Ex-Freedom Party leader Strache's house searched

In Austria investigators have searched the house of ex-FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache. According to the media public prosecutors were acting on the suspicion that the FPÖ, a former governing party, promised gambling company Casinos Austria favours if it appointed FPÖ politician Peter Sidlo to its board of directors. Commentators see the right-wing populists on a ruinous course.

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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (DE) /

The right also has its cliques

Many details of this affair remain unclear, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung points out:

“The evidence that has been made public is flimsy. It's too early to pronounce judgment on whether there is more behind this than a distribution of posts according to party membership that both the red [SPÖ] and the black [ÖVP] have systematically practised over decades. The FPÖ claimed it wanted to break up this cartel - but in reality it just wanted a big piece of the pie. That alone wouldn't be a punishable offence, but it would say a lot about right-wing populism.”

Die Presse (AT) /

A party beyond help

Die Presse wonders whether the FPÖ's voters will let it get away with this faux pas:

“After Ibiza the FPÖ forfeited a lot of trust. And nevertheless, going by the polls the protagonists' apologies, an allusion to a 'drunken affair' and the claim that things weren't what they seemed to be, the party appears to have got away with this - at least as far as voters were concerned. However, if it now turns out that the FPÖ really did allow itself to be bought as part of the government - if not in the literal sense, then metaphorically - and that one of its members was able to advance his career in exchange for granting wishes regarding certain legal amendments, this party of soldiers of misfortune will be beyond help.”