Austrian snap election after far Right Vice Chancellor caught trading govt business to Russians for political aid.

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Austrian snap election after far Right Vice Chancellor caught trading govt business to Russians for political aid.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-19 04:58am

Well, trying to, anyway... he got caught by someone posing as a Russian oligarch's niece (the government claims the video was taken illegally) and resigned.

https://www.euronews.com/2019/05/18/aus ... kingNews=1
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced on Saturday that the country will hold snap elections as soon as possible following the resignation earlier of Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache.

"Enough is enough," Kurz said in a statement to the media, adding that he does not have the impression Strache's Freedom Party (FPÖ) is willing to change, listing several lesser scandals the far-right party has been involved in.

"The FPÖ is harming our path of change with its behaviour," he went on, calling on voters to give his People's Party "a clear election mandate".

Austria is ruled by a coalition between Kurz's People Party and Strache's FPÖ.

President Alexander Van der Bellen, who described the election as "necessary", said in a statement that he and Kurz would discuss the next steps regarding the new vote on Sunday.

Strache announced his resignation on Saturday morning after footage published by German newspapers appeared to show him discussing state contracts with a potential Russian backer in exchange for political support.

The leader of the far-right Freedom Party announced in a news conference he would be replaced by Transport Minister Norbert Hofer and that Kurz had accepted his resignation.

Political analyst Thomas Hofer described the development as "huge". "This has to be the end of Heinz-Christian Strache."

The video, recorded in July 2017 — months before the election that brought this government to power — showed Strache in Ibiza meeting a woman posing as a Russian oligarch's niece.

It shows Strache apparently offering to funnel state contracts towards a company in exchange for political and financial support, though he also said he wanted everything to be done legally.

It was reported on Friday evening by two of neighbouring Germany's leading media — weekly Der Spiegel and newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung. The newspaper reports also said the video appeared to be a sting operation.

Senior figures in the government — a coalition of Kurz's conservatives and the Freedom Party — held a crisis meeting on Friday night.

Strache did not reply to a request for comment. Reuters was not able to verify the authenticity of the footage independently, and the German newspapers did not say how they obtained it.

Strache has headed the party since 2005, bringing it back to mainstream electoral success not seen since it was led by the charismatic Joerg Haider. It secured 26% of the vote in 2017's parliamentary election.

The video is also a headache for Kurz, whose party is still leading in opinion polls but far short of a majority. The only other party with enough seats for a majority is the Social Democrats, with which Kurz, an immigration hard-liner, has difficult relations.

The Freedom Party (FPO) co-chairman, Christian Hafenecker, said the party's lawyers were evaluating the material.

Neither Strache nor the FPO ever received or granted any benefits from the persons concerned, Hafenecker said in a statement.

"Since the video was obviously recorded illegally, we are also preparing appropriate legal steps."

Vienna prosecutors said they would study the reports and decide whether there was sufficient cause to open an investigation, a spokeswoman for the prosecutors said.

"The FPO is finished," ran the headline in the tabloid Kronen Zeitung, which featured in the video since the woman said the oligarch wanted to buy a stake.

It remains unclear who was behind the recording.
See, this is how Collusion should be dealt with.
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Re: Austrian snap election after far Right Vice Chancellor caught trading govt business to Russians for political aid.

Post by LaCroix » 2019-05-19 06:36pm

It's going to be huge...

In the video, he names a lot of people he claims have violated campain finance, at least. There will be a lot of questions be asked.
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Re: Austrian snap election after far Right Vice Chancellor caught trading govt business to Russians for political aid.

Post by Ace Pace » 2019-05-20 02:15am

There's a whole bunch of interesting second order questions regarding this article, considering whoever the source was sat on it for two years.

1. Why now?
2. What's the interest in bringing down the government? Did they predict this?
3. Who did it?

There aren't many options for who held on to the tapes and audio and it's very weird that it got published in this time.
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Re: Austrian snap election after far Right Vice Chancellor caught trading govt business to Russians for political aid.

Post by LaCroix » 2019-05-20 07:30am

Ace Pace wrote:
2019-05-20 02:15am
There's a whole bunch of interesting second order questions regarding this article, considering whoever the source was sat on it for two years.

1. Why now?
2. What's the interest in bringing down the government? Did they predict this?
3. Who did it?

There aren't many options for who held on to the tapes and audio and it's very weird that it got published in this time.
German newspaper... someone leaked it to them.
Probably took some time to verify the story and try digging deeper.

