Austria: Just days after Austrian media revealed e-mail contact between the leader of the Identitarian movement and the Christchurch shooter, and the fact that Sellner must have been warned that cops would raid his house, the fascist movement in Austria was hit by another scandal. This time its all about a video of FPOE leader Heinz-Christian Strache. The Austrian government hass fallen.
Thousands of people gathered at the Ballhaus Platz (square) in Vienna today to demand the resignation of the government. Some are still there but now to celebrate. In the afternoon the leader of the fascist FPOE resigned from the government and during a press conference in the early evening hours OEVP leader Kurz said “enough is enough” and that the government had fallen. Kurz announced new elections.
Video in Tweet below: People celebrating the fall of the Austrian government in Vienna
On Friday, German media outlets Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) and Der Spiegel reported that they had seen a secret recording showing far-right Austrian Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache offering lucrative business deals to a woman who was introduced to him as Alyona Makarova (from now on the woman will be called Alyona Makarova in this article, but she was actually somebody else), the purported niece of Igor Makarov, a Russian oligarch close to Vladimir Putin. Makarova is able to conduct business practically anywhere she wants because she is also in possession of an EU passport from Latvia.
In minute-long extracts of the seven-hour video, which was reportedly filmed on the Spanish island of Ibiza in July 2017, just months before the Austrian elections , Strache and fellow FPOE fascist Johann Gudenus (who also resigned today) can be seen drinking and talking with Alyona Makarova and another man. In the video Makarova said she wanted to invest a few hundred million euros in Austria and she wanted to know whether they could work together on the issue. Whether she and the FPOE could both benefit from the collaboration.
The supposed investor proposed acquiring a 50-percent stake in the Kronen Zeitung, a highly influential Austrian tabloid, and to use the newspaper as a mouthpiece backing Strache and his FPOE party in the election campaign. Strache seemed enthusiastic – mostly about the proposal, but also about the woman herself.
Strache and Makarova spoke for more than 6 hours. Ultimately, a deal took shape: Russian money of uncertain sources would help boost the FPOE’s election results. And it goes without saying that the woman purporting to be Alyona Makarova would also benefit from it.
The woman had a confidant at her side during the talks with Strache. This man did most of the talking when it came to the sensitive issues. He demanded, in German, that they be granted the kind of blatant financial advantages that only a government can provide. The man demanded government contracts for the purported Russian: corruption. They also discussed donations for the FPOE election campaign.
The purported Russian wasn’t the niece of oligarch Makarov, who actually is a real person. She probably also had not hundreds of millions of euros at her disposal. She was simply acting as a lure. The meeting was a trap. In the beginning of the conversation, Strache was actually worried that it could be a trap. “Trap, trap, it’s a trap,” he whispered to Gudenus. But Gudenus assured him: “It’s not a trap.” But the FPOE leader was right. It was a trap. The villa on Ibiza was bugged and outfitted with several hidden cameras.
Fact is that the video recordings and the break-up of the Austrian coalition government, just one week before EU elections, is a severe blow for the far right in Europe. The far right is getting stronger and stronger across the continent. Matteo Salvini of the Italian fascist Lega party and several other far right parties like the FPOE and AFD are working on a fascist parliamentary group in EU parliament . Steve Bannon is one of the people who is actively supporting the project. In an interview with Swiss newspaper NZZ, Bannon said: “After the (EU) elections every day will be Stalingrad. The nationalists will work together.” Bannon is also talking with the German fascist AFD party about support for the AFD in several state elections in Germany later this year.
In France Le Pen’s Rassemblement National, the former Front National party, is in a head-tohead race with Macron’s party and with Nigel Farrage’s Brexit-Party (34% in the polls) there is also a far right party in Britain that could win many seats in EU parliament.
The EU elections take place next week and the FPOE disaster will probably at least weaken the far right parliamentary group in EU parliament for the moment. Personally I don’t believe in the so-called western democracy system. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t important to follow whats happening around elections and the results of elections.
The break-up of the Austrian government might give us some time, but most of all its important to fight fascism on a daily basis. In our workplace, school or university and on the streets. We can only win this fight with resistance from below. Even when the FPOE fascists in Austria have a temporary dip, they are not gone. They have been on the bottom before and came back… Its us who have to stop them! Everywhere!
Support Enough 14!
Donation for our work in the Enough 14 info-café and our independent reporting on our blog and social media channels. Even 1€ can make a difference.
Keep the Enough 14 blog and the Enough 14 Info-Café going. You can do that with a donation here, or by ordering stickers, posters, t-shirts , hoodies or one of the other items here or click at the image below.Support Enough 14! Donate!