What/who links the Villa Hohe Warte to Austria’s biggest banking scandal?
A tram accident (they seem to be getting more frequent – yesterday I was stuck behind a load of queued 43 and 44 trams on the way to the hairdresser) meant that my 38 tram home was diverted to Hohe Warte (ie. where the 37 tram goes). I decided to stay on it and change at Barawitzkagasse onto the 39a, which runs up to Sievering and jump out and pass the penguins on Börnergasse. The bus stop for the 39a is in front of the new compound for Chinese staff to the UN, and the building, which was an orphanage and children’s home until around the turn of the millennium has been spruced up, since having been bought in 2014.
When it was sold back in the noughties, it was bought by a Croatian General, Vladimir Zagorec, who lived in Austria and reinvented himself as a property developer. He was imprisoned for 7 years for embezzlement, relating to his time as Croatian Assistant Minister of Defence. There was also talk of him having stolen diamonds intended as part of a weapons deal. It emerged that he was bankrolled by Austria’s Hypo Alpe Adria Bank (to the tune of around EUR 70 million).