting for since 1987, Iran was in violation of the treaty. “The Iranians have simply gone by not telling the Agency for 18 years what they have done, or even what they have not done,” Evrensel said. “Therefore, last September the Board of Governors found that Iran stood in non-compliance with its NPT obligations.” The Board of Governors reported the Iranian case to the UN Security Council on March 29. This newest report has particular significance in light of the May 5 Security Council meeting, which will discuss possible punitive actions for Iranian refusal to fully cooperate with the IAEA. “The Iranian nation won’t give a damn about such useless resolutions,” stated the Iranian president Ahmedinejad, on the same day the report was sent to the Security Council.

Courtesy of The Associated Press

He was right then, and recent events in France have proved him right again, even now, in more modern times. But today it is sad to watch France pretend that the world has not changed, that a globalized economy is an illusion, that the republic can still afford the same generous level of job security and social protection for young workers as for past generations. It cannot, and by listening to the young protesters, President Jacques Chirac has only delayed NUCLEAR IRAN Continued from page 1 The uranium was traced in an earlier investigation to Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani citizen who worked for years in the Uranium enrichment facility at Almelo in the Netherlands, returned to Pakistan to create the bomb, becoming a national hero. In 2004, Dr. Khan confessed to operating an international black market in nuclear weapons material, according to IAEA Press and Public Information Officers Peter Rickwood and Ayhan Evrensel, in March. The investigation is still exploring whether Iran was one of his customers. “When Pakistan sold material to Libya, it was sold to 30 countries, including Spain, Lichtenstein, Turkey, Poland, US, etc.,” Evrensel said. Tensions have been growing since 2003, when the IAEA Board of Governors discovered Iran had long been operating a secret nuclear development program, and was thus in violation of the Non Proliferation Treaty Safeguards.

“Iran’s reaction has been defiant and in disregard of the people of the Islamic Republic”
world]. I r a n presents a danger because its leadership denies the holocaust and has stated that it wants to wipe Israel off the map. It is also the largest state sponsor of terrorism, and is actively trying to block middle east peace.” Would conducting inspections on Israel’s weapons program be a sound diplomatic approach, asked Benjamin Fasching-Gray, manager of the Webster University We have the bomb,’ nobody did anything against them.” Following all these recent developments, the International Community appears increasingly frustrated about the (un)diplomatic paths Iran is pursuing. Opinions remain open as to whether International Community will persist on the diplomatic course, or whether it will decide to apply hard power. “The U.S. goal remains to be diplomacy,” according to Permanent Representative to the IAEA and UN Vienna, Gregory L. Schulte, who stressed that the United States has “no incentive to go to Iran.” Nevertheless, Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Seymour M. Hersh, writing in the April 8 edition of The New Yorker magazine, claimed to have found the evidence of how “the Bush Administration, while

University News


Education Lost & Found
At the University of New Orleans, People Make Huge Sacrifices
by Günter Bischoff The news about the future of education in New Orleans continues to be mixed – despair is setting in here too, but there are also actions that give hope. Over 100 of badly performing New Orleans public schools (now taken over by the state of Louisiana) are all shut; only one elementary school is open in the city (= one percent of public schools). The flagship public high school Ben Franklin will open in January as a charter school – turned into a charter school like many other public schools to restart while the dysfunctional elected School Board continues to be marred by their usual infighting and backbiting, usually divided along racial lines. Ben Franklin will open because the principal and teachers and parents took matters into their own hands (without asking the School Board) and cleaned up and rebuilt the first floor of their badly flooded school. They got enormous help from plenty of volunteers and also UNO. The quiet determination of the University of New Orleans to be up and running as quickly as possible seems to be the best kept secret in town and has not been reported in the media here. UNO reopened classes on Oct. 11 on its satellite campus in Jefferson parish (1,000 students enrolled in regular classes and 7,000 in online classes); meanwhile the main Lakefront campus opened again early in December and so did the Library; intercession classes begin this week and the regular spring term on January 30, 2006. Apart from the 6-week post-Katrina hiatus, UNO was never closed! No faculty or staff have been laid off, if they registered and kept checking with the university in the course of this fall; if sufficient students come back in the spring, hopefully none won’t have to be fired. UNO has 6,500 students already enrolled for the spring semester and needs 12,000 to even the budget (pending 22 million in federal relief money to come). With 12,000 enrollments and the federal aid, no faculty and staff positions will have to be cut. Two colleagues in the History Department retired a semester earlier than planned. But no stories of colleagues “abandoning the ship” and moving away have come to my attention yet, even though one would expect everyone pondering his/her options. Former Presidents Bush and Clinton were on the UNO Lakefront campus this week to announce the dispersals of some 90 million dollars from their “Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund” raised from private donations. 35 million will go to higher education, 1,5 million to UNO (most Gulf Coast area universities will receive support). Here too, it was individual initiative and private generosity that brings hope and relief to New Orleans. Meanwhile, across town Tulane University has announced major retrenchments in academic and athletic programs. Nine athletic programs will be cut (predictably not football). 230 faculty members will be laid off (65 on the uptown campus, the rest from the downtown medical school). President Cowan somewhat misleadingly called it the biggest “reinvention” of an American university in a century. Flooded Xavier University, so admirable led by Norman Francis for the past 38 years, is facing a repair bill of 35 million and was forced to terminate 89 faculty members (=36 percent). 2,800 of its 4,000 students enrolled in August have indicated they will return in January when the campus opens again. Both UNO and Xavier will set up trailer colonies on their campuses in January to house faculty and staff that lost their houses in Katrina. Many people are making enormous personal sacrifices to rebuild New Orleans, in higher education and elsewhere. These personal commitments will fuel the come back, but we will continue to need the nation’s help as well to achieve full recovery. On Dec. 3 the D-Day Museum opened up again, after the opening of the zoo and “Christmas in the Oaks” in City Park this past weekend, another ray of hope of rebuilding/reconstituting of key institutions defining public and civic life in the city. Günter Bischof has been “postKatrina” visiting professor of history at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge during the fall of 2005 and will return to the University of New Orleans in January to teach and chair the department of history.

Webster University President Richard Meyers at the podium, giving his best to new graduates

Future Uncertain
In Spite of Pressures, Most WUV Students Feel Confident
by Andrey Siletski and Rita Pollozhani In spite of increasing pressures from an increasingly demanding job market, Webster Vienna students feel on the whole optimistic about their futures hoping to bring their plans to life, according to a recent survey of student opinion. And while three quarters of seniors had no fixed job at the time of graduation, the majority had a clear direction and were confident they would be able to find an opportunity in their chosen field. “I’m planning to work in the field of management after I complete my studies at Webster,” said Business Administration major Irena Kraljevic with unconcealed excitement. “I am waiting for a positive response from a company in New York, where I could finally apply my skills in practice.” The survey measured opinion in four essential areas: confidence in career choices, experiences in the Austrian job market, ambitions to continue with higher graduate education, and finally, recommendations on how Webster could support them better. The survey included forty students from all majors, with sixteen seniors, twenty juniors and four freshmen. Twenty five percent of seniors reported finding a job related to their major before graduation, leaving three quarters as yet uncommitted. A comfortable majority of those still without a job (65%), knew the kind of job or career they wanted to pursue. However, this left a third of the interviewed uncertain o their future prospects. Yet overall, confidence was high. Of those who did not have a job already, a considerable majority felt that their Webster undergraduate degree would be very advantageous in they job search. Only four students had had any doubt that their time at University had been valuably spent. “Webster helped shape my understanding of the world,” said Ruta Kurselyte, Computer Science and Media Communications major, as well as teaching her important skills that she can now apply in the rapidly changing world: “During my studies, I was not aware of how much I was learning, but now, when I look back, I see an enormous change in my ability to write stories, to raise questions, observe the environment and give some critical thoughts about the world that surrounds us.” In specific situations, however, students were less clear. Austrian companies do not give hiring preferences to Webster degree holders, reported 38% of the students. And some suggested Webster was not yet competitive enough in the Austrian higher education system. Even though WUV is now accredited in Austria, a Webster Bachelors’ is sometimes challenged by the University of Vienna as qualification for pursuing the advanced degrees many students find all important. “I think that obtaining a Masters degree is essential to contemporary highly competitive job market,” said a Business major student from Slovakia. “A Bachelors degree is simply not enough.” He was considering continuing his studies at Webster, although. Thus it was not clear why these same individuals had shown so much confidence in their Webster undergraduate degree. Only 2% thought companies give preferences to Webster degree holders, although only a sixth had so far applied for one or more jobs related to their major, and one had been hired on the second try. Perhaps surprisingly, a full 77.5% had never even applied for a job related to their major in the Austrian job market, and only five for an internship, one of whom was accepted on the first try. It is possible that Webster students rely on personal contacts and other “special arrangements,” as described earlier. The question then was why such a large proportion of students feel so negatively about the Austrian job market, when only a small faction had any first-hand experience with it. In follow-up interviews, many assumed that if they didn’t speak German proficiently enough and did not have Austrian citizenship, they would have little chance. “When I think of Austrian job market, I feel a certain level of restraint,” said Mladen Kovacevic, an International Relations student from Croatia. “I think that foreigners have a hard time finding a job here, especially if they do not speak the language. “The only solution, I guess, is to learn German as soon as possible and try to integrate,” he said. “Now, as look I back, I realize that it was my fault that I haven’t learned it,” he noted with a deep sense of resentment. Clear plans for graduate school were rare, reported by only three students. The others were willing, but had little to no idea of where they wanted to go. (In this group were also seniors about to graduate in Spring, Summer or Winter of 2006, and most of the application deadlines for Master Programs end before the February or May 2006. These students felt that some kind of support from the Webster faculty and administration as to the requirements and timing of these applications in general would be helpful.) So how might Webster University be helpful to its graduating seniors? First, students recommended thematic workshops, such as those organized by the Career Development Center (CDC), as well as information sessions about Austrian labor laws for non-Austrian citizens. Second, information sessions about alternative systems of higher education, i.e. US vs. British vs. French universities, so that students would be able to make more informed decisions about their options for graduate school. Finally, help with graduate entrance exams would be very helpful, with support from language and math teachers or advisors for GMAT, GREs or Law Boards and university specific exams such as those for Oxford or Cambridge, or the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. Students also suggested workshops where students can take sample tests and exercises. Overall students appear generally satisfied with their studies at Webster. At the same time, they are generally uninformed about their possibilities and oddly unmotivated to address the problem, either from confusion or fear, or because of the lack of support. “Support from the faculty is something that our university lacks”, confessed Ivana Markovska, a senior student from Macedonia. “I think that if students were given a more transparent picture of employment opportunities, the result would have been significantly different. Sometimes I feel that vital information simply doesn’t get to students due to organizational failures.” Perhaps, there is a certain truth in this statement. Another question is how do we overcome it?

Precious Words
GAO Study: Book Prices Up at Twice the Rate of Inflation
by Sean Delaney Every semester book prices at Webster rise another few euros. The trend is not just at the European campuses, but has been a trend at campuses across the U.S.. So the Government Accountability Office (GAO) of the U.S. Congress decided to look into the matter and has generated a study on textbook cost increases. What they found was that the cost of textbooks has increased at more than twice the rate of inflation, an average of 6 percent per year instead of inflation’s 2.5% for 2004. Book price inflation has kept pace with the rate of tuition increases, which is about 7%. The result is that from 2003 to 2004, students in four-year institutions paid an average of $898 a year each for textbooks and supplies, 26% of their tuition and fees. It was even worse for first-year students in institutions attended by many low-income students, whose average cost 3/4 of their total costs for tuition. In both cases, the study said, textbooks alone represented the overwhelming majority of these non-tuition costs. One way that students at most universities keep prices down is by buying used books and selling them back to the book store at the end of the year. This is not an option for Webster Vienna Student. For Ben Fasching-Gray, manager of the Webster Vienna Bookstore, it was a management decision. “If I buy back a book that goes out of date, then I am stuck with the cost,” he says. Many university bookstores are owned by large chains like Barnes & Noble, and for them it is relatively cheap to buy books back. Perhaps Universities should take a page from Viennese international schools a start a loan system. Mr. Fasching-Gray supports a system that would have Universities buy enough books for a few years and would charge a small fee over those years to loan out the books each year. Many books change very little from edition to edition, so only subjects like computers would need the latest update of a book. The GAO study cites several reasons for the consistent rise in textbook prices: The availability of used books, demand for textbooks, and rising production costs all affect prices. Quite a bit has been invested in supplementary materials for adjunct faculty, the study said. These supplements are particularly important for adjuncts whose earn-as-you-go status does not allow them the time to create their own supplemental materials. These materials can be the deciding factors in making a sale. Tenured professors usually create their materials, Fasching-Gray said. However granting only parttime status to faculty is an easy way for institutions to save money. The costs are simply passed on to book companies, and ultimately on to students. With students spending over five billion dollars a year on textbooks, the industry has become a money making giant, and with frequent revisions, it becomes harder to buy used books that are current. Publishers, however, must release lower-cost books in international markets to meet standard prices abroad. And for some students in the U.S., these books have become an option. But book companies have limited the number of books that are allowed to re-enter the U.S. So maybe more teachers should use handouts; or maybe we don’t always need the latest edition. Or maybe universities and governments should be required to take a refresher course in Economics 101, and remind themselves that education is a Public Good, and that in just a few years, the students of today will be paying the pensions of their parents’, their professors’, and the politicians who ought to know better.


Scenes of Vienna
marionette starring at him while being held together only by a couple of strings. He didn’t look too happy. Mozart’s look-alike was giving directions to a young Australian couple when I left Stephansplatz to proceed down Kärnternstrasse, perplexed yet also amused at the sum of nonsense and cultural clashes one witnessed on a 20 minute walk. I decided for myself that I liked the variety of guests for bringing color and diversity to the picture; and lets not forget their economic contributions to the city whilst they are here. It did however make me wonder how Vienna, a city that so vehemently denied foreigners could stand a tourist invasion like the one I witnessed. I had to picture the grumpy elderly of Vienna going up walls and choking on their melange while witnessing the lack of appreciation that I find normal coming from tourism. Maybe we are in a time where certain diffusion takes place; tourists invade, Viennese make way and hide. They have a dance, the tourists and the Viennese, each aware of the other yet never holding on to tight. While Europe is Vienna’s guest in these beautiful months of summer, Viennese retire to hold their summers rest until the turmoil is over. Just wait until the snow comes, the icy wind returns that blows your hat off or sends you running after your umbrella. That’s when you will see them emerge, mummified by countless layers of clothing, the cane held in firm grip by the leather glove, mumbling and uttering how bad they have it and how much they hate the snow. And just sometimes, when they suspect no ones looking, they let their old, icy blue eyes roam over the harsh emptiness of the Stephansplatz, the corners of their mouths will shake and crack as if awoken after years of Stone Age, and they while actually, smile. ing, and sorting out belongings from the overhead rack, long before we had even come to a stop. They pushed and shoved their way into the aisle, climbing over me and others, dragging down their numerous pieces of hand baggage, depositing them on the seat in front. “Sure, why not. Go ahead and put your bags on my seat,” snapped the woman who had been sitting there just seconds before, sarcasm dripping from her voice and barely escaped a painful encounter with a carry-on bag.. “Ok then,” was the reply, followed by a series of disgruntled huffs and puffs and a couple of warning shots fired by stray elbows moving around the cramped aircraft. Somehow we all managed to disembark without the aid of the police. On reflection, though, I have to say that I would have been curious to see them again (very briefly!) after their restful week of surf and sun, to see if the beautiful volcanic landscape of La Palma could have soothed the souls of these unfortunates as it did me. Somehow, I doubt it.

White Roses
On Every House, Victims Remembered
By Dardis McNamee Friday May 5th. Walking home along the Hollandstrasse in Vienna’s 2nd District, I was puzzled to see in nearly every doorway a handful of delicate white roses. Sometimes they were at the side of the stoop, sometimes along the window ledge beside it. They were young roses, only partly open, in white somehow more fragile. At first I thought… But who would abandon such lovely flowers? It was a warm day and cut flowers wilt quickly without water, unprotected. T h e y were tied with streamers, and I had the fleeting thought they might be left from a bridesmaid’s bouquet, or someone’s table decorations, tossed aside with festive abandon. But no; they were single stems; no arrangements, no settings. And then I remembered. It was a day of commemoration for those who had died in the Holocaust. On Stephansplatz, in the company of Austrian survivors, now aging and increasingly frail, 80,000 white roses, tagged with the names of the dead, were brought in buckets and arranged in a vast meadow at the feet of the cathedral, while thousands looked on. Along the wall, a hand full of enlarged portraits of a few of the more famous bore witness yet again to the depth of the loss. The names on the tags had been written out by hundreds, maybe thousands, of middle school children, a massive undertaking of thought and coordination. That day the children were let out of school, to walk through the streets of their neighborhoods, delivering the tagged flowers, to the buildings that had once been other p e o p l e ’s homes. I picked one up and read the tag: On one side, was printed the memorial: “More that 80,000 Austrians were murdered under the National Socialist Regime,” it read. “On the 5th of May, we are taking 80,000 white roses inscribed with the names of the victims to the addresses in Austria where these people lived – as our neighbors – before they were taken away. These are the flowers of memory.” On the other, in a round, childish hand, the name Ernestine Hilfreich – which means Little Serious One; last name: Helpful.

They have a dance, the tourists and the Viennese, each aware of the other yet never holding on to tight.

The Tourist Ballet
On Stephansplatz: A Potpourri of Languages and Maps
By Paul Krauskopf Walking my 20 minutes home through the first district last turned into a neck-tourning tourist safari. I could not believe the amount of tourists that were paving the streets in and around Stephansplatz. A potpourri of languages and city maps awaited my still sleepy eyes. While I walked the first question arose: where in the world have all these Italians been for the last couple of weeks? What are the odds of hundreds of Italians booking Rome -Vienna all on the 25th of March? Although the sky was grey and clouds hung low around Stephansdom, a warm breeze eased its way through the Gassen and swept over Stephansplatz. I really couldn’t understand how „Rotenturmstrasse“ had turned into „ehro-ten-turm-estrasse“ within a day, the smell of „due expressi“ or a slice of „quattro formaggi“ oppressing even the rustic stench of the Fiaker riding by. Without wanting to be mean it was shocking as I’m sure you would agree, had you been there with me. I escaped “ehrot-enturm-ehstrasse” unharmed just to walk right into the next danger zone: a bunch of drunk British guys. Please remember, this was a Saturday afternoon, about 3 p.m. I began to wonder; not so much why they were already drunk at 3 p.m., but much more, where had they been able to raise to get this smashed in the middle of the day? As I walked passed them I picked up a sentence; one of the drunken young lads felt it was time to board a fiaker in order to make their way around Vienna quicker. He thought he could declare his destination and the well-trained horses would take him there. Still grinning at the thought of the four attempting to board the fiaker, probably all at once, I see a rather familiar assembly at Stephansplatz. About 250 Japanese tourists, each equipped with about 4 kg of photo equipment. The tour guides where easily identifiable by red and blue balloons that dangled above their heads, attached to them at such interesting places as their glasses, hair, wrist and even ears! But this group stood out more than anything because they had all surrounded a single square meter on the “Stephansplatz” for no apparent reason; Only by blending in and progressing your way through the uniform crowd could you see and hear a puppeteer dangling his marionette. He had picked out a little Japanese infant, had sat him in front of his little fake piano and created an impromptu stage play in which the marionette together with the Japanese baby where performing a duet-cover version of the “Eagles” classic “Hotel California”, surrounded by cameras that rattled off their flashes as if it was gunfire. The Eastern-European puppeteer was having the time of his life, the dollar signs revolving in his eyes as the Japanese crowd laughed and moaned at the peculiar situation. I left hoping that one of them would soon be identified as the parent of the poor child and take him far away from the brittle this explanation, I proceeded to queue up in a somewhat different, German style -- patient and orderly, focused on my newspaper. Once on board, I was finally able to sit down – next to two of the possibly glummest tourists I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. Faces set, expressions joyless. I prepared myself for an entertaining trip. And sure enough, within moments, the complaints began: Their seats were too narrow, the emergency exit was in the way; it was too cold, they couldn’t see the television – nothing was right for these poor afflicted couple. Thankfully with headphones on, I was able to suffocate their whining with the soothing melodies of Jack Johnson and Tracy Chapman. The coup-de-grace came when it was time to exit the aircraft. The pleasant voice of the flight attendant came wafting over the loud speaker: “Please remain seated until the seatbelt lights have been switched off.” No way my neighbors were putting up with that! From their inside seats, they were instantly on their feet, shaking out their cloth-

courtesy of

Saturday Morning
When Assaulted by Sound, Retreat!
by M.T.M. Childs Many a sleep-in Saturday morning, my deep slumber has been hammered out of existence by the electronic-music enthusiast across the courtyard. Un-ts, Unts, Un-ts. The never-ending bass goes pounding on - with fleeting pauses for so-called “melodic undertones” - and then right back to the Un-ts Un-ts Un-ts. My head (still throbbing from the sins of the night before) was thus relieved two weeks ago, when I glanced over to his window, one floor below our kitchen, and saw the windows thrown wide open and a caterpillar-like extension arm reaching to a dumpster outside. Yes! As I started to make coffee, I sighed the sigh of a thousand sleepless mornings, rejuvenated by relief. He was gone, exiled forever by the Hausverwaltung. No more suffering through that monotonous agony of his persistent party techno. It was then when it started. Bzzzzz, kuthunk, Bzzzzzzz. Spring cleaning…? Or was it a motorcycle from the street…? Now louder, the high nasal echo of a drill twanging, cutting through the calm of the cooing pigeons and chirping sparrows. I was back in hell. E v e r y morning since, I have been awakened promptly at eight a.m. by hammering, drilling, a clatter of breaking glass or the shrill hum of an electric saw. In warm weather, I love Vienna – so many parks to idle in, so many Schanigärten in which to enjoy countless hours of reading, or time with friends. Everyone hits the street when summer comes to Vienna. Why? Because the Vienna tradition of fair-weather construction makes being home intolerable.

