Turbulence at Schallenberg’s premiere in Parliament

Turbulence at Schallenberg’s premiere in Parliament
Turbulence at Schallenberg’s premiere in Parliament

The special session was scheduled to express Sebastian Kurz’s distrust. After his departure, the new Federal Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg (VP) used the plenary for a government declaration. But the start was turbulent.

Again Schallenberg assured that he would of course work very closely with VP Chairman Kurz. After he had already described the allegations against Kurz as false, yesterday he also criticized the motion of censure against Finance Minister Gernot Blümel (VP). The only issue where he stood out from his predecessor was his clear commitment to Europe. Tomorrow Schallenberg will start his first trip abroad to Brussels.

Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler (Greens) once again paid tribute to Kurz for his departure, and thanked Schallenberg for his pro-European declaration.

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National Council meeting with Federal Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg

There was no grace period on the part of the opposition. SP leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner gave Schallenberg lessons in parliamentarianism: It would not be his place to comment on a motion of censure. She also criticized the fact that Schallenberg described the allegations against Kurz as false. “I think that is your first serious mistake, it lost a lot of trust,” ranted Rendi-Wagner. Schallenberg’s behavior underpins the fact that he is a Chancellor of Kurz ?? Grace be. “He who follows blindly cannot lead,” she said.

FP chairman Herbert Kickl joked about the turquoise “chat set”. He also criticized the fact that Schallenberg had expressed mistrust in his first speeches to the judiciary and thus immediately announced an end to the new beginning. Kickl sneered at the fact that Schallenberg was questioning the motion of censure against Blümel in the old aristocratic manner: “Yes, what do you mean?”

The FP boss also pointed out several times that although Kurz was elected VP club chairman, he was absent from the meeting and would only be sworn in on Thursday. For a short time he had brought Oscar Wilde’s “The Portrait of Dorian Gray” with him. “That fits very well with Kurz,” said Kickl.

Schallenberg reacted impulsively when Neos boss Beate Meinl-Reisinger handed the order to search the house to the Chancellor with the words “It’s over, it’s just over”. Schallenberg took the 104 pages that had led to Kurz’s fall and demonstratively placed them on the floor behind him.

He later apologized via Twitter: “putting away” the documents is seen by some as disrespect for the independent judiciary and Meinl-Reisinger. “Neither was my intention by any means, and I am sorry if this impression emerged.”

Similar to his predecessor, Schallenberg often had his cell phone in hand during the debate, and even when the new Foreign Minister Michael Linhart (VP) was introduced, he seemed unfocused. Linhart appeared confident, named dialogue and commitment as his values ​​and outlined the foreign policy challenges. His first trip will take him to Sarajevo.

All party lines briefly blurred when towards the end of the debate the Upper Austrian SP mandate Eva-Maria Holzleitner suffered a circulatory collapse at the lectern during her speech. The doctors present in the ranks of the politicians helped her immediately. It wasn’t long before she regained consciousness.

Corruption affair: first arrest

In the middle of the heated special session with the introduction of Alexander Schallenberg as the new Federal Chancellor, the message was received yesterday that the first arrest had been made in the advertising corruption affair surrounding Sebastian Kurz (VP).

Sabine Beinschab was arrested by the court in the morning because of the risk of blackout, as confirmed by lawyers and government circles. The Public Prosecutor’s Office for Corruption and Corruption (WKStA) accuses the pollster of short-haired surveys and their comments and passed them on to the daily newspaper “Austria”.

The former employee of the agency operator and ex-minister Sophie Karmasin (VP) is said to have been arrested for a different reason. Immediately before a house search was carried out on her last Wednesday, Beinschab is said to have deleted all the data on her computer’s hard drive. IT experts are said to have found this out after checking the secured hardware. If the suspicion is confirmed, the criminal allegations of breach of trust and involvement in bribery could be added to those of suppressing evidence. Leg shaving is said to have been questioned by the WKStA until the afternoon. There were also suspicions that the raid had been betrayed.

Bad polls

According to the investigation report, Beinschab is said to have regularly delivered unfavorable surveys for the then VP chairman Reinhold Mitterlehner and the red-black coalition, initially initiated by Karmasin, from the spring of 2016. Later it was a matter of presenting the expected “short-term effect” in the case of a change of chairman than in the case of the other pollsters. The polls and comments appeared in the media by “Austria” editor Wolfgang Fellner.

The judiciary sees Thomas Schmid, then General Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, as the organizer. The surveys are to be ordered and revised by Kurz ?? closest co-workers. In one of the chats secured, Schmid said in connection with this “Austria leg scraping tool”: “I haven’t really gone as far as we have. Great investment. And Fellner is a capitalist. Who pays creates. I love that.”

Payment for the deal, which was concluded exclusively for the personal benefit of Kurz (WKStA), is said to have been taken over by the Ministry of Finance. Between 2016 and 2020, Beinschab received a grant of 587,400 euros for her achievements disguised as studies.

The Fellner media are said to have received between 200,000 and 277,000 euros per quarter from the ministry. All involved deny the allegation of corruption. The presumption of innocence applies to all of the above.

Video: First arrest in ÖVP scandal

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