The head of the Austrian far right and Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache was indicted on Friday for promising the pseudo-niece of a Russian oligarch public contracts in exchange for financial support.
After the revelations of the German media Süddeutsche Zeitung and Der Spiegel, the main opposition parties have asked for the resignation of the number two government headed by Sebastian Kurz, leader of the conservative party that has ruled with the extreme right since the end of 2017.
According to the information, video clips in support, put online Friday evening, Heinz-Christian Strache participated, in the months preceding the election that brought him to power, to what he believed was a meeting with the niece of a Russian oligarch.
The leader of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) is filmed talking with this interlocutor who makes him glimmer the possibility of investing money in Austria to support his training.
The discussion includes the acquisition of a large shareholding in the powerful Austrian tabloid Kronen Zeitung, the first draw in the country, to make it a pro-FPÖ media.
A move to trap the FPÖ boss
Heinz-Christian Strache, who is accompanied by one of his lieutenants, Johann Gudenus, current leader of the FPÖ parliamentary group, suggests to his interlocutor that he will be able to obtain public contracts in exchange for this support.
The meeting, which took place in a relaxed atmosphere in a villa on the island of Ibiza, lasted six hours, was in fact a filmed shot hidden camera to trap the boss of the FPÖ, according to German media who claim not to know who is behind this operation organized three months before the legislative elections.
The boss of the FPÖ admitted to the journalists that this evening had taken place but denied to have committed the least reprehensible act.
Ten days before European
According to his statements to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, he invoked "the large amount of alcohol consumed" that night and "the important language barrier" with his interlocutor.
The Socialist Party (SPÖ) demanded the resignation of the vice-chancellor, calling the allegations "the biggest scandal" of the last fifty years. The liberal NEOS party echoed the call, saying new parliamentary elections were "inevitable".
These allegations, ten days before the European elections, come in a tense context for the Austrian coalition, Sebastian Kurz being increasingly criticized for its alliance with a party regularly involved in extremist slippages.