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Wednesday, 11 December, 2002, 08:28 GMT
Postcard from Vienna

Day one, Vienna: must get a feel for this city. A stroll round the gardens of the Hofburg, the Habsburgs' former residence.

The buildings are testimony to former imperial might.

Vienna skyline
Vienna was once at the heart of European affairs

A more intimate insight into the family with a tour of the imperial apartments, where Franz Josef I lived with his beautiful Bavarian wife in the 19th Century.

I'm struck by Elisabeth's personal gymnasium and the huge amounts of imperial cutlery on display in the silver collection.

Problems with a horse

Day two: meet producer Vanessa and sound engineer Yvonne in the central Cafe Griensteidl to soak up some of Vienna's coffee house atmosphere and get out of the freezing cold.

Yvonne has done a recce with the satellite dish for Tuesday's live broadcast from a nearby park.

A statue of a horse could present problems with the signal.

"Never mind," she says cheerily, "we'll just aim to the right of the horse's backside".

Problem solved.

Reunification

Nip off to collect voxpops from a Christmas market.

Most of the people are positive about EU enlargement except for the owner of one stall.

The Hungarians want to take all our money, he says, and Turkey is in Asia, not Europe.

Another tells me he's so fed up with the euro that he's converting his salary into Swiss francs.

The Austrian Chancellor
Chancellor Schuessel has enlargement in hand

Day three: appointment at the Bundeskanzleramt to get the official view from Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel.

Enlargement is his pet project so, not surprisingly, he's upbeat.

It is a historic reunification of the continent, he tells me, and Austria will be at the heart of a revived Mitteleuropa.

In from the cold

Day four: 7.30 in the morning.

Outside broadcast from a market. Temperature: -7 Celsius.

Live interview with an expert from the Austrian Institute for International Affairs.

Both of us do our best to stop shivering as he explains that there are concerns in Austria about enlargement.

Short-term some fear losing their jobs to cheap labour from the East.

But in the long term, the economic benefits will become clear.

Interview done, we go shivering off on our separate ways.

All in the cause of live radio and the European project!

The BBC World Service has a team providing special reports from around the continent on how the enlargement of the European Union is going to affect Europe's citizens. You can hear them on the World Today at 0600 GMT and on Europe Today at 1700 GMT.


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See also:

10 Dec 02 | Europe
06 Dec 02 | Europe
06 Dec 02 | Europe
02 Dec 02 | Europe
25 Oct 02 | Europe
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