The big news broke today. Unsurprisingly, this involves a political party that thrives on populism, namely their frontman and current vice chancellor of Austria, Heinz-Christian Strache. Link to the story in German:
The gist of it is that somebody set up a trap on the Spanish island Ibiza a few months before the elections in 2017. Strache was made to believe that he was talking to the niece of a Russian oligarch with close ties to Putin. Strache went into great detail how he could get control over the media - in particular Austria's biggest newspaper 'Kronen Zeitung' - to strengthen the influence of his party, and how a big donation (up to €250m) would pay off for his allegedly Russian partner by assigning government projects for infrastructure to a company under the umbrella of his Russian partner. Strache also talks about his intentions regarding foreign politics, such as teaming up with Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland in their anti-EU stance. Unsurprisingly, he considers all these things necessary, because otherwise Austria would be taken over by Islam before too long.
Speculation in the aftermath of this video includes topics such as Strache should resign and new elections are in order, because in the video Strache admitted that his political party gathered additional donations via an exploit which is considered an actual violation of laws concerning the funding of political parties in Austria. But all these things will have to be properly reviewed first. Likewise, our chancellor Sebastian Kurz will wait until tomorrow to talk about the consequences.
Naturally, the German media are bullying us poor Austrians and call us a banana republic in their own writeups of this story. Of course they are correct, but it still hurts.
On Saturday both Strache and his right hand man Gudenus have resigned from all of their political positions. Chancellor Kurz has called for new elections because continuing the current coalition is not acceptable; although word is that Kurz would have considered a continuation if the damaged FPÖ had given in to the specific demand of giving back the minister position for inner politics to Kurz's party ÖVP. President van der Bellen stated that it's of utmost importance to restore the people's faith in politics after the events that have transpired this weekend, and that new elections are necessary to achieve that; he will meet with Kurz on Sunday.
Political parties that form the opposition aren't satisfied with Saturday's announcements, they demand full investigation of the donations that both the ÖVP and FPÖ have received for the election in 2017 as well as the current elections concerning the EU parliament.
The revelations of Friday's video have not only led to debates about the government on the country scale, but also led to questions on the province scale because some of them are also governed by coalitions that involve the FPÖ and leaders who had close ties to Strache.Last edited by RolStoppable - on 18 May 2019