Politics

Brief confidante in the Ibiza committee

The turquoise mastermind Stefan Steiner and ÖVP general secretary Axel Melchior have to testify.

Once again, the ÖVP is facing a hot week. In the Ibiza-U-Committee, the “inner circle” around Sebastian Kurz will have to answer questions from the members of parliament. The start is made by the mastermind of Türkis – namely Stefan Steiner. No name is more closely related to Kurz’s political rise than Steiner’s. He has been the Chancellor’s shadow for many years. Regardless of whether the Ibiza crisis had to be managed or coalition negotiations were pending, Steiner is always at Kurz’s side.

ÖVP General Secretary Axel Melchior is also invited to the committee. For Kurz, he managed all election campaigns. The campaign donations from 2017 will play a major role in his survey.

Then the Chancellor’s assistant, Lisa Wieser, has to appear before the Ibiza-U-Committee. It gets exciting when entrepreneur Gabriela Spiegelfeld, who diligently and successfully collected donations for the ÖVP chairman during the election campaign, has to testify.

Mallorca vacation

Exciting because of all things the Chancellor invited the media to a background discussion on Tuesday in connection with Spiegelfeld. The reason for the offensive: The Chancellor complains about “dirty campaigning” through the online medium Zackzack by ex-politician Peter Pilz.

Specifically, Zackzack editor-in-chief Thomas Walach is said to have tried to accuse Kurz of a hidden gift acceptance in the form of a holiday invitation with a statement at the WKStA. To prove the inaccuracy, Kurz presented a statement according to which he stayed in the hotel and not in the finca of supporter Spiegelfeld.

The course of events: Almost three weeks ago, just shortly after the house search at Finance Minister Gernot Blümel’s, at Spiegelfeld, Walach made a rectangle about her breakfast invitations, at which Kurz met with top managers in the country during the 2017 election campaign.

Ex-Novomatic boss Harald Neumann is said to have been among them. Walach then posted this article on the WKStA’s whistleblower website.

Make an appointment at the WKStA

Two days later he was summoned to give testimony by the WKStA. At this date, according to the version from the Federal Chancellery, Walach is said to have pretended to have learned from Spiegelfeld that Kurz had spent a vacation in her finca for free in 2018.

Only when asked by the WKStA, Walach is said to have admitted that this information did not come from Spiegelfeld, but from another informant whom he could not name. “I didn’t even visit her on Mallorca back then, not even for a coffee,” says Kurz.

And Wallach thinks of the allegations that this is “Kurz’s interpretation”. He had only given the WKStA for the record that Kurz had “been a guest” at Spiegelfeld, and whether the Chancellor also stayed there, he did not know.

In short: “System Pilz”

Walach also claimed before the WKStA that Spiegelfeld had moved into an office next to Axel Melchior in the ÖVP headquarters from May 2017. “That is also not true,” said the Chancellor.

That is “the Pilz system: you take three facts, invent three facts, hand them over to the public prosecutor’s office, they process it, and it goes out and is reported by all media,” criticized Kurz. As a politician you often have to live with the status of “accused” for years.

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