Heinz-Christian Strache: In the middle of the blue swamp
While Heinz-Christian Strache plans his comeback, he drives his party into a dilemma.
Norbert Hofer can also edge. The liberal party leader, usually a conciliatory flatterer with good-humored eyes, sees the time for clear words. At least in one point. In several interviews - most recently in the summer talks of the ORF - his mild facial expressions suddenly hardened, his eyes narrowed as the future of his predecessor came up. A comeback Heinz-Christian Straches, the former vice-chancellor and fallen blue knight, come at best in the Viennese local politics in question and only if all investigations against him are either set or end with acquittals in court. Even in this case, "It will not be easy."
Not a good customer for Ibizan Strache, who increasingly engulfed in the role of a victim against which half the world has conspired, and secretly fantasizes about returning gloriously to the political arena next year in the Vienna municipal election campaign. Vienna, this is his home base, since he started his career and formed a network of loyal supporters who even do not blame him for his suicidal talk on the island video - it was indeed a trap and all just a drunken gaffe. He receives financial support from the state organization in the capital, he gets a company car, bodyguards and an office with two employees provided. A lot of effort for one whose career is crashed crashing. However, successor Hofer now seems to want to show him how far imagination and reality diverge.
Strache, who, completely out of control, how an unleashed pinball ball hisses back and forth between the political bumpers, becomes more and more a burden for his party and its chairman. Hofer neither manages to summon the rebellious party member back, nor can he stem his revenge campaign. Party Reason is a term whose meaning Strache is probably unknown. In the middle of the national election campaign, in which the freedom-seekers endeavor to give the impression of a statesman responsible, the party slid into a zererissprobe. The freedom politicians do not want to be able to do without the politician of the problem. In addition the network of its supporters in the social media is too precious. Also, an exclusion - for example, because of party damaging behavior - high risk and could end with a secession of some blue fundamentalists. Norbert Hofer balances on a fine line, trying to maneuver his party as far away as possible from the private person Strache. But the former vice-chancellor is taking advantage of the many spare time that he now has to drive his political home ever deeper into a dilemma. The conflict is likely to get new food at the Blue Party Congress in Graz.
When on Wednesday last week at Strache, his Ibiza twin Johannes Gudenus, the former Liberal Secretary of State Hubert Fuchs, the gambling boss Harald Neumann and the blue favorite Peter Sidlos house searches and confiscation of mobile phones took place, complained to the politician friends felt bitter that neither Hofer nor his party-internal nemesis Herbert Kickl found it necessary to protect the fallen party leader against the alleged arbitrariness of justice.
The house search warrant is based on the anonymous complaint of an insider, who found both the corruption prosecutor's office and a judge so "plausible" that they decided to act. In essence, the blue quartet is accused of quite ordinary post-cheats. The liberal politicians are in May of last year in the new appointment of the board of the state-owned Casino Austria have raised their protégé Sildo on the post of Chief Financial Officer by the casino co-owner Novomatic future legal assistance offered in exchange for support in the field of personnel. Sildo landed on the top job, although a recruitment consultant considered him unsuitable and he did not meet the requirements profile. Everyone involved denies, as was to be expected, the allegations. At the same time it was also known that a FP-close club had received from the Gumpoldskirchener gambling company donations in the amount of 200,000 euros.
When in February 2018 an amendment to the Gambling Act was sent out by the Minister of Finance, which provided for a strengthening of the casino monopoly of Casino AG and therefore blocked the efforts of Novomatic to enter the roulette business, the responsible State Secretary Fuchs has intervened. The novella was withdrawn again and disappeared in the filing room. The law was never changed.