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FPÖ leader Strache resigns over video scandal

May 21st, 2019

A liberal expert asks whether the forces who trapped Austria’s far right leader are also out to destroy his allies throughout Europe. A pro-government analyst believes they wanted to weaken the anti-immigrant forces before Sunday’s European parliamentary elections.

On Városi Kurír, Attila Ara-Kovács, the foreign policy expert of the Democratic Coalition takes it for granted that Austrian Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache was trapped by foreign secret services, possibly the German intelligence agency. He thinks the far-right European alliance in the making is causing alarm first of all in Germany. The question is, he concludes whether Strache’s removal from the chessboard was a warning to other ‘Putin agents’ or was just a first step – meaning that the rest of them will also be hunted down. If they still confine themselves to warnings, he concludes, then they ‘ignore the resolve of Orbán-type leaders never to relinquish their plan to push Europe towards extremism’.

On M1, the national public news channel, political analyst Dániel Deák agrees with Ara-Kovács on one single point, namely he also suspects that German intelligence services were behind the video recorded two years ago in the Spanish seaside resort of Ibiza. In the video which brought about his downfall,  Strache expressed his readiness to offer road building contracts to a Russian oligarch whose alleged  niece offered to buy Austria’s number one tabloid daily and help the Freedom Party (FPÖ) to be elected to government. It is no coincidence, Deák said that the video surfaced on the websites of German newspapers. There are many in Germany, he argues, that are intent on preventing an anti-immigration breakthrough in countries where those forces have become stronger over the past years.

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