|| issue 3, year XIII, 2006
Dr Hainz Fischer, Federal Parliament President of Austria
Interview by Valentin Kostov
H. E. Karl Diem, Ambassador of Austria
Interview by Tsvetanka Elenkova
“I am not a great fan of academic debates about different models of European integration. I doubt whether this will serve us well. Let reality lead the way. We need a European Union that is trusted by its citizens whether it is one-speed or five-speed. In many areas like civil crisis management and fighting organized crime we need more Europe. And we need institutions which can take rapid and legitimate decisions in its various areas of competences. The method of enhanced cooperation seems to be an elegant way to further European integration without forcing it upon other nor being slowed down by less willing states. With the number of members growing, enhanced cooperation is a reasonable mode of integration as long as it is open to everybody. Take the Euro, Schengen or the Single European Act. These are quite encouraging examples. “
BULGARIA ON THE THRESHOLD
The second Austrian EU Presidency started with encouraging signals to our country, after more than 7 years of joint efforts for fulfilment of the criteria and requirements for EU membership. On 3 January 2006 the Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schussel said in an interview for the American newspaper “International Herald Tribune” on the occasion of taking up the EU presidency: “Bulgaria has reached tremendous progress in the struggle against organized crime.” And the struggle against organized crime and corruption is that sphere in the monitoring report about Bulgaria’s progress towards accession, which causes the most serious concerns among the member-states and is our country’s greatest obstacle to membership from 1 January 2007. It is one of the 16 “red zones” in the first monitoring report, whose existence could activate each one of the safe-guard clauses in the Accession Treaty, and most likely that for membership postponement. According to the Austrian Presidency, Bulgaria has set itself the ambitious task to get out of the trap of these “red zones”, to reach considerable progress in overcoming the delay and to fill in the gaps. The indicators for its fulfilment are to be measured in the next monitoring report, due on 16 May 2006. The task is really ambitious, as it requires collective, team-work decisions and actions.
AUSTRIA ON THE WAY TO PEACE A 50-YEAR UN MEMBERSHIP
On 14 December 2005 the Republic of Austria celebrated its 50th jubilee as a member-state of the United Nations (UN). Since the very beginning the Republic of Austria has contributed significantly to the preservation of world peace and security, by undertaking a number of initiatives for the development of international law. It favours the protection of human rights and the provision of assistance to the developing countries, and is against any threat to the environment. In that 50-year period over 54 000 Austrians have taken part in more than 50 peacekeeping operations. The great achievements of the small Central European country show, that with good will and sympathy even the most difficult and responsible tasks can be carried out, such as the UN peacekeeping operations everywhere in the world where there is a raging conflict. For the past 50 years the Republic of Austria can be proud with its 54 000 “blue helmets”, sent to serve peace and prevent conflicts the world over. In the late autumn of 2001 the “blue helmets” were awarded the Nobel Peace prize, thus underlying their enormous contribution to the struggle against world terrorism and their assistance in protecting world peace and security.
BULGARIAN-AUSTRIAN TRADE AND ECONOMIC RELATIONS
Lily Komitska, advisor for Austria, MFA
The total volume of the direct Austrian investments in Bulgaria in the period 1992-2005 amounts to 2516,1 million USD, which puts the country in the first place among foreign investors. “Reifeisenbank” came to the Bulgarian market in 1994, while the biggest Austrian Bank - “Bank Austria” became the owner of “Biochim Bank”. The second bank in power - “Erste Bank” - ranked second in the auction for “DSK Bank”. 2004 was obviously a record year for Austrian investments in Bulgaria, as investments accounted for 927,3 million USD. The biggest investment for the first 6 months was made by Viva Ventures for the purchase of BTC. 271 million euro came in 2004 from the payment of the deal for one of the packages for the electricity distribution companies (EDC) in Bulgaria by the Austrian energy concern EVN, seated in the province of Lower Austria. EVN has bought the Stara Zagora EDC and the Plovdiv EDC (with an electricity distribution network of 56 000 km). Austrian investments for 2005 amounted to 849,7 million USD.
