Austria: will new investigation bring Kurz down?
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is under investigation by the Prosecutors' Office for Economic Affairs and Corruption. Kurz is suspected of making false statements to a parliamentary commission probing the so-called Ibiza scandal, which led to the fall of the governing coalition between the conservative ÖVP and the right-wing FPÖ in 2019.
Don't underestimate this escape artist
This scandal does not necessarily mean the end for Sebastian Kurz, the Wiener Zeitung puts in:
“He who stumbles does not necessarily have to fall. Kurz has repeatedly turned out to be an escape artist when the situation demanded it. This is not out of the question this time either. What is new, however, is that his narrative about renewal and a new style is no longer catching on as it used to. And also unprecedented is the determination with which his political opponents want to bring down the former high-flyer.”
A prima donna politician
Chancellor Kurz has failed with his prima donnaish politics, writes the Neue Zürcher Zeitung:
“Austria used to be divided into sub-organisations, such as business associations, trade unions or provincial organisations. Kurz has replaced these old, formal networks with a network based on personal relationships. He has gathered comrades-in-arms around him, some of whom he has known for years ... A number of these loyal supporters have come across as rather dubious in recent times. ... This new investigation will paralyse Kurz. He certainly won't get anywhere with his prima donnaish politics.”
A genuine constitutional state
Azonnali looks a little enviously at the strong position of the Austrian judiciary:
“In Austria, politicians are subject to legal controls. ... The Procurator General's Office and the Constitutional Court can do their work, and the public media are allowed to be critical in their coverage. ... In Hungary there is no such thing. Legal control of power exists, if at all, only on paper that can be presented when 'the Hungarians' are criticised abroad.”