Left-wing sting brings down right-wing government in Austria

Left-wing sting brings down right-wing government in Austria, by Phlip Oltermann.

Austria’s chancellor has been ousted in a no-confidence vote just a day after his centre-right party enjoyed a triumphant night in the European elections, after opposition politicians lost faith in his handling of a corruption scandal that has engulfed his former far-right coalition partner.

Austria’s ousted chancellor, Sebastian Kurz

The Ibizia scandal:

The German publications Der Spiegel and Süddeutsche Zeitung published a video on their websites last week that shows Heinz-Christian Strache, the [far-right Freedom party (FPÖ)] leader, and his parliamentary leader, Johann Gudenus, talking to an unidentified woman purporting to be the niece of a Russian oligarch about how she could invest in Austria.

During the six-hour meeting at a luxury resort on Ibiza, the woman expresses an interest in gaining control of the country’s largest-circulation tabloid, the Kronen Zeitung, to which Strache replies that after staff changes at the paper, it could help the FPÖ in its election campaign. A chain-smoking Strache is then filmed saying the woman would be able to gain access to artificially-inflated state contracts.

Strache resigned a day after the video’s publication, describing his behaviour as “stupid, irresponsible and a mistake”. The interior minister, Herbert Kickl, was sacked the following Monday, with Kurz accusing the FPÖ hardliner of failing to show the “required sensibility in dealing with the accusations”.

Who exactly organised the sting on the far-right remains the subject of fevered speculation in both Austria and Germany.

If the right elect stupid politicians who cannot keep their egos and corruption in check, the establishment will uncover them. They need to be smarter and better disciplined.

This sting operation is one of several in the last two years. In Australian we had a sting on One Nation over gun control.

Stings seem to have become a tactic the left is fond of employing, because they have the media power to fully exploit them. When the left get caught out in a sting the media downplay or ignore it, and there are few consequences. But when the right get caught in a sting, it can bring down a government.