One week before the European elections, the right-wing conservative government is in Austria most likely before the end. The decision for a new election was practically safe, the German press agency learned from political circles. Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) wants to express his views on this at 19.45 in the evening. After that, a statement by Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen is expected.
The trigger for the government crisis is a video showing how FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache had promised public contracts to a supposed Russian oligarch in Ibiza in 2017, if she was a right-wing populist FPÖ help to the electoral success. After the film became known, Strache resigned as vice-chancellor and FPÖ leader. He apologized for his behavior, but stressed that there had been no illegal and unlawful acts.
Kurz wanted to comment on the consequences for the government in the evening. He had repeatedly postponed an expected statement during the day. A crisis meeting in the chancellery was at times accompanied by vociferous protests of several thousand demonstrators who demanded a new election. Apart from the AfD politicians of all German parties criticized the proceedings and sometimes demanded new elections.
Continuation of the coalition has apparently failed in dispute over the Interior Ministry
In the evening reported the Austrian news agency APA, an agreement of ÖVP and FPÖ for a continuation of the coalition had failed at a personnel. The ÖVP is said to have asked the FPÖ to dismiss Minister of the Interior Herbert Kickl (FPÖ) in order to take over her former core function again. The FPÖ did not want to get involved in this. The coalition of ÖVP and FPÖ has governed since 2017.
That from mirror and South German newspaper widespread video from the year 2017 shows Strache in conversation with a supposed Russian oligarch. Among other things, it is about the idea that the woman should be the highest circulation newspaper in Austria, the Kronen newspaper, acquire, sponsor the FPÖ and in return receive public contracts.
The video was made a few months before the Nationalratwahl 2017. At that time, the ÖVP under Kurz had just ended the coalition with the SPÖ. In the election, the FPÖ came to 26 percent. The alliance of ÖVP and FPÖ placed great emphasis on harmonious cooperation. However, there were always differences. Most recently, the ÖVP had criticized the proximity of the FPÖ to the extreme right-wing identities.