AUSTRIA ACTIVATES ITS SCIENTIFIC EXCHANGE WITHIN EUROPE
Martin Felix Gaidusek, ASO Manager - Sofia
Since 1996 Austria maintains in Bulgaria a Liaison Office for scientific and research cooperation (ASO). Its intention is to actively support the bilateral cooperation between Austria and Bulgaria following the political changes after 1990. For contacts:
Austrian Science and Research Liaison Office:
Austrian Federal Ministry for Education,
Science and Culture: www.bmbwk.gv.at
Osterreichische Ratspräsidentschaft im Bereich
des Ministeriums: eu2006.bmbwk.gv.at
Austrian Research Promotion Agency: www.ffg.at
Industrielles Kooperationsprogramm CIR-CE:
Witnesses of Faith
Goran Blagoev, BNT
SPIRIT AND MONEY THE TRAP IN THE EUROPEAN RELATIONS
I fell upon this theme for the first time through the composition “Spirit and Money” by Rudolf Wolfgang Muller, while working on my book about St. Francis of Assisi. Muller examines the relation between the emergence of the first coins of ancient Greece and the earliest embryos of the already self-understood by us Ego-conscience, parallelly with the birth of West European philosophy, theatre and democratic form of government - all this taking place between 600 and 500 years B.C. I learnt from Muller to think simultaneously about spirit and money. A similar epochal transition has been carried out between 1200 and 1300 A.D., when in Italy capitalism was crawling out of its diapers parallelly with the Franciscan spirituality. It was then that Europe was born.
Austrian Personalities for Europe
Franz Klammer, Elfriede Jelinek, Karl von Frisch, Hans Hollein, Bruno Kreisky, Alfred Brendel, Peter Handke, Paul Watzlawick, Konrad Lorenz
AUSTRIA - TYROL: SEVEN STEPS TO THE HEART OF EUROPE
It is said that on a glass of freshly tapped beer at the “Auerbachs Keller” in Leipzig - one of the seven most revered taverns in Europe -, not anyone else, but Johann Wolfgang von Goethe himself used to say: “Europe is the heart of the world, the Alps are the heart of Europe, Tyrol is the heart of the Alps, and Hall is the uncrowned capital of the region, the aorta, in which flows the blood of its beauty. Divine and unique”.
LINZ : BETWEEN THE GUIDE AND THE LYRICAL DIARY OF THE MEMORIES
Dr Erika Lazarova, Ph.D.
Being a center of a dynamically developing industry already in the beginning of the 19th century, Linz is associated rather with the hurried business-like rhythm of everyday life, in which coffee houses and churches, parks and taverns, restaurants and museums, Internet clubs and galleries, remain small islands of tranquillity and spiritual joy in the otherwise quite stressing way of living. You can spend half a day in it with a cup of coffee and a slice of warm apple strudel. Linz, however, is a predominantly industrial town and it is rarely possible some famous poet like Peter Altenberg to link firmly his working day with “Greensteidl” coffee house, or, if he is a lawyer with a good clientele, to announce that he welcomes visitors “every day from 9 to 11 and from 15 to 18 at the “Landsmann” cafe.” Today 45% of its population is engaged in the production sphere and the ads, while Linz has kept, according to the tourist guides, its leading place in the steel industry, machine-building, production of coke, glasspackages, heating and electrical installations, isolation materials. Parallelly developing are optics and photo-optics, building and food industry, emphasizing on the production of candies, sweets and pastry, the production of cans, alcohol and soft drinks, etc.
THE TRUTH ABOUT MOZART’S DEATH THE COMPOSER’S SCULL PROVED SALIERI’S INNOCENCE
The name of the Italian composer Antonio Salieri, accused of killing young Mozart out of envy, has become a byword. Recently, however, scientists from the University of Mozart’s native town proved, after examining the skull of the genius from Salzburg, that Salieri was innocent. Salzburg Professor Tikhy found on the skull - a thin fissure, about 7 cm long, starting from the left temporal bone and reaching to the vertex. That fissure, caused by a blow or fall, had already healed at the time of death, but some traces of a haemorrhage had remained at the lowest part of the skull. Yes, these data, proved by the few reliable sources, speak about the veracity of the following hypothesis: Prof. Tikhy was confident that the genius from Salzburg had passed away following a cranio-cerebral injury, haematomas and infections.
VIENNESE SECESSION 1890 - 1910
Prof. Chavdar Popov
Towards the end of the 19th c. a powerful vanguard wave overflew the artistic culture in the Old Continent - almost everywhere, from Russia to Scotland. It seemed as if a necessity of something refreshing was felt in the air. Art turned to new directions and tendencies, different from the known so far. Despite the great variety of names, it came down to one and the same phenomenon - a new artistic style, ornamental and decorative, - secession - was being formed. In works of book graphics and illustration, in the design of interiors and exteriors, in posters and even in paintings we see stylized forms, resembling tangles of vine sprouts, shells, eagle talons, wild roses, flowers. The abundance of vegetable, zoomorphic and geometrical ornaments is amazing. The building of complex, asymmetrical compositions, the prevalence of free-flowing curves of the arabesque are an unwritten rule.