Germans Airborne
Miraculously, We all Managed to Disembark Without the Aid of the Police
by Nena Goelz Roughly one month ago, a good friend of mine offered me the chance to take a break from the run-of-the-mill life at University. The opportunity to go on holiday to La Palma in the Canary Islands was one I simply could not let pass. So, after much effort finding a suitable flight to this secluded Island, it was finally arranged: A bit of a round-about way to the sun, via Frankfurt on a German Charter flight, thus setting the scene for what was to be a very intriguing glimpse into national contrasts. Flying from Munich, I set off with the usual excitement of going on holiday to the unknown. So far so good – until I arrived in Frankfurt. I was shocked to find the usual efficiency one comes to expect from the German people was sadly lacking in the design of Frankfurt International Airport, a veritable rabbit warren of small corridors and passport controls. I was lucky to have had a three hours change over and eventually managed to find my gate, where I waited patiently for the flight to board. This is where we see the second little nuance of occasional Germanic behavior. Sitting quietly until we were summoned to board, I started noticing people beginning to gather around the desk. The tension mounted situation when a member of staff had the audacity to even shuffle some papers to rouse the awaiting masses, but still the boarding call. Eventually it dawned on me that everyone was most likely just excited about going on holiday, and short on impulse control, they couldn’t wait. Pleased with

Scenes of Vienna
First Day of Spring
When the City Warm Up and Wakes Up, The Viennese are Caught Off Guard
By Sean Delany I walked outside into the first truly warm day in Vienna. It was spring. The wind that had been sending shivers up my spine, only pulsed in soft waves through my hair. It was in fact the first day of Spring, and I was on my way out of town to hang out with my favorite extended family. I boarded the S7 to Schwechat, heading toward the only friend that lives more “am Arsch der Welt” than I do. It was a lazy afternoon; the sun was shinning and the temperature mild. Nearly every person that boarded the train had a heavy coat in hand and a slight smile on a winter-weary face -- though some simply looked confused. Clearly the Viennese had been caught off guard. Spring is the best time of the year in Vienna. It is when the city comes back to life. This lumbering giant of culture and history slowly peels away the layers as the grey haze melts under the warmth of the sun. Along the sidewalk in front of nearly every café, the gravel and salt have been replaced with bright tables and people sipping coffee and nibbling on Buttersemel. Stephansplatz is again filled with tourists, annoying possibly, but an essential part of the reawakening of the city. I was greeted by my friend James. It was a bit of a walk, but I didn’t mind; I could have walked miles in this weather. We were to dine on home made tacos. As we came around the last corner, I picked up the smell of the tacos wafting down the street. We would be inside, but with all the windows in the house opened. That was enough for me. Back in the city, children had taken over the parks and people were riding bikes in all directions. I went back to James’ place to escape all that commotion, to have a beer and relax as the sun set. I sat on the window ledge lo king out over the square below. Children were playing tag and parents were sitting on benches, catching up on the gossip they may have missed during the winter. But it was still March; I knew it wouldn’t last. Winter clawed back a few days later. Children were forced back inside, tables and tourists would have to wait weeks for the nice weather to return. Courtesy of Medizinische Universitaat Wien


Bedside Manners
Here has Been “here” Five Times This Month
By Kelsey Baird There is a draft. I wrap the dead women’s scarf tighter around me. I inherited it. It’s plaid and it’s ugly, something that you would throw around your neck in a hurry on laundry day because it was the last clean, warm thing in your closet. I ponder briefly if one can go to hell for criticizing the fashion sense of the deceased. There are other things to be considered, I convince myself, like if one volunteers or recycles. I promise myself to do both next week. I move one seat over to the left, a solo game of musical chairs, to escape the invisible current of air. A mystery to me, because there are no windows in the entire hallway of the AKH Accident Ward. It “must” be the generally cold nature of the place. I don’t like it here very much. Where I am sitting, have been sitting, waiting, since last night, feels absurd, devoid of any remnants of joy. Which is down right demoralizing, considering that this is a place sick people frequent. As if the sick need to be protected from color. Purple might send them into a raging cough, pink, a case of the bird flu. I envision the tall overmuscled, reception nurse with the uni-brow violently scouring the corridor with a vacuum, sucking clean any charm the building might, by default, have had. (A blue stripe there, an ironically pleasant shaped crack in the wall here.) If I was engaged in word association, blankness would be the first thing to pop into my headPsychiatrist: “AKH?” Me: “Blankness.” But beyond the aesthetic shortfalls, the smell is getting to me more than anything. Or more accurately, the utter absence of smell. Cleanliness is one thing, but this is something else entirely. A freakish phenomenon, only describable as an anti-smell: an object or place unable to be sensed by the receptive nerves in the nose due to it lacking any distinguishable odors. I wish fondly for the oily pong of day old Chinese takeout: just to introduce a little recognizable humanity to the place. To erase this anti smell in this anti room. I sincerely dislike it here. Here, has been “here” five times this month. Five times and three different reasons (one of which resulted in my acquisition of the scarf.) I am always the visitor, the comforter, the powerless. “Nur zum Besuch,” (“Just visiting”) I say, whenever the nurse inquires as to the nature of my presence. I am an expert visitor. If there was a handbook on the role of social conduct in odd life situations the section on hospital visiting would read like this: Category I: This is for joyous occasions, such as births, plastic surgery, etc.: Jump about so as to demonstrate enthusiasm, not so much however that you disturb the stitches, the room mates or the other visitors. Smile widely, vigorously question any passing nurse/doctor/ hospital employee, to see if there is any news on baby, boob job,

etc…. Smoke a cigar (outside). Spontaneously yell out to anyone within ear shot that your wife/ friend/significant other is having a baby, boob job etc… And when all other means have been exhausted, enthusiastically pace the hallway. Category II: This is for tragic occasions, such as accidents, illness, etc.. Keep quiet, sit still, avoid eye contact with all other tragic-occasion visitors. Focus on surrounding diversions such as joyous occasion visitors. Smile politely (however nothing overtly toothy, remember the occasion). Smoke a cigarette (anywhere - this is Austria). And when in need of a fall back, think of all of the bad things you’ve ever done in your life to deserve this. But to be honest, I really don’t know anything about Category I activities. I have never been to AKH for a birth or an aesthetic procedure. I automatically fall into Category II. And by now, passive existence is my thing! I can, through a concentrated act of will, inertly whittle away days at a time in this place. My inactivity is an anomaly really, because the AKH has all of the ingredients of a kid-in-a-candy-store situation. Sure it’s devoid of warmth, but what other place in the heart of Vienna so expertly consolidates a supermarket, a hair salon, a café, a bank and a church, within 50 meters? Just the thought of it, the sheer Americanism of it – everything one could ever need placed at your finger tips – is disarming. I am sitting in a café in a city within a city, an entity, entirely independent of Vienna. But my enthusiasm to shop or style is continually road blocked by a single thought: I am sitting in a world built for beginnings and endings, the cycle of life kaleidoscoped over and over, with the intensity and tasteless routine of a soap opera, and at best it resembles a Wal-Mart. It could not, if it tried, be any less momentous, less personal or less warm. I lean back, defeated, in my chair. I make a pact with myself to die at home.


Modern Times
ny. In fear of losing profit, Edison and his sponsors started promoting Tesla’s electricity as more lethal than his and sought to convince the public to connect it with risks of injury and even death. By tricking Westinghouse into selling them equipment from Tesla’s system, they installed the first electric chair at Sing Sing prison and promoted a term “Westinghousation,” for electrocution. Tesla’s response was dramatic. Choosing the setting of the Chicago World Columbian Exposition 1883, he wired him self up to an electric dynamo and allowed the electricity to go through his body without harm, proving the safety of his current and earning him the epithet of ‘a wizard of electricity’. The Chicago Exposition was the first large public event to be lightened by electricity fully operated by Tesla’s alternating current system. The event that finally ended the War of Currents in Tesla’s favor was the construction of the power plant at Niagara Falls in 1895, again fully operating on the principles of alternating current. For the first time in history, electricity could be transmitted to the distance of forty kilometers, from Niagara Falls to the city of Buffalo. Soon after, Tesla’s alternating power plants were built throughout the United States. By bringing light into people’s homes, Tesla had achieved his own oft-stated goal of ‘liberating the world’, He also ignited the Second Industrial Revolution, Dr. Richter added, “in particular with respect to power distribution and machines using alternating current.” Tesla’s electricity brought about changes in people’s private and professional lives. Difficult and time-consuming household chores were lightened by Tesla’s alternating current motor, whose small size and light weight were suitable to power various electrical machines, enabling the commercialization of household appliances. A ventilator, produced by Westinghouse Company, was the first electric appliance that hit the market. Development of other appliances quickly followed - in 1889 a hair dryer, 1901 an electric vacuum cleaner, 1904 an electric mixer, 1913 an electric refrigerator. “Tesla’s inventions greatly improved the average standard of living,” Dr. Richter said. “Nowadays most of the equipment in the household is powered by electric energy and the majority comprises AC motors, e.g. dishwashers, fans in electric stoves, vacuum cleaners etc. etc.” Today, Tesla is called a ‘humanitarian’ and a ‘unifier’ as much as the ‘wizard of electricity’. “I would call him something of all,” Dr. Richter said. “He loved to show off his most spectacular experiments to the public. On the other hand, he was more interested in making his inventions available to people than in making money from them.” Thus Tesla died on January 7, 1943, poor as a ‘church mouse.’ “Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments,” he is reported to have said on his death bed. “The present is theirs. The future, for which I really worked, is mine.”

Film Review

‘Sex Traffic’
David Yates’ 2004 Docudrama Portrays an All-too-Common Story
By Sandya Gain The film Sex Traffic opens with a young girl, Vara, sitting in a dark room at a small table with two men speaking in a language she doesn’t understand. Her sister Elena is standing to one side, staring at the scene, shivering with fear. Suddenly the men force Vara to take off her clothes, she starts screaming and immediately gets slapped. The 2004 docudrama by tent of power that forces women into such terrible situations and make them so vulnerable.” The movie is particularly timely because of the dramatic increase in trafficking of women since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. On the website of Amnesty International, it is assumed by the EU, that about 140.000 women and girls from Eastern Europe are secretly brought to Western Europe annually.

Courtesy of

In its day, Tesla‘s Wireless Telegraphy Machine was a revolution in technology.

Courtesy of Mental Health Abuse Organization
“The dramatic power that forces women into such terrible situations” award-winning British director David Yates tells the story of two Moldavian girls, aged 17 and 18, who are kidnapped by a slave trade ring and forced into prostitution. Without embellishing this story the movie shows the desperate situation and the brutal reality many women from Eastern Europe are trapped in. Capturing this terror was a top priority for British screen writer Abi Morgan, named the 2001 Lawrence Olivier “promising playwright of the year.” Her intention in the four - hour documentary broadcast on ARTE and Channel 4 was to portray, she told the Guardian newspaper in an interview, “the dramatic exCOMPANY FOR CASH Continued from page 12 than one could imagine, often with a constant cycle of violence and abuse: no life, little money and no future. Over a hundred thousand girls, from Eastern Europe only, are being trafficked annually. The scope of this worldwide problem is unimaginable. And money is what it’s all about. From her “job”, Jane got respect and attention; she was taken on business trips, and she stayed in five-star hotels. She went shopping and enjoyed the most exclusive pleasures of the city they stayed in: expensive designer stores, beauty salons, and luxury dinners in premium restaurants – things she could have only dreamed about just a few years ago. She was using the money she earned only for herself. She could not reveal her income to her family, who believed she was just a poor student. What else could she want, after all that? With time, Jane could not The movie also takes into account a political aspect; shows several individual fates that are connected with each other at the end. Abrupt cuts and extracts of amateur videotapes give the film an edgy quality. Yates Systematically uses dark and filthy locations to show the circumstances of the prostitutes in the brothels sharply contrasted with light, warm scenes for the rich and wealthy. The movie doesn’t suggest a solution but aims to call on people’s awareness. One early scene of the three girls seems harmless at first, but changes abruptly. Vara, Elena and a third girl are sitting in their Continued on page 11 stand to see the happy family pictures in those men’s wallets. The man, who was smiling from the photo, hugging his children, now was snoring on the bed in another girl’s (no, not woman’s!) arms: “I began to hate those men for what they were doing to their families,” she said. Gradually, things calmed down, and Jane found a boyfriend from her university world. “A normal one,” as she calls him. Only sometimes, when the bank account was low, she would still go to meet her “clients.” Soon, she broke up with her boyfriend, as he was simply too boring for someone who had experienced so much of life already. For the last two years, Jane has been working a regular job and living in a big city, where, with luck, her past ghosts will not follow her – although she still gets birthday and Christmas cards, and doesn’t know from whom. “Are you sure, you’ve quit all that,” I asked, because her salary looks just too big for her position. “The boss likes me,” she smiled…

Harnessing Lightning
Inventor Nikola Tesla is Celebrated in Croatia
By Nika Bracun Strikes of lightning have always been an amazing untamed natural phenomenon. Numerous pictures evidence this second of color grandeur, this second when earth becomes fully enlightened, this second when breath stops to admire the light and wait for the trembling of thunder. And when lightning struck on July 10, 1856, at midnight, according to Croatian legend, the day dawned when this electrical force itself would be tamed. 2006 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Nikola Tesla, the electrical and mechanical engineer best known as the father of the alternating current, and less well as the true inventor of the radio, for which Guglielmo Marconi is usually given credit. Long unrecognized outside the former Yugoslavia, Croatians and Serbians – and scientists in the know -- see him as a man who changed the course of history, harnessing lightning for the good of the mankind. Now, with 2006 proclaimed The Year of Nikola Tesla by UNESCO, and the Croatian and Serbian Governments, his name may begin to be better known. “We are really proud of Nikola Tesla as he was one of Croatia’s, and the world’s, greatest scientists,” said Ivo Sanader, the Croatian Prime Minister, commenting that this year, “together with Mozart,” Tesla will be a name on everybody’s lips. The year of Nikola Tesla will be marked by many events, such as lectures on Tesla’s life and work in Croatian primary and secondary schools, round-table discussions and conferences of scientists. Croatian government is also reconstructing the house in which he was born in the village of Smiljan near the town of Gospic. Tesla, the owner of over 700 patents, began inventing as a child, when at age five, he made a bug-propelled engine. His first patented invention was a telephone repeater or amplifier, which was followed by many others that have contributed to the basic electro-mechanics of the world in which we live. Scientists have trouble ranking his many inventions. “It depends on the point of Throughout his career, Tesla had many rivals, most notably Guglielmo Marconi and Thomas Alva Edison. Although Marconi is widely believed to be the father of radio, it was Tesla who invented it. “In 1915 Marconi was named as inventor of the radio. However, on June 21, 1943 the Supreme Court of the United States revised [this claim] and declared Tesla as the inventor,” Dr. Richter explained. The Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Marconi’s patent because they found it had been preceded by Tesla’s practical achievements in radio transmission. Tesla’s rivalry with Edison was termed as The War of Currents at the time, a race to

view,” stated Dr. Kurt R. Richter, Professor Emeritus from Technical University of Graz, Tesla’s alma mater. “There is more than just one: The induction motor, the 2-phase and 3-phase alternating current, the radio and wireless transmission….”

electrify the world. It started with Tesla’s invention of the industrial arc lamp, and sale of his patents to George Westinghouse, whose company, Westinghouse Electric, remained the only competitor to Edison’s giant empire Edison General Electric Compa-

Modern Times 11

Chernobyl: 20 Years After
Controversies Over the Nuclear Safety and a Long List of Troubling Health Issues Linger Long After Polluted Reactor Sites Have Been Cleaned
By Duska Gonja Today, 60 years after Hiroshima, nuclear energy continues to be controversial and stirs great depth of feeling. While it is beneficial, offering huge amounts of power, a fuel source that would last for thousands of years, it also has the potential to be environmentally devastating, producing dangerous wastes and manufactures raw materials for nuclear weapons. The accident that occurred at the Soviet Chernobyl plant on 26 April 1986, slanted the world’s view on nuclear energy. It was one of the worst nuclear accidents in history, and left the world aware of what could happen if things went wrong. Despite worries over shrinking fossil fuel reserves and global warming, nuclear power’s contribution to the global network is declining. There are about 440 operational reactors in 32 countries, generating 16 percent of the world’s electricity, according to the World Health Organization. Only 27 new reactors are under construction, and not one out of the remaining 22 countries with nuclear power is currently building any new reactors, including the U.S., Canada and the Western Europe. The western world has put its nuclear power program on hold – in part, at least, because of Chernobyl. No matter how small the risk, people say, it is just not worth it. The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that this perception may change in the future, but only because the pressure to reduce CO2 emissions is even stronger. But the reality of what happened is nonetheless harrowing. The explosion at Chernobyl, is thought to have been caused mainly by steam pressure and chemical reactions with the exposed fuel, blowing the 1000tonne lid clear of the core. A second explosion threw out fragments of burning fuel and graphite from the core and allowed air to rush in, causing the graphite moderator to burst into flames. The exact cause of the second explosion remains unknown, but it is thought that hydrogen may have played a part. After the explosion, a plume of smoke, radioactive fission products and debris rose up about 1 km into the air. The material was carried northwest by the wind- mainly to Belarus though other areas were affected, including Ukraine. It is estimated that about 3.5%, or 6 tons, of the uranium dioxide fuel and fission products escaped as well as many other radio-nuclides - principally xenon, krypton, iodine, tellurium and caesium, around 200 times that of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs according to the WHO. At first, the Soviet government tried to deny that anything had happened, until the plume was detected outside of the USSR by workers at a Swedish nuclear plant. It was only then that the Soviets, under extreme international pressure, owned up. The cloud was tracked thereafter and passed over Scandinavia, Holland, Belgium and the UK, carried by the north-westerly wind. It then went south, covering much of the rest of Europe after the wind changed. Contamination was detected in nearly every country in the northern hemisphere, as far as North America and Japan, alchological scars – extreme anxiety, stress, apathy, despair and withdrawal, as a result of resettlement, social degradation, poor economic conditions and the inevitable fear of continuing health risks. The number of people who could eventually die as a result of Chernobyl is highly controversial. An extra 9,000 cancer deaths are expected by the UN-led Chernobyl Forum. But most people’s the site are now relatively low. However, the emphasis at the time was on rapid containment, and it was never meant to be a permanent solution. The operation itself created a large amount of waste, currently stored in various sites within the 30km exclusion zone, and facilities are under construction for the processing and long term storage of fuel, liquid and solid waste. A lot has changed since 1986 and certainly a lesson has been learned. Leaving aside the verdict of history on its role in melting the Soviet iron curtain, some very practical benefits have resulted from the Chernobyl accident, especially concerning reactor safety, notably in Eastern Europe. Certainly the safety of all Soviet-designed reactors has improved vastly. This is due largely to the development of a culture of safety encouraged by increased collaboration between East and West, and substantial investment in improving the reactors. In the early 1990s, some US$400 million was spent on improvements to the remaining reactors at Chernobyl, while in March 2001, a US$36 million contract was signed for construction of a radioactive waste management facility to treat spent fuel and other operational wastes, as well as material from decommissioning units 1-3. It still remains unknown whether the accident could have been prevented by the operators in Chernobyl. It’s clear that some safety procedures were violated by the station’s technicians. During the accident only 6-8 control rods were used despite there has been a standard operating order stating that a minimum of 30 rods were required to retain control. Despite all the costly safety precautions, no experts deny that there is always a possibility of human error. How could we ever be sure that no planner, no designer, no maintenance engineer, and ultimately no political leader, would ever make a mistake?


Theft of the Holocaust
These Days, Moral Outrage Seems to Serve Nearly Everybody’s Political Ends
By Gregory Weekes If you think that the Holocaust is no longer an issue in international relations today, over sixty years after it happened, think again. Hundreds of references are made on television, in newspapers, and on the radio every day in every possible language to this, the most horrific genocide of the twentieth century. The contexts for these references vary, but all of them have one thing in common: They are an attempt to gain possession of the Holocaust for political ends. Just listen to the leaders of Hamas, Iranian President Mahmoud Amadinejad, U.S. President George W. Bush, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, think tank analysts, nuclear strategists or even animal rights activists. The Holocaust, to listen to their statements, belongs to each and every one of them. The memory of the Holocaust is misappropriated on a regular basis for a myriad of purposes: “Palestinian Holocaust” [sic], “Nuclear Holocaust,” and “Animal Holocaust,” to name just a few. Comparisons of Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Kim Jong Il and most recently Mahmoud Amadinejad to Adolf Hitler are useful for justifying military action and building political coalitions. Why not instead compare these leaders to Joseph Stalin, who admittedly killed more people than Hitler and whom Saddam Hussein regarded as his idol? The answer: The industrialized mass murder of millions makes the Holocaust unique and causes us to question our very humanity. Stalin may have murdered more people than Hitler, but he did not do it in assemblyline fashion. The Holocaust combined modern technology with primordial racism. It defied comprehension that a modern, industrialized nation could use its technological advances for genocide. No one wanted to believe that an advanced Western nation could commit crimes of this magnitude. When reports of atrocities and mass murder leaked out, they were dismissed simply as “war propaganda.” The Holocaust is ever-present and used to justify all sorts of modern political decisions. On the one hand, headlines such as “Our generation’s responsibility to the survivors” or “Why the ghettos of Poland are still important” testify to the significance that Holocaust memory has in Israel and the United States. On the other hand, complete denial, like that of Iran’s President Amadinejad, former Austrian parliamentarian John Gudenus or British pseudo-historian David Irving, are also an attempt to gain possession of this morbid event by removing it from historical memory entirely. What better way to possess an event than by completely denying that it ever occurred? But what is the motivation? Why misappropriate the Holocaust? Everyone recognizes this event as significant and powerful and realizes that fascination with mass murder and its emotional impact can be used to influence people. There are far too many political interests that have a great deal to gain by “owning” the Holocaust. Let us be clear: The Holocaust does not belong to anyone, and remembering it should serve to remind us of what evil deeds we are capable of as human beings. Instead of invoking it on all possible occasions, we should internalize it and let it guide us in our future decision-making. Whether out of disrespect, false motives or misguided intentions, any appropriation of the Holocaust should be questioned. We owe at least that much to the memories of those who perished.

