Thursday, 29. January 2015
17. 02. 12. - 15:00
Political leaders and showbiz stars had only kind words about last night’s (Thurs) Opera Ball.
Austrian President Heinz Fischer said the event had nothing to do with the corruption scandals former Austrian government ministers, businesspeople and lobbyists are accused of being involved in. A special parliamentary commission headed by Gabriela Moser of the Green Party is currently investigating whether there is any substance to the various allegations. State prosecutors have also been examining a large number of reported cases of abuse of office and embezzlement for months.
Asked whether the Viennese State Opera ball was a popular gathering place of shady networkers and corrupt lawmakers, Fischer told radio station Ö1 that there was no direct connection between the event and the occurrences "which infuriate us all". The former Social Democratic (SPÖ) science minister added that illicit deals could be made at any event including Vienna’s other glamorous balls.
Newspapers point out today that none of the personalities who are accused of being involved in the corruption cartel turned up for this year’s Opera Ball – in contrast to previous editions. Ban Ki-moon, the secretary-general of the United Nations (UN), praised the ball as a "celebration of Austrian music culture". Ban attended the event on invitation of Fischer. The former ambassador of South Korea in Vienna followed all the action on the dance floor from the presidential box.
The UN secretary-general was in the Austrian capital to speak at a conference organised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). French Foreign and European Affairs Minister Alain Juppe and his Austrian counterpart, Michael Spindelegger of the People’s Party (ÖVP), attended the summit at Hofburg Palace as well. Juppe tried to use the opportunity and convince the Russian delegation of a military intervention in Syria.
Ban was not the only politician to link pleasure with politics. Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic, Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and several German politicians attended the 56th State Opera Ball as well. Milanovic discussed his country’s economic challenges with Austrian SPÖ Chancellor Werner Faymann before attending the ball together. German Christian Social Union (CSU) Infrastructure Minister Peter Ramsauer accepted the invitation of Austrian SPÖ Traffic Minister Doris Bures.
State Opera director Dominique Meyer, Austrian Economy Chamber (WKO) President Christoph Leitl, FlyNiki founder Niki Lauda, tennis legend Boris Becker and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Sir Roger Moore were among the over 5,000 guests of the sold-out event as well. Moore – who starred in seven "James Bond" films – described himself as a "viewer" when being asked by Austrian broadcaster ORF whether he planned to take to the floor.
Moore came to Vienna on the initiative of Richard Lugner. The Lugner City boss was also accompanied by Danish actress and model Brigitte Nielsen. The ex-wife of "Rocky" star Sylvester Stallone said: "My heart is about to explode. I am totally overwhelmed by everything. The Opera Ball is wonderful. It’s lots of fun."
Lugner experienced enormous difficulties with his personal star guests of the night in recent years. Model Paris Hilton tried in vain to flee from the paparazzi on her way to his box four years ago. Actress Nicollette Sheridan, who accompanied the 79-year-old entrepreneur in 2009, also looks back on a rather stressful night at the opera. "Mean Girls" star Lindsay Lohan was set to attend the ball with Lugner two years ago but had to call off her visit to Austria after missing her flight.
Lugner said already ahead of yesterday’s event that Nielsen "is the nicest Opera Ball guest I have ever had". He pointed out that the star of the most recent edition of RTL’s "Ich bin ein Star – Holt mich hier raus!" (I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!) was "not complicated at all".
» Travel 2013-04-01
Looking out of the window you may think of anything other than summer, but it is rapidly approaching and that means one thing - Summer holidays!
» Panorama 2013-03-18
Glamour and glitz were out in force at the weekend as stars from Austria and further afield flocked over the red carpet into the Vienna City Hall for a night of awards, dance and partying!
» Panorama 2013-02-11
By far the sweetest event in the Vienna Ball season - the Bonbon Ball took place this weekend.
» Sports 2012-05-31
Marcel Koller has taken a stand on his predecessorís policies.
» Sports 2012-05-23
Manchester United have signalised interest in David Alaba.
» Panorama 2012-05-22
The Austrian Times has once again searched the book publishing market of German-speaking Europe to list some of the most interesting releases of the past weeks and months.
» General News 2012-03-23
Horst Tschaikner has been named head of Viennaís new anti-truancy office.
» Sports 2012-03-09
Werder Bremen star Marko Arnautovic will be sidelined for more than a month after injuring his knee while playing with his dog.
» Panorama 2012-02-17
Political leaders and showbiz stars had only kind words about last nightís (Thurs) Opera Ball.
First Images Of Eurovision Stage
These are 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.
Russian Mafia Boss Nabbed At Vienna Railway Station
A Russian mobster wanted for a string of brutal murders was arrested in the gentile Austrian capital Vienna when commandos swooped as he went to buy a train ticket.
Teen Girls Arrested After Offering Themselves To IS Fighters
Austrian officials who recently cracked down on terrorism by arresting several people believed to be recruiting and fundraising for ISIS have revealed two more teenage girls tried to leave the country to marry terrorist fighters.
Ebola's deadly reach impacts Vienna student
Austria has yet to record its first case of Ebola, but the feared virus has already had a severe impact on the lives of Africans living in Vienna.
Grigorij Sokolov Works His Magic At Vienna Konzerthaus
Whilst the world-famous Wizard of Oz played at the Volksoper, there was another Wizard in the Konzerthaus giving his 16th performance in Vienna!
Penelope Cruz To Play The Ice Cream Killer
The memoirs of the woman dubbed the Ice Cream Killer after she shot dead two ex-lovers before hacking the bodies up with a chainsaw and telling neighbours the noise was a new ice cream machine are due to be turned into a blockbuster with Penelope Cruz playing the lead role.
Kid Left In Coma After Beaten By Teacher For Talking
This is the shocking image of a little Chinese girl before and after she was punished by her teacher - for talking in class.
Freezing Rain Causes Chaos In Central Europe
Freezing weather has arrived in Europe with a vengeance with a layer of ice blanketing parts of Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic and causing traffic chaos.
Holey Smoke As Car Disappears Down Sinkhole
Motorist Wei Hsiao found himself in a hole lot of trouble in China when a giant sinkhole opened up on the road beneath him, swallowing his entire car.
Shock Moment Police Helicopter Explodes On Street
This is the moment a police helicopter exploded into a spinning ball of flame in Chile when a fire truck clipped one of its rotors.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Lorry Carrying Fireworks Explodes After Driver Lights Up Fag|
|Chinese Smoker Plunges Eight Floors And Survives Unharmed|
|Wheely Cruel As Dogs Head Partially Severed By Wire|
|Russian Bear Movie Star Risks Becoming Lion Food|
|Man Used Seat As Toilet Outside A Disco|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.