This week The Local adds another country to the family, with a new team in Vienna, Austria. Timed suspiciously well to coincide with Austria's Eurovision victory, our team will be reporting the best of the country's news: the noteworthy, the quirky, the unusual and the unmissable. In other words, everything our readers have come to expect from our other seven country editions over the last ten years.
But there's a lot more to Austria than Conchita Wurst. The country is a commercial and diplomatic crossroads at the heart – and is said to have the highest number of spies per capita. With the United Nations, IAEA, OSCE, OPEC and dozens of smaller NGOs and IGOs, it's an expat magnet and the A in the DACH industrial region. The country's contribution to culture belies its size, while its geography has given it a high profile role in world affairs. Whatever happens next, we will have the country covered.
"Culturally and socially, Austria is a fascinating country. Its location gives it a unique perspective on European affairs. It may no longer be the dominant political force it was in Central Europe under the Habsburg dynasty, but its position at the heart of Europe on the Danube trade route enhances its strategic importance," says editor Rosie Waites.
Originally from the UK, Rosie lived in Vienna for four years after studying at Oxford. She worked for the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) before leaving to work in London for the BBC, and after 10 years in the Big Smoke, she's back.
"I hope our reporting will help the foreign professionals here to get more out of their time in Austria, but we also intend to give readers outside of the country a real insight into what's going on here," says Rosie.
Rosie will be joined in Vienna by Romana Lakinger, handling sales, and Paul Gillingwater, who is leading the team:
"We are especially pleased to support the English-language speaking expat community which is so strong here," Paul says.
Paul hails from New Zealand and has worn many hats in the fields of Internet business, security, nuclear energy, industrial development and documentary filmmaking. He helped to establish The Vienna Review newspaper.
"I’m delighted to be situated in such a great location, and to be able to bring The Local’s unique approach to the international business people and foreign professionals who have chosen to make Vienna their home," he adds.