The Austrian government crisis 2019

This is not a political commentary. It is just an attempt to explain in simple words what actually happened.

In 2017, a few undercover guys… who, exactly, is unclear… contacted some Austrian politicians of the extreme right (FPÖ). They set up a fake meeting with a (fake) russian oligarch family.
They rented a big house in Ibiza and there had a six-hour meeting with the politicians.
Promising these politicians an investment of half a billion Euro AND making them drink vodka, AND confronting them with extremely hot female „oligarch nieces“, they got them to talk freely of their projects for the future.
Both these politicians were to enter a coalition in the Austrian government very shortly afterwards.
The two Austrian politicians totally fell for the plot. Believing they had found powerful financial and political support, they made statements like these:

  • „With your help, we are going to take over the biggest Austrian newspaper and to fire journalists we don’t like“
  • „In exchange for your help, we are going to give you building contracts on state level“
  • „we are going to cancel all state contracts with a big Austrian construction company and give said contracts to you“
  • „we are going to channel your money through illegal accounts, which we already have set up quite cleverly and which are already being used by several Austrian companies (who were named).

Needless to say, all these companies were severely compromised by these utterances.

In addition to that, they badmouthed their own political partner and spread some conspiracy theories.
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It was all recorded clandestinely, of course.
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This video, clearly a set-up, was published very conveniently two years after it was taken. Right before the EU election. The publishers were two German (!!) newspapers, who normally are in competition, but for this occasion worked together.
The video caused a big scandal and led to the immedite demission of the two politicians, both of whom stepped down from all functions and one of whom left the party.
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Only a week later, the Austrian government fell apart. New elections to be held in September.
The coalition partner, a party of the conservative center, was in the aftermath of the scandal voted down by their own former coalition partner, the right-wing extremists that had been at the center of the scandal. They prevented their own coalition partner from ruling on, which would have been quite normal and possible, even until september. The message being: „if we go down, you go down with us“, which to my mind, is bad style at best, and to put it more severely, plain betrayal.
The persons who actually set up the whole video machination and sold the video two years afterwards to German newspapers, are up to this point in time largely unknown…

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