Office in the ÖVP headquarters?
According to the ÖVP, last week one was confronted with a request from a medium, according to which, according to an act by the economic and corruption prosecutor’s office, in the early summer of 2018, Kurz had taken a free vacation in the house of the entrepreneur Gabriela Spiegelfeld on Mallorca. The entrepreneur, in turn, is said to have got an office in the ÖVP headquarters free of charge, which could represent a non-taxed counter-deal. Both “not true”, emphasizes Kurz. Although he had actually been on vacation with his girlfriend on Mallorca for five days in the early summer of 2018, Kurz said, he could “rule out” being a guest of the entrepreneur, and he never even entered the house for coffee. He also found the hotel bills he had paid and presented them to the medium.
Research by the ÖVP had shown that the allegations went back to “Zack Zack” editor-in-chief Thomas Walach. Wallach was initially unavailable for the APA. According to the ÖVP, Walach Spiegelfeld called in mid-February about the Blümel cause. She is said to have organized donation parties for Kurz as part of a personal committee during the election campaign and therefore occurs in connection with the Novomatic donation allegations to the ÖVP. By the way, Spiegelfeld has been invited to the investigative committee to provide information this week. The phone call was not about Mallorca. Walach then turned to the WKStA using the whistleblower system and was heard as a witness two days later. When asked by the public prosecutor, Wallach invoked the protection of sources as a journalist, says the ÖVP. According to the ÖVP, the WKStA has created an eight-page file on the allegations and is examining initial suspicions, Kurz said when asked that he had not yet been contacted by the public prosecutor. “Zackzack.at” has not yet published an article on this, but the file has apparently ended up in a different medium.
“Peter Pilz System”
Kurz speaks of a “Peter Pilz system”: “He’s a journalist, an indicator and a witness all at once.” The “system” is to find something about facts, to make an advertisement and then to play the appropriate act on the media. This is not tangible in terms of media law. “Everything has a limit,” Kurz was indignant, saying that such a system is not good for political and media culture.
Most recently, a proposal by the ÖVP caused a stir, according to which, as part of the planned reform of the judiciary, reporting on investigative proceedings should be made more difficult and the media prohibited from quoting from investigation files. “That is already a consideration,” said Kurz when asked about it on Tuesday. But it is even more relevant how the media dealt with such cases.
“Zack Zack” editor Peter Pilz again in an interview with the APA rejected the allegations made by Kurz against his blog and its editor-in-chief: Kurz “will have to get used to the fact that we report facts, even if they are unpleasant for him” . The ÖVP boss is already complaining about stories that are still being researched. The research on Mallorca was not the subject of a complaint with the WKStA, said Pilz. However, after his phone call with the entrepreneur, Walach had turned to the WKStA, and only during a subsequent testimony did he bring up the subject of Mallorca, explained Pilz. The research will now be intensified. “This is obviously a panic attack,” said Pilz towards Kurz. “If you have a lot of dirt on your hands, you shouldn’t complain when a lot is reported about it.” Kurz should rather disclose from whom the ÖVP actually received money.