Austria: New details on the Ibiza video – Chancellor Kurz meets Federal President for new elections
Political earthquake following a scandalously shot scandal video: Vice-Chancellor and FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache give up both offices because of the Ibiza affair. Now there should be quick new elections.
- Austria’s Vice-Chancellor and FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache has resigned from office after the “Ibiza affair”.
- A controversial video suggests that in 2017 he had promised public procurement for a supposedly wealthy Russian girl in return for campaigning.
- Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) no longer wants to continue the coalition with the right-wing populist FPÖ and is seeking new elections.
11:04: The sensational video about the now-retired FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache has not been published specifically shortly before the European elections in the words of a “Spiegel” editor. The recordings were not intentionally placed before the election in late May, Wolf Wiedmann-Schmidt said the station n-tv. “We got the video during the month and evaluated. And when we were sure that it was authentic and genuine, we said: Then we will publish the video. ”
Where the material comes from, he could not say for reasons of source protection, Wiedmann-Schmidt continued. When asked what else would be seen on the hours-long video, he replied, “We made a targeted selection. Exactly the statements that we consider to be relevant to the public. We will not make private chats public. We were only interested in making the politically sensitive events public. “According to the” Süddeutsche Zeitung “, which also received the video, the material was handed over to an abandoned hotel on USB sticks.
10.33 clock: After the break of the right-wing conservative coalition in Austria, Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) has sharply attacked the right-wing populist FPÖ. “Sebastian Kurz is right: enough is enough,” wrote Söder on Sunday on his Facebook page. “For months the right-wing populists in Austria have been struck by massive transgressions. With such groups cannot work seriously, “said the CSU chairman. “Right-wing populists lack the character’s aptitude.”
19 May, 8.36 clock: Already on Sunday morning wants to discuss Austrian Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz with Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen the next steps towards new elections. This is reported by the Tagesschau. The President is to receive the Federal Chancellor. Now “must be done what is necessary to restore confidence,” said Van der Bellen on Saturday in Vienna.
News of May 18: Government crisis in Austria after a scandal video
22: 36: Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen announced on Sunday with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz to discuss the way forward.
Austria’s Strache affair: clear words from Van der Bellen
20: 38: “The images that reach us since yesterday, show a disturbing moral picture that our country, our Austria is not fair. They are shameful pictures. And nobody should be ashamed of Austria, “said Austria’s Federal President Van der Bellen in his statement on the government crisis on Saturday. In his opinion, confidence in the government must be restored. It needed ruthless enlightenment. A rebuilding can only be achieved with new elections, said Van der Bellen.
— A. Van der Bellen (@vanderbellen) May 18, 2019
Austria’s Strache Affair: “Enough is enough” – Kurz announces new elections
8:15 pm: One week before the European elections, the right-wing conservative government in Austria broke up. Austria’s Federal President Van der Bellen wanted to submit an opinion at 20:35.
19.50 clock: Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (32) speaks. In the sense of the material work, he did not renounce according to own data the coalition so far. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) announces the coalition with the right-wing populist FPÖ and announces new elections in Austria. He had asked the Federal President Alexander van der Bellen “to call new elections as soon as possible”.
7.40 pm: For hours, Austria has been waiting for Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
Strache affair: signs are in Austria on new elections
18: 43: New elections in Austria seem after the resignation of Vice Chancellor and FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache on the plan to stand, as various media have learned from political circles. At 19 o’clock the doors to the Federal Chancellery open. 200 journalists are waiting for a statement from Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP). The mood in Austria is heated up. Demonstrators in Vienna call for new elections.
17:17: In the Ibiza scandal over the resigned FPÖ leader and Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) will speak publicly on Saturday evening. Shortly wanted to make a statement at 19.45 clock.
Austria: Böhmermann knew Strache video – hints already weeks ago
17. 03 clocks: The satirist Jan Böhmermann knew the tricky video weeks ago. This confirmed his manager Peter Burtz on Saturday the news agency DPA. He denied that the recordings Böhmermann had been offered. Since they had not been offered to him, he had not rejected them. He did not know where Böhmermann knew the recordings, said Burtz.
Böhmermann had already hinted at the case in a video message at the presentation of the Austrian TV prize Romy in April (see our previous updates below). The performance had him then brought sharp criticism in Austrian media. He honored the Austrian government, it was said at that time.