But in a nutshell -> EU elections in 2 weeks ...
Bringing down the government is an added bonus, I guess.

To be honest, Strache has been behaving much like Trump, as much as he did get away with it - Kurz was already pissed off at them for causing a lot of political trouble. This was pretty much the last straw...
A minute's thought suggests that the very idea of this is stupid. A more detailed examination raises the possibility that it might be an answer to the question "how could the Germans win the war after the US gets involved?" - Captain Seafort, in a thread proposing a 1942 'D-Day' in Quiberon Bay

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Re: Austrian snap election after far Right Vice Chancellor caught trading govt business to Russians for political aid.

Post by Ace Pace » 2019-05-20 09:52am

LaCroix wrote:
2019-05-20 07:30am
Ace Pace wrote:
2019-05-20 02:15am
There's a whole bunch of interesting second order questions regarding this article, considering whoever the source was sat on it for two years.

1. Why now?
2. What's the interest in bringing down the government? Did they predict this?
3. Who did it?

There aren't many options for who held on to the tapes and audio and it's very weird that it got published in this time.
German newspaper... someone leaked it to them.
Probably took some time to verify the story and try digging deeper.

But in a nutshell -> EU elections in 2 weeks ...
Bringing down the government is an added bonus, I guess.
No shit someone leaked to them, the question is who? There may be multiple parties that have access to the video/audio. Obviously the people who bugged the house, but also anyone who received the data from them (legally or illegally).
That may be the Austrian intelligence agency, it could be the Russians. Whoever ran the meeting obviously would have recorded everything for blackmail purposes.
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Re: Austrian snap election after far Right Vice Chancellor caught trading govt business to Russians for political aid.

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-05-20 10:00am

If Russians killed FPÖ by such a leak, they did everyone a massive service. :lol:
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Re: Austrian snap election after far Right Vice Chancellor caught trading govt business to Russians for political aid.

Post by LaCroix » 2019-05-20 11:56am

Ace Pace wrote:
2019-05-20 09:52am
No shit someone leaked to them, the question is who? There may be multiple parties that have access to the video/audio. Obviously the people who bugged the house, but also anyone who received the data from them (legally or illegally).
That may be the Austrian intelligence agency, it could be the Russians. Whoever ran the meeting obviously would have recorded everything for blackmail purposes.
Well, most likely that some German reporters or the German intelligence did it. Not the first time someone tries to set up a honey trap to get a politician to do something stupid on camera.

German intel has been wary about FPÖ and Strache for a long time, even declaring them all kinds of bad things lately.
(And honestly, I doubt the Austrian Intel agency is even remotely capable of setting something like that up, especially since in a small country like ours, all people working there are pretty much known to any remotely looking into it - Strache and his guys (one of them Minister of interior, and thus in charge of austrian Intel) are long-time players - they would know pretty much everyone possibly involved in such a plot if it originated in Austria, at least one of their contacts would have gotten wind of that. So most likely not Austrian actors.)

And of course it made a perfect hit job - they got this material shortly before the election in 2017, in which the FPÖ did not win, but got junior status. They seemingly used a wait and see aproach, and chose to release that stuff two weeks before the next election in order to get the best possible impact.

Using it right after the election would have been a scandal, but they could just have sat it out (since talking about such things would not be illegal, per se, only immoral and inappropriate) and talked it over, maybe switched seats and maybe have him retire, but in two or four years, people would have forgotten... This way, it got the most impact possible, at least spoiling an election as well, while tainting him and Gudenus forever as would-be-traitors selling their motherland to the highest bidder. (Their own retoric, can't let this slide :) )

I'm still wondering what other dirt they have on him, or what he fears they might have on him, because for Strache to just roll over and quit like that, he must be wary of a far worse thing to surface - he's usually quite good at explaining such "isolated incidents" and "political hitjobs" away and projecting himself of a victim of a smear campain ( - by people replaying his own words verbatim... But he is a good con man...)

Also, most likely not russia - Strache was (along with Orban) one of the Tinpot wannabees cozying up to Russia....
Getting the Right-wingers out of the government in Austria will definitely not be a good thing for Russia, quite the opposite, since they were the most vocal anti-EU ones having any say in national and EU parliament...
A minute's thought suggests that the very idea of this is stupid. A more detailed examination raises the possibility that it might be an answer to the question "how could the Germans win the war after the US gets involved?" - Captain Seafort, in a thread proposing a 1942 'D-Day' in Quiberon Bay

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