In Austria, investigators searched the chancellery and the headquarters of the conservative ÖVP party. A party spokeswoman confirmed this on Wednesday. From the point of view of the judiciary, among other things, were the workplaces of the speaker and media officer of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP).
The prosecution’s accusations weigh heavily: infidelity, bribery and corruption – Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and his team are said to have used criminal methods on their way to power in the party and the state. Investigators arrived on Wednesday to secure the materials at the Chancellery, ÖVP headquarters, the Finance Ministry and a media company. They have been searching for emails since the beginning of 2016 as well as data carriers, servers, cell phones, and laptops. The closest circle around Kurz – such as the press spokesman, his media advisor and chief strategist – has been affected. Rumors The impending raid had been going on for days.
Kurtz dismissed the suspicion of corruption. “I am convinced that these allegations will soon be over,” said conservative politician (ÖVP) broadcaster ORF. He accused investigators of taking the chat messages out of context or distorting them. “And then a criminal charge is created around him.” Federal President Alexander van der Bellen spoke of an unusual and extremely dangerous incident in light of the home inspections.
Investigators’ justification for the 104-page search is difficult. The wording was published by online investigative portal Zackzack, which was succeeded by former Green Leader and former National Assembly member Peter Beals.
The document raises suspicions that Kurz was involved in a deal with an Austrian media company. According to the prosecution, from April 2016 onwards, as the then Secretary of State, he was involved in influencing editorial content with taxpayer-funded advertisements. Surveys are said to have played a central role, their timing, questions and evaluation being influenced by Kurz’s team.
The ÖVP party and the media company vehemently denied the allegations. “At no time was there an agreement between the Austrian media group and the Ministry of Finance to pay for surveys through advertisements,” the media group said. ÖVP Deputy Secretary-General Gabriela Schwartz spoke out in a letter of false accusations. “It always happens with the same goal and order: to inflict massive damage on the People’s Party and Sebastian Kurz,” she said. The investigators are apparently all about “showing the effect”. The leader of the ÖVP’s parliamentary group, August Vogginger, declared resistance. “We will oppose this with all our might at the political and legal levels,” he added.
Money over a million euro According to the attorney general’s office, they should have flowed from the Ministry of Finance’s budget when Kurz sought to take over the ÖVP. In 2017, he won a power struggle against the hopelessly inferior ÖVP leader Reinhold Mitterleiner, and in December 2017 became an advisor to the right-wing ÖVP and FPÖ alliance.
Even after that, the cooperation between the Chancellery and the media company had to continue. “I have never gone as far as we have come. Great investment. (…) Whoever pays creates. I like it,” according to the investigation documents, it was said in a short chat message from a close friend of the Ministry of Finance after the requested report was placed again. On the same day, Curtis is said to have thanked the sender: “Thanks for Austria Today!””
The government crisis now seems almost inevitable. The Green Party, as the ÖVP’s partner in the coalition since January 2020, has always emphasized that only “clean politics” can be done with them. The alliance of ÖVP and Greens has been repeatedly accused against ÖVP Elimination burdened. Vice Chancellor and Green Leader Werner Kogler said on Wednesday that “attacks on the judiciary as a whole must be rejected.” Falter editor-in-chief Florian Klink wrote on Twitter: “After a quick first reading of this home search warrant and the chats it included, one can say with confidence that the alliance between the ÖVP and the Greens is no longer possible. Game over.”
The alliance, which, according to its doctrine, wanted to combine the best of the two-party world, had to overcome difficult moments again and again. Recently, the Greens have called for at least humanitarian gestures on the refugee issue, for example in the current Afghanistan crisis. On the other hand, the ÖVP under Kurz’s leadership relied entirely on its strict anti-immigration course, which was supported by many citizens.
The opposition sees the investigation as confirmation of the suspicion of corruption in the environment of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. «For brevity and turquoise family It is getting closer and closer,” commented the SPÖ, referring to the party color of the ÖVP. “The turquoise card house is falling apart with the collapse,” said Kristian Deutsch, SPÖ’s federal managing director. Twitter Consultant resignation.
If one takes political responsibility seriously, the chancellor will have to take the consequences in this situation and step down from office. (PRW)
– Pamela Rendiwagner (@rendiwagner) October 6, 2021
According to the right-wing FPÖ, “the turquoise leadership of the ÖVP has increasingly transformed into a criminal organization in recent years.” The ÖVP is primarily concerned with power, and the Secretary General of the Liberal Neuss, Douglas Hoyos, has been criticized. He asked the chancellor to help clarify the situation rather than damage the reputation of the judiciary. Andreas Hunger, an ÖVP member of parliament, spoke on Tuesday about “left cells” within the WKSTA, which wanted to damage Kurz’s reputation in a targeted manner. (sda/dpa)
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