Austria's Twitteria is bubbling with enthusiasm: "I also need a bodyguard.

This constant buying champagne, dog food and caviar from Hofer gets on my nerves," writes one user.

And another points out that one does not drink Moët with dog food, but Taittinger: "Incredible - this precarious proletariat".

Stephen Lowenstein

Political correspondent based in Vienna.

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The malice applies to Heinz-Christian Strache.

The former chairman of the right-wing FPÖ, according to self-promotion at the time "the social home party", was the subject of a documentary on ORF.

Of course it was about the Ibiza affair, which abruptly ended the political career of the former Vice Chancellor almost three years ago: a thoroughly factual film about the affair, which is well known in itself.

What was new was the appearance of Strache's former bodyguard and driver, Oliver Ribarich.

This is the man who allegedly collected incriminating material about Strache for years, starting with photos of lots of cash in a gym bag said to have been in Strache's trunk.

He brought the material to a Viennese lawyer, who, together with the later "Ibiza detective", came up with the idea of ​​compromising Strache with secret recordings - as is well known, with success.

A side aspect is now the mobile phone messages that Strache sent to Ribarich “at any impossible time of the day or night”, which of course had nothing to do with personal security: “Please buy a box of Moet and champagne at the wine and co.

Want to bunker that in the shop in the evening!

Thank you,” it says.

Another shopping list, a bit more banal: "Zipfer beer cans, gummy bears, 3 naturally cloudy apple juice, eggs (10), turkey ham (20 dag), procutto".

The demand ranged from dog food to caviar, although a price limit was set for it: “A maximum of 700 euros!


All of this sheds light on a figure who for a decade and a half had kept Austrian politics in suspense with concerns about a shift to the right.

On the other hand: Politically, Strache is in the past.

Nobody except maybe himself expects a comeback.

The new Häme storm is cheap in this respect.

The shopping lists are unlikely to be relevant under criminal law.

Unless they are in connection with expense receipts to the party for actually private expenses.

Investigations are underway, Strache denies it.

According to earlier media reports, the bodyguard is said to have been involved in collecting receipts – in the film he obviously says nothing concrete about this.