14:52: SPD leader Andrea Nahles calls for an end to the coalition between the conservative ÖVP and the right-wing populist FPÖ in Austria. “In Austria, there must be new elections,” said Nahles the news magazine “Der Spiegel” after the resignation of Austrian Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache (FPÖ). “A simple resignation of FPÖ chief Strache is not enough.”
In view of the video affair, Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) has sharply criticized the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) for his coalition with right-wing populists. “Right-wing populists are the enemies of freedom, making common cause with right-wing populists is irresponsible,” said Maas der Bild am Sonntag.
The Greens chairman Robert Habeck called for new elections in Austria. “It must be drawn a line,” said Habeck on Saturday at a constituent party of the Greens on the European elections. FDP leader Christian Lindner told the mirror: “The affair reveals something of the true thinking of right-wing populists.”
13:28: An ORF reporter speaks of an aggressive mood on the Vienna Ballhausplatz. According to police, around 2000 to 3000 demonstrators gathered around Ballhausplatz in downtown Vienna. They demanded loud new elections. It is looking forward to the announced statement by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, whose decision on a possible termination or continuation of the coalition with the FPÖ is allegedly already established, the reporter.
Strache affair in Austria: Strache speaks of a “secretive staged trap”
12:16: FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache evaluated in his statement to the press the Ibiza affair as “secret service controlled actions” – these are wickedness cannot be surpassed. Strache wants to force the release of the entire video material and speaks of a “drunken story”. Strache said his remarks in the video were “typically alcoholic macho” on his part that he behaved “boastfully as a teenager”. His wife apologized to Strache. Strache rated the affair as a “targeted political assassination attempt” and a “secretive-staged lock-trap”. He also wanted to clarify what role Jan Böhmermann plays in it. Strache claims that Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) has asked for his resignation and wants to give up his post as FPÖ leader. Short will accept his resignation offer, said Strache. Asked by journalists did not allow Strache.
Strache tries FPÖ-typical to turn the perpetrator-victim role turned political scientist Peter Filzmaier on ORF the submissions of the still FPÖ chief. It is still unclear whether Chancellor Kurz cancels the coalition with the FPÖ or keeps the government alive with other Liberal personnel. The alliance of ÖVP and FPÖ has been in power since December 2017.
Also, the FPÖ faction leader in the national council, Johann Gudenus, resigned on Saturday because of the video affair of all political offices. He wanted to express his “deepest regret over the two-year-old incidents,” said Gudenus, who had acted as interpreter at the meeting in the Villa in Ibiza. He deeply regrets that his behavior has disappointed the confidence placed in him by voters, officials, and employees.
Austria Strache affair: CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer comments on Strache
11:35: The CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has taken the affair of Austria’s Vice Chancellor and FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache as an opportunity to warn against the further strengthening of right-wing populists in Europe. The recently announced video shows that right-wing populists in Europe, no matter in which country, are willing to sell their country’s interest for their own good, said Kramp-Karrenbrauer on Saturday at the district party rally of the CDU Elbe-Weser in Cuxhaven. She added, “And if it’s for a sandwich. These people are not allowed to take responsibility in Europe. ”
10:52: Austria’s Vice Chancellor and FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache will make a statement at 12 o’clock. That informed his office on Saturday. He is expected to declare his resignation. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) has excluded after dpa information further cooperation with the 49-year-olds.
9:26: Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) excludes after dpa information further cooperation with the Vice Chancellor and FPÖ boss Heinz-Christian Strache. A resignation or a dismissal of the 49-year-old is thus the logical consequence. Strache has an appointment at the Chancellery in the late morning. In the early afternoon, a press conference is expected. In a video shot in secret in Ibiza in 2017, Strache promises public procurement contracts for a supposed Russian oligarch for election campaign assistance, should the FPÖ come to power.
The question now is whether Kurz wants to continue the alliance with a successor to Strache or wants new elections. As a possible successor is the former FPÖ Federal Presidency candidate Norbert Hofer. He is currently Minister of Transport in the Cabinet.
