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Global Peace Index: Austria is Third Most Peaceful Country

March 2015 (FriedlNews)

The latest Global Peace Index analyses the state of peace around the world. It identifies the most and least peaceful countries, trends in violence and conflict, and calculates the economic impact of violence. The top three most peaceful countries are Iceland, Denmark and Austria. Small and stable democracies make up the top ten most peaceful countries. New Zealand, Canada and Japan are the only non-European countries in the top ten.

The 2014 Global Peace Index shows a continuation of the seven year trend for declining levels of peace globally.

  • Since 2008 51 countries have improved while 111 countries have deteriorated in peace
  • The world has become 4% less peaceful since 2008
  • Europe remains the most peaceful region, with 14 of the top 20 most peaceful countries
  • Syria has replaced Afghanistan at the bottom of the index, with its Global Peace Index score falling 84% since 2008
  • Georgia showed the largest improvement in peace levels
  • The total economic impact of containing violence is estimated to be US$9.46 trillion in 2012

The three least peaceful countries are South Sudan, Afghanistan and Syria. Levels of peace in South Sudan deteriorated the most since 2013, falling 16 places from last year.

Trends

According to the Global Peace Index, the world global average peace score deteriorated slightly since last year, mainly due to global increases in terrorist activity, the number of conflicts fought and the number of refugees and displaced people.

Economic Impact

The economic impact of containing and dealing with the consequences of global violence last year was estimated to be US$9.8 trillion. This is equivalent to 11.3% of global GDP – twice the combined GDP of African countries.

Risk

This years’ Global Peace Index includes a new statistical modelling risk tool which identifies countries at risk of descending into violence and unrest in the next two years. The new methodology analyses a data set stretching back to 1996, and compares countries with the performance of states with similar institutional characteristics.

The ten countries most likely to deteriorate in peace in the next two years are Zambia, Haiti, Argentina, Chad, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nepal, Burundi, Georgia, Liberia and Qatar.

Source: www.friedlnews.com

 


First Images Of Eurovision Stage

6.2.15

It is now possible to see the first images of the design for the Eurovision Song Contest stage unveiled in the Austrian capital Vienna which is the home of last year’s winner Conchita Wurst.

The design of the stage is in the form of an eye and will be created from 1,288 individual pillars.

These pillars representing the nations will be lit with LEDs allowing for a variety of lighting effects and designs alongside the floor of the stage itself.

An amazing 22-metre-wide and 8.5-metre-tall LED display forms the back of the stage allowing the director, set designers and lighting teams to create a show to remember.

Director of television company ORF, who are behind the show’s organisation, Kathrin Zechner, explained: “The eye is a symbol for bridge building – to promote respect amongst different cultures, countries and peoples. The realisation of this artistic vision has been achieved by the best in their professions – both nationally and internationally.”

The show designer Florian Wieder, for example, has worked on international television productions including 16 MTV Award shows, America’s and Britain’s Got Talent, and a song contest in the German city of Dusseldorf. Besides this, he has had huge national success with programmes on ORF such as Starmaina, Dancing Stars and Helden von Morgen.

His stage designs have also been used by huge stars such as Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez and U2.

The lighting design is under the control of Al Gurdon who has worked on the half time show for the Super Bowl, Victoria’s Secret shows, American Idol and previous Eurovision Song Contests in the Russian capital Moscow and Norwegian capital Oslo.

Gurdon said: “The thing I like the most about Eurovision is that you have to be able to produce lots of different looks – you need to put a lot of energy into it but it’s really liberating. The audience are expecting something state of the art and the opportunity to produce something like that is fantastic.”

Gurdon even received an Emmy for his work with Madonna for the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics.

The director of the Eurovision show in Vienna is Kurt Pongratz who is responsible for the conception and visual realisation of the event.

Pongratz said: “For any director, it is a huge challenge to be working on the world’s biggest TV entertainment event. However, I’m working with Florian Wieder and Al Gurdon who are the absolute best at what they do and I’m thrilled to have them on side.”

Pongratz was responsible for the staging and storyboard for Conchita Wurst’s winning performance in the Danish capital Copenhagen last year.

He said: “Really our collective goal is to bring a spectacular and enchanting show to 200 million viewers worldwide in Vienna – the capital of music.”

Austrian Times   – http://austriantimes.at/news/General_News/2015-01-21/52164/First_Images_Of_Eurovision_Stage


 

 

Sterling, will it hit 1.40 euro?

28.1.15

For UK buyers or investors in Austria, the news is all good…the Pound has broken through the 1.30 euro mark, making it much cheaper to buy property in Austria.

This means that over the last 3 months UK buyers have gained 10% making their purchase that much cheaper…and in fact the increase in Sterling has effectively given UK buyers their purchase costs.

So, will it last..well that depends on the ECB, and any annoucements they make for the euro and quantitive easing, which would lower the value of the Euro.

But now is one of the best times to buy.


 

New Super Rail Station for Vienna

There was a festival atmosphere as Bundespresident Heinz Fischer opened Vienna’s new Hauptbahnhof Friday morning. He was accompanied by Frau Fischer, Vize Kanzler Mitterlehner, Minister Alois Stöger and Vienna Bürgermeister Michael Haüpl. The President of Parliament, Doris Bures was also present. Earlier, ÖBB Boss Christian Kern emphasised that the project had been completed on time – then he pointed to the huge arrivals board and joked that all of the trains were likewise on time ! The new railway station took 7 years to complete at a cost of just over 1 billion Euros. 20,000 workers were employed on the site. There are offices, apartments, as well as a shoping mall with 90 Top Shops. ÖBB expects more than 145.000 passengers to use the station every day. By Ken Cameron Austrian Times


An Austrian Park turns into a Lake Every Year !

