Heinz-Christian Strache, with his wife Philippa
Heinz-Christian Strache, with his wife Philippa

The Ibiza Affair, The 2019 Scandal that Brought Down a Government, Yet You May Know Nothing About It.

It is a story that has everything required for a high level political scandal. There is a  Government Minister and Party Leader. A Russian Oligarch’s beautiful niece, who some claim is an imposter and in reality an actress or even prostitute. There is alcohol, lots of alcohol. There are claims of supporting Nazi ideology. There are allegations of corruption in the Minister offering his country’s public works contracts to the Russian in return for political assistance through the media in his elections at home. And the whole affair was caught on Video taking place in an Ibiza Villa. 

The Ibiza Affair

The Minister in question is Austria’s deputy chancellor and leader of the far right Freedom Party of Austria (FPO), Heinz-Christian Strache.

A still from the video sting, set in an Ibiza villa, that brought down the Austrian government.
A still from the video sting, set in an Ibiza villa, that brought down the Austrian government.

The video was a sting, and once released to the Austrian press, ‘The Ibiza Affair’ as it became known in Austria, caused such an outcry of public protest that the resulting political crisis saw the collapse of the coalition between the right-wing Austrian People’s Party (OVP) and the far-right FPO. 

Preoccupied 

So why have you heard nothing about it? Well actually you may have done, and those taking a broadsheet interest in European and/or Political current affairs almost certainly will have.

But for the rest of us, if we have any capacity for more politics after taking in the U.K.’s copious output of often chaotic political news, the uncertain situation in Spain’s ongoing inability to find an outright leader, perhaps with a little added Trump tweeting, will probably max out our desire or ability to absorb any more examples of politicians doing what they seem determined to do in recent years, behave very badly indeed. 

However, if you do have the appetite it is an interesting story that highlights the sometimes counterintuitive publicity successes behind the progression in the recent support for far right political parties.

The Austrian elections are coming up this weekend, and if the polls are anything to go by, the statements by Heinz-Christian Strache that what he was heard to say on the video should be ignored as it was said in a context fuelled by alcohol, seems to have done him no great harm. 

The whole affair is reported succinctly and in English by news portal TRT. Read it here https://www.trtworld.com/europe/what-s-at-stake-in-austria-s-legislative-elections-30078