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Austria's far-right show their true colors

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19.05.2019

The Ibiza recordings of the secret meeting of now-former Austrian Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache with a woman claiming to represent a Russian oligarch certainly make for great viewing. For his political opponents, the footage of the ex-leader of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) lolling about on a sofa, drunk and uninhibited, comes as a gift. For Austria's conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, it comes as a loud warning. The final disguise of civility has been torn from Strache's face. What is revealed is a truly ugly grimace.

FPÖ's true nature

In reality, "Secret Operation Ibiza" did not yield any great surprise when it comes to the character of Strache and his party chums. The most astonishing thing is the sheer impudence of the FPÖ leader, who promised government contracts in return for party donations and also threw in biased media coverage from one of the biggest newspapers in the country. Strache behaved as if he owned the Alpine republic along with all of its citizens.

Barbara Wesel is DW's senior European correspondent

The Ibiza revelations came after a string of scandals that had put increasing pressure on the coalition of conservatives (ÖVP) and the far-right in Vienna. First, there was an FPÖ link to a member of the........

© Deutsche Welle