A ambitious chancellor and a sensationalist newspaper: the cocktail that has shaken Austria

The image surrounding the young Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is not as impolved as it seems. In an unprecedented process in Austria, the anti-corruption

A ambitious chancellor and a sensationalist newspaper: the cocktail that has shaken Austria

The image surrounding the young Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is not as impolved as it seems. In an unprecedented process in Austria, the anti-corruption prosecutor (WKSTA) has initiated an investigation against the Chancellor and the closest circle of him by alleged crimes of corruption and bribery. In the epicenter of the political operet that is now represented in Vienna, there is the "Media Group Austria" of the controversial Helmuth brothers and Wolgang Fellner. The latter has been charged on several occasions of sexual harassment by professionals who work in their media.

The signs of offices of the prosecution are so powerful that the bomb that justice has in hand could blow up the government. Basically it is accused of Kurz and the closest team of the Popular Party (ÖVP) to use criminal methods to reach power to be based on editorials and opinion polls embellished. In the alleged operation of ascent to the power of Kurz participated, in addition to its closest collaborators, the former Family Minister, the Sociologists Sophie Karmasin and Sabine Beinschab and the Fellner, whom they belong, among others, the free newspaper 'Österreich', The television channel O224.TV, economic journals and for women, in addition to a network of radio stations. Form, as a whole, the largest communication group of Austria and one of the worst reputation has been carved by its sensationalism.

"I am convinced that very soon it will be seen that all the accusations are false, a process is being built to sustain a criminal accusation," said Chancellor after the records that the Prosecutor's Office perceeded Wednesday simultaneously in the Offices of the ÖVP, in the Chancellery, in the Ministry of Finance, at the particular home of people close to Kurz and at the headquarters of a media company. Emails were sought from early 2016, as well as data, servers, mobile phones and laptops

Kurz is convinced that it was an orchestrated operation in order to take out chat messages out of context or misrepresent them. The ÖVP closed ranks around its leader through a statement. "After the false accusations that have already been made against Sebastian Kurz, Josef Pröll, Gernot Blümel, Hartwig Löger and Bernhard Bonelli and others (in relation to the so-called Case Ibiza) and that have been unfounded, more accusations are being built About facts that were partly five years ago. It always happens with the same objective and system: massively harm the popular party and Sebastian Kurz. "

The former general secretary of ÖVP Andreas Hanger was beyond. "One has the impression that there are two different standards in Austria"; that there are "home records for political reasons by left cells in the WKSTA".

The rumors of an imminent raid circulated in Vienna after the online research portal disseminated a document of 104 pages attributed to the Prosecutor's Office.

According to the information of Zackzack, a platform directed by the former Green Leader and a former member of the National Council, Peter Pilz, the chancellor bought the ascent to power with bribes to an Austrian media company. The relationship began in April 2016, when, as well as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kurz looked at the chancellery with ambition. The Prosecutor's Office suspects that the young minister was assured, after payment, editorials in favor of him, comments that were based on surveys truched by the ÖVP.

The information collected so far speak of "advertising and media cooperation agreements with a total volume" around 1.3 million euros. The funds came out of the public coffers and with the approval of the then Secretary General of the Ministry of Finance, Thomas Schmid. That leads researchers to think that the finance portfolio diverted money for the surveys who, in the opinion of the prosecutor, were "exclusively motivated for the political breakthrough of the party".

Kurz won in 2017 the fight for power against the irremediably lower leader of the ÖVP party, Reinhold Mitterlehner, and in December 2017 it became a chancellor of a coalition of ÖVP and the right-wing FPÖ. The cooperation between the Foreign Ministry and the Media Company, however, continued. "I have never come so far away. Big investment. (...) Who pays creates, I love," he reads in some of the chats collected by the Prosecutor's Office. Kurz responds with a: "Thanks for Austria today!"

The ÖVP and the Austria group, the most important in the country, have denied accusations vehemently. "At no time was there an agreement between the Austrian media group and the Ministry of Finance on the payment of surveys through advertisements," the media group announced. All this is "a misunderstanding," he holds.

The Undersecretary General of ÖVP, Gabriela Schwarz, on the other hand, spoke in a message of false accusations. "It always happens with the same goal and system: massively damage the popular party and Sebastian Kurz," she said. Researchers apparently want a "spectacle effect". The leader of the Parliamentary Group of ÖVP, August Wöginger, announced resistance. "We will oppose this with all our strength, both politically and legal".

The government crisis now seems almost inevitable. The Greens, as a partner of the ÖVP in the coalition since January 2020, had always emphasized that with them a "clean politics" was only possible. The Alliance of ÖVP and the Greens has been recently overwhelmed by accusations of ÖVP against the judiciary. The Vicenciller and Leader of the Greens, Werner Kogler, declared that "attacks against the judiciary as a whole must be rejected." The head editor of the magazine 'Falter', Florian Klenk, wrote on Twitter: "After the first fast reading of this home registration order and the chats it contained, one can safely say that the coalition of ÖVP and the greens It is a finished game.

Updated Date: 08 October 2021, 16:52

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