Chief Correspondent, Vienna, Vienna
Michael's Feed
Oct 25, 2012

International vote monitors warn Texas: Don’t mess with us

VIENNA/AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – International election monitors took a dim view on Wednesday of Texas’ threat to prosecute them if they observe voting in the state a bit too closely on November 6.

The exchange pitted the Vienna-based human rights watchdog Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe against Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who warned the OSCE not to interfere with polling in state elections.

Oct 18, 2012

Austrian bankers sour over Hungary tax surprise

VIENNA, Oct 18 (Reuters) – Senior Austrian bankers accused
the Hungarian government of treachery by abandoning a pledge to
halve a controversial bank levy next year.

But they said they had no plans to quit their eastern
neighbour despite the latest run-in with Prime Minister Viktor
Orban and his unorthodox fiscal policies.

Oct 16, 2012

Austria sees wider budget gaps than hoped in 2012, 2013

VIENNA, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Austria will run bigger public
deficits than hoped this year and in 2013 as the economy
performs less well than expected and aid for its struggling
banks eats into state finances, the finance ministry said.

The draft 2013 budget projects a deficit of 2.3 percent of
gross domestic product, wider than the previous target of 2.1
percent but still well below the euro zone average, Finance
Minister Maria Fekter said, adding the country expected to be
able to continue financing itself at rock-bottom rates.

Oct 4, 2012

Austrian gravesites get digital twist

VIENNA (Reuters) – The fabled Viennese fondness for fine funerals and “a schoene Leich” – a beautiful corpse – is about to get a modern twist.

Digital technology is about to give Austrian gravestones the potential to speak across time by showing pictures and biographies of the people buried below.

Oct 2, 2012

Safe-haven Austria basks in bond demand

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria again topped up two bonds at record low rates at auctions on Tuesday, and the head of the country’s debt management agency said spreads could narrow further versus benchmark German Bunds.

The average yield on the 2019 bond edged down to 1.326 percent – a spread of 44 basis points over Bunds, 70 bp less than at the end of June as Austria captures strong demand for highly-rated sovereigns during Europe’s financial crisis.

Oct 1, 2012

Raiffeisen styles Poland strategy as “farmers and hunters” combo

VIENNA, Oct 1 (Reuters) – Raiffeisen Bank International
(RBI) intends to meld the conservative business of its
own Polish bank with the more aggressive ambitions of its new
Polbank unit to forge a growth machine in Poland, one of its key
emerging Europe markets, executives said.

RBI, which vies with Erste Group Bank for second
place in central and eastern Europe’s banking sector, behind
market leader UniCredit Bank Austria, boosted its
position by buying Polbank from Greece’s Eurobank.

Sep 19, 2012

Stradivarius dealer admits embezzlement as trial begins

VIENNA (Reuters) – One of the world’s top dealers in precious Stradivarius violins admitted he embezzled money made from the sale of instruments entrusted to him by his customers, but denied fraud charges as his trial got under way in Vienna on Wednesday.

Dietmar Machold, a 62-year-old German, was once the world’s most influential dealer in instruments crafted by 18th century masters like Antonio Stradivari, whose workshop in Cremona, Italy produced some of the finest violins and cellos ever made.

Sep 9, 2012

Blunderbuss Austrian minister rattles EU’s powerful

VIENNA, Sept 9 (Reuters) – Maria Fekter has been called the
“Witch of the South” and even described herself once “as the
only man in the Austrian government”, but no one says she’s

Austria’s finance minister is a blunderbuss of a politician,
direct and unafraid to speak her mind when others hold their
tongues. Her frankness, especially about the euro zone crisis,
has upset some important men such as the Italian prime minister
and the Eurogroup chairman.

Aug 1, 2012
via FaithWorld

Austria OKs circumcisions after multifaith appeal


(Boys in traditional attire attend a ceremony a day before their circumcision ritual at Eyup Sultan square in Istanbul July 8, 2011. REUTERS/Murad Sezer)

Doctors in Austria’s westernmost province have been cleared to resume circumcisions after the Justice Ministry reassured them that they can perform the religious practice without risking criminal charges, officials said.

Aug 1, 2012

Another Austrian politician goes as scandals rage

VIENNA (Reuters) – Corruption scandals in Austria’s southernmost province claimed another victim on Wednesday when the head of the right-wing Freedom Party of Carinthia (FPK) quit, saying he could no longer put up with constant “media baiting”.

Uwe Scheuch announced he would exit politics but insisted this was not an admission of wrongdoing in a widening furor that is getting huge media attention and could play a role in national elections due next year.

    • About Michael

      "Mike has worked for Reuters for two decades and reported from more than a dozen countries on business and general news. His beats have included covering the European automotive industry, business news from Switzerland, German defense and security policy, and Hungary's transition to a market democracy after the collapse of communism in eastern Europe"
      Joined Reuters:
    • Contact Michael

      +43 1 531 12 258
    • Follow Michael