Courtesy of UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

Miroslava is one of many Ukrainian children receiving daily treatment using placental extract and ultraviolet lamps developed by Cubans though the southern hemisphere seems to have escaped. National authorities were surprised at the scale of the problem, and none had effective security plans in place. Outside of the Soviet Union, countermeasures were pretty much limited to restrictions and prohibitions on the marketing, consumption and importation of certain foods thought to be contaminated or from contaminated areas. The health consequences are enduring strongly, according to WHO. A notable rise in thyroid cancer in the most contaminated areas, rising from 4-6 incidents per million children annually in the Ukraine between 1981 and 1985, to 45 incidents per million between 1986 and 1997. In all, 64% of all Ukrainian thyroid cancer patients under 15 lived in the most contaminated regions, the provinces of Kiev, Chernigov, Zhitomir, Cherkassy, and Rovno. The cancer is most prevalent in children under five at the time of exposure, and is thought to be caused by radioactive iodine contamination in milk and certain foods collecting in the thyroid gland. The disease is treatable and not often fatal. Although the risk has subsided as the iodine has decayed to low levels, the disease takes years to show up and the number of cancers diagnosed is still increasing. The accident also left psyproblems are “economic and psychological, not health or environmental,” the Forum reports. The environmental lobbying group Greenpeace predicts more serious health effects, anticipating up to 93,000 extra cancer deaths, with other illnesses taking the toll as high as 200,000. The actual site of Chernobyl was cleaned up quickly following the event -- with the initial insulating ‘sarcophagus’ completed in only seven months in November 1986 -- and radiation levels on

SEX TRAFFIC Continued from page 10 apartment when their pimp enters, and without any warning, pulls out a gun and shoots the third girl dead. She had contracted herpes, and she was now useless. The scene is shot all in one take, and there is no music. Only the sound of the short sound of the pimp’s firearm is heard, followed by the cars driving past -- and a deadly silence. Though the two Moldavian sisters make no noise, the shock and look of horror is unmistakeable. Later in the film, Vara and Elena are brought to Italy on a boat on a cold night. When a coast guard ship appears, their pimp just throws Elena over board. And while she is rescued, it is horrible to watch her

desperately struggling in the water, screaming and crying for help. Her fight not to sink is portrayed from under as well as over water for several minutes. With screen writer Morgan and cinematographer Chris Seager, David Yates creates a world of realistic brutality, corruption and violence that the prostitutes are forced to live in. In this production we see all aspects of this business -- the perspectives of the prostitutes, the pimps, the customers and the prostitutes’ families. Overall, Yates uses ordinary sounds, like cars passing, tones of voice, bird calls, or club music in the brothel scenes. There is little if any drama to the music, either sentimental or anxious, used only to support the few scenes of relief or

affection, as when Elena escapes her pimp and wanders through the streets of London or tries to console her sister. Mostly, however, the film makers rely on the acting of their characters, their voices and facial expressions and bearing. All unknowns, the cast delivers strong performances throughout -- especially Anamaria Marinca, in the lead role of Elena,, for which she was named ‘best actress’ 2005 by BAFTA. This movie, as shocking and brutal it may be, is a powerful portrait of a true-to-life situation without any glorifications. It contains many brutal scenes, but they are essential, as it is they that make the film so upsetting, touching and most of

all, thought-provoking. Tantalizing as a thriller, but as realistic as a documentary, this movie is based on an excellent screenplay which holds up on repeated viewings. Though shocking with its relentless clarification of forced prostitution, it still may not change much. But it does help to inform the public about this world of horror, not easily forgotten. Sex Traffic - Great Britain 2004; Granada Television Production David Yates – Director, Abi Morgan – Screen writer, Chris Seager – Cinematographer Actors: Anamaria Marinca – Elena Visinescu, Maria Popistasu – Vara Vivinescu, John Simm – Daniel Appleton, Wendy Crewson – Madeleine Harlsburgh


Modern Times

Real Islamic Feminism
In terms of equal opportunities, Islam is one of the fairest religions
By Shadi Jahangard There are many Islamic countries, where legislation is based on the Sharia (Islamic Law). The question remains if the laws follow exactly what Islam states. From this perspective, women’s rights are an issue worth discussing. In terms of equal opportunities for men and women, Islam is one of the fairest religions observing the two genders from a very neutral perspective. Its standpoint for scrutinizing men’s and women’s rights is very impartial and balanced. Hence, Islamic countries would have had the fewest of sexist discrimination problems if the regulations had been followed correctly and entirely. Women after the Revolution Authors addressing the issue of women in Iran claim that women have suffered enormous setbacks in the last decade, due to the rise of Islamic Fundamentalism. Yet, William O. Beeman says that “on a recent trip to Iran – my first in many years – my greatest surprise was the clear evidence that Iranian women are better off today than they were under the Shah.” The average marriage age for women has increased from 18 years old before the Revolution to 21 today. Education for women is obligatory and universal. More than 75 percent of the population is under the age of 25 – well over 90 percent of both men and women are literate, even in rural areas. University enrollment is nearly equal for men and women. And as women’s education has increased, Iran’s birthrate has fallen steadily and is now estimated at 18.29 births per thousand people. The new Islamic Woman is a reality, and will undoubtedly be a force to reckon with in the future. Women and Feminism Iranian feminism is on rise. During the campaign for the fifth majlis (legislative assembly) in 1996, both religious and secular women began calling for more attention to women’s issues. They agreed that the system was not protecting its women and that Islamic family law was securing male domination at home. In the 1996 elections 190 women ran alongside more than 3,000 men for the 270 seat majlis. Women Islamic terms, she is called “the closest thing to a feminist in Iranian politics.” Today Iranian women have to live with certain contradictions in their society. Even though they can be elected to parliament, they cannot leave the country without their husbands’ permission. Those unmarried have to obtain the same permission from their father. In the face of these disturbing contradictions, Iranian women are provoking reform. There is though both husband and wife suffer as a result of a divorce, a man has the additional burden of a heavy responsibility,” considering mainly the financial part of the practice. The pure fact that even after divorce, it will be the man who will have to provide money for the raising of a child, makes the women financially dependent on their husbands. On the other hand, men, considering the high financial loss of a possible divorce, are not willing to give women equal rights in deciding whether the marriage should come to an end. That is why in practice the right to divorce belongs to men. A woman has the right to initiate the divorce only with permission of her husband. “It does not mean that Islam does not give the wife the right to break the marital bond when she wants to. It only checks the abusing of such right,” says Mahmudul Hasan Inheritance “From what is left by parents and those nearest related there is a share for men and a share for women, whether the property be small or large – a determinate share” (Qur’an 4:7). A woman’s share of any inheritance is half of a man’s. What some scholars argue is that because of men’s financial obligations, which by far exceed those of the women’s, the share cannot be equal. The man is responsible for earning money and for supporting the whole family; whereas a woman has no responsibilities towards her family’s income and expenditures. Her property is for her own use, unless she wishes to spend it for her family voluntarily. In the modernized life of today the economic situations usually re-

generally voted for women. 13 women were elected to the majlis and began campaigning to change the status quo. The most popular woman to run was Faezeh Hashemi, the daughter of ex-president Rafsanjani. Even though she still formulates her calls for change in

a marked rise in the number of women working as journalists, publishers, professors, and even elected heads of universities or members of parliament. Divorce Dr. Jamal A. Badawi, a prominent Islamic scholar, says that “al-

quire that both men and women work. Since women have achieved high levels of academic education as well as economic independence, they cannot be considered “subhuman” as in the time of littleeducated Arabian societies, from which Islam originated. In today’s societies, there are cases when it is the woman who is financially responsible for the family, while the man stays at home. But since in most Islamic countries legislators have mainly been men, one can realize why the laws have been carefully selected by them. Employment Women in Islam have no duty to do the housework or to feed their babies. They have the right to ask for payment for everything they do at home. Even though this is a largely known regulation, it is almost never practiced. Polygamy Polygamy was well known amongst Arabian tribes prior to the advent of Islam. In fact, there were no set limitations for the number of wives the husband could take in wedlock. With the advent of Islam, polygamy was condoned; however, a man was restricted and limited to four wives only. Moreover, Islam set certain rules and regulations to organize and control this important feature in the social life of Muslims. Polygamy was also well known to the Persians, Assyrians, Japanese and Hindus. Russians and Germanic people also practiced it as well as some Egyptian and Greek kings. During the many wars that occurred between Arabian tribes, where thousands of soldiers were killed leaving many widows behind, Prophet Mohammad received revelations from God allowing a man to take up to four wives on the condition that he was capable of treating them all fairly and providing support to them. Since in most of the Arab countries men have continuously married more women, the culture has adjusted to polyga-

my. Unfortunately, many listen only to the first part of the law, and not to the section that imposes fairness and equality. Mandatory Veil The formal religious covering (Hijab) was enforced in Iran two years after the fall of the monarchy and victory of the Islamic revolution in February 1979. Since the Revolution, an alternate form of acceptable dress has emerged – a long dress with full length opaque stockings, a long sleeved coat, and a head scarf. The dress has gradually evolved into a thin shoulder to ankle smock called a “manto”. In adopting this dress, women have been wonderfully inventive. The “manto,” though dark in color, is often made of silk or other fine fabric, embroidered, finely tailored, with elegant closures. Women wear it over jeans or other Western fashionable clothes. This new code of dressing has helped many women from conservative families integrate better in society. “Before the revolution, religious parents would not let their girls even go to school fearing they would be dishonored,” said Parvaneh Rashidi,” a Tehran schoolteacher. ‘Now they have no trouble letting their daughters go anywhere.” Judging from the large number of women on the streets, in retail management, in offices and on university campuses, Ms. Rashisi´s assessment appears to be correct. But religion is a matter of belief, not a matter of force. “Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.” (Qur’an 2:257) The question is if the same logic should also apply to the Hijab. There is a major debate whether religion is violating women’s rights in Muslim countries. But if anyone studies Islam, it will be easy to understand that there is much difference between how the laws are interpreted and what the Qur’an says exactly. it’s just simpler for them to act out this nice normal family.” Jane showed me a photo – his wife looked better than any model, with long curly brown hair, smooth tanned skin, perfect proportions and bright, seductive eyes. Over time, Jane developed pretty well-defined standards for her clientele – no one who earned less than 5,000 Euros a month, which is an enormous amount of money in Lithuania. These were men who could afford leaving her a couple of hundred Euros per night – a dream-come-true for a girl from the countryside. This is a dream that lives on in the heads of thousands of young women from all over Eastern Europe. Low living standards, pressure for a perfect appearance from the media, and the wish for a perfect, fantasy life – it all leads them to jump onto a fast train of selling their bodies. Some, like Jane, succeed, if you want to call this success. But mostly, the girls end up in local and foreign whorehouses, where they are treated worse Continued on page 10

Company for Cash
Or, How to Study and Still Afford All the Good Things in Life: The Dream of Thousands of Girls From All Over Eastern Europe
By Ruta Kurselyte Let’s call her Jane. She’s very attractive: slender, about 165 centimeters tall, blond – a real Northern beauty, with a smile that never leaves her face. Her moves are easy and elegant – even the way she picks up a tiny cup of coffee cannot go unnoticed, as if she is holding the most precious thing in the world. With the same calmness and elegance, she puts it down again, without making a sound. Not a single detail gives away what is really on her mind. Jane is 24, but she has already experienced many things in life that others never will – and wouldn’t want to – in a lifetime. She gets a lot of attention on the street, and she’s aware of it. She knows not only how to use it, but also how much it’s worth. Everything started when Jane was in high school. She grew up in a small town, without many prospects, but she had always been a good student – the best, in fact – in that lonely school in her town. And that promised her more out of life than the others. Then she met a man from a neighboring town. He was older, much older, with family and all the things that accompany a nice settled life. He was rich enough to attract any girl’s attention, and looked pretty decent for his age. They met in a hotel one evening. She told him she needed money. He did not hesitate. Again and again, they met for secret rendez-vous, It was very comfortable – she got money for all the things her parents could not afford, and he had the company of a pretty young girl – just one more proof that he was still a desirable man. “How about your parents,” I asked? “They trusted me,” she said. She was just 16 years old. For the last couple of years of the high school, she went on to study in a bigger city and entered a carousel of (older) men and money, that turned faster and faster, and brought her ever more “clients.” The money was growing. She still managed to finish high school with premium grades and get accepted to University. Professors liked her; her female classmates didn’t. No, she didn’t use her body to get good grades. She was simply smarter and faster than the others. She was gifted somehow. When I met up with her in the capital city, where she was keeping company with one of “her” men. He was a wellknown public figure, handsome, with a beautiful wife and

Courtesy of

two children. “He was gay when we met,” she said. “But he cannot take the risk of being uncovered. He is too famous and respected – a Lithuanian headquarters of

an international company.” He said she was the only woman for whom he felt any attraction. “What about his wife,” I asked. “He respects her a lot,” Jane said. “She knows it all, but

Courtesy of Look Models

On the Town


How One Last Beer Turns Into Oh-So Many More
By Sean Delaney Monday night drinking is never a good idea. But I was alone, doing some reading when Eddie called, and asked me if I wouldn’t like to have just “one last beer” before he left for the US. Me, my book, and the US colonialism I was reading about were not bothering anyone. “Why did he have to call tonight,” I thought. I was exhausted; the seven red bulls I had guzzled were wearing off; sleep had hegemony over my thoughts. He said he didn’t care; maybe not, but I would be the one with the last laugh. A little more “negotiation” – I wouldn’t see him for a month -and I was putting some pants on and heading for the bar. I mean this was the friend that, on a whim, agreed to go to Oktoberfest with me. How could I miss this? Seconds out the apartment, I turned around. I had forgotten my phone. Seconds later, it was my book. This was pathetic. My mind was trying to tell me it was a bad idea. I was damning my friend for leading me astray. I kept telling myself it would be a quiet night, but somewhere in a more honest corner of my mind, Ipost_webster 01.03.2005 knew it would surely turn into a night of pure debauchery. For one thing, we decided to meet at the Merry Monk, hardly a sober decision. The Irish pub was empty when we arrived, but for the few friends sitting at the bar. These are friends who claim to like the “dank,” the thick, unwholesome darkness that hides our problems from the world and maybe even from the others in the bar. A waitress, yes, Jen, sitting on a stool behind the taps serving drinks, was talking to my friends. She’s good at her job and proceeded to give me great head on my beer. Well she is good, but this night she was also sore and hardly moved from that stool the whole evening. One beer turned into five and the night meandered on in spite of the 9am wake-up call Eddie would be needing in a few hours to make it to the train heading for the Munich Airport. I kept feeding him drinks; soon he would understand how I had Uhr a few hours 19:58felt just Seite 1 before at home where I had thoroughly

colonized my couch. Then someone (it might have been me) had the bright idea of having an Irish Car Bomb, followed by other shots of something else. Eddie looked at me as if I were the devil. Perhaps I was; and poor Eddie would be the one who would pay for it. But I was willing to make a gesture. He was leaving, so I figured that I would pay for everything. Later I would this; regret the bill was € €73… Oh, Vienna, Vienna, how could you betray me? And what have you done to my bank account? As morning broke, we took the first U-bahn home, and I said good-bye to my good friend. Arriving home at 5:30 in the morning; I was exhausted. I collapsed on my couch, not really sleeping, but merely waiting for the punishing hangover that would strike when my alarm beckoned me to class. And this was all on a Monday. If the rest of the week had the same in store, I might just decide to give up drinking, a thought that had never crossed my mind before that night. As I said, drinking on a Monday night is never a good idea.

A Night at Do & Co
A Warm Atmosphere and Good Food: Worth the Extra Cost
By Sandya Gain It was Easter Sunday evening when we arranged to meet at DO&CO, a restaurant right across from Stephansdom in central Vienna. The restaurant is on top of the Haas Haus, a controversial modern masterpiece by Hans Hollein that offers a view over the whole of Stephansplatz through its floor to ceiling windows in which the Dom and surrounding buildings are reflected. Already a few minutes late, I was relieved when the cathedral appeared in front of me. The entrance is a little hard to find, tucked away around the corner on Stephansplatz 12, but eventually I found my way. With an elevator that was lit a smoky red from inside, I was taken up to the 7th floor where a greeter took off my cloak and escorted me to the table where the others were waiting. The restaurant was fully booked, but luckily we had a table right next to the windows and enjoyed the fantastic view over the magical night lights of the square. The atmosphere in DO&CO is elegant, yet somehow not over done. The whole restaurant is kept in warm light - beige and sand colours, the tables decorated with bright tablecloth and napkins. Candles were burning and flowers were placed on each. Visitors are able to see into the open kitchen, which I think is always a good sign. All the fresh and colourful vegetables were laid out on a huge chopping block. Yet although the restaurant was full, we didn’t have lacquered platter and consisted of several fresh varieties of Sushi, like California Roll, Sake Maki which is with Salmon, Kappa Maki – with cucumbers, Tuna Maki, Maki with shrimps, San Francisco Roll, Hotategai Nigiri (scallop) and Trout Nigiri. I ordered beef which was sprinkled with tiny pieces of chilli and rice as a side dish and a delicious spicy sauce. Though I was the only one who ordered a Sorbet for dessert, no one could resist the colourful ice balls that came in four colors. The waiters were very friendly while not intrusive, and most of all attentive, immediately refilling our wine and water glasses as soon as their volume tended to become less. Conversation flowed, with many interesting and funny tales of our summer trip to the states, the postage-stamp hotel my friend’s mother was staying at, the Italian elections as well as some funny stories of the week before. While it’s not inexpensive, DO&CO is definitely worth the prices. After we finished dinner, we wanted to have a drink downstairs in the bar but found it full. For the bar as well as for the restaurant, reservations should be made in advance.

Courtesy of Blain Hefner

to raise our voices to be heard. All of us ordered Asian food and only to smell it and see how beautifully it was prepared and presented on the plates. The Wok vegetables were served on round, deep dishes with cushioned rice and a sweet sauce. They were a colourful composition of mixed vegetables, lettuce, sprouts, cauliflowers, turnips, carrots, mushrooms and pieces of bamboo. The Sushi Mix was served on a narrow

Max Schmeling.
Die Sondermarke zu Ehren der großen Legende des europäischen Boxsports.

Peter Paul Rubens.
Das Meisterwerk im neuen Liechtenstein Museum Wien als Gemeinschaftsausgabe mit Liechtenstein.

Besuchen Sie den neuen Online-Shop!
Österreichische Post AG Sammler-Service Steinheilgasse 1 1210 Wien Österreich Tel: +43 (1) 250 25-4040 Fax: +43 (1) 250 25-4080 E-Mail: Hotline: 0800 100 197 (Österreich)

Stephan Eberharter.
Unser Ski-As und zweifacher Gesamtweltcupsieger jetzt auf einer Sondermarke!

Die Post bringt allen was.

Courtesy of DO & CO


On the Town

Vienna Events
Events Calendar
As usual, the Jugendstil Events Calendar team will be presenting the latest, hippest, most cultural and coolest happenings in order to make your life in Vienna as enjoyable and (if you’re sober enough) unforgettable as possible. The Vienna Events Team welcomes any information on upcoming events: please email us at newjugendstil@yahoo. com and we try to make space for it in the next issue. For all future Webster party entrepreneurs: If you want your party or happening mentioned in our publication, please make sure to let us know as early as possible for listing in the Parties section of the Calendar. Sincerely, Ruta Kurselyte, Mazin Elfehaid and Jugendstil staff
In concentrating on the significance of the bus stops, this exhibit attempts to show that there is much more to these common landmarks than most assume. According to the exhibitors, they serve as “post office, coffee house, advertising column and a place to sleep.” Bus stops have much more impact on our daily lives than we are perhaps even aware of. Markus Steinmair’s exhibit tries to bring awareness to that. May 11-29. Architekturzentrum Wien 7., Museumsplatz 1 (01) 522 31 15-32 BLACK, BROWN, WHITE Rather than focusing directly on South Africa’s deep social cleavages, this collection of images taken by photographers from all around the country aims to allow the viewer a glimpse into the country’s everyday existence. Of special note are photographers David Goldblatt and Omar Badsha, who focus on black workers commuting to central Pretoria, and the Indian population living in the city of Durban. Until June 18. Kunsthalle Wien 7., Museumsplatz 1 (01) 521 89-1201 by Stephen Oliver. A Turkish delegation from Cairo, a goose ´in disguise´ and a hilarious plot of mistaken identities. Presented by the Wiener Kammeroper in cooperation with the Wiener Mozartjahr 2006 May 11, 13, 16, 18, May 23, 25, 27, 30 June 1, 3 All performances at: 19:30 Wiener Kammeroper 1., Fleischmarkt 24 (01) 512 01-77 MANON LESCAUT By Puccini Manon Lescaut is an opera in four acts by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Domenico Oliva and Luigi Illica, based on one of the greatest novels of the 18th century, L’ histoire du Chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut by Abbe Prevest. First performance:Teatro Regio, Turin, 1893. His third opera, and first success. June 2, 6, 10 Wiener Staatsoper 1., Opernring 2 (01) 51444 2250 time a second couple enters the room, but their future projection is dim. Finally, an old man enters the room… Dreams of the young, experience of the old, and fragility of the life itself converge in an exciting musical by Jon Fosse, directed by Luc Bondy.

‘La Cage aux Folles’ at the Volksoper: the popular, provocative comedy musical of homosexual love.

