Examination Committee for the ‘Kurtz System’

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Electoral victories and great influence were the hallmarks of Sebastian Kurz’s chancellor in Austria. But now “Kurtz methods” are being considered by Parliament.

Committee of Inquiry into

The name of the Austrian parliament’s committee of inquiry alone is enough to damage the remaining prestige of the Austrian Conservatives of the ruling Austrian People’s Party OVP: “Committee of Inquiry into Corruption in the OVP”. The powerful Conservative Party is accused of holding office during the reign of former Chancellor Sebastian Kurtz. At the same time, he supported the rise of the then chancellor with falsified polls and public registrations. “A small group around Sebastian Kurtz has managed to deceive the whole country,” Green MP Nima Tomaselli said at the start of the commission’s inquiry on Wednesday.

The Austrian public watched with particular interest the testimony of the current Chancellor Carl Nehamer to the committee. For the past three months, the Austrian chancellor has promised more transparency in party funding, as well as the assignment of media entries by ministries and the chancellery.

For its part, the opposition seeks to use the commission of inquiry, which follows the commission of inquiry into the so-called “Ibiza scandal”, to settle accounts with what it calls the “Kurtz system”. Opposition lawmakers, however, have publicly acknowledged that public interest is waning, as the spotlight has been on the war in Ukraine for about a week.

Kurtz: “The accusations against me are not true”

Recently, almost all Austrian media reported on a witness, who testified in support of Sebastian Kurtz. The executive of the polling company, which on behalf of the Ministry of Finance published falsified polls, stated that he had no personal contact, neither with the chancellor, nor with his close associates. As if that were not enough, he testified that he presented similar polls on behalf of the opposition Socialist Party of Austria SPO.

“I have always said that the accusations against me are untrue,” Sebastian Kurtz was quick to write in a post. It is unknown, however, whether a single testimony is enough to dispel the prosecution’s suspicions of false testimony and conspiracy to infidelity. We can not prejudge the relevant decision, says the competent service.

A key figure in the Kurtz-era scandals is the former close adviser to the chancellor and former head of the state-owned oil company Obag. The approximately 300,000 messages on his cell phone were so burdensome to the then government that he was forced to resign and take over as strategist at an American investment company owned by Peter Till, a supporter of former US President Trump.

Requests of party friends for specific posts

Former Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka appears to be in a difficult position with his former adviser’s mobile phone, which contains lists of requests for specific posts from party friends. Sobotka himself, who, by the way, chairs the committee of inquiry as chairman of the Austrian parliament, speaks of “citizens’ demands”. According to members of the commission, Wolfgang Sobotka is planned to temporarily abstain from the presidency of the investigation, when he and his actions will be at the center of the investigation.

It should be noted that the Austrian Conservatives asked for a helping hand from Germany to ensure that nothing θα would go wrong inside and outside the selection board. So they hired Georg Straiter, a former deputy government spokesman for Chancellor Merkel, assigning him “strategic communication,” as he is called. According to the Austrian newspaper Der Standard, the role of the German is with the help of contacts in the background to develop a new communication strategy, which will reduce as much as possible the damage to the ruling party.

Matthias Render, dpa

Edited by: Stefanos Georgakopoulos

Source: Deutsche Welle

Source: Capital

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