Austria: The video evidence | TIME ONLINE

It should have been an ordinary campaign appearance for Harald Vilimsky. This Friday afternoon in innsbruck The FPÖ lead candidate wanted to stroll across the city center for the European elections, for two hours, after all, it's election campaign. Everything was agreed, journalists waited, counter-demonstrators too. Ten minutes before the start of the walk was canceled. Only his planned final speech on stage would Vilimsky still hold – where no questions bother. "Time has shifted everything," it said. But rumors were already buzzing through the air that a big revelation might be imminent.

Vilimsky, the EU parliamentarian, top candidate and secretary-general of his party, must have known at the time what would strike his party in the early evening. Only a few hours later, the politician had just finished his speech in Innsbruck, published the mirror and the Southgerman newspaper a video that has the potential to blow up the Austrian government.

On the video you can see and, above all, hear how today's Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, together with Johann Gudenus, then Deputy Mayor of Vienna and today's leader of the FPÖ in parliament, making promises that make the two at least seem corruptible. According to them, in July 2017 they met with decoys in Ibiza, including a supposed Russian oligarchic niece, who claims to invest a quarter of a billion euros in Austria. Strache's reaction, in short: if she helps him win the election and maybe even the Kronen-Zeitung, Austria's largest tabloid, would take over shortly before the election, then you could "talk about everything". For example, about later acquiring state construction contracts.

The crown is not any newspaper

Much is still unclear. Who has set the trap, for example, or if there were other meetings. But that the Kronen-Zeitung at the heart of Strache Considerations is not a coincidence. Because she is not just any leaf.

In the small and highly concentrated Austrian media market, the Crown the tone. In no other European country do tabloid media have such a great influence on political culture and social debates as in Austria, With a circulation of more than 700,000 copies a day, it leaves the competition far behind. She is more influential than that image in Germany or the Sun in England. Renowned political scientist Fritz Plasser described Austria as "boulevard democracy". That is why all parties fight for the favor of Crown, And that's why all the tabloids are backed by generous advertisements from parties, ministries, and state-affiliated companies.

Heinz-Christian Strache was therefore not without scrutiny when he was promised in Ibiza, he could in one way or another control of the Crown win. For him and his party it would have been the biggest gift before the Nationalrat election.


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