THEATER in English
DRESDEN The play by Ian Leonard Directed by Danny Scott takes place in a hospital in Munich in the late 1950s. The Characters are caught in sexual personal and political post-war divisions. Each storyline captures the idiocyncracies and humanity of the characters as each struggles with his own quirks and weaknesses and some find the ability to love and forgive. Premiere: May 22 May 24-26, June 2 and 3, 19:30 Interkulttheater, 6., Fillgradergasse 16 (01) 587 05 30 LOVE’S A LUXURY Written by Guy Paxton and Edward V. Hoile, Love’s a Luxury is an archetypal frenzied farce set in the 1940’s which includes marital misunderstandings, mistaken identities, female impersonation, a knobbly kneed scout master, pretty girls, a missing dog and the very secretive A.B.C.I.D – ‘the Actor’s Branch of the Criminal Investigation Department’! May 22 - Jul. 1, 19:30 Vienna’s English Theatre 8., Josefsgasse 12 (01) 402 12 60-0 PLAY IT AGAIN SAM In one of Woody Allen’s finest romantic comedies, Allan Felix, film critic and worshipper of Humphrey Bogart, has been recently deserted by his spouse. His friends, step in and console him by fixing him up with a variety of eligible young women. Little do they know that Allan is being coached by Humphrey Bogart. Allan tries to assume the persona of Rick- the tough macho man from Casablanca- and is a dismal failure in the dating game. Directed by Jack Babb and starring Jason

Markowsky and Laura Mitchell. May 9- Jul. 1, 19:30 The Intertnational Theater 9,. Porzellangasse 8 (01) 319 62 72

H.R. GIGER A surrealist painter combining airbrush and freehand painting techniques, Swiss national H.R. Giger has contributed more than a fair share of icons to popular culture. Most famously, Giger created the creatures for the “Alien” movies, but his work was also seen on “Poltergeist II” and “Species.” This exhibit features more than 100 of Giger’s originals. Opens May 24. Kunst Haus Wien 3., Untere Weissbergerstrasse 13. (01) 712 04 95 EVERYDAY LIFE Focusing on everyday technology, this exhibit aims to enlighten the visitor on the application, function, and history of things such as the light switch, mixers, refrigerators, vending machines and cosmetics. By focusing on each item individually, the exhibit begs the question: Is technology affecting our daily lives so much, that it is in fact dictating its direction? Until Oct. 31. Technisches Museum 14., Mariahilferstrasse 212 (01) 899 98-6000 WAITING FOR THE BUS

Black Brown and White May 15-20, 20:00; May 21, 19:00; May 27, 20:00; May 28, 19:00 Akademietheater 3., Lisztstraße 1 (01) 514 44 4140 THE GOSPEL AT COLONUS (in ENGLISH) Written by one of the greatest ancient Greek tragedians, Sophocles, Oedipus (Do you mean The Gospel at Colonus?) at Colonus tells the story of Oedupus’ tragic life. Blinded and doomed for exile, he seeks a place where he can finally rest in peace. In this original production, a philosophical narrative is combined by the brightest voices of New York gospel chior and world-famous soul band, The Blind Boys of Alabama. June 14-15, 21:00; June 16-17, 21:30 Gustav Adolf Kirche 6., Lutherplatz 1 (01) 597 34 30 NOTE: This performance is based on the ancient Greek myth “Oedipus at Colonus”, while the musical arrangement is presented in the form of gospel (choir with religious motifs). Hence, the name of the event is “The Gospel at Colonus”.

THEATER in German
DIE STADT OHNE JUDEN Helmut Peschina’s dramatisation of Hugo Bettlauer’s novel is being satged in the legendary Bellaria Kino under the Direction of Matin Oelbermann. “Die Stadt ohne Juden” (The City Without Jews) was Bettlauers most successful novel, was translated into many languages and was made into a film in 1924 (two years after its publishing) with Hans Moser playing thr lead. The Author was murdured by reactionary Austrian copnservatives in 1926. May 5-6, 20:00 Bellaria Kino 7., Museumstrasse 3 (01) 523 75 91 MARIA BILL SINGT EDITH PIAF 20 of her most famous songs lead the audience through Edit Piafs life. Milord, Mon Dieu, La vie en rose and Non, je ne regrette riens. The little sparrow drank herself to an early death at 48 but has stayed in the hearts of all all who hear her musik. An unforgettable evening of laughs and tears. May 17-19, 19:30 Theater Akzent 4., Theresianumgasse 16-18 (01) 501 65 3306 Jun. 29 19:30 Wiener Urania 1., Urainiastrasse 1 (01) 712 61 91

SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER (in ENGLISH) The Hot and funky 70’s are back with an exciting performance on the stage of Wiener Stadthalle. Descend into a colorful realm of Disco with the greatest hits of the Bee Gees, including “Night Fever,” “Staying Alive,” and “You Should be Dancing.” May 16-28, 20:00 Wiener Stadthalle, Halle F 15.,Vogelweidplatz 14 (01) 98 100/0 LA CAGE AUX FOLLES (in GERMAN) A provocative comedy musical by Jerry Herman. In sunny St. Tropez the extravagant family of Georges, owner of the legendary night club “La Cage” is about to face an intricate challenge that would change the life of his son Michel. May 12, 19:00 Volksoper Wien 9., Währingerstraße 78 (01) 514 44 30 SCHLAF (GERMAN) A couple, in search of a new apartment enters an empty room. They dream of a new life with their happy family. At the same

IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA The Barber of Seville is a French play by Pierre Beaumarchais written in1775, and originally entitled Le Barbier de Seville. Acomic opera in two acts entitled Il Barbiere di Siviglia by Giacchino Rossini was based on Beaumarchais’s comedy with a libretto by Cesare Sterbini. The story of The Barber of Seville is continued in Beaumarchais’s play The Marriage of Figaro and theMozart opera based on it, which was composed in1786. The Barber Of Seville is one of the most famous operas ever written. Especally the aria “Largo el Factotum” with its “Figaro”-chant is well known to most people. May 30 June 1 Both nights at 20:00 Wiener Staatsoper 1., Opernring 2 (01) 51444 2250 L’OCA El CAIRO (The Cairo Goose) A new libretto by Stephen Oliver including the eight sketches by Varesco and W.A. Mozart. Translated by Luisa Saviori to music

MONIKA STADLER “Vom Barock zum Jazz” Monika Stadler is an Austrian harp player who initially specialized in classical music, but is now successfully using her instrument for fine jazz tunes. She manages

Get groovy on Saturday Night

On the Town 15

Vienna Events
to delicately mix classical music, jazz improvisation and influences of foreign cultures. Good show. May. 28, 14:00 Liechtenstein Museum Wien, Herkules Saal 9., Fuerstengasse 1 (01) 31957670 DIANNE REEVES WITH RUSSEL MALONE & ROMEO LUBAMBO Dianne Reeves a.k.a “The Queen of Jazz” is back in Vienna. Several shows that Reeves really walks in the footsteps of Sarah Vaughana or Ella Fitzgerald. This time she will be accompanied by two extraordinary guitarists. Russel Malone who already supported the programs of Mary Connick jr. and Diana Krall, as well as Romero Lumbambo who has lent his talent to artists such as Maria Monk and Al Jarreau. May. 16, 19:30 (01)242002 3., Lothringerstrasse 20 ULRICH DRECHSLER JAZZ QUARTETT Saxaphonist Tord Gustavson has broken out of the back up band to present present his own music in his own personal style, described as bring his experiences, people and locations now coming to life in his own blend. Mai. 29, 19:30 (01)242002 Human & Places 3., Lothringerstrasse 20 INSEN: ALVA NOTO & RYUICHI SAKAMOTO Sakamoto plays the piano parts, while Alva Noto refines the tunes via digital post-production. This is done in a subtle way which leaves enough of the soft piano notes to surface. Their music can be described as a successful and rare combination of free association and dreamlike beauty. Jun. 29, 20:30 Halle E Museums Quartier. (0820)600600 7., Museumsplatz 1/5 20, Adalbert-Stifter-Strasse 73 (01) 332 46 41-0 Holmes Place 22; Wagramer Strasse 17-19 (01) 263 8989 BIKING IN VIENNA The cheapest way to combine workout with sightseeing. There are different routes in Vienna with special biking paths, you can bike around the ring, or if you want to fill your lungs with fresh air enjoy the Donauinsel, where no cars are permitted. As a service to all guests and residents alike, bikes are available for rent at special stations in Vienna, with a credit card inserted in an automat. The first hour is free. For rental stations and routes see:

MOZART’S ENLIGHTMENT By Peter Gay Yale University Professor Peter Gay will present a fresh overview of the period in which Mozart worked, suggesting ways that this new social and political environment influenced Mozart and continues to frame wide-ranging debates on religion, politics, and personal identity. May 2, 19:00 Vienna City Hall, Festsaal 1., Lichtenfelsgasse 2, Feststiege I (01) 4000 CLEANSING THE NATION AL BODY: PUBLIC HEALTH, WELFARE AND “RACIAL HYGENE” IN WWII VIENNA By Herwig Czech In accordance with the National Socialists’ racist and biologist views, Nazi medicine did not concern itself with care for the sick, but with the protection of the ‘national body’ and in particular with keeping the ‘national genotype’ pure. Human life was subjected to a relentless cost-benefit analysis. May 17, 14:30 The Institute for Human Sciences, Library 9., Spittelauer Lande 3 (01) 313 58 - 109 Sabine Assmann,


romantic, of the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Reservations required. Jun. 16, 16:00 Filmarchiv Austria (01) 332 36 94

LOCAL HEROES BAND CONTEST FINALE The last stage of the show will be held in Viennese Arena. The show is about young bands and new hopes of Austrian music scene. Influences and styles of bands range from pop, hip-hop, to rock and electro music. The show will culminate in late May where winners will pick their prize. May, 27, 20:00 Arena Wien 3, Baumgasse 80 (01) 798 85 95 30 JAHRE ARENA OPEN AIR In June, Viennese Arena is celebrating 30 years of existence, so during the month every few days various bands will be performing for the anniversary, local as well as foreign. Some of the performing bands are Papermoon, Denk, Texta, Tito & Tarantula, Arctic Monkeys, Hatebreed, etc. June, 01-28, 18:00 Arena Wien 3, Baumgasse 80 (01) 798 85 95 DIE KILLERPILZE Die Killerpilze are very young Austrian punk-rock band. Age of band is between 13 and 17 years. They have produced and composed their debut album themselves and been touring the country for some time already. Their Debut single has appeared on 21st of April called “Richtig Scheisse”. Really young hopes of Austrian punk-rock scene. May, 26, 20:00 Planet Music

THE SPANISH RIDING SCHOOL This is the oldest and last riding school that still practices classic riding in its pure and original form, right down to the attire. Senior instructors demonstrate the classic equestrian rearing of the Lipizzan horses from young stallions to the fully trained horses. This is presented with a commentary on history, tradition, and breeding of these special horses. This presentation gives insight into the ‘Secrets of the Spanish Riding School.’ Shows run year round. 1., Michaelerplatz 1

Spanish Riding School REMEMBERING FORCED MIGRATION IN EUROPE By Claus Leggewie, Philipp Ther Forced migration has accompanied religious and political persecution, as well as war, throughout human history but has only become a topic of serious study and discussion relatively recently. Contemporary internal and international displacement of persons will be discussed in comparison to the historical ones. June 1, 14:30 Institute for Human Sciences, 9., Spittelauer Lande 3 (01) 313 58 - 109 Sabine Assmann, CONFIGURATION III: WHAT THE WORLD THINKS IS IMPOSSIBLE Those in 18th century Viennese society seen as “figures” or “objects”- a historical narrative almost unchanged to this day. How Black women, men and children of those times resisted and how they developed forms of breaking out and persistence. June 21, 19:00 Kuffner Sternwarte 16., Johann Staud Strasse 10 (01) 914 81 30 remapping.mozart@initiative.

VIENNA FESTWOCHEN This year’s Wiener Festwochen offer presentations From countries like China, South Africa, Sweden, France and music, art

Tito Tarantula appearing at the ‘30 Years-Arena’ Festival and theatre many more. A special highlight will be the production of Sophocles’ tragedy “Oedipus” in a new version by the Gospel at Colonus. May 12 – Jun. 18 Fr – Sun 10:00 – 21:00 Musikverein Wien Börsendorferstr. 12 (01) 5892222 BALKAN FEVER 2006 This is the only music festival from the Balkan. Not to miss is the guitar music by the Trio infernal presenting old Macedonian folk music. Apr. 21 – May 14 Various locations (0699) 1 9131411 MUSEUMS QUARTIER In the whole yard of MQ there will be anchorages offering the opportunity to relax and drink. There will be music and fashion highlights like Brazilian festival and the Modepalast 06. May 4 – Sept. 30 Museums Quartier (0820) 600600 MOZART ON FILM The Austrian Film Archive invites guests to dig deep into the back shelves to see a fine list of film portraits of the composer in honor of his 200th birthday. Countless versions: classic, bizarre, modern and Prices range from 20-160 euros. (01)533 90 31-13 (01)533 90 31-40 ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK CARTNUNTUM Celebrating the 2000 anniversary of the former Roman town of Cartnuntum, the archaeological park that sits in this former Roman town is opening a large exhibit on Legionsadler and Bruidenstab (Roman Eagle and Druid Staff). The Cartnuntum Museum is located just outside of Vienna at Bad Deutsch-Altenburg. Visitors can experience the rapid development from a military camp to one of the most important cities of the Roman Empire. Computer animations assist in this time travel to ancient eras. March 21-November 12 Hauptstraße 3, 2404 Petronell-Carnuntum, (2163)33 77 0 CRUISE TO WACHAU Every Sunday the MS Admiral Tegetthoff travels between Vienna and the Wachau. There are short stops in Korneuburg, Tulln and Krems, before a final 2 hour stop in Durnstein before returning to the Vienna. Every Sunday from May 14 to September 24, 8:35 Reichesbrucke, DDSG Schiffahrtszentrum, Handelskai 365, Vienna (U1 Vorgartenstrasse) Price: 22 Euros

DOMESTIC PLAN PRODUCTIVITY AND MARGINAL SPILLOVERS FROM FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT By Carlo Altomonte of Bocconi University, Milan, will give an insight into the real option theory of investments and its implications, which were empirically tested by the author himself through a developed database of foreign direct investment (FDI) operations in Central and Eastern Europe. May 18, 16:00 The Institute for International Economic Studies, Seminar Room 1., Oppolzergasse 6 (01) 533 66 10 24 Julia Woerz, THE “SCIENCE OF CONSCIOUSNESS”? : A CRITIQUE OF NATURALISTIC THEORIES OF THE MIND By Thomas Szanto The efforts made in contemporary cognitive science towards the establishment of a naturalistic framework for phenomenology are undoubtedly of significant scientific relevance. May 24, 14:00 The Institute for Human Sciences, Library 9., Spittelauer Lande 3 (01) 313 58 - 109 Ms. Assmann, NETWORK OR CENTER? :

HORSE RACING Top horse racing weekends at the Magna Racino, 15 kilometres south outside from Vienna in Ebreichsdorf. You can watch the horse races from a classical tribune browse through the racino area,don`t forget to bet on your favourite horse and feel the spirit of Englands famous Ascot. Noblesse oblige, so please dress properly, even if the races start in the morning you will be expected to dress. Every Saturday and Sunday morning, but starting time differs a little bit, so check the details on their webpage: YOGA For the stressed and burned out after too many parties in your last term. You might just ease your soul and body with a little oga. Close to Webster University the Holmes Place Life Style Club offers now special Yoga sessions twice a week. You will get addicted to this relaxation soon. And after your session take a swim at Vienna`s pool with the most spectacular view over the whole city..

‘Schlaf ’ at Akademietheater, by Jon Fosse, directed by Luc Bondy


On the Town

‘Beauty De Luxe’
Ms. Pretty Goes to a Cosmetics Trade Fair and Finds Herself Trapped in a Kafka-esque Nightmare
By Ruta Kurselyte After a cold winter and slow spring this year, we decided to visit a widely advertised (in Vormagazin, at U-bahn) Beauty de Luxe exhibition at the Wien Messezentrum, and sent our best ‘man, “Ms. Pretty,” who knew her way around this mad world of marketable aesthetics, and articles of must-have-style. The website promised a lot: new trends in plastic surgery, the sun-tan shower (the one that is explicitly shown in new Pink video “Stupid Girls”), state-ofthe-art professional make up and hair dressing, and other exciting things. “Wow”, thought Ms. Pretty, “that looks like a place to start a spring shape-up.” At the Wienerin magazine booth, visitors were welcomed with a gift subscription of two free issues and a glass of champagne. People were smiling and seemed to be really enjoying the event. Already? foot with plastic bags. A most charming man in a tasteless tie and badly-cut suit launched into a fast patter in German describing the wrappings – showing some pictures of bubbles that were supposed to be human cells and toxins between them and how magical those bandages are and so on and on… “What are these plastic bags for?” asked Ms. Pretty. “For those toxins to collect after they come out of patient’s skin,” the man explained. Impressive. And slightly disgusting… By looking closer at those bags, our reporter found the brand – “Toppits” cooling bags. “Well thanks,” she smiled sweetly, and walked away, nearly crashing into a woman toasted to a golden brown by a solarium (which the magazines now admit is not entirely healthy…). She forced a piece of paper at Ms. Pretty to fill in, so, if she were lucky, she could win some fantastic machine not unlike a vacuum Later things got a little better. A very tall, very solarium-ed girl in very vulgar high-heels, the ones that strip dancers wear so proudly, and a string took the stage – a model for body painting. All body – that was it. No clothes. Ms. Pretty looked at her watch, then at the band of dancers that were surely not older than 16, then again at her watch… “Where were the censors when we needed them?” she wondered. But nobody was listening. Thank God. Nobody would have understood her anyway. What do they care about mental beauty? Overall, this was all about THE BODY. All in all, it was getting to be too much. Ms. Pretty was just heading towards the exit when a petite Asian girl crossed her way. “Let me tell you about acupuncture,” she said, taking Ms. Pretty’s finger, put on it a little angled circle made of wires and starting to pulling it up and down, while going

“The birds just didn’t sound right,” in a sightless world. Charlie Chaplin greets a blind girl in City Lights

Dialog im Dunkeln
Discovering First Hand What it Really Means to be Blind
By Paul Krauskpf Did you ever wonder what it was like to be blind? What it was like to spent your time - from walking around in your living room, to visiting a crowded bar - in complete darkness? It seemed impossible at first, but once you’re exposed to it for over 45 minutes, you learned to adjust. “Dialog im Dunkeln” catapults into a numb world of sounds, smells and touches. While leading through an obstacle course that would’ve usually been a daily routine, it made you instantly dependant on one person. In my case, her name was Maria. After we had paid the 7,50� we were huddled into a group of 5.We headed down the stairs, a wide, gradually descending aisle adjusted for the blind, and stopped at a dimly lit corridor marking the entrance to the world of darkness. We were each handed a white cane, shown how to hold it about 20 cm away from our bodies and make a semi-circle while walking. Easy – until I tried to do it. The cane was to become one wiggly pointing stick, a measure of my uncertainty as I stumbled about in the dark trying to make out objects a meter away from us. As soon as the dim light turned green, we walked in to meet our (blind) guide Maria. The first meeting wouldn’t be in my world, but in hers-- in the dark. After a minute of clumsy step-by-stepping and grabbing for a handrail, I heard the voice that would become very familiar in the next 45 minutes. We would participate in what it was like to live a day in her life, emphasizing she had said participate, not experience. There were seven of us, which suddenly seemed like a lot. In case we got lost, we were to just call out her name and she would come get us. There were a few giggles of nervous laughter. Shouting out for help to a person we’d just met? What other choice did we have. I blinked; my eyes tried hard to focus; Open or shut, there was no change. First encounter; the forest. They had avoided any brush or rough ground, branches or fallen logs lying around to trip over, but the trees, the grass, the smells and even the miniature waterfall were real. As far as I could hear. Although the birds somehow just didn’t sound right. From the beginning the lack of dimension made it impossible to walk in a straight line. I ran around like Frankenstein, holding onto everything I found in order to compensate for the loss of my vision. Maria quickly became the safe haven, when it was time to end the “ten step expedition to the left”. As soon as we were completely lost we shouted out her name and she would firmly grab our arm and lead us further along the way. I realized later that the forest, even with all its intensive sounds and smells, was an easier world to decipher than man made environments because of the high contrasts. Not so the gate to an unknown house, our next station, where merely finding the entrance would have been impossible without Maria. Lumbering through the house out the back door, we were forced to cross an intersection on the way to our bus stop. The boardwalk ended abruptly, causing us to bump into one another while trying to line up at the traffic light. The slow clicking signalled us a green light, so we crossed in a manner that would have caused hysterical laughter in broad daylight. The bus was clearly a hydraulic construction of some sort, but Maria refused to admit to any ruse, and insisted it was a real bus. She didn’t want us only going through the motions. After another stop at the greengrocer we hit the bar. Here we met other groups and were supposed to interact. Yet the helplessness and disorientation made small talk almost impossible. After five minutes of silent interaction in the dark, Maria called us to a table. Like little kids, we toddled in her direction, kicking over chairs and hitting our knees on tablelegs. From around the bar guides yelled out their names, and groups of 4-5 grown up men and women trudged towards them like in the movie March of the Penguins. Sitting around the table Maria calmly answered questions and shared anecdotes. I ordered a beer and when asked what it was. “Ottakringer,” Maria answered quickly. In a moment of cockiness, I ripped off the label. It’s what I do with every bottle, but what was the point this time when I couldn’t even see it? After an hour in the world of darkness, it all ended as abruptly as it had started. Suddenly around the corner there was light and instantly the cane, which had been so essential, became a useless stick again, our steps firm and the pace fast. We were welcomed by a warm, dimly lit hall and involuntarily, several shouted out: “Licht!” Maria slowed her pace as we rushed towards it, and I wondered what it was like for her to experience that every day, to be left behind by her once-helpless flock as they returned as masters to the world of light. It was then that we saw Maria for the first time, a young woman in her late 20’s with curly hair and a warm face. Now the situation was reversed and suddenly Maria seemed helpless and vulnerable. We thanked her and went on our way into a world of color that now seemed dense, full of high contrasts and a grey sky that had a new shimmer to it I didn’t remember seeing before. Vision is the sense we use for 80% of our perception, Maria had told us. Now that I had gained it back, it seemed like a superpower. And just as I was looking around, astonished at all the detail, I remembered the beer label that must still be in my pocket. I took it out and unfolded the paper. It was not Ottakringer, but a random brand I had never heard of. I mused over the many reasons for this. But in the end, in came down to the fact that I had believed her and so experienced the vulnerability of being blind. I had really tasted the familiar brand of beer – or thought I had – merely because someone else had told me it was so. Not until I could see again, could I even argue or question what Maria had told me. I was glad, no, unendingly grateful, that I was able to leave this state of complete dependency behind.