MARIA FROM POCZ PROTECTS VIENNA
Goran Blagoev, BNT
In 1675 the Mayor of Pocz Laszlo Dzingri, who had managed in an incredible way to escape from Turkish captivity, commissioned an icon of the Holy Mother for the church iconostasis , as a token for his gratitude. The younger brother of the village priest, who was a painter, accepted the commission for the sum of 6 guldens. He painted the portrait of the Holy Virgin Odigitry, i.e. Guide. It is interesting to note that the Godlike infant held a flower in his hand - something typical for the spirit of the old Carpathian iconography, whose traditions were brought by the Rutenians. Two decades later something unusual happened to that icon. On 4 November 1696 tears began flowing down the face of the Holy Mother. When the Vienna Cathedral opened its doors for the first time after World War Two on 8 Decem-ber 1948, a special altar was made in its South-Western part, in which the miraculous image of Maria from Pocz was kept, and still is to this day. It is interesting, however, that neither the original, nor any of the numerous copies of the icon, have ever wept, with the exception of that in Pocz, Hungary.
AUSTRIA’S TRADITIONS MONASTIC MODESTY AND ARTISTIC EXUBERANCE
Probably, there is no other place in the contemporary industrial world where rural traditions have survived to such an extent, as in Austria. Up to now the separate provinces in the country vividly differ from each other by their character, owing to the diversity in structure and functions of the rural house and its fitting into the environment. Old folk customs are preserved to this day in Austria, which are often permeated by pagan and Christian spirit, connected with the gathering in of the harvest: in Tyrol, in the autumn, genuine picturesque solemn parades are organised with carrying of the “fertility crown”, entwined by wheat and maize sheaves, vine twigs and grapes, while in the regions of Salzburg (Lungau) and Styria the 15th of August - the day of Virgin Mary’s Ascension - is celebrated as “the great woman’s day” with processions of solemnly clad people, who carry tall decorated poles, some of them weighing 60 kg, and the huge “Samson” - a bearded giant, who blesses, together with the priest, the harvest and everything else around. This is how the summer cycle of folk customs is closed, its beginning starting already in winter’s end and early spring with the traditional winter “races”, “chasing away of darkness and frost” with torches and tramp, grotesque images and fires, noisy songs and dances in the open.
AUSTRIA’S COAT OF ARMS
Austria’s coat of arms, which is a state symbol to this day, was adopted in 1918, following the First World War. It was a symbol of the political changes in the country. The Republic of Austria was proclaimed after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The main image in the Coat of arms is the black freely-hovering eagle with a golden crown on its head. A shield with the national banner is put on its breast. The eagle holds in its talons a golden sickle and a golden hammer. In 1934, during the period of the ongoing fascistization of the country, this coat of arms was abolished. Following the Second World War, the coat of arms was restored in 1945 and a broken iron chain was added to it, symbolizing the liberation of the country from fascist occupation. In 1992 some politicians raised the question about the removal of the sickle and hammer, as they were perceived as symbols of communism. The results from a national poll showed that 84% of Austria’s population were against any changes in the coat of arms.
150 YEARS OF SIGMUND FREUD’S BIRTH
He is the quiet revolutionary of the spirit. For him the limitations in man’s character are not due to the family’s fate or the fate of the race, but to the childhood experiences. Diseases, according to him, cannot be treated by operations, change in the feeding habits, medication, prayers, exorcism or sacrifices, but through conversations, that by the method of free association can flare up possible mental conflicts. The functioning link between patient and therapist is more important for the success of psychotherapy than the interpretation of the unconscious. Observing the patient’s symptoms, the therapist can find out their cause. By listening carefully, he can learn something about the unconscious processes, determining the patient’s illness. In Freud’s time, it was moral and sexual repression in the years following the German-French war (1870-71) that had caused neurosis and hysteria; today, it is rather the Ego of the people that gets ill and they suffer from Narcissistic disorders, depressions, behavioural disturbances and stress symptoms. Sigmund Freud (6.5.1856 - 23.9.1939) is the great theoretician of the unconscious.
Presentation by Dochka Kissiova-Gogova
|Translated by Galia B. Cholakova