Spectacular images that show how a park becomes a lake each spring complete with underwater trees have been captured by two divers. The snaps were taken at the Gruener See, or Green Lake as it is called in English, located in the southern Austrian province of Styria. During the winter months the lake, located near the town of Tragoss at the foot of the snow-capped Hochschwab mountains, is only around a metre deep and the surrounding area is part of the country park. It is a favourite location for hikers and campers, but all of it vanishes underwater in the spring when the winter snow starts to melt, sending waters flooding down from the nearby mountain range. During the summer, the lake reaches its maximum depth of around 12 metres and trees have adapted to being completely underwater for upwards of a month every year at a time. And as these spectacular images show it creates an eerie landscape, in which the crystal clear waters flooding down from the melting ice and snow still allow the light to filter onto the grass and shrubs below. The photographs are part of the project to highlight Austria’s investment in making sure it’s rivers, streams and lakes remain crystal clear and unpolluted. They are being shown at a new Under Water World exhibition at the Biology Centre in the southern city of Linz to highlight the country’s aquatic beauty spots. Two of Austria’s leading underwater photographers, Gerald Kapfer and Harald Hois, also captured some of the plants and animals beneath the underwater lake which can now be seen at the photography exhibition. Exhibition curator Stephan Weigl said: “Many people are surprised that images like these have been captured in Austria rather than in somewhere more exotic like the Maldives but we really do have a beautiful aquatic landscape that is perhaps sometimes overlooked against the backdrop of the country’s other natural wonders.”


Austrian economy falls, with the European trend

By Matej Klenovský. Translation by Tomáš Buš Austria is in line with the current economic trend in Europe, according to several economic indicators made public in Austria on Friday. Analysis of the results of the indicators show that at the moment, there is a moderate decrease, almost stagnation, in the price levels. Meanwhile, industrial production is slowing down at a significant rate, as it is in many other European countries. The results of the Austrian Industrial Production indicator show that production has decreased in March by 1.8% in comparison with February, the second month in a row where it has dropped. The greatest decrease was recorded in capital goods (-4.5%) and durable goods (-4.7%) whilst the situation in the construction sector has also worsened for the second month in a row. The construction sector, being probably the most cyclical out of all sectors, represents an important part of an economy and its development is exceptionally dependant on the current economic state of a country. As a result, it is often a useful predicting indicator for forecasting a country’s economic development. Meanwhile, the Austrian Central Statistical Office also discussed a change in the Production Price Index this Friday, which measures the average change over time in the selling prices of the output from domestic producers. The indicator decreased by 1.2% in comparison with April 2013, although there was no change in comparison with March 2014. A decrease in the energy prices (-3.8%) and intermediate goods (-1.3%) is responsible for these lower prices. On the other hand, the prices of investment goods rose year-on-year by 0.6%; the increase in the price of machinery (+1.5%) and motor vehicles (+1.1%) is responsible for this rise. The greatest decrease within a month was recorded in the price of fats and oils from plants and animals, which sank by 16.2% in April. This significant drop contributed to the fact that the price of consumer goods increased only by 0.2%. Finally, one of the most popular indicators is Bank Austria Manufacturing PMI, which is based on the survey of over 300 industrial companies. The index has for the ninth month in a row now shown expansion (over 50 points). However, the tempo of the growth is consistently decreasing as of the beginning of 2014, when the level of the index was recorded to be over 54 points. The last records show a decrease in the indicator from 51.4 points in April to 50.9 points in May, which has also been the monthly minimum for the past nine months. According to most of the surveyed subjects, the reason behind the lower total results lies in the slowing down of the sub-index New Orders, which is responsible for the lower demand among customers as well as greater competition. A lower interest from the domestic market also plays a significant role in the decrease of the total demand. Meanwhile, the growing demand from abroad has led to a mild rise in exports.


 Flights launched between Vienna and Manchester.

Thousands of holidaymakers from northern England can now waltz away from Manchester on a direct flight to Vienna – the first flight from the country that takes off outside London. The first flight between the northern city and the Austrian capital took off last week on 2 May, just in time for the British May bank holiday. Already 8,000 Brits have bought tickets with airline company operating the route Jet2.com. “Vienna is one of the largest un-served European resorts and it appeals to lots of customers, businesses and travel. It’s a great city and I know what is has to offer,” said David Neill, the head of Jet2.com planning. People are used to regular city breaks such as Rome or Paris, and we wanted to offer somewhere different. Jet2 are hoping that Vienna’s cultural, musical, and cuisine offerings will attract visitors from Manchester and the surrounding regions who want to discover an alternative European city break. Prices begin at 43 GBP (52 EUR) per person, including taxes, and there will be three flights a week on Mondays, Wednesday, and Friday.

Featured Property

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Well Maintained Property with Separate Garden House

4870 Vocklamarkt

Located in a quiet neighbourhood only 10km from St. Georgen and 13km to Attersee. This property can be used as a single or two family House. With two separate entrances it can also be used in conjunction with a business venture. It has possibilities as a guest house or a holiday accommodation business.   Main […]


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