Austria Strache affair: Jan Böhmermann knew incriminating video
Update from 18.5.2019, 6:46: Even before the revelations of the Süddeutsche Zeitung and the mirror, the satirist Jan Böhmermann has apparently known of the straining so secretive video for Strache. Böhmermann had already stated in April at the award ceremony of the Austrian television award Romy in his acceptance speech, which was recorded by video: “I am currently pretty coked and Red Bull-fueled with some FPÖ business friends in a Russian oligarchs villa in Ibiza and around negotiate whether and how I can take over the ‘Kronen Zeitung’ and the power of opinion in Austria can grab me. ” In his broadcast “Neo Magazin Royal,” Böhmermann said the day before the video scandal: “It may be that tomorrow Austria burns. Just let yourself be surprised. ”
Leila Al-Serori from the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” said on Friday evening on ORF television that the video had been offered months ago. The material was then handed over a few weeks ago in an abandoned hotel on USB sticks. Also, Jan Böhmermann had been offered the recordings. However, he did not investigate the case further.
— Joanie Export ✂️✂️✂️✂️✂️ (@Joanalistin) May 17, 2019
Update from 17 May, 22:52: Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, whose conservative ÖVP has entered into a coalition with the FPÖ after the election, wants to speak out according to a government spokesman on Saturday to the reports.
Opposition criticizes Strache: “That’s the most corrosive and disgusting thing I’ve seen.”
10 pm: Will Austria’s right-wing conservative government survive this stress test? This is the central question after the release of a video that puts vice-chancellor and FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache in dire straits. It shows how Strache in July 2017, a few months before the parliamentary elections, seemed ready to make a deal with a supposed Russian oligarch: If you support me, you get in the case of government participation of the FPÖ many public contracts.
The opposition Social Democrats spoke of “probably the biggest political scandal of the Second Republic”. SPÖ leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner stated: “It’s time to put an end to this haunting. For Federal Chancellor Kurz, there is only one way: The transition to the Federal President. The road to illiberal democracy – for some apparently synonymous with kleptocracy – was long planned. ”
The head of the liberal News, Beate Meinl-Reisinger, commented on the video: “That’s incredible. That’s the most corrosive and disgusting thing I’ve seen. “Strache must resign, the FPÖ is not sustainable, she told the German Press Agency.
The FPÖ went into the counter-offensive. “As the video was obviously taken illegally, we are also preparing the appropriate legal action,” said FPÖ General Secretary Christian Hafenecker. He emphasized that both Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache and the FPÖ “would never have received or granted any benefits from these persons”.
Austria’s Strache affair puts Vice Chancellor in distress: “Want media landscape similar to Orban”
Vienna – Three months before the Austrian parliamentary election in 2017, FPÖ party leader Heinz-Christian Strache (now vice-chancellor) and then vice-mayor of Vienna Johann Gudenus were in Ibiza. There they met a woman who was presented to them as a rich Russian and should be the niece of near-Putin oligarchs. There was a long conversation that was secretly recorded. The seven-hour video was sent to the Süddeutsche Zeitung and the Spiegel.
Alleged Russian wants to invest millions in Austria and work together with FPÖ
In the conversation, the Russian woman claims that she wants to invest a few hundred million euros in Austria and work together with the two politicians. Although Strache emphasized, again and again, everything had to be legal and legally compliant. Later, however, he suggested things that seem illegal.
Strache wants to transform the Austrian media landscape according to Orban’s example
The group first spoke about a reorganization of the Austrian media. “We want to build a media landscape similar to the Orban,” says Strache. A statement that causes concern. Since Orban was elected Hungarian Prime Minister again in 2010, the press freedom in his country is not well. Private media were bought by followers Orbans. Most media companies report in compliance with the government. On the press freedom index of “Reporters Without Borders,” Hungary has slipped down 64 places.
The most important Austrian daily paper, the Kronen Zeitung (about two million daily readers, with 8.8 million inhabitants), is owned half by the founding family Dichand and the other by the German Funke media group. The Russian explains to Strache and Gudenus that she wants to buy the Dichand shares. The Dichands have the sole right to determine the content of the newspaper. The FPÖ party leader assures her that the entrepreneur Heinrich Pecina would contribute the other half: “Pecina is an investor who has bought all the Hungarian media of the last 15 years for Orban and prepared for him. (…) He has control of the Funke group. “On request of the Süddeutsche Zeitung explained that he “did not have and had (…) any means to control or influence the Kronen Zeitung in any way whatsoever”.
