Brussels prepares for elections to the European Parliament
The date of the revelations against the Vice-Chancellor of Austria Heinz-Christian Strache may cause confusion. The video in which Strache negotiates with a certain protégé of the “Russian oligarch”, shot in Ibiza in June 2017, was made public only two years later. Why such a pause? Wouldn't it be better to “discard” compromising under the elections to the Austrian parliament and block the way for nationalists from the Austrian Freedom Party? Apparently not.
Austria is an important by European standards country, but not a “mastodon,” like Germany or France, would not have been waiting there. Therefore, apparently, they decided to save materials for a more important event - the elections to the European Parliament, scheduled for May 23-26.
The mainstream parties fear that in these elections Euro-skeptics will increase their presence in the EU legislature. They are predicted to have 250 seats out of 751. Along with the “Alternative for Germany”, the Italian League, the Polish Law and Justice, the French National Front, and the Hungarian Fides, the FTA was viewed as a threat to European solidarity. All the parties listed are right. They are opposed to migration, for the preservation of traditional values, do not want to strengthen the powers of Brussels and are in favor of lifting anti-Russian sanctions.
The scandal in Austria is very similar to a carefully planned provocation. First, a pause of two years is striking. Secondly, the drain comes not from the Austrian press, but from the German - Süddeutsche Zeitung and Spiegel. In Germany, they are also afraid of strengthening the right, because, due to the migration crisis, “Alternative for Germany” took third place in the Bundestag.
Of course, provocation does not relieve Strache at all. In the video, he directly talks about the readiness to help the Russian oligarch to get contracts comparable to those of the construction company Strabag, and advises him to buy 34% of the shares of the Kronen Zeitung newspaper. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurtz called the act of the head of the APS "abuse of power", because Strache advised Russian counterparties to transfer money to bypass the Austrian tax system. However, it is possible that his opponents sent two girls to the policy and took advantage of his weakness to get the right card from the deck at the right moment.
After the visit of the President of Austria
It is worth referring to the chronology of events. The other day, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen flew to Sochi and made bridges of friendship with Moscow after the spy scandal broke out in November. On the same day, the French television channel France 24 came out with a film titled "Divide and Conquer: Russia and Elections in the EU." The 26-minute video contains a dossier of “Russian interventions” in elections and political processes in several European countries.
The French edition reminds of the meetings of Vladimir Putin with League leader Matteo Salvini and the head of the National Front Marine Le Pen before the elections to the parliaments of Italy and France, his dance with Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneisl at her wedding in Graz, about the "trolls factory "And the support of the European right-wing Russian media, such as RT.
Such films show that Europe takes the elections to the European Parliament very seriously. Previously, when the positions of the nationalists were weak, no one attached much importance to them. But after the migration crisis of 2015, the political landscape of the Old World has changed a lot. Nationalists entered the government of Italy, Austria, hold power in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, strengthened in Britain, the Netherlands and Germany. It is no coincidence that Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans called the upcoming vote "elections about the soul of Europe."
Will the situation in Austria influence the elections?
On this account, the opinions of Europeans are divided. Some, like the former president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, believe that Strache’s exposure will serve as a guide for the electorate.
Others believe that the chances of the right will not be less.
Whether euro skeptics will weaken their failure in Austria will be shown directly by the elections themselves. One thing is clear for sure: in the run-up to voting on opponents of federalization, a massive attack was conducted. In France, Marine Le Pen was suspected of not paying taxes and obtaining a loan from Russia. In Italy, corruption investigations began against Matteo Salvini because of the ban on taking ships with migrants. In Germany, the attention of prosecutors attracted the "Alternative for Germany", whose deputies allegedly also receive financial assistance from Russia and travel to the Crimea.
Shortly before the elections to the European Parliament, the former NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said that Russia would be one of those forces that would have the most negative impact on the vote. So the scandal in Austria can be considered as a “response” by globalists who, with one blow, tried to block the right way to Strasbourg and remind citizens of why it is impossible to lift sanctions from Russia and recognize the Crimea where right-wing politicians like to travel.