The Austrian Public Prosecutors Office has started an investigation into Chancellor Kurz. Kurz himself announced this morning at a hastily organised press conference. His chief of staff is also being vetted.
Anticorruption officers of the prosecution are investigating whether Kurz has lied under oath to a parliamentary committee under scrutiny of the so-called Ibiza affair. In May 2019, a major scandal arose in Austrian politics, when a two-year-old video appeared showing that at the time FPÖ leader Strache on the Spanish holiday island appeared willing to award a Russian oligarch government projects in exchange for support during election campaigns.
Strache was also vice-chancellor in a coalition with Kurz ÖVP. The scandal fell the government and in the subsequent elections the right-wing populist FPÖ lost a lot. The Kurz Conservative Party won seats and again formed a coalition, this time with the Greens.
Text message to confidant
Parliament is investigating the Ibiza affair and other possible cases of corruption. In the case of Kurz, these are his statements concerning the appointment of confidant Thomas Schmid as the supreme boss of ÖBAG, the office that regulates Austrian State shareholdings in companies.
“ Youll get everything you want,” Kurz would have promised Schmid in a text message, even before it was named. But the Chancellor would have told the committee that no agreements had been made beforehand. Opposition party NEOS filed a complaint against Kurz in response to its statements, on which the justice system started the investigation.
Kurz said in Vienna this morning that he knew that he had to speak the truth to the committee of inquiry and has always done so.