A solarium-ed girl in vulgar high heels took the stage for body painting. All body – that was it. No clothes. Ms. Pretty came to a big room filled with bubbling conversations, polished nails and the buzz of a tattooing machine and, and music from some far-away stage. Colorful bottles with magical creams and cure-all vitamins filled the bright displays; up-beat sounds spilled out from speakers hanging from the ceiling. The whole event seemed alive – maybe a bit too alive. “Where to start?” Ms. Pretty thought for a second, when she was accosted by a countrified woman with a very loud voice insisting she should try a gooey, ketchup-like spread slathered across a piece of bread. “All natural,” apparently, with special vitamins and other mysterious ingredients. “Ketchup? But I thought this was a beauty exhibition!” Ms. Pretty was getting confused. Maybe a foray by brand was not such a bad idea. So off she went – to a Panasonic booth offering big massaging chairs, which many were already enjoying. Well, no, that wasn’t what Ms. Pretty was looking for. Suddenly a plastic model appeared right in front of her wrapped all around with colorful bandages and covered hand and cleaner, to purify the air in her living room. The woman tossed in a piece of candy as compensation. Time to move on. Faces were changing and loud voices competing – and frustrations rising. From all sides, colorful pamphlets were flying, offering to lengthen and/or thicken hair, get rid of cellulite, or improve your career success with the help of some magic magnets worn an hour per day. Or was it two hours…? Then suddenly, eyes turned to the stage, where a show of posh hairdressing was getting under way. It looked funny: young girls pretending to be podium super stars and one very arrogant hairdresser dispensing trade secrets. One girl had to get down on her knees while her hair was being done – all this for beauty? Beginning to tire, Ms. Pretty headed for the bar that was situated right in front of the stage, just in time to take in a Girl Band of six dressed in fashionable hip-hop outfits trying to dance to the hit song “Can I Have It Like That” by Pharrell and Gwen Stefani, but never quite catching the beat. “Do those singers know what their song is being used for?” wondered the reporter. on about its useful effects for “everything in one’s life.” Ms. Pretty felt a little sick. Besides her fingers had started hurting from the sharp angles of those idiotic circles. But the Asian girl was looking somewhere off in the distance and just talking, talking, talking… “Two circles cost 12 euros, but for you I can give both for 10,” she whispered conspiratorially. But Ms. Pretty had already turned her back and was heading for the exit, her head spinning from all these smells, faces, sounds and colorful packages. It took another 10 minutes wandering through the bewildering floor plan, before she finally found the door. The exit was probably hidden on purposely, she mused, so unhappy customers end up trapped in this Kafka-esque nightmare. Finally outside, she breathed in the fresh air, thought nostalgically about a bike ride in the park on a Sunday morning and juicy apples from the market, experiences that could actually work bigger miracles than all those magical soaps and creams, most likely boiled up in a witches cauldron somewhere deep in the forests of Poland.

Courtesy of Ruta Kurselyte

add for


11:37:11 AM
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries

Oil is everywhere, whether it is your iPod, laptop, contact lenses, sunglasses, mobile phone, backpack or jacket.










Everyone Everyday Everywhere

OPEC is an international Organization of 11 oil-exporting developing nations. It was established in September 1960, in Baghdad by five founder Members — the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Qatar joined the Organization in 1961, Indonesia in 1962, the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in 1962, the United Arab Emirates in 1967, Algeria in 1969 and Nigeria in 1971. The OPEC Secretariat was initially based in Geneva, Switzerland, before moving to Vienna, Austria in 1965, where it remains to this day. Membership is open to any country with a substantial net export of crude petroleum and which holds fundamentally similar interests to those of the Organization’s Member Countries.

The principal aim of OPEC is the co-ordination and unification of the petroleum policies of Member Countries and the determination of the best means for safeguarding their interests, individually and collectively. The Organization is committed to providing a stable oil market, with fair prices for both producers and consumers, on a sustainable basis. Due regard shall be given at all times to the interests of producing nations and to the necessity of securing a steady income to an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to the consuming nations; and to a fair capital return to those investing in the petroleum industry.


Arts & Letters
“When I think about it, I don’t know anything about him -Although he likes to talk,” Eva Braun muses. “He’s changed so much. He only talks about dogs and vegetarian meals.” In the 2002 German documentary, Blind Spot: Hitler’s Secretary, Traudl Junge talked of him as a father figure. “I admit, I was fascinated by Adolf Hitler,” she tells the interviewer. “He was a pleasant boss and a fatherly friend. I deliberately ignored all the warning voices inside me and enjoyed the time by his side almost until the bitter end. It wasn’t what he said, but the way he said things and how he did things.” Hilter seems to have the same influence on his underlings, as you can see from a conversation between Walter Hewel (Gerald Alexander Held), diplomat in the Foreign Ministry, and Prof. Dr. Ernst-Günter Schenck (Christian Berkel), a doctor: “He made me swear a vow. That I would kill myself the moment the Russians captured me. – Hitler made you promise to kill yourself? But why? – He probably didn’t want me to be forced to speak negatively of him.” It seems a paradox, that Hewel would be grateful while receiving a poison capsule from Hitler. The film tries to imply that Hitler gives him the capsule out of good will, and not to stop up a leak. When his people do not follow him, Hitler seems hurt, as when Albert Speer (Heino Ferch) comes to say goodbye and admits abandoning his command. After he leaves, Hitler starts crying and stares at the wall. We also see signs of regret, as Hitler leaves the screen: “Tomorrow millions of people will curse me, but fate has taken its course.” So it is his role as Fuhrer, the film suggests, that transforms this man, so considerate in private, into a monster. “It seems he doesn’t want anyone to see inside him. I mean deep inside,” Eva Braun says to Traudl Junge. “In private, he can be such a caring person. But then he says… such brutal things. – When he’s the Führer.” As much as Eichinger tries to humanize him, Hitler is still the “monster” while doing business. “If there’s a battle in Berlin, we’ll fight to the last man,” Hitler barks. “We can’t worry about these so-called civilians now. In a war like this there are no civilians.” When Albert Speer begs him to spare the German people, he again is cold-blooded: “If my own people fail this test,” he says, “I will shed not one tear for them. They deserve nothing else. It’s their own destiny. They themselves are to blame.” Performances in the film are universally strong. However Ganz’ performance can only be described as astonishing, beginning with an unnerving photographic resemblance to Hitler – wig and moustache perfect, his permanent stoop, the trembling and twitching of a sick man, many now suspect he suffered from Parkinson’s disease. But most outstanding perhaps is his accent, a mix of Austrian and Bavarian, that Ganz imitates very realistically, capturing the rage, one hand placed behind his back, his voice rising, his breath getting shorter as his body stiffens and suddenly explodes. To regain his calmness, he slicks back his messy part of hair in his famous pose. There is only one known recording that exists of Hitler in a normal conversation, at Field Marshall Gustaf Mannerheim’ 75 birthday in 1942, unaware of being recorded. Ganz studied this unique tape thoroughly. “If I had not felt sympathy for the character and had not managed to make the audience feel sympathy for the creature Hitler, then I would have failed in my job as an actor,” Ganz told NBC News. Ganz does not question that he was an evil person. But Ganz also believes, that behind the brutal facade there was more. “If you dare to discover that, I thought you have to show it. That’s what I did. […] It is not humanizing. I think it’s rather responsible. I say, ‘a closer look.’ And maybe this is the thing to do in these days. What Chaplin did many, many years ago [in The Great Dictator] was to make him ridiculous. That was, at that time, the right thing to do. But not now.” “So I was looking for the center of this evil, and I didn’t find a heart. I found a hole, or [an] emptiness.” Eichinger is convinced that Hitler produced his own final scene ‘completely and consciously.’ He only made other people believe that they would come out victorious, but he knew it was over. He planned his downfall with a clear view of history. “He produced it, and if you want to be cynical, you could say, that he was the best director for this you can imagine.” However, many in the German press were unhappy. “Are we allowed to show the monster as a human being?” screen writer Eichinger remembered reading. But how frighteningly normal it is,” he says on the film’s website, “for Hitler to pet his dog and at the same time give out instructions that cost hundreds of thousands their lives. “Some day, we have to be capable of telling our own history.” Oliver Hirschbiegel agrees. “It’s an obligation, really. I think we as Germans have the obligation to show him as he was. I think we owe this to the millions and millions of victims. They have not been killed by an evil creature. They have been killed, on purpose, with industrialized means, and anything else is to me nonsense.” One final irony: Many Germans had problems understanding Hitler’s speeches because of his accent and explosive style. Bruno Ganz did his job so well, that when our German friends gathered to watch the movie, we had to turn on the subtitles. on his drums, Smelly’s drum work has the power to make you say “my god, how does he do that?” NoFX has always worked well together as a band, and this album doesn’t disappoint. Although they don’t stray too far from the triedand-true, it’s a formula that works and will always been fun to listen to. Couple the intensity of the musicians with the pure wit of Fat Mike’s lyrics (“No longer svelte / they gotta punch new holes in the Bible belt,” and “We march to the beat of indifferent drum”) and you’ve got yourself an explosive, fun, thought provoking, and yet totally sensory experience. Some might accuse NoFX of being too comfortable, maybe even a little played out. The band would probably agree. Their first song, “60%,” and the song’s reprise, sum up what this album is all about: “Welcome to our mission statement / total self debasement / and not giving our all.” Honesty is a very valuable thing. Clearly, giving only about 60% is totally ok with all of them, and to be quite frank, NoFX at sixty percent still rocks!

Bruno Ganz as Adolf Hitler greeting new recruits in Oliver Hirschbiegel’s film of the Führer’s last days

The Downfall
Was Germany Ready to See Hitler as a Movie Star?
by P.C. Prebensen and J. Hein Whatever else it was, director Oliver Hirschbiegel’s decision to make The Downfall was daring. Would anyone want to watch a film that humanized Adolf Hilter? Critics in the United States were favorable on the whole, but wondered whether it could win an Oscar (it didn’t). In Europe, however, and especially in Germany, Hirschbiegel faced criticism and even antipathy. The Downfall focuses on Hitler’s last days in his bunker in Berlin in 1945, drawing on Joachim Fest’s Inside Hitler’s Bunker, Inside the Third Reich, the memoirs of Hitler’s architect Albert Speer, and interviews and autobiography of his personal secretary Traudl Junge. Scenes inside Hitler’s legendary bunker were shot on a rebuilt set in Munich. Exteriors took place in St. Petersburg. Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, produced and written by Bernd Eichinger, the film is a milestone in German film history. Germans had never dramatized Hitler. If he was represented at all, he was shown for fractions of a second, seen from the rear or from a distance, and nearly always without text. It was an unspoken agreement: the dread of showing a man who had controlled the fantasies of Germans perhaps more than any other historical figure to date. With Eichinger’s fine screenplay, Hirschbiegel’s The Downfall shows Hitler as a multidimensional character, giving him, in effect, a starring role. But have they humanized Hitler? Or are they just showing a side of him that they believe must have existed on some level? Despite his being a monster – a matter that is not questioned by the film – the portrait assumes that there must have been a reason why so many Germans followed him. To realize what this film means to Germans, focus has to be put on the choice of the 63-year-old Swiss actor Bruno Ganz – one of the most beloved actors of contemporary German cinema, to play Adolf Hitler. Ganz/Hitler enters the action to receive a very young, poised but nervous Traudl Junge (Alexandra Maria Lara), who has come to be interviewed for a job as his personal secretary. It is November, 1942. The job applicants had been coached: No Nazi salute, the attaché tells them. “The Führer isn’t recruiting you as soldiers, he’s looking for a secretary…Just be natural.” Thus the first time we meet Hitler, we see him not as a brutal leader -- wandering and screaming, ignoring the hopeless situation and oblivious to the suffering of his population – but as a private person, considerate towards his female staff and his dog, and his vulnerability in secluded moments. He thanks them for coming in the middle of the night. “In war,” he explains, “we aren’t always masters of our time.” And he reassures his new secretary. “Don’t be nervous,” he says. “I make so many mistakes when I dictate. You’ll never make as many as I do.” But still, he is complicated.

Music Review

Aging Punks
Getting Old and Giving a Big “60%”
by Mazin Elfehaid After three years of silence, punk-rock band NoFX is back with their 10th studio album in two decades. Entitled Wolves in Wolves Clothing, it’s a fast paced punk rock frenzy that is in many ways what their previous release, The War on Errorism, should have been. The last album received a tepid reaction from critics and longtime fans, and while this latest album, released late April, has some of the same weaknesses, it is in many ways a much more solid piece of work. It does take some getting used to though. At first, it seemed like another “medio-core” album, a term coined by the band referring to music with simplistic and unoriginal songwriting. But after several (dozen) times through the CD player, it has, much like an acquired taste, turned out to be a very solid release. The bad news first: Nofx frontman Fat Mike (who also writes the lyrics) still has a major bone to pick with the US’s Neo-Conservative faction, resulting in lyrics that seem more like agenda-pushing, and are anything but timeless. Nofx have always been a socially and politically critical band. But listening to a song about how evil George Bush and his cronies are gets old very quickly. And it is possible to universalize the same political points, and produce songs as timeless as Bob Dylan. Fat Mike has done this in the past on albums like The Decline; it

would be great if he would again. work. Though he sings one for- the rhythm guitarist, weren’t on And though the lyrics are gettable Spanish ditty with sam- board as well. This CD gives more painfully clichéd at times (“Cul- pled drums, his work as a musi- vocal time to the man whose voice tural revolution / now, neo-con- cian is fun, solid, and surprisingly has been dubbed “the mel-yell.” servatives run outta town…”), complex. Great guitar solos here But as always, it’s the incredwhat’s here is mostly very good. and there, chugging and fast riffs ible synchronization between There are songs dealing with what all round, and not a whole lot of Melvin and El Hefe that make the aging means to the guitar work a joy to listen to. The album’s band (they don’t care about it), the horrors title track, along with of a numbing consum“The Man I killed,” er culture, the death and “USA-holes,” are penalty, and people amongst the best stuff who think they can on the CD. change the world from One thing that really stands out on this the comforts of their homes. album is the drums. Additionally there Erik Sandin has some of his best drum work are the usual “silly songs,” this time in the of NoFX’s career form of a 34-second on this release, and its something that, ode to a long lost lover, a song about Japanese by itself, warrants a hardcore sex bars, and, purchase. Never repetitive (except for believe it or not, a tribWolves in Wolves Clothing: A solid NoFX release ute to all the old punkthe awful sampling on “Contado En Espanol”) rockers who have died over the years. Only NoFX could variety from a tried and true for- Sandin, or ‘Smelly’ as his bandmake something like that amusing mula give this album a fun, fast- mates have dubbed him, is simply without it becoming meaningless. paced edge. an amazing drummer. Sometimes Of course, NoFX wouldn’t be commenting on the guitar, someLead guitarist El-Hefe gives the listeners more of his signature half the band it is if Eric Melvin, times almost playing the melody

Arts & Letters
Literary Encounter
Courtesy of Omar Badsha


Irving By Accident
Free the Bears – that is gifted in 350.000 special-edition copies to the people of Vienna. John Irving looks like a businessman, wears a suit, a tie and a white shirt. His hair is starting to grey and his clothes hide a body Vienna when he was studying at the Institut für Höhere Europäische Studien and shared a flat with a friend in Vienna`s 4 th District. All who are familiar with The World According to Garp would recognize the meslous characters that you fell in love with, who had opened up a new way of looking at things… and here he was speaking my language. He talked, sipped some water, stopped for a second, searching for the right word. My head was full of questions, but my mouth refused to open. I was afraid of breaking the magic. I did not want to interrupt the flow, so I decided to let the river run. I was just too impressed. So, it seemed, were the other journalists. Even the photographers stopped for a time. No click, click, just John Irving telling about 1986, when he had last come to Vienna to present his new book, the Prayer for Owen Meany - when I accidentally fell in love, with this story and with this writer. At this time the Austrian president Kurt Waldheim was on the watch list, accused of being a member of the SS during World War II. Irving paid a price for his visit in the eyes of American public, alarmed that Irving would support support Waldheim. But then I had to leave; I had lost track of the time. Even if I had taken the day off I still had an appointment I should keep. I went outside. The light already had started to fade. My head was spinning, as I gazed around at the cityscape I know so well. I canceled my appointment and went home, and started to reread Owen Meany. I had a very special voice in my ear and in my mind. And I did not want to loose it.

Happening on the Great Man, but too Impressed to Speak
By Meinrad Knapp The best things sometimes happen by accident. I was just hanging loose one cold and windy Saturday in March. Well wrapped up, I was drifting through Vienna’s 1st District, maybe to end up in a coffeehouse, my thoughts wandering through my mind… I didn’t even mind having to put my gloves on, when I passed the back of the Burgtheater and headed for the Burggarten, a green, calm and welcoming island within the city in spring or summer, but depressing if you’re there on a windy winter day. The snow covered most of the garden, which made it seem even more silent than it’s unpeopled spaces already were. A turn to the left, I left the Hofburg behind me and headed downtown. I’m not sure what attracted my attention first, Mayor of Vienna Michael Häupl or the man following him, the one surrounded by reporters. But before I could get close, they had slipped into the Café Griensteidl. Luck was with me, though. I picked up a familiar face in the crowd; he grinned at me and I was in. Writer John Irving – for that’s who it was – author of best sellers, The World According to Garp, Cider House Rules, or my all time favorite A Prayer for Owean Meany was in town for the annual celebration of literature, “Ein Buch – Eine Stadt” (One Book – One City). Each year a novel is chosen with a particular connection to Vienna -- this year, John Irving’s Setting

Two men outside their home in an Indian neighborhood of Durban

Black, Brown, White
A Photo Exhibition at the Kunsthalle Wien Gives Insights into Apartheid’s Lasting Effects
by Sean Delaney Though it has been ten years since the end of apartheid in South Africa, the wounds rubbed raw through so many generations will take much longer to heal. The depths of these wounds can be difficult to grasp from the outside, but the powerful photo exhibition “Black, Brown, White,” at the Kunsthalle Wien, which runs until June 18th, gives us some insight into apartheid and its lasting effects. The exhibit looks mainly through the cameras of three predominant photographers through three eras are South Africa in the 20th century; Omar Badsha, David Goldblatt, and Pieter Hugo, are among others featured in this photo exhibition. David Goldblatt thought of the camera not as a machine gun, as some South African photographers thought, but rather a means of navigating the complex layers of society, culture and politics. One of the pioneers of South African photography, Goldblatt came from a mining town, the setting for the photos in his first book, On the Mines (1973). A second group of photos portray a white town called Boksburg in the 1970s and 80s. A masterful observer of the social, economic, and cultural divides, Goldblatt captured the contrasts between the life of the white minority and that of the blacks and coloreds, whose lives by this time have been roped off into the same restricted world. In one photo, “Saturday morning at the Hypermarket: Semi-final of the Miss Lovely Legs Competition,” (1980), Goldblatt captures a beauty competition, the white contestants parading on an open stage, with a crowd of colored and black people standing below gazing up at them. In another, more modern photo he shows a black mayor sitting at a conference table, flanked by portraits of Nelson Mandela and other black leaders on the wall behind him. Omar Badsha, born in Durbin, South Africa in 1945, and grew up in a Gujarati Muslim family. A self taught photographer, he started his photo journalistic career in the 1960s in high school and released his first book of photos, Letter to Farzanah. (1979) Some of his works from the Durbin collection Imperial Ghetto, ironic, because main streets of the ghetto are named for Queen Victoria and other aristocrats and political leaders of the British Empire. In “Street performer. Victoria Street,” he shows a crowd of blacks and coloreds – some disheveled, some carrying their lives on their backs – gathered around a juggler in the ghetto, as a black police officer watches. In “Whitey and friends. Victoria Street,” (1979) Badsha showed a white man surrounded by two blacks. “Why do you look, please help” and “Help? Why Lord?” is written on the wall behind them. Even though this man was white, he was treated as black because of his poverty. The youngest of the photographers, Pieter Hugo, was born in 1976 in Johannesburg. A self-trained photographer, he has focused his work around issues of developing countries in Africa. His most striking photos are of three men who have died from AIDS. In these giant photos of this giant problem, the men lie in their caskets, with only their heads shown. These final photos in the exhibition are perhaps the most shocking and hard to shake off. There are also three audio/ video presentations. One on the second floor entitled “Drum. Photojournalism from South Africa,” features photos from the early days of Apartheid from photographers like Jürgen Schadeberg, who narrates the emotion and unrest in South Africa as Apartheid took hold. In “We won’t move, Sophiatown,” (1955) Schadeberg captured these words in graffiti on a wall, with three black men playing a game below on the curb. Of special interest are a series of photos of Nelson Mandela before he was imprisoned and others of the Jazz movement in South Africa in the 1950s. Among the most dramatic and memorable of these was “Lighting Up” (1953) by Schadeberg, showing black man lighting a cigarette in pitch black, his hand cupped around the lighter, with only the flame lighting his face and the edge of his hat. Powerful as it is, the exhibit is surprisingly not depressing. It may be in the honesty of the visual narration, that there is such a strong sense of hope for a brighter future.

John Irving honored in Vienna for his novel Setting Free the Bears clearly in good shape. If you had expected a cozy writer in a tweed jacket with leather patches and a pullover you would have been disappointed. Irving could easily be mistaken for the CEO of a large company talking about going public and culling support from the Viennese major. Irving talked, in a very likeable German, about his time in sage Garp left for his mother: “”If you get lost, go to Wien IV, Schwindgasse 15/2.” This was his real address in Vienna. There was something surreal about the whole scene, being just 15 meters away in the same room with the person who had created such wonderful stories, who had made stay up the whole night reading, who had invented fabu-

That evening, the sound was luxuriously rich, seizing the passionate musicality of PucDeborah Voight Soars Over Ensemble cini’s orchestration, engulfing Problems at the Wiener Staatsoper and sweet, at times, so intense by Ana Simundza such as Napolens’s Battle of that the audience was visibly Rarely had an opera garnered Marengo are also true to the his- moved. such open hostility from the toric record. Following singers every critics as Puccini’s Tosca when The staging of the Wiener whim of timing can be nigh it premiered in Rome in 1900. Staatsoper production was set on impossible, though, and The professional music world under an imaginative, angled one could occasionally hear a was “sickened by the cheapness divider, emphasizing the main second of technical insecurity, lines and events in and emptiness” of the score. front But the prime judge of To- the groups of sca’s immense success turned out without losinstruments f a l l i n g to be the public, who for over ing sight of a century have been head over the parallel briefly out heels in love with this melodra- h a p p e n i n g s of sync. A matic jewel of an opera. conducting and context This first tragedy of a new in the back. error? Distracted muage plays not merely with feel- The set was ings but with the most dramatic a perfect balsicians? expression of deep passions. This ance – lavish Hard to simple plot has it all - love, jeal- enough say, and one to ousy, murder, politics, and the c o r r e s p o n d of the risks lack of aesthetic distance – has to the origirun routinely at an early made Tosca one of the most be- nal loved operas of all time. opera house 19th centhat has 54 Tosca is a work of perfection- tury, yetwas ist musical realism. The morn- also not too operas in roDeborah Voight as Tosca ing bells of Act 3 required carry- elaborate so tation during ing the original bells of churches as to distract attention from the the season. A bit of good old rehearsal could do the orchessurrounding Castel Sant’Angelo plot and the music. into the opera house. The score is challenging, tra some good. Puccini learned the pitch of although not for this orchestra However, it was clear from St. Peter’s big bell and pressed that has had it in the repertoire the body language of the orhis clerical friends for the pitch- for many years. Most players chestra members that conduces and chants. Numerous refer- can probably play at perform- tor Vjekosav Sutej had a strong ences to historic figures, events ance level from sight. presence. One part of the

A Triumphant Tosca

Courtesy of Claudia Knoepfler

musicians’ insecurity may be explained, however, by Sutej’s having stepped in at the last minute. The original conductor fell sick. The lack of coordination could probably best be seen in Cavaradossi’s E lucevan le stele. Despite individual triumphs of both the orchestra and tenor Walter Fraccaro (Cavaradossi), the phrasing and the tempo were on the edge of falling apart. As a drama, the acting was presentable and everybody did a decent job. Perhaps baritone Alberto Mastromarino, as Scarpia, could have been more agile and the brilliant soprano Deborah Voigt as Tosca more imaginative. For example, while her lover Cavaradossi was being tortured, she sat in in place, serene and apparently unmoved. Although the singing was excellent across the board, Voigt and Fraccaro simply triumphed. Fraccaro’s classic tenor has a special warmth. He was also the most impressive in his musicality and passionate expression and was technically impeccable. However, flaws were few and fleeting. All in all, it was a musically masterful evening of Puccinian pathos at its finest.


