Political earthquake in Austria!
After the resignation of Sebastian Kurz (35, ÖVP), his successor as chancellor of Austria has been identified: Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (52) must be sworn in on Monday. Like Kurz, he is a member of the conservative Austrian People’s Party.
“This government crisis is over,” Federal President Alexander van der Bellen (77) said Sunday evening at a press conference in the Vienna Hofburg.
At the same time, Van der Bellen apologized for “the image the image policy has given us.” The president was shocked by the appalling “moral picture” and “disrespect we saw”. This short affair sparked controversy over politics and the popular press in the Alpine Republic.
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The Spark of Short Resignation: A Raid on the Federal Chancellery and Widespread Allegations of Manipulation.
“He who pays, creates.”
Nothing brings the strange relationship between the media and the powerful in Austria to such a point as a WhatsApp message revealing a short message from her close friend Thomas Schmid (45).
For decades, politicians have used the press to polish their image. The motto is here: one hand washes the other. Currency: ads.
In the midst of wild speculation and now investigations too: Wolfgang Willner (66) and his brother Hellmuth (65), millionaire publishers of the influential free newspaper “Austria”.
The search warrant issued Wednesday against Kurtz and his associates only consists of 104 pages, filled with hundreds of chat messages. Accusation: The newspaper is said to have paved the way for Kurz for the chancellorship at the taxpayer’s expense.
The system was as simple as it was effective:
► Kurtz & Co. used a previously unknown polling institute to create rigged surveys.
These polls were published by “Austria” as the newspaper’s own polls. But in fact, it was paid for by the Ministry of Finance using fake invoices.
He made “Austria” – the headlines soon made Kurz popular. Example:
► On January 8, 2017, the daily “Austria” published a full page with political polls on the status of the ÖVP short party. The titles: “ÖVP in the vault of scanning” and “ÖVP will benefit from a short change”.
Fact: Everything was ordered exactly that way by the Kurtz team! Short spokesperson in a text message to Schmid: “Yesterday you said your leg scrapes what you’re going to say in the interview.” Schmid praises via WhatsApp emoji and admits: “I’ve never gone this far. A big investment. Who pays creates.”
Armin Thorner, media expert and editor-in-chief of the Vienna weekly Walther on Bild: “Flinders have never been so sensitive as advertising explosives. They had intimate relations with politics from the start. No one is surprised that the Public Prosecution Office is now investigating such relationships. Everyone knows it, but none of the politicians who pressured them wanted to testify in court.”
According to Thorner, some media in Austria have a great influence: “If politicians, such as Chancellor Christian Kern (SPÖ) refuse advertisements or even give interviews, they are punished with campaigns.”