— Süddeutsche Zeitung (@SZ) May 17, 2019
Austria’s Strache affair: Placencia and the Spark media group deny cooperation
Although Heinrich Pecina, the founder of the investment house Vienna Capital Partners, is not known to influence or even control the Kronen Zeitung, Strache said in Ibiza: “Then you have everything, then you have everything.” Pecina explained that Although he has a long-standing business relationship with the Funke Group, no influence. The spark media group also denied that there was a collaboration with the entrepreneur in 2014.
Austria: Strache hopes for better election result by Kronen takeover
At the time when the two politicians are in Ibiza, the FPÖ ranked second in the polls, but the gap to first and third place was very small. Strache was probably of the opinion that the FPÖ could win the election with more media support. “You tell her if she takes over the Kronen Zeitung three weeks before the election and brings us to the first place, then we can talk about everything,” he said to Gudenus, who translated in Russian.
He was obviously in the grip of illegal activities. “Then she should found a company like Strabag. Because all the government orders that Strabag gets now, she gets it. (…) The first in government participation, what I can promise today, is: The Haselsteiner gets no more orders. ”
Austria: Heinz-Christian Strache promises to hammer Russin orders
The Austrian industrialist Hans Peter Haselsteiner, for many years head of the construction company Strabag, is a patron of the liberal party Neos. Strabag is one of the largest construction companies in the country, with about half of the orders coming from the public sector. Strache offered the alleged Russian woman the chance to pay her the Strabag orders. That would probably be illegal. At the request of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Strabag said that the number of government contracts has been constant in recent years.
FPÖ Vice-Chancellor Strache wanted to drive a dirt campaign against political opponents
During the election campaign in 2017, dirty stories about the political opponents were launched again and again. At that time Starches spokesman explained that the FPÖ was the only “clean player”. The FPÖ politician spoke in the Ibiza video but about alleged misconduct from the private life of high-ranking politicians of SPÖ or ÖVP to play foreign media: “If we manage to organize from one side photos that we play abroad, would the other Believe the other side and then the nuclear war begins. We have to do the trick of making one side visible so the other one can strike. ”
Austria: Illegal donations for the FPÖ? Strache talks about well-known donors
Also on party donations for the FPÖ was spoken. “There are some very wealthy people who pay between 500,000 and one and a half to two million,” Strache said. In Austria, party donations from 50,000 euros must be reported immediately to the Court of Auditors. If the FPÖ actually received donations in the millions, they would have had to be reported. Since 2012, the FPÖ has not informed the Court of Auditors of any major donations.
In the video, Strache brings a new, probably illegal, form of party donation into play. It should be donated to a charitable association, instead of to the party: “The association is charitable, which has nothing to do with the party. As a result, you have no messages to the Court of Auditors. This is a non-profit association, with three lawyers. He has a statute: to make Austria more economical. ”
He says nothing about the name of the club, except that three lawyers are at the top. Strache stated in Ibiza to have pointed out the relevant legal provisions and the need to comply with the Austrian legal system.
Strache continues to talk about well-known donors: “The donors we have are usually idealists. They want tax reduction. For example, Gaston Glock, Heidi Horten (…) is an example. René Benko, who pays the ÖVP and us, one of the largest real estate agents in Austria, Novomatic pays all. “However, none of those officially known as FPÖ donor. If they actually donated, this would have to be done secretly and thus presumably in an illegal way. All denied, however, to have donated to the FPÖ on request.
Austria: Heinz-Christian Strache and FPÖ had to privatize before the ORF
The politician said in the video that he wanted to privatize the ORF: “If we were in government participation, we would even imagine being able to privatize a station. (…) We could imagine putting the ORF completely on a new footing. “The FPÖ and the public ORF repeatedly clash. Recently Strache campaigned for the expulsion of ORF presenter Armin Wolf: “There is a place where lies become news. These are the ORF and the Facebook profile of Armin Wolf. “The FPÖ and ÖVP are currently working on a new ORF law.
Austria: Heinz-Christian Strache and Gudenus pass meet
The two politicians would have given the meeting in the villa in Ibiza on request. “I have repeatedly referred to the relevant legal provisions and the need to comply with the Austrian legal system in this discussion on all issues.” This also applies to “possibly in view of party donations or donations to charitable associations in the sense of the respective club statutes”.
Strache added that he or the FPÖ had “never received or granted any benefits” from these persons. “Incidentally, in addition to the fact that a lot of alcohol was served in the course of the evening, there was also a high language barrier,” SZ and Spiegel quoted the FPÖ politician