Business & Media
that seems to go hand in hand with service, something representing classic, majestic grace as well old fashioned charm. Several decades later, the logo evolved yet again, losing the Meinl inscription, just the figure of the “Mohr” that Austrians had learned to associate with the company and the coffee products. The opening of a Julius Meinl store in Chicago recently presented the companz with an interesting dilemma. What logo would the store use in America, a country where the iconography of a dark-skinned servant, however exotic, would be a complete taboo? Products are boycotted in America when they have the slightest hint to any racial minority. Would Meinl change the figure of such historic significance in Vienna? The logo used in America looked like this: The reds remained, but the their places of establishment a facial color was lightened, to a mix between grey and brown, worldlier feel. The new logo is different. The and its structure is in some manfacial features aren’t displayed as ner more detailed. The backaccurately as that of the 1924 ground color is completely blue, image. Here, the boy’s face seems a modern touch, especially for a to be facing downward, the red company such as Meinl. But wouldn’t what forced collar sticking out from bellow his chin more clearly visible, the Meinl to change the logo in facial color is clearly darker, now America, make it wise to change in Austria as closer to black. This well? The glosimplified logo has bal definition become minimalist, of the term showing more by “worldliness” has showing less. The changed over the reds echo the red years, and tovelvet cushions of a day, something Kaffeehaus, widely as common as popular in the 20s American Logo the “Mohr” in and 30s to decorate public spaces, like the “Café Alt Austria is looked as an insulting Wien” open since the 1930s, or slight to a minority by others. As a Middle Easterner mythe Sacher Hotel. It’s a color self, I find it degrading, especially after learning about the intentions and history behind it. Like the political ads of the “FPÖ”, or the parade of pornography on the newsstands, this logo seems needlessly insensitive, giving no thought to how it might degrade and aggravate people, making them feel threatened and disrespected by their government. Austria seems rife with images that shock. One would hope that change and understanding would go hand in hand with modernization. And one is motivated to ask how a country so heavily dependant on tourism could not realize the backwardness of it all, the hesitation – evident in the little things -- towards a more diverse cultural understanding of the surrounding world, is what Austria is lacking. The Viennese will still buy their coffee, its part of their culture, but will they ever try and understand that the logo on their cup might offend the people of another country, maybe an immigrant from Africa, Morocco, Arabia? Imagine an Austrian drinking out of a cup with a swastika on it, or maybe a picture of Adolf Hitler, Stalin, or Mussolini? Certainly a disturbing iconographic image, one that would awaken awful memories for many Austrians. Minorities feel the same way, the picture of a black servant can arouse feelings of shame or fear, and possibly a sense of hopelessness toward the traumatic history of his or her peoples. Image can be astonishingly powerful. Take the swastika for example. This is an ancient Indo-Aryan religious symbol that in India and China to this day means “good fortune,” and can be seen on temples and statuary. But after its use by the Nazi party, would it be an appropriate logo for an Indian restaurant in Vienna? Julius Meinl has kept the old logo here in Austria, with the “Mohr’s” dark face clearly pointed downwards, in a servile attitude, common to the slaves of previous centuries. And we are reminded of the depth of the cultural divide: What can seem too obviously shocking to one society can seem completely unremarkable to another. As S.I Hayakawa said “In the age of television, image becomes more important than substance.” The image of the “Mohr” will probably remain in Austrian culture, and the people from around the world who associate with Austria and Germany, take it as it is and judge the picture by what it means to the local culture, according to the history of the country they find themselves in. Foreigners accept the Austrian “Mohr” because new global understanding has made people more tolerant. Tourists come to Austria to learn and understand, even though they might not always agree with whatever they see, they respect the culture. However this doesn’t excuse Austrians from trying to understand what effect this simple image is having on their guests; a good host should always be humble.

Quaint or Racist?
By Ardalan Maher The significance of the logo the ‘Meinl Coffee boy’ says a lot about Austria. Originally designed in 1924 by a Viennese artist Josef Binder, and later modernized in 1950 by Otto Exinger, the company describes the logo as combining “Turkish Sultanate and Arabic traditions with those of the Baroque Angels of European architecture”. Familiar things easily pass unnoticed. I have lived in Austria a long time. And in the Iran of my childhood, I was never exposed to a so-called “black” or “colored” population. Perhaps that is why it was easier to accept the glamorous historical significance of the ever popular “Mohr” figure. In the earlier portrayals the boy wears the Fez, as he does in this 1924 version, a popular headdress with an attached black tassel. The boy’s exotic facial features are clear to the eye, the classic gold earring, the servant’s collar with the matching gold embroiled buttons. The boy is depicted sipping a coffee, picking up the cup with one hand. The color of the figures face is clearly brown, hinting towards either someone from an Arabic or African background, something quite exotic in 1924. The image was supposed to give the viewer a sense of worldliness, a sense of exoticness, a very popular cultural outlook towards the world at a time when traveling wasn’t as easy as it is today. Coffeehouses and Hotels often used the image of the “Mohr” to give

The Meinl Logo is a Long-Standing Tradition

Business & Media
which last year made the largest initial public offering in Vienna’s history, worth �1.1 billion, earns all of its revenue there. This long association and mutual reliance helps the Wiener Börse to accommodate local sensitivities, as it did in its alliance with the Budapest exchange. Rather than an outright takeover, Wiener Börse engineered a deal in which it joined a consortium of banks to purchase 68.6 percent of the Budapest exchange from the Hungarian brokerages that had owned it. So while the Vienna Exchange owns 16 percent directly, it has also made it possible for the controlling interest to stay in Hungarian hands. This complex structure preserves the autonomy of the Budapest exchange, and Michael Buhl, General Director of the Wiener Börse, is the sole Austrian to sit on its board. Assured of its own autonomy, the Budapest exchange can keep a firm Hungarian hand on the tiller, allowing it to develop relationships with local brokerages as well as fast-growing Hungarian companies. At the same time, Wiener Börse is distributing Budapest’s financial data - a vital revenue source for many exchanges - to companies like Bloomberg and Reuters in exchange for a cut of the profits. It is also helping the Hungarian exchange to create exchange-traded funds, investment vehicles that track a single stock market index but are listed on the exchange. Not every dream of the ambitious Viennese financiers has been realized. Hopes that the Warsaw Stock Exchange would become a third partner in the network evaporated last year as a new Polish government put privatization of the country’s state-owned exchange on indefinite hold. The share sale was envisioned for this year, but the new Polish government - now in a bitter fight over foreign ownership of Polish banks - offers little chance of that happening, experts say. However a deal may not be far off. Warsaw, with 80 percent of the market capitalization that Vienna has now and growing rapidly, may soon be better placed to negotiate terms with the more established Austrians. Vienna’s answer to Warsaw has been to forge ahead with other forms of cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe. In January it signed framework agreements with exchanges in Zagreb and Belgrade that should pave the way for indexes like the one in Romania. In early April Vienna agreed to help Bucharest develop investment vehicles to channel funds into that market. Five years ago, the international contribution to trading on the Wiener Börse was nearly zero, but it now accounts for nearly half of the exchange’s roughly �10 billion monthly turnover after the steady promotion of its links with Central and Eastern Europe. The Austrians and their partners are now envisioning a future that could bring the same kind of success to other exchanges, and build a new regional empire of prosperity in Central Europe.



CNN‘s New Look
Hardly Revolutionary, But at Least it’ s Calmer
By Sean Delaney Three months after the launch of CNN International’s “new Look,” media professionals in Europe are left scratching their heads. The change from the well know multi/layered, clutter screen to what some have called a “minimalist” look, went on the air in Europe Feb. 5, with some programming available world wide. What the station heralded as a “radical break from the norm in news channels,” observers see it as a late-in-the-game catch up to techniques and styles already well established elsewhere.. “This new look is nothing revolutionary,” said Dr. Michael Freund, an editor at the Austrian daily Der Standard and Head of the Media Communications department at Webster Vienna. “It’s just a good modification of its screen appearance, more calm, less stuff moving at the bottom” -in fact, far less than the change to the ORF, Austria’s national chanthought to be easier to grasp as a whole. But none of this is particularly radical, and is still far from innovations in other markets. “CNN still has a long way to go,” said Dr. Anthony Löwstedt, Webster Professor of Media Communication. Al Jazeera, which Löwstedt got to know this past semester in Palestine, has “simply better graphics, is slicker, and the movements, music and the cutting (or editing) are all better.” In breaking news, for example, “often (on CNN) there is a blank screen. This never happens on Al Jazeera.” Though there is still a ways to go, Löwstedt has seen improvements. By shortening the introductory music, it now takes much less time to “get into the news.” Dr. Löwstedt thinks CNN International may just have taken a page out of Al Jazeera’s book. Senior vice president Rena Golden sees the change as “more

Wiener Börse Booming
From a Provincial Past, the Vienna Exchange is Top Performer Worldwide
by M.T.M. Childs has seen a rise of 285.71%, while Behind the inconspicuous the DAX, DJI, FTSE, CAC 40 façade of a 17th century palais and SMI have remained hoverin the Wallnergasse, tucked be- ing around the same performance hind the Freyung in Vienna’s First numbers for the past six years (see District, the tiny Wiener Börse is Chart above). making big waves. Long trapped As Western European finanin an economic and political cul de cial markets argued over who will sac surrounded by communism, own whom, exchanges from Vithings have begun to change. enna to Budapest and Bucharest From a low-profile, regional quietly pursued collective interests stock exchange that relied on pri- and ambitions for a region whose vatizations and long term partner- growth shows no signs of waning. ships rather than the mergers and The Austrians, and particuacquisitions of its Western Euro- larly the Viennese, are known pean and American counter parts, for their avoidance of confrontathe Vienna Stock Exchange has tion and this tradition has proved emerged as the top performing profitable for the Börse. While index world wide. others constantly seek cost-effiSo now, in this former cient consolidation opportunities Habsburg administration build- that keep them rooted in mature ing, it has, centuries later, become markets, Vienna and its eastern the hub of the financial life of pre- partners have been building netcisely those Central and Eastern works to gain from the expansion European countries that were part they knew was coming. of the far-flung adminstrative reViennese practice involves gions of the former Austro-Hun- buying direct shareholdings, as when Wiener Börse secured a garian Empire. And it is in fact these tradi- stake in the Budapest exchange tions that help keep business rela- last year. But it also includes many smaller-scale ventures. tionships intact. This is not a coincidence. In February of 2006 exchangThroughout the years, even under es in Bucharest, Ljubljana, Sophia communism, Austrian businesses and Zagreb, along with Wiener maintained steady, low-key rela- Börse agreed to begin publishing the South-East European index, tions with Eastern Europe. In the early 1990s, there was monitored and compiled in Vitalk that Vienna could greatly enna, a compendium of the 15 profit from the opening of markets largest copmanies in the region. in the East. But many thought it Among these other indices designed for investors in central Euwas just wishful thinking. This time, the skeptics have rope, the Romanian stock index, been proven wrong. After years the ROTX, is calculated and pubof respectable growth, since 2000 lished by the Wiener Börse. add vienna 1 Page 1 the Austrian Stock17/2/06 18:11 Investment banks including Index ATX major Austrian players like the Raiffeisen Bankengruppe, but also giants like ABN, AMRO, Merrill Lynch, Templeton and Goldman Sachs, offer mutual funds and other investment products that monitor the stocks in the indices and channel money into the companies listed on exchanges east of Vienna. As the banks pay royalties for use of the Vienna based indexes, Austrians cash in. Although the Börse does not reveal the revenue collected from these relationships, the net profit in 2004 reached 6.3 million Euros and recently posted net profit for 2005 approaches 15.8 million Euros. In the long run, these gains in Eastern Europe reflect the brisk economic growth since the fall of communism, made possible by low starting levels, a highly trained work force and decades of pent up demand - and an international will to channel global investment capital toward the region. The profit is not one sided. Vienna lends its credibility to less established eastern exchanges and Vienna’s successes are derived from their deep dependence on Eastern Europe. Both sides need the other, and they both know it. A full 86% of the companies that compose the Wiener Börse’s ATX index do business in Central and Eastern Europe, with companies like the food processor Agrana and the insurer Wiener Städtische deriving over 30 percent of their revenue from the region overall. Raiffeisen Bankengruppe,

The Empire Strikes Back:




nel, ten years ago. “The ORF was far more radical,” Freund said. “(They) established a calm and cool look. Very distinct, different from other TV stations, based on several basic colors and some geometric, mostly square, units.” The new look – created by CNN International’s creative director Mark Wright, in cooperation with London based independent creative consultant Frank Lampen, and Mark Haviland, CNN’s marketing director for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa – sets the new logo on a silver and gold globe. The new jingle is shorter and punchier, and many graphic elements were removed to “create a cleaner look.” One of the biggest changes is the removal of the “ticker” across the bottom of the screen. This has been replaced with what CNN calls a “flicker.” Instead of full sentences scrolling across the bottom of the screen, phrases and sentence fragments flash as complete units,

evolution than revolution.” She said the goal of the change “is to ensure that our viewers around the globe, many of whom do not speak English as a first language, understand and engage with the news we deliver.” In this, she hopes that on CNN International, journalism can “take center stage.” Dr. Freund sees the change as a distancing from the busy screen developed originally by Bloomberg Business News, modified with a lot of effects and graphics – a style that has become “démodé.” It was the over abundance of these elements, the visual clutter, that had become exhausting for audiences. With this change, CNN International has returned to a purer and simpler form. “CNN International still uses a lot of gimmickry, with the many squares partially covering the screen,” Freund said. “But there seems to be an understanding that viewers want to concentrate on the main image and not be distracted too much by supporting information.”


Business & Media

Kenyan Media at Risk
In Spite of Promises for Reform the New Government has Launched Police Raids on Newspapers and TV
By Issa A. Mansaray that was defeated in a referendum tion of The Standard. When Kenyans went to the in November. In recent times, Security Minister John Mipolls in 2002, they elected Mwai Kibaki’s government has been hit chuki declared that the police Kibaki as president under the op- my newspaper headlines after al- were simply doing their job. “If position Rainbow Coalition, thus legation by former corruption ad- you rattle a snake, you must be ending a quarter-century of rule viser, John Githongo, that govern- prepared to be bitten by it,” he under former president Daniel ment minister were entrenched in said. Police spokesman Jaspher Arap Moi. The vote for Kibaki siphoning public funds. Ombati, in a statement on the was driven by the nations urge for In previous years, Kenya raid, claimed that the media was political reform and to end cor- has been considered a relatively raided following information that ruption in high places. safe country for journalists, but it intended to perpetuate ethnic Now, this new government things have changed of late. In hatred that posed a major threat – equally intolerant of criticism early February, government of- to national security, reported the – is going after the media. ficials arrested many journal- East African Standard. However, In the early hours of March ists, including newsvendors and Police Commissioner Major 2, heavily armed, masked police a receptionist. The raid on The General Hussein Ali under whose carrying AK-47 assault riffles Standard and KTN followed two name the statement was issued; raided the printing house of The days after Muahi Kagwe, Infor- was said to be unaware of the raid Standard daily in Kenya’s capital mation and Communication and the statement. He was on ofNairobi, arresting three journal- Minister issued a warning against ficial duty in Seychelles. ists. Another group of armed media abuse of press freedom. Information minister Mupolice raided the Kenya Televi- Kagwe also ordered FM stations tahi Kagwe and assistant minsion Network (KTN) in central operating in the city and it en- ister Koigi Wa Wamwere also Nairobi and forced it off the air. virons to relocate their transmit- disassociated themselves with the The raid, caught on office cam- ters out of the capital. At a press raid action claiming they had no eras, was replayed on major TV conference, Kagwe said he knew knowledge of it. The police statechannels across the world. Both noting about the police raid. ment was reportedly released as media had been critical of the way “We have very strong evidence an after thought. Kabaki was handling al“The police legations of government statement has come corruption. too late. If the poThe raid caused an lice were genuine it international uproar and would have issued huge embarrassment for that statement in the the Kenyan government, morning immediespecially after makately after the raids. ing promises to uphold It’s not worth the papress freedom during per it is written on,” the International Press said Phillip Murgor, Institute’s annual conformer Director of Kenyan President Kibaki turned against Media ference held in Nairobi Public Prosecutions. in May last year. The raid carried to suggest that these acts were carAccording to agency reports, out on the printing house of The ried out by the police,” said Tom 28 foreign missions including Standard, the country’s second Mshindi, chief executive of the the UN, 31 civil groups and the largest-selling daily, left Kenyans Standard Group in Nairobi. Kenyan Union of Journalists concomplaining about the governInternational reaction against demned the raid. The Standard ment’s repressive methods. Police the media raids was swift in Af- Group’s directors said in a stateseized and burnt about 20,000 of rica and abroad. In a statement ment that they believe the raid copies of the Mar. 2 edition in the released by The Africa Editors’ was a move by government aimed street, disabled the printing press Forum (TAEF), Mathatha Tsedu at crippling the operations of the and confiscated office equipment, its leader asked Kibaki and his Standard newspapers and KTN. including 40 computers. government to “desist from, “We believe that the extra“We strongly believe that the and prevent the terrorism meted judicial settling of scores has no deployment of such a group to against Kenyan journalist. We place in any country which beharass and intimidate the media is call for the immediate release of lieves in the rule of law. It is our a gross abuse of power that threat- those detained, for the return of belief that the country is still ens the very democratic founda- equipment stolen, and for the respecting its constitution,” the tions of the country. We respec- government to pay for the speedy statement said. tively call on you to ensure that, repairs of broadcasting and printIn 2005, the government in the future, such military-style ing equipment vandalized by the tried endlessly to introduce a raids on the media organizations rouge policemen.” new constitution that would have are strictly prohibited, and enStatements were also released curtail media freedom. However, courage you to hold an independ- from both the British and US Em- about 60 percent of the Kenyans ent public inquiry into how the bassy in Nairobi. The US embassy rejected it in a referendum held in original decision was made,” said had in part asked the Kenyan gov- November that led to the governa joint statement issued by the ernment to “identify and disci- ment’s current political crisis. The Vienna-based International Press pline those responsible, and cease president sacked 29 of his minisInstitute (IPI), the World Associa- efforts to intimidate the press.” ters and their deputies after the tion of Newspapers (WAN), and Series of demonstrations were referendum. It also created a tense Distripresse (in Zurich). held in Nairobi and Kisimu to relationship between the governThe Standard was attacked for protest what some radio callers ment and the media. publishing articles claiming that termed as “the darkest moment” The president’s wife, Lucy Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki in Kenyan history and demanded Kibaki also created media uphad secretly held a meeting with the resignation of the Kibaki’s roar when she slapped Clifford a leading opposition member, government. The crackdown de- Derrick Otieno a KTN cameraKalonzo Musyoka. The paper’s scribed by government critics as a man and brought the operations Managing editor Chaacha Mwita, ‘commando-like operation’ on the of The Nation newspaper to a News Editor Denis Onyango media was carried out by a police standstill. Last year, the police and reporter Ayub Savula, were squad known as the Kanga Crack repeatedly questioned reporters charged with publishing ‘alarm- group that beat up the journalists at the East African Standard after ing statements’ and later released and confiscated equipment and publishing confessions allegedly on bail. Musyoka who denied computers from the KTN news- made by suspects in a murder meeting Kibaki was dismissed room. However, by 2 p.m. local case. Criminal charges against from the government after op- time on day of the raid, the Stand- the paper’s managing editor Davposing Kibaki’s draft constitution ard Group published a special edi- id Makali were later dropped. Courtesy of

Sports & Travel


Croatia Anti-Toursim
With Summer: The Season of Embarrassment
by Ana Valjak The season of embarrassment has arrived. My foreign friends are starting to ask me where to go to the seaside in Croatia. Although it is beautiful, really Mediterranean, I blush a deep red when I think of what is on offer for tourists. Vacationing on the Croatian coast usually means gambling. Maybe not in a casino, but the result is the same. Tourists come with money, spend it all, and leave pretty much emptyhanded. The other night, for example, I was at a dinner party where several guests asked me to recommend a place to go. I was in trouble. This was a crowd of smart, fun people, interested in good traditional meals, pleasant small villages, pristine beaches that don’t look like a mosaic of towels from the air, clubs that have swingin’ music and so on. After many hours on the Internet and reading brochures, we were all in shock. The prices were astronomical. Renting a family house on the Adriatic is very close to renting a house on the Cote d Azure, or chateaux in Provence. Except, of course, that it’s not the Cote d’Azure, and these cottages are certainly not chateaux. For some reason, my friends still wanted to go. I guess they had heard so much about the wonderful Mediterranean coast and warm peaceful seaside. They know that in Croatia the infrastructure is a bit behind the times, as well as the clock, in most cases, so that they can’t expect to be treated as they would be in Cannes, but they still don’t understand what that really means. To them it means stone houses, donkeys, seagulls and pine trees coming right down to the sea. The reality is big concrete time or energy to make an effort to be interesting to tourists. Mostly people are just thinking about how to get as much money as they can for doing as little as possible. Shops are more often closed then open. Coffee bars are always full of locals (the ones who have no time for tourists during the season), so getting a table can be like winning the jackpot. Croatia is proud of its cuisine. Amazingly, though, we don’t want to offer it to foreigners. How dare they share in our national pride! So it is almost impossible to get a decent meal in a normal price-range. Mostly restaurant owners serve garbage for the price of lobster. I find it too embarrassing for words The most annoying drawback is the lack of options for tourists. There is really isn’t much to do. During the day people can bake in the sun, squeezed on the beach like sardines, or they can go sightseeing and bake in the sun afterwards. It’s even hard to find a nice souvenir without a label ‘Made in China.’ Well, global village and all that… Restaurants and bars close at 11 PM. The government doesn’t allow them to stay open any later because the locals complain of the noise. They forget that we live from the proceeds of tourism and only have that chance five months out of year. So how much longer can we cheat our tourists? Maybe the slogan should change: Pay your fee, but don’t bother coming; Then we’ll really love you!

