Austria is experiencing a political conflagration after a chat napalm bomb was detonated: after the investigations against the oVP and Sebastian Kurz, the file now includes a new complaint about "ordered polls" against the SPo Vienna and ex-mayor Michael Haupl.
Now apparently everything is worked up: The SPo under Michael Haupl is now also displayed
300.000 SMS and WhatsApp messages are said to have been seized on the cell phone of Thomas Schmid, the ex-secretary general in the Ministry of Finance, quite a few of which could incriminate the oVP squad around Sebastian Kurz in the proceedings currently underway, the presumption of innocence applies.
For the oVP, the investigations of suspected bribery, corruption and embezzlement, which are being pursued by the Economic and Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (WKStA), are already extremely damaging: the chancellor had to resign, the values in the opinion polls drop significantly.
New advertisement in the file of the public prosecutor’s office
Now in the already thousand sides seizing file to the "Causa Ibiza" a new paper appeared, which surprises: Under the order number 1792 an announcement is filed, which could bring now also the social democracy in difficulties. The eXXpress came on completely legal way to this explosive paper, on which a possible Insider of a medium house communicated that: "Also the SPo under Michael Haupl ordered 2015 own surveys with X (name of the editorship admits) and partly manipulated made available. Ask the graphic designer!"
So far it is only a report – and for Michael Haupl as well as for the leadership of the Viennese SPo the presumption of innocence applies. However, during research conducted by eXXpress on graphic artists employed by this media house at the time, the graphic artist reported: "It was common practice there, yes. There are also witnesses. But that was nothing special."
Industry insider also sees suspicions
An industry insider describes what is possible with "doctored" polls to eXXpress like this: "This was not only the case in 2015, but also during the internal SPo dispute over the successor to the mayor of the city of Vienna at the end of 2017.
One media house, for example, always reported positively about the one candidate who was suddenly also much more popular in the polls than his competitor. Even a creative competition was organized for this candidate, so that he was more often positive and with photo in the newspaper."
A high point thereby in this controversy: In a "popularity poll" published by this newspaper Michael Ludwig came on 17. November 2017, just two months before the duel at the party conference, on +16 points, his competitor Andreas Schieder on -6 points. The poll came from OGM, which has now been expelled from the Association of Austrian Pollsters in October for other reasons. At the end of January Michael Ludwig was then after a vote with 57% of the delegate votes new Viennese SPo leader.
Elected as Vienna’s SPo leader in January 2018: Mayor Michael Ludwig
Lawyer: "This is becoming a conflagration."
A top Viennese lawyer, who is very familiar with the "Ibiza Act", said in an eXXpress interview: "Presumably, this advertising corruption case will become a conflagration that will engulf almost the entire Austrian media landscape and even more politicians. Now there are only two possibilities for the justice: Either to really uncover everything and also to bring to the charge – or to stop everything very quickly."
And what could become particularly unpleasant for the SPo and for an Austrian daily newspaper publisher: If the Public Prosecutor’s Office for Economic Affairs and Corruption were to reopen the matter of the allocation of advertisements during the term of office of ex-Chancellor Werner Faymann. "This Causa is not yet barred by the statute of limitations," explains the lawyer, who closely follows the current actions of the judiciary.
The eXXpress and exxpressTV have currently tried again to get an interview with Justice Minister Alma Zadic (Greens) on the current investigations of the judiciary and the serious allegations against the corruption prosecution and the criticism of the legal protection commissioners – we received no response.