Chat affair in Austria: The dreams of FPÖ politicians

Chat affair in Austria: The dreams of FPÖ politicians

Strache after a court hearing on corruption allegations in July 2022.
Image: AFP

In Austria, internal chats by FPÖ politicians have become public. In it they dream of a kind of synchronization of public service broadcasting. Also present: the then Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache.

In Austria, chats that have found their way from the files of the corruption prosecutor’s office to the public are once again making waves. This time it’s about the relationship between politics and the media, especially the public ORF. A head of an ORF editorial team has already had to resign. He had contacted the former chairman of the right-wing FPÖ, Heinz Christian Strache, exchanged all too familiar about ORF internals. Similar allegations have been made against the editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Die Presse”. On Friday he resigned his functions at the “Presse” in order to draw clear, unequivocal conclusions from the current debate surrounding chat protocols that have become public, for the inappropriate tone of which he has already apologized.

Internal party has the FPÖ In 2018, a separate chat group for Austrian Broadcasting was set up. At that time she was the coalition partner of the ÖVP, Strache was Vice Chancellor. From the conversations it emerges that the FPÖ not only pushed for a reform of broadcasting, through which they wanted to have more influence on the media house. It is also openly stated what one could previously only imagine: that one wanted to exchange personnel on a large scale in order to achieve more pleasant reporting for the FPÖ.

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