‘Reality is big concrete block houses with charmless rooms to rent, shopping malls, and a lot of plastic chairs’
block houses with charmless rooms to rent, shopping malls, and a lot of plastic chairs. There may be one donkey here or there without any interest in walking, much less carrying anyone, only maybe in posing for tourists and a lump of sugar. The seagulls mostly dive into the sewage floating along the shore, pine trees used as hangers for towels or a trail of strewn toys, because every centimeter is needed. The tourists imagine good company and even better music, all in all a very pleasant atmosphere. Boy, are they ever wrong! They can count themselves lucky if the landlord smiles when you tip him. The natives don’t have the

Playing Pokemon
What’s This? Is somebody dying? Or being eaten alive?
by Mladen Kovacevic On a freezing cold January morning, you get up out of the bed to make yourself a cup of a hot coffee. During the ritual, you hear a hideous guttural roar from the nearby room and your blood freezes in your veins. Is somebody dying? Or being eaten alive? As you enter the room you see your child in front of the TV watching a cartoon surrounded by little picture cards laid in a careful pattern all around him. What’s this? Actually if you look closer, you can make out the images of strange little creatures… This is Pokemon. The creatures are the characters of a popular Japanese cartoon series in which the heroes of the show are immersed in a quest of becoming a Pokemon Master. To become a Masters, they need to defeat other trainers, and capture Pokemon creatures scattered throughout the world. So they collect, and you collect. And thus the creatures have made it off the screen, becoming not only specks of light, but reappearing as children playing cards that are the hot merchandise of the 2005-2006 season. This phenomenon is known as a Trading Card Game. The Croatian LM Informatika, the official distributor of the card trading games, can not hide its excitement. A branch of entertainment that was almost non-existant only a few years ago now is a runaway success. At first, the only card trading game any one had ever heard of was “Magic: The Gathering,” played by only a few dozen fans. But with the success of Pokemon, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, Yu-Gi-Oh and others, trading card games are going through their own renaissance. In 2002, the Pokemon television cartoon was huge hit, at least for a while, and LM Informatika decided to hold tournaments in the country’s two largest town, Zagreb and Split. The tournaments proved so successful that they attracted a couple of hundred of fans. In 2003, LM Informatika decided to expand tournaments to smaller towns, a pattern it has continued ever since. Today, the number of players is growing by leaps and bounds. With the increase of interest for the trade carding games among children, even the large Croatian dailies promote and cover the tournaments. Tournaments are in stages, where players must first win in their towns, then in their counties and finally in allstate finals where the winner gets a fee vacation or some other prize. The audiences are mostly a primary- and high-school students. Today, the country’s youngsters are well acquainted with the tournaments, and have turned it into a generational phenomenon. How long the fever will last is very hard to predict. Children are influenced their peers who are players themselves, or by the movies and TV shows that lure them into building their own collections of cards. With family finances improving in Croatia, children can now indulge a little. If it’s not Pokemon, it will just be something else.

Computer Consultants
PC Repair & Problem Solving
Alexander Jaber 0676/ 181 9107 10am-17pm


Science & Technology
EUROPEAN FLOODS Continued from page 1 declared on 16th April, the Danube reached a record 8.48 metres (26.4 feet) on 17th April. The recent trend of floods had been attributed by most of the scientist and studies to the global warming threatening our World with its severe consequences. “Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing our planet. Burning coal, oil and gas, but also intensive agriculture or cutting forests pollute the atmosphere with greenhouse gases that heat up the planet” said meteorologist Vladimir Jovanovic in Belgrade in April. According to Jovanovic the impacts of climate change will be devastating. The world is getting warmer, but higher temperatures do not mean nicer weather for us. If the global average temperature rises, so will the number and intensity of freak weather events such as flash floods, storms, heat waves, mudslides or droughts, causing catastrophic social, environmental and economic damages. Rising sea levels will wipe whole countries off the globe. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, regional differences are relatively high in Europe, most of Europe has experienced increases in temperature of about 0.8°C on average in this century. The increase has not been continuous throughout the century; at most stations, an increase to about 1940 was observed, followed by a leveling off or even a decrease until about 1970, and then a renewed warming to the present period. These features are most pronounced in middle to high latitudes. In the 20th century the average global temperature rose by 0.7 C as a result of burning coal and gasthe carbon fuels that are mainly to blame for the rise. But the rise in Europe was 0.9 C, 35 percent higher, due to the continent’s vulnerable location and smaller land mass. The warming is most apparent in a belt extending from Spain through central Europe into Russia. At some high-elevation sites in the Alps, temperature increases have been even more marked, exceeding 1°C in the 1980s. The 1990’s had annual temperature anomalies that are systematically in excess of the long-term mean. The geographical distribution of temperature trends emphasizes greater warming (2°C per century) in the southwestern part of Europe (Iberian Peninsula, south and central France) than in the British Isles or along the Baltic coastline (1°C per century). The northern and central parts of European Russia also have experienced greater warming than the European averagein some places exceeding 3°C per century. The European Environmental Agency (EEA) reports that Europe’s glaciers had lost a tenth of their mass in the last year alone. Switzerland’s glaciers are affected the most. The 23-kilometer Aletsch glacier in Switzerland’s southern Alps was the second worse affected, after the Thift glacier, which receded 216 meters over the last year, according to the Swiss Academy of Sciences. Overall, 84 of the 91 glaciers in the study shrank last year. If the trend continues, three-quarters of Switzerland’s glaciers will melt by 2050. “As water is one of the main integrating factors for many environmental and economic systems in Europe, currently sensitive areas in terms of their hydrology include the Mediterranean region, the Alps, northern Scandinavia, certain coastal zones, and central and eastern Europe. A changing climate is likely to enhance water-related stresses in these already sensitive regions,” Jovanovic states. According to a report by ‘Friends of the Earth, Europe’ (FEE), fighting climate change means reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists say industrialized countries will have to reduce their emissions by up to 80% compared to 1990 levels, to limit climate change to save levels. As a global response to the threat of climate change, governments have agreed in the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but all they could come up with after more than ten years of negotiations is a 5.2% reduction by 2012 compared to 1990 levels (and annual emissions of industrialized countries are up 8% since then). The agreement, which finally entered into force on 16 February 2005, is too weak to save the climate, especially, because the world’s top polluterthe US- has not signed up to the treaty, but it is a first step on which the world can build now. To achieve Europe’s goal of limiting the rise in temperature, global greenhouse emissions need to be reduced substantially. Due to ongoing emissions of greenhouse gases, the observed rise is expected to continue increasing. It will take a very long time to slow the rate of climate change, the EEA says, because of the longevity of many gases.

A Hurricane forms over Florida. An increase in the number and intensity of hurricanes in the region have been linked to global warming.

Global Warming, Colder Europe
With Worldwide Weather Change Increasingly Drastic, Action is Needed
by Mazin Elfehaid You hear it every day: News of hurricanes, floods, tidal waves, earthquakes – the natural disasters pile up relentlessly. And everyday the refrain: With evidence mounting that the Earth’s weather patterns are spinning out of control, it is time to get serious about global warming. We hear it; we may even repeat it. But few are listening. We seem to be frozen in inaction, as if afraid that our acknowledgement would make it real. Thus climate change has become one of those things people know they should care about, but instead happily ignore, driving to work in their SUV’s, leaving every light in their house burning. The problem is, while there is wide consensus among scientists that global warming will eventually come to bear on all of us, there is disagreement on whether or not current weather patterns can also be attributed to it. Some have blamed the recent annual flooding of European rivers on the warming of our planet. “Undeniably, people are responsible for this disaster,” Martin Kravic of the Slovak environmental think tank People and Water told the Christian Science Monitor. “Summer rains are expected to increase by 20-30 percent by 2010. This will cause catastrophic floods.” Others, however, have contested that view, claiming that the link is difficult to prove. “We believe that climate change will happen in the next 50 to 80 years and it will be mostly the result of human activities,” said meteorologist Sean Clarke of British government’s weather agency, the Met Office. “It is possible that we are already seeing some of the effects, but it is impossible to know for sure.” While scientists continue to disagree on whether or not we are currently feeling the effects of global warming, there is far reaching consensus that it will eventually catch up with us, and parts of Europe will be hard-hit by the eventual changes in climate. In an international study published in Science Magazine, a team of researchers concluded that the mountainous and Mediterranean regions of Europe would probably be subject to the greatest changes in climate. In the Mediterranean, the study concluded, there would be an increased risk of forest fires, as well as water shortages and changes in land arability, which could affect agriculture as well as climate due to carbon dioxide contained in soil. Mountains would see the elevation of snow cover rise as well as river run-off patterns becoming more extreme. “In winter, precipitation will fall as rain instead of snow. The whole regime of peak flow times changes and you get an increased probability of flooding in winter and spring,” said Dr. Dagmar Schroeter, lead author of the study, in an interview with BBC News. “You will get less water in summer because the water which was stored in the snow cover is no longer there.” These changes would have a significant impact on the ski and hydroelectric industries, farms, parks and gardens. However, while living in Europe will present unique challenges, other parts of the world will be even more affected by global warming, Schroeter concluded. A report, commissioned and published by the British government, has concluded that “dangerous” changes in climate may be unavoidable, adding that the poorest countries of the world will be hit the hardest. How much climate change will occur is unclear. However the report concluded that any change will have a serious impact on human life. Changes between one and two degrees could result in “a large number of extinctions or even ecosystem collapses, major increases in hunger and water shortage risks as well as socioeconomic damage, particularly in developing countries,” wrote Bill Hare of the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research in Germany. The report found that, in addition to causing the extinction of several species, a rise of two degrees would cause decreases in worldwide crop yields, significantly poorer harvests in Europe and Russia, water shortages for up to 2.8 billion people, and the spreading of malaria in Africa and North America. The technology, however, does exist. Renewable energy sources, nuclear power, and clean coal all offer valid alternatives. In addition, methods of conservation such as the replacement of traditional light bulbs with energy saving designs can be effective solutions. But there are obstacles. “The biggest problem is overcoming the many political, social and behavioral barriers,” wrote Bert Metz and Detlef van Vuuren of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. “Lack of awareness, vested interests, prices not reflecting environmental impacts, cultural and behavioral barriers to change and… spreading of technologies to developing countries” present the biggest impediments to effective worldwide energy policies, wrote Metz and van Vuuren. It has thus become clearer that questions about global warming no longer involve “if ” it happens, but rather when and how much, and how to best deal with it. The EU has set a goal of maintaining an atmospheric ceiling of 450 parts-per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas and one of the main factors in global warming. Maintaining this ceiling will help ensure the EU’s goal of preventing global warming of more than two degrees Celsius. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution in the early 1800’s, levels of carbon dioxide have increased from about 275 ppm to 380 ppm. In response the UK government’s chief scientific advisor Sir David King called aiming for such a ceiling as “unfeasible,” stating that in ten years time we’ll have reached 400 ppm. Oxford University professor Myles Allen agrees. Evaluating a “safe level… [is] a bit like asking a doctor what’s a safe number of cigarettes to smoke per day,” he told the BBC’s Richard Black. It is clear that dealing with global warming and climate change present many challenges and dangers. Until now, there has been little international effort to tackle these issues. The Kyoto Accord represents a benchmark in current efforts, but only applies to industrialized countries and does not include the United States and Australia, who have voiced concern that it would retard their economic growth. As a result, the US, which is the world’s single largest contributor to carbon dioxide emissions, has done little to curb its emissions and energy use. This has raised questions on whether or not the lack of US support will enable the EU to successfully implement the Kyoto protocols. What this means is that the world still lacks a global, concentrated effort to effectively tackle the problems it faces. When and if this will happen is still up in the air. With the situation becoming increasingly urgent, it is clear that if something is not done soon, then humans will be faced with a brand new global challenge: Dealing with a planet that has become too warm for its own good.

courtesy of Blue Planet

‘If global

average temperatures rise, so will the number and intensity of freak weather events’

Science & Technology 25
Courtesy of Petya Sabinova/Sofia News Agency (

Measuring Beauty
Is it Possible to Reduce Attraction to a Math Formula?
By Ruta Kurselyte There is little more mysterious and unrevealed than the definition of beauty. It is so relative that definitions do not even come close to describing what is actually beautiful. Philosophers have tried. From the early days, they have sought to define, count and measure what it is that makes someone more attractive than another, what it is that lifts someone on podium, while others remain on the ground. The answer, they have said, is harmony, balance… Probably the most convincing measure has come from what is called Pi, Proportion, ratio = 3.141, named after Phidias, a sculptor, who first identified it. Pi was thought to be a golden number, called by Renaissance ments of the human body. Beauty changes its definition by the time, race, gender, culture and other variables. But still, there seems to be something constant that makes it mathematically precise. Students of aesthetics say that we classify certain people as beautiful because their face structure comes closer than most to the Divine Proportion. Many of the famous Hollywood stars fit these measurements, which can be counted by taking distances between various parts of the body. Consciously or unconsciously, artists and architects from all the past civilizations used the Divine Proportions in their works. For example, a master sculpture of a woman’s body – a Greek Aphrodite created by Agesander – is largely based on those golden ratios. The Greeks said that all beauor spirit, it is also obvious that it is part of human nature to be attracted to something that is aesthetically pleasing. Not so long ago, beauty was a gift of nature, to be appreciated and wondered at. Now, we have plastic surgery and some of these problems can be, as it were, solved. What is clear is that we have come to see them as problems in the first place. Fortunes are spent each year to create “perfect beauty.” But where are the limits? “Is it too much to ask that women be spared the daily struggle for superhuman beauty in order to offer it to the caresses of a subhuman ugly mate?” says Germain Greer, from The Female Eunich (1970). Yes, women are much more the target group in this crazy beauty-market-driven

Entire streets and bridges were swallowed up by the rising waters of the danube in Bulgaria

Letter from Sofia
Thousands are Forced to Walk the Planks to Safety
Hundreds of people in Bulgaria didn’t get to church for Easter this year, imprisoned by the elements. Even in these times of atheism it wasn’t the lack of faith that kept this people home at midnight; it was the waters that had crept up to their doorstep. “We can’t go out in the evening, because we might fall off the planks we use for a pathway right into the water,” a woman commented for private bTV channel. The first floor of their house in the Danube town of Nikopol had been flooded and her family had to use the neighbours’ bathroom. Still, they had painted the eggs according to tradition, and looked forward to the holiday with excitement despite the overflowing river. There were stories like that all over Northern Bulgaria along the Danube this Easter, and with each centimetre added to the waters’ height, the fears grew. Memories of the severe floods in the summer of 2005 that changed the lives of about 2 million Bulgarians were still too fresh. And as the waters continued to rise and the people monitoring the dikes and rescuing the stranded grew more tired, many turned their anger towards the government. Cursing the waters didn’t do any good. At the very height of the crisis the opposition in Bulgaria introduced a no-confidence vote against the government, claiming that it was unable to handle the situation. Accusations were renewed of misappropriating the floodaid from the summer, and petty excuses were offered in reply. In the meantime the waters kept on coming, reaching a critical level and entered people’s homes. Having grown up by the Danube, I couldn’t help but worry whether the dikes would hold, whether my family would be all right, and whether I would soon be reporting with impartial detachment that the courtyard of the kindergarten where I had once played had disappeared under two meters of water. Now that the crisis has passed, I can report that the waters are slowly receding and none of these fears came true. At least for me. Thankfully no one was lost in the budging waters, and last summer’s tragedies were not repeated. It’s not all over, however, for Bulgarians still have a lot to overcome. Unusually high levels of ground water, for example, will be a problem for quite a while, and so will the sewage system. Until these waters retreat, there is no hope of cleaning up and disinfecting all the pipes, which means that drinking water in the flood-hit towns is questionable. Many houses will need major repairs that their owners can’t afford. And then there are the mosquitoes – as insignificant as they may seem, the insects carry disease and are a serious threat to public health. Their population has grown immensely and money will be needed for dealing with them too. Now it’s up to the government and kind helping hands to rebuild what was demolished, to clean up the mess and deal with all the immediate problems. People hope things will move faster and more effectively than last summer. Then maybe the next time people want to light a candle in church, they wouldn’t be risking their lives. --Petya Sabinova Editor, Sofia News Agency

Even with a perfectly proportioned face, there are endless variations in coloring and shapes that make beauty individual artists the “Divine Proportion.” It is an irrational number with many unusual mathematical properties, including the solution to a quadratic equation. Pi’s connection to the divine proportion is based on the relation of three lines, each 3.141 times the length of next smaller. “Combinations of the three line ratios are said to be the basis for the divine proportion,” writes Cynthia M Piccolo in Geometry of Human Anatomy, “ t h e basis for everything perfectly proportional, and thus aesthetically pleasant, in buildings, art, and living things, including humans.” One may call it complete nonsense, but proportions based on Pi are found in animals, plants, the solar system, the stock market, the Bible and in many other things that surround us on an every day basis – including the measurety is mathematics. To have some firm ground to stand on, Pi followers created a mask corresponding to the facial shape of those worshiped for their beauty, like Marilyn Monroe. Using this mask, anyone may test their own features, to see if they fit this model of “perfection.” Other studies by doctors and society. And yes, women tend to follow those predefined rules of their beauty. Even if it is dangerous to their lives… But nature is cruel. What a human takes from it, nature takes back. It starts with an innocent nose job, but then people fall onto a fast train of changing, changing, changing… We have had this possibility for only a couple of decades. But do we know what’s to follow? What impact will it have to the future society? What will happen in 20 years to those who had several operations? Will our faces, like Michael Jackson’s, start to collapse under the strain of so many operations? New technologies are advancing; the next steps may target our genetics. A society of perfectlymanufactured bodies will be created. Where will we be then? parties raising the price by flooding the market. Plans are to introduce these laptops to poorer areas, extending access to education and help bring these youths and their families out of poverty. Though still a prototype, companies like Google, and media mogul Rupert Murdock have expressed interest in underwriting the project. The laptops use Linux, reducing costs and allowing governments to modify them for language requirements and students for their needs. Development should be completed by 2007.

students of Pi have shown that if someone fits this mask, it often means that he is healthier than someone who doesn’t. For example, if a person has a longer face, he or she might be suffering from breathing problems and the ones who have shorter faces, might have an overbite. And while it may be argued that these “standards” rob an object of its individuality, identity

Green Machine
Laptop, eBook & TV for $100!
by Sean Delaney A sturdy and cheap prototype laptop for developing countries was unveiled by MIT’s Nicholas Negroponte at the UN Net Summit in Tunis in April. The computer will feature a 500 mhz processor, wind-up crank for power, low-power LEDs, flash memory to reduce the number of moving parts and is made from durable rubber. One of its greatest features, is its ‘mesh’ networking. Hundreds of computers can be connected and can share an internet connection from a single node. Initial sales will be restricted to governments and states, required to buy at least a million units. The goal is to make sure students can own their laptops rather than borrowing them, and to reduce the possibility of second

Courtesy of Marquardt Beauty Analysis

On My Mind


Citizenship Test
Being a good ‘Bürger’ is no piece of cake
Beginning March 1, applicants for Austrian citizenship have had a second test added to the existing one for German. The new test, the joint product of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the federal states, is comprised of 18 multiple choice questions about Austrian customs and history, of which they have to answer at least nine correctly. The questions in the test have raised quite a few eyebrows. For example, the Austrian national hymn was not composed by Mozart, claimed the Vienna daily Kurier, but by a certain Johann Holzer, a man whose name does not appear among offered solutions. The Ministry calls this “nit picking.” “We should not enter high-level academic discussion,” said Ministry spokesman Johannes Rauch, “Mozart is the composer named in the schoolbooks and people who want to become Austrians should not be treated differently.” Opposition Socialists in the parliament have complained very loudly about the new law, the loudest voices the SPO’s National Security spokesman, Rudolf Parnigoni, and Terezia Stoisitz, spokesperson of the Green Party for minorities and human rights. Parnignoni named the test “grotesque.” Both say that some questions are hard even for native Austrians. The test does not contribute to integration, says Parnigoni, but is only an “annoying duty.” However, as many European countries have already required citizenship, the logical question imposes itself, why shouldn’t Austria? In the rapidly changing world, many states are trying to make sure that national identity is not lost with the influx of the immigrants who wish to become citizens. Although some questions do not seem, at first glance, to have anything to do with Austria directly, looking more deeply, we realize they are connected with contemporary objectives of the country. For example, questions about the Kyoto agreement reflect Austria’s support of the agreement and its emphasis on environmental issues. Once the test is passed, what has actually been accomplished? Will the immigrant be more integrated? With the German language test the benefit is clear, but with the citizenship test it is not so easy to say. This is the age of globalization, especially in the great federations like the EU, where countries have free movement of people and goods. Today, when many are concerned by loss of identity that seems to come with globalization, societies feel under threat. This test is one way to hold the line. But why is this protection needed, and against whom? Now that the ideas of democracy and equality have finally become so established in Europe, after centuries of bloody wars, it seems ironic that some are not happy. Some seem to want to go back to a pre-EU state of things when borders were still being debated and Realpolitik held its grip on a European continent in turmoil. When countries are trying to cooperate instead of compete, it seems illogical to close the door to foreign influences. Why is this fear of “other” so ever present? For some, there will always be “us” and “them.” But now, with Europe finally so close to unification, setting restrictions on citizenship just does not feel right. -Mladen Kovacevic
The Student Newspaper of Webster University Vienna

