Austria’s far-right vice chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache has resigned today after two German newspapers published footage of him apparently offering lucrative government contracts to a potential Russian benefactor.
Freedom Party (FPO) leader Strache was shown in the footage of as-yet unknown origin meeting a woman posing as the niece of a Russian oligarch in Ibiza in 2017, shortly before the election that brought him to power.
In the footage published by German media on Friday evening, a week before European Parliament elections, he appears to offer to funnel contracts towards a company in exchange for political and financial support.
Austria is to ban girls under the age of 14 from wearing Islamic headscarves to school.
The Austrian parliament on Wednesday approved a new law that prohibits any “ideologically or religiously influenced clothing which is associated with the covering of the head” in the nation’s primary schools.
The measure, which was put forward by chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s right-wing coalition government, was condemned as discriminatory by the opposition and is expected to be challenged in Austria’s constitutional court.
Among the rules, migrants are required to:
- Learn German
- Adhere to Austrian laws
- Adopt “Austrian values” and raise children in accordance with them;
- Resolve conflicts nonviolently
- Respect religious freedom
- Prevent unnecessary suffering to animals
- Show gratitude to Austria
“We are continuing our journey of our home country of Austria, the fight against population exchange, as our people expect,” Strache said, alluding to what French writer Renaud Camus has referred to as the “The Great Replacement” — a theory of the replaceability of goods, services, and people themselves for economic and other purposes.
When pushed by the interviewer about the term, which is often negatively associated with right-wing and populist thinkers by the media, Strache said, “That is a concept of reality. We do not want to become a minority in our own homeland. That is legitimate and honest and deeply democratic. Those who are not left today are automatically defamed as right-wing extremists.”
The far-Right Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) is set to lose exclusive oversight of the country’s intelligence services after cooperation with Britain and other European allies was suspended.
Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian chancellor, moved to put the intelligence services under his direct control this week as it emerged that they have been isolated from European intelligence sharing.
Austria has been excluded from the Club de Berne, Europe’s intelligence sharing forum, for the best part of a year, the head of the country’s domestic intelligence service admitted on Monday.
A bit rich coming the country that gave us the Cambridge 5 and currently has Jeremy Corbyn up for PM.
Austrian police arrested a man suspected of carrying out two attempted attacks on high-speed trains in Germany.
The man, believed to be an “Islamic State” supporter, is suspected of having committed attacks on the high-speed rail line between Nuremberg and Munich in October and in Berlin in December, Bavarian State Criminal Police Office said Wednesday.
An IS flag and Arabic notes were found near the unsuccessful attacks. Austrian media said investigators were able to trace the printer used to print the texts, leading them to Vienna.
The public prosecutor’s office in Vienna identified the suspect as an Iraqi father of five, who was granted refugee status about 20 years ago.
…Some 19 per cent of Austria’s nearly 9 million inhabitants are immigrants or have a “Migrationshintergrund” (which in Austria means that at least one parent was born abroad). In Vienna 50 per cent of primary school children have a mother tongue that is not German, and the Muslims often come from conservative families that resist integration. They may also be anti-Semitic, a cause of some embarrassment to multicultural ideologues. The Socialist city council, preferring politically correct platitudes over action, seems reluctant to grasp the nettle of young people imbued with fundamentalism. However, a Socialist teacher has now broken ranks and described in her best-selling book Kulturkampf im Klassenzimmer how too many Muslim pupils refuse to respect her authority as a teacher on the grounds that she is a woman, call her a whore to her face because she lives with her partner, and disdain learning because, they say, “the Koran teaches us all we need to know”. This and similar anti-integrationist attitudes hinder educational attainment and bode ill for the future.
The extraordinary impact of this rather courageous teacher’s book is an Austrian example of what has recently happened in Sweden, namely that public discourse is finally catching up with what very many people think privately about the potentially adverse effects of ostrich-like official attitudes, identity politics and loosely controlled immigration in recent years.
Austrian citizen of Turkish decent Azad G. was treated for a gunshot wound and received a guaranteed minimum wage for 14 months after returning from Syria in 2014, where he had fought on the side of Daesh*, Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung reported. Despite initially looking into Azad G.’s persona, Austrian investigators dropped the case and failed to notify authorities in Vienna about their suspicions, the newspaper added.
Two young Jihadi women dubbed ‘pin-up poster girls’ after they fled Austria to join ISIS have been warned they could face 15 years in jail if they return.
Samra Kesinovic was just 16 and her friend Sabina Selimovic was 15 when they left Vienna to join the terrorists in Syria in April 2014.
They both married and had children with ISIS fighters, as well as featuring in propaganda for the terror group – toting AK-47s surrounded by fighters.
The pair had been reported dead in December but according to local media Austrian intelligence claim those reports are false.
According to the minister, the centres will be carefully checking the identities of people applying for asylum.
The mother of one of the Austrian teenagers dubbed ‘jihadi pin-up poster girls’ after they joined ISIS in Syria, is suing the government for letting them leave the country.
Sabina Selimovic was just 15 when she left Vienna with her 16-year-old friend Samra Kesinovic in April 2014, and both are believed to have died in Syria.
Sabina’s mother Senada Selimovic says border guards should have stopped the teenagers from travelling to Turkey, from where they crossed the border into Syria.
Foreigners who have moved to Austria but have not yet picked up the language are set to be hit by a controversial reform to the country’s social welfare system, as the Right-wing government steps up its efforts to deter immigration.
The plan presented by the Austrian government last week will penalise the unemployed by cutting €300 off their monthly dole payments if they do not fulfill certain language requirements. The government says that the money will instead go towards providing compulsory German classes.
An Austrian man under whose influence two couples went to Syria to join the Islamic State (Isis) group taking their nine children with them was on Wednesday jailed for eight years.
The 38-year-old was convicted of recruiting for Isis while a 24-year-old
Bulgarian was given seven years after being found in possession of plans for terrorist attacks.
Prosecutors said the older man played “a central ideological role” in a radical religious grouping and had convinced several people to travel to Syria to join Isis.
Dual nationality Turks being stripped of citizenship by far-Right in Austria’s ‘Windrush’ scandal
housands of people could be stripped of their Austrian citizenship in what is being called the country’s version of the Windrush scandal.
In a campaign orchestrated by the far-Right Freedom Party (FPÖ), hundreds of Austrians of Turkish heritage are currently under investigation by the authorities on suspicion of illegally holding dual citizenship – and authorities say they may widen their investigations to thousands more.
Except for rare cases dual citizenship is illegal in Austria, and the authorities are pursuing the cases in court. But lawyers say the evidence is unreliable.
Populist Austrian Vice-Chancellor Heinz Christian Strache defended his country’s move to pull out of the UN migration pact saying he was only concerned with what is best for Austrians.
The leader of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) said, “We are only responsible to our Austrian population as government officials. Austrian sovereignty has top priority for us, this must be preserved and protected,” Kronen Zeitung reports.
Mr Strache added that the migration pact would also create a possibility that “people who are unlawfully coming to Austria are legally compliant.”