Dardis McNamee
Editor in Chief, Faculty Advisor

Mazin Elfehaid
Executive Editor

Ruta Kurselyte
Managing Editor

Endri Fuga
Political Editor

Izvor Moralic
Arts and Letters Editor

Rita Pollozhani
University News Editor

Tizia Barci
Scenes of Vienna Editor

Konstantin Borovlev
Modern Times Editor

Oliver Zuber
Sports and Travel Editor

Alexander Kiss
On the Town Editor

M.T.M. Childs
Commentary Editor

assassinated Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, one of Milosevic’s greatest political opponents was attended by about five times the 50,000 who came to pay their respects to Milosevic. In the former Yugoslav region as a whole, however, the passing away of Slobodan Milosevic will make little difference. Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo are still struggling with the legacies of the Yugoslav wars. The autonomy of Kosovo and Montenegro remains to be settled but most expect their independence to triumph, against Serbia’s wishes. “We enter every battle with the aim of winning it,” Milosevic declared in one of his early speeches. But in the end, Serbia lost all of its battles and instead was rewarded with international abhorrence making it the subject of endless controversy and aversion. Serbs are very proud people, whose pride has been damaged by Milosevic, just like their reputation. Now that he is dead, Serbians can recover their long lost status as affluent competitors in Central Europe. His death can perhaps bring about some positive change and begin the cleansing of Serbian national pride. -Duska Gonja

Sean Delaney
Business and Media Editor

Ardalan Maher
Backpage Editor

Tony Krickl
Political Correspondent

Ana Simundza
Music Critic

What Are We to Them?
A University Ought to be Able to do Better
Webster University is a place where people meet. Not just any people: our students come from the farthest corners of the continent. All arrive with different portfolios of experience, different points of view and different expectations. But we will be shaping Europe’s future. Here, in this relatively small capital in Europe, students find a second home; they find friends and with a little luck, food for the soul. However, you might have This student party poster was apgotten a different impression if you proved by WUV Student Affairs. had entered the building on Thursday, May 4th. A large poster for “just another student party” had been put up on a board, right inside the entrance of the University, advertising an event at the just-opened Champagne Club at the Moulin Rouge. Against a background of deep glowing red, two hot chicks with the barest of accessories are bumping and grinding to the thumping of some invisible techno DJ. The one on the left, head thrown back, lost behind a fringe of hair in some unimagined ecstasy, is sliding her leopard skin huggers down off her hip as she disappears into shadow. The one on the right, acres of skin glistening in the hot glare of a direct spot, painted lips pouting from beneath a black fatigue cap and biker shades, has untied the top of her jungle bikini, and is sliding it up just to nipple height, while a triangle of black thong just peaks out above the 5 cm of slide-on Amazon fanny pants. Below, preposterously, are the words, “Dress Code: Evening Wear” 22:00 – 23:00 Ladies Entry Free. Right. Sounds like a great time. Let’s go girls, “Come and get f****d!” Is that what women are, for those who designed -- and those who approved - this poster? Is the Moulin Rouge so charmless, so devoid of style and ambiance, so lacking in that special allure that makes a great nightclub, that they have to offer strippers and street walkers to get their male clients in the door? What woman with a shred of self-respect would respond to a poster like that? And if the women don’t come, or do come and wish they hadn’t, what’s the point? Saddest, perhaps, is the misunderstanding of what great seduction is all about -- the allure of understatement, of mystery and suggestion. Advertisers seem unable to find any ways of selling without using nudity and even sexual violence. It seems that their minds have got stuck in a couple of limited areas of the female body, and their development somewhere between ages 11 and 13, before they learned how to spell “vulgar.” Or “ridiculous.” The poster is not sexy, and it is not inviting. And the reality that there is ugliness on nearly every newsstand in Vienna is no excuse. This is a university, and we ought to be able to do better. And we ought to at least be interested in what one another has to say. -Ruta Kurselyte and Dardis McNamee

Karla Bavoljak
Contributing Editor

Kelsey Baird
Restaurant Critic

Jugendstil is the Newspaper of Webster University, Vienna, Berchtoldsgasse 1, 1220 Vienna, published periodically and distributed in Vienna and elsewhere in Austria as well as by subscription. It is conceived, written and illustrated by the current and former students, under the direction and guidance of Dardis McNamee, Professor of Journalism. Opinions expressed are those of the newspapers editorial staff and do not represent those of the university’s administration, faculty or directors. Submissions are welcome from all members of the university community, as well as letters and commentry from readers. contact us either by post, by telephone at (01) 269-9293, or by e-mail at

Jugendstil Revisited
In Revolt Against an Age of Style over Substance
With this issue, the Jugendstil is now available on Vienna newsstands. After two and a half years of reporting on events, issues, trends and personalities, and long editorial meetings and bleary hours in front of the computer screen, the Jugendstil has grown from a class project to a regional newspaper, reported and produced by current and former media students and faculty of Webster University Vienna. Jugendstil comes to life at the height of the Media Age, an age of shallow glamour and pre-packaged experience, of celebrity and self-importance, a kind of gilded cage of glitz and false impressions. The Vienna of today is a wider stage, perhaps, but one not so very different from that of an earlier Vienna of a century ago and the artists and intellectuals of the original Jugenstil movement in revolt against a world of style over substance. We, too, live in a time that seems to lack vision, when bravado passes for courage, confessionalism for sincerity. Instead of news we get staged events, instead of truth, yet another Big Lie. A century ago, fed up with the failures of political and economic liberalism that could neither govern nor sustain the society, a collective revolt sprung up among educated young Viennese – Die Jungen, The Young. Playwrights Arthur Schnitzler (Dream Story, adapted for film as Eyes Wide Shut) and Hugo von Hoffmannsthal, Sigmund Freud, satirical journalist Karl Kraus, architect Otto Wagner, composers Gustav Mahler and Arnold Schoenberg, artists Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt. This was Jugendstil Vienna. Klimt defiantly rejected what he saw as empty forms and pledged his fellow young artists, the Viennese Secession, would “save culture from their elders.” Jugendstil Vienna took on culture in the broadest sense; to them art and politics, aesthetics and ideas, were inseparable and interactive. “To every time it’s art,” wrote Hoffmannsthal. Their task, said Otto Wagner, was “to show modern man his true face.” At Jugendstil, this is our task as well. Because a newspaper matters. Part Roman Forum, part soapbox, part Hyde Park Corner, part Kaffeeklatsch, it’s important to have a place to assemble your thoughts, to speak out, to be heard, to swap stories. How do I know what I think, until I hear what I say? And what you say. Students at Webster have a lot to say. Nearly two-thirds of Webster Vienna comes from Central Europe, countries still struggling to rebuild their societies and economies after 40 or more years of communism. Another 10% are from the Middle East, and another from Western Europe and Asia, and a handful from North America. Students come a long way to get here; they are ambitious, and brave. They see the world around them – with all of its deep compromises and failed ideals - with a clear eye. They are not impressed by hollow celebrity, nor persuaded by commercial cant. They are skeptical of pomposity and can smell out self-interest behind the mask of condescension. They live in an age of corporate media – an age of image, sound bites and the tyranny of ratings, an age of global provincialism and short attention spans. But somehow they see beyond it. So read on: These are the voices of internationalism, possibly the first real Global Generation, who respect local cultures as the key to identity, while they reject the parochialism that insists on conformity. They ask hard questions and reject stereotypes. And they intend to be citizens of the world. -- Dardis McNamee Editor in Chief

Slobodan Milosevic
The ‘Butcher of the Balkans’ is Missed by Some
Slobodan Milosevic has lost his last battle. The former Serbian president’s death in March cut short his war-crimes trial at the Hague, denying his countrymen and the European court any satisfying closure to the decade of conflict and violent disintegration he inspired. Even after his death, the man called the ‘Butcher of the Balkans’ continues to divide Serbian society, and leaves behind a Serbia whose reputation is badly damaged in the eyes of the world. Today, the region is still far from overcoming the devastating impact of the wars Milosevic had been so eager to start. And yet, in Serbia, few are happy that Milosevic is gone. In fact, the people were glad to see him behind bars hoping for justice against the man who gave their country a bad name. “It’s a pity that the court did not reach a verdict,” said Sonja Biserko, of the Serbian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights. “The possible guilty sentence could have helped Serbs come to terms with crimes committed in their name. The chance is missed now.” Since 2001, Milosevic has been facing judgment at the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. The guilty verdict seemed inevitable, but his death prior to the sentence allowed him to escape judgment. Most Serbians see this coincidence as the biggest injustice. The reaction to the former president’s death in Serbia, however, still remains divided. For some, Milosevic will always remain the saint, who defended Serbian pride against their ‘enemies’. Others however will never forget the fear and suffering he condemned them to and the heartless destruction of so many lives and livelihoods. One faction of Milosevic’s former political allies seek to gain an advantage from his death by claiming he was a political martyr. They point out that the tribunal refused to let him go to Moscow for medical treatment. His followers, now a tiny Socialist Party of Serbia, claim that Milosevic was killed by the Tribunal and have demanded the post-mortem autopsy be performed in Russia, where some of Milosevic’s family members are. Serbian president Boris Tadic expressed condolences to the Milosevic family, but the government has refused to allow the ex-leader a state funeral and Tadic did not attend the ceremonies. In 2003, the funeral of

Something to Say?
Comments? Questions? Complaints?

Contact Jugendstil
Send an E-Mail:

Letters to the Editor
To the Editor, Congratulations on the MarchApril 2006 edition of “Jugendstil”. The quality of this newspaper is absolutely remarkable. It is maybe the only student newspaper that I have ever known in my entire career that I look forward to reading. You have in-depth reports from various parts of the world. I always can find something in there that educates me and it is well worth reading. Regarding my meeting the editorial staff of the Jugendstil, there are just a few corrections to the story that would make it entirely correct. The challenges in declining enrollments because of hurricanes have been in Florida, not Thailand. Also, I came from Western Oregon University, a public university in the State of Oregon, just prior to Webster. As to the subject of a physical library, my main concern is that students in Vienna give technology a chance. All of our worldwide research shows that students are more connected to the web than before, whether it be for study, shopping, entertainment, or news. The University is investing a great deal of money into improving not only our website but all of the interactivity connected with our classes, the library and all that we do on the web. Given this incredible resource and what students elsewhere have celebrated, it surprises me that there is not the same eagerness for attempting to use this technology in Vienna. Before we invest heavily in a physical library, I want to make sure that all of our students in Vienna have utilized what we have and what we plan. As to how the budget is spent, for the most part, Webster University loses money on its international campuses. This has not deterred us from our goal of being a global university and “trying to change the world one student at a time.” Please let me know if you would like additional budget information. Every Student is entitled to know how their tuition money is being spent. Richard S. Meyers President Webster University To The Editor I just waited 10 minutes to write a letter to my colleagues via and could never get on. This is typical of the worsening internet connections the past weeks which have now reached critical dimensions. The WUV tech folk tell me this is Vienna campus wide and is caused by our now having a provider, which is controlled entirely in St. Louis. All Webster campuses now have the same provider? I am told that when a few people at WUV download big items, the entire WUV system is effectively blocked or made very slow. It is not clear whether WUV decision makers are aware of these matters. Could these things be checked and improved? As it now stands, we should not count on being able to communicate via Internet. Dr. Fred Bonkovsky, Webster University Vienna May 9, 2006, 10:17 am


From “On the Couch,” cartoons on psychoanalysis from the New Yorker Magazine, curated by Webster Vienna professor Dr. Michael Freund, in honor of the 150 birthday of Sigmund Freud. Catalogue presentation May 30, 18:00, at Investkredit Bank, 1. Renngasse 10.

Going Blind at the Virtual Library
How to Do All That Reading, Without the High Resolution Digital Headache
by S.R. Schubert and Dardis McNamee A romance with technology is all very well. But when you want to read, you want to read, and you don’t want to be trapped at a computer terminal popping pain killers for your high resolution digital headache. Webster University Vienna lauds its online virtual library, Passports, for good reason. StuFrom the beginning it was clear that we would cover not only the university but the world outside. And with Austria being at the heart of Europe and Vienna hosting so many internationals and tourists, the niche for the Jugendstil seemed to be there waiting for us. We might be students, and this might be a class, but we could also be journalists as well. When I was in Paris a couple of weeks ago, I found myself reading a very fine newsletter from the Faculty of Law at Sorbonne and noticed that 90% of it was covering university news. And suddenly, I started visualizing all front pages of Jugendstil and understood that most of its headlines and pictures were not about the little comings and goings of university life, but about issues and ideas, the world we live in, and the way we look at the world. Even though university activities have always been covered, we were more likely to write about forums on 9/11 and Austria’s Nazi past, surveys on students’ attitudes toward religion, politics and family life. But we also wrote about the Tsunami, the death of Pope John Paul II, the elections in the US or in Germany, issues of identity in an expanding EU, terrorist attacks in Spain and UK and the evolving crisis in the Middle – these have all carried important weight in the paper, and been reported by student journalists. Sometimes it has been hard to write about these conflicts – because, here at Webster, we have dents are able to access newspapers, magazines and academic journals, the very stuff of knowledge that nurtures the curious into thinkers. Unfortunately, WUV also seems to believe that reading should only be done squinting at a computer screen. So reach for those headache pills. With all the talk of a virtual usually had students from all nationalities involved in the conflict, from all sides of the issue. What do you do in these cases? Do you try to be diplomatic, or you just ignore the topic and don’t cover it at all? We have opted for a third way; To make constructive debate be the center of attention. So here I am thinking back to that cold Viennese winter day, three years ago, on a bus, coming back from a film class in Grinzing, the very moment when I made up my mind about the Jugendstil. I liked the people, and the heart they were putting in the paper. I hadn’t even heard about the Newspaper Production Workshop, but I had already decided to join. It was where I belonged. library, the reality is quite different. Researching is one thing; online is not only a good idea, it is necessary. But reading is another, and students are apparently expected to read their findings that way too. Why? We are told it costs too much to allow students to print out what they need to read. Students pay for tuition and books, the logic goes, so why s h o u l d n’t they pay to print articles from academic journals? This is the wrong approach to education. WUV should be encouraging reading, not telling students in so many ways that it’s old fashioned, that readers of physical books have gone the way of the monks and scribes, quaint, perhaps even charming, but certainly not cutting edge. The truth is, the best reading (and the deepest learning) often takes place at leisure. We should be making it easy for students to read wherever they want and can, whether riding in the underground, sitting under a tree, waiting for friends in a coffee house or curled up on the living room couch. Of course every document shouldn’t be printed every time a student needs it. But there are better solutions. Lengthy articles or digital reports could be printed and lent to students, just like books, and offered through the library, where real people come to borrow real books that they really want to read. When someone wants a long text or report off the virtual library, the journal or book should be requested, the library should print out and bind a reference copy, adding it to the collection. This way all WUV students share in each others research and, most importantly, its students can read and learn anywhere they like, at any time.

On My Mind

In Parting...
Of Late Nights, and Proud By-Lines
By Endri Fuga It is only when you‘re about to be done with something, that you start appreciating it. It has happened to me so many times, and is happing again now. I never felt home in Vienna, and yet, now that I will not have to live here anymore, I start liking this city. I almost never enjoyed going out at night here. These days, though, only walking by the streets feels special. In fact, I have been revisiting all the places I went to during the first months. But now, it all seems so different. The same thing is true for Webster. I feel comfortable now; it feels cozy now when I sit and read in the library I always hated. There are still too few books and most are pretty out of date; the room is still small and most of the chairs are uncomfortable. But – I don’t know why – these days, whenever I have 10 free minutes, I rush to the Library. Even the hamburgers at Stars & Stripes have started to taste good. Sitting in the little restaurant on the ground floor, among the other students, talking, watching a little MTV… (Me? Watching MTV?) It all makes me feel good, and not about how greasy and American all the food tastes. But among all these nice nostalgic feelings, the deepest is the one for the Jugendstil. This newspaper, for which I am probably writing my last commentary, has been the most special thing from all my time at Webster, or in Vienna for that matter. And it is to Jugendstil that I want to dedicate this last piece. It is funny how people remember even the smallest details of things that happened years ago, and to which you might have never given an important thought. But I remember how I joined the editorial staff, when I met the people who then became my closest friends and colleagues. I remember when I wrote my first piece, but also all those sleepless nights spent laying out or the long tiring days editing and proofreading. It’s not easy to forget those crazy weekends, when we had to finish the paper at all costs, to make the printing deadline. And then there were the stories: Reporting from Iraq, interviewing SPOe chief Alfred Gussenbauer, covering Kosovo and the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, writing about politics and social issues, are not only great memories, but also important professional achievements.



“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train” - Oscar Wilde
Dear Diary, I was walking down Mariahilferstrasse with a girlfriend of mine; browsing through windows and observing the world bustling by. It being the first day of Spring (and actually feeling it), we decided to get an ice cream. Standing in line behind a rather stout man with a receding hairline and a tall man with a giant Great Dane. “Oh my god, he’s huge!” my friend exclaimed, meaning the dog. The balding man spun around on his heels, completely red in the face and promptly exited the line. “Oh no, not you!” gasped my friend, mortified. Too late. The fellow was already half way down the block. All proportions aside, he had proved surprisingly light on his feet. I shrank back into my newspaper, trying to disappear. – Paul Krauskopf Friday mornings. If there is a terrorist attack, it is most likely to occur on Friday morning since this is the time that everyone uses to prepare for the Sabbath. 4. Avoid crowded places like bus stops, cafes, and the City Market, Makhane Yehuda. These are open invitations to attack. 5. Pedestrians are an endangered species in Jerusalem. Cars always have the right of way, even if you are already in the crosswalk, er I mean crosshairs. 6. Drivers here like to honk. It does not matter if it is three o’clock in the morning. They also like to honk for no apparent purpose other than to make noise. A quiet neighborhood is worth a premium. 7. Learn Hebrew, otherwise you may eat something disgusting. 8. Everybody here has a story about the attack that almost got him or her. One minute a bus is there, the next minute it is gone. One minute your friend is there, the next minute, he is dead. 9. Automatic and semi-automatic weapons are a fashion accessory. Soldiers, even dressed up as a civilian, never leave home without them. 10. Get used to being wanded whenever you enter a building and being asked if you are carrying a weapon. 11. If you speak Russian or Yiddish, you will make a lot of friends. 12. Count your change and if

Dear Diary, “Things I have learned in Jerusalem” (see below) 1. Police cars always patrol with their lights on. It makes them easier to see. They started doing this after the second Intifada. 2. Cats are a plague here. They pop out of every garbage bin. The good news is they also make sure that there are no rats in the garbage. Just do not adopt the cats until you have taken them to a vet first. 3. Do not go shopping on

there is no pricetag, do not purchase it. 13. If you go to the post office, be prepared to wait an hour. The bank is not much better. 14. The food is great. 15. There are more taxis here than residents or tourists and you can ride one of two ways, with the meter and without the meter. Usually you are better without the meter as long as you have agreed on the price in advance. No matter which way you ride, the taxi driver will try to cheat you. 16. It does not rain for three weeks, but when it does rain, it pours and you are drenched to the skin. After that, you have three weeks of nice weather again. 17. Everything on the buses is blastproof and solidly anchored. 18. You can pick up the Pentagon Channel here. Good to know in emergencies. 19. Do not expect great service. It is not included. 20. You know you have been here too long when you can laugh at signs that say “Welcome brave tourist” or “Big discount for brave tourist.”

21. Journalists are never in danger here. They stay in the best hotels, which just look like they are in the combat zone if you are watching CNN. It is really camouflage. Hope all is well. More to follow. --Prof. Gregory Weeks

Dear Diary. The other day over coffee, a friend surprised me with an article on Saparmurat Niyazov, the president of Turkmenistan. I guess word had gotten around of my hobby of collecting everything possible about this extremely crazy guy. Niyazov’s latest was that those who read his book Rukhnama three times would become go straight to the Paradise. Rukhnama is a tome on Turkmen origins, history, spiritual values and good behavior. Obey the rules and live a fulfilled and happy life. Reading the Rukhnama is now obligatory for everyone, from students to politi-

cians, ranking right up there with The Holy Book of Koran. This guy never ceases to amaze me. Just when I think he used up all of his moves, here he goes and strikes again. Yet somehow, his absurdities seem to be tolerated. First, he won the presidential elections by 99.5%, not all that surprising as he was the only candidate. Then he proclaimed himself Turkmenbashi – the father of all Turkmens. And finally he became the Eternal President, installing his cult of personality. While Turkmen people live in abject poverty, on the margins of existence, Turkmenbashi has been going on a spending spree - building $100 million worth of palaces, race courses and shopping malls. The centre of the capital city of Ashgabat is dominated by the Neutrality Arch, a 75 meters high arch with a 12-meter golden statue of Turkmenbashi on the top, which slowly rotates for 360 degrees 24 hours a day. The intention of the rotation is that Niyazov, who is presented with open arms, is always turned

in direction of the sun, as if he is going to embrace it. As if that was not enough, he has decided to built a zoo and create a natural habitat for penguins!! Penguins in a subtropical desert climate!!?? But there is no point in telling him that. Niyazov has the power to sack meteorologists, which he did on one occasion, because he was not satisfied with the weather forecast they had predicted. Niyazov recently started renaming everything. The Caspian Sea port of Krasnovodsk, the airport, stadium and the main avenue in the state capital were all re-named Turkmenbashi. He has also given his name to a meteorite, which landed in Turkmenistan in 1999 and to the world’s biggest carpet, whose making he ordered just for the purpose of naming it. Week days and calendar days were also renamed, so January became Turkmenbashi, April became Gurbansoltan, a month of his mother and June 10 became the Day of Yanardag, honoring his horse, which must be admired at all times and criticizing or insulting him is followed by imprisonment! Niyazov’s pictures appear everywhere, from state buildings to people’s homes. All the currency bills, the manat, have the portrait of Turkmenbashi, redesigned every time Niyazov gets a medal of honour. His portrait also appears on local brands of tea, vodka and yogurt. Apparently health matters. Ministers are obliged to walk 30 km every month, and are forbidden to smoke. Once a passionate smoker, Niyazov quit smoking after heart surgery and banned it in the whole country. He has also banned make-up and golden teeth, a symbol of success. Although Niyazov himself dyes his gray hair black. -- Nika Bracun