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Monday, May 20, 2019

secret video leads to downfall in Austria !

A total of 543 constituencies, seven phases spanned over a month, millions of voters — India's battle for the ballot has reached its final stage on Sunday. All eyes are set on May 23 when the results of the Lok Sabha elections 2019 will be declared.   ~  and before that, there are numerous exit polls predicting them results.   These are  post-voting polls, conducted just after a voter walks out after casting his or her vote.   The basic step to predict exit polls is sampling ~ and do not ask whether a small sample will give a skewed prediction or real one ?  .. ..

After nearly two months of high-pitch campaigning and seven phase of hectic poll schedule, most exit polls have predicated a clear majority to BJP-led NDA with many more than  300 seats, out of total 542 Lok Sabha seats. Polls are also predicting a clean sweep by NDA in several key states including Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.  Most have concluded that North India is giving Narendra Modiji  and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a sweeping mandate in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. The South, according to the exit poll, has slowed the saffron sweep.  Quite obvious – Kerala, Tamil Nadu may throw different results. 

In 654 BC, Phoenician settlers founded a port on Ibiza. With the decline of Phoenicia after the Assyrian invasions, Ibiza came under the control of Carthage, also a former Phoenician colony. The island produced dye, salt, fish sauce (garum), and wool. A shrine with offerings to the goddess Tanit was established in the cave at Es Cuieram, and the rest of the Balearic Islands entered Eivissa's commercial orbit after 400 BC. Ibiza was a major trading post along the Mediterranean routes. 
                      Ibiza, now in news and becoming most searched one on web -  is a Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea off the eastern coast of Spain. It is 150 kilometres (93 miles) from the city of Valencia. Ibiza has become well known for its association with nightlife, electronic dance music, and for the summer club scene, all of which attract large numbers of tourists drawn to that type of holiday. Ibiza is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – you are reading about it because of ‘Ibiza affair’ !

Austria is a country in Central Europe comprising 9 federated states. Its capital, largest city and one of nine states is Vienna. It is bordered by the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.  The terrain is highly mountainous, lying within the Alps.  The majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects as their native language, and German in its standard form is the country's official language. Austria played a central role in European History from the late 18th to the early 20th century. Austria was involved in both world wars; it started the first one under Emperor Franz Joseph and served as the birthplace of Adolf Hitler, who provoked the second one. Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy with a President as head of state and a Chancellor as head of government.

The Ibiza affair is a  political scandal in Austria involving Heinz-Christian Strache, the Vice-Chancellor of Austria and leader of the Freedom Party (FPÖ); Johann Gudenus, a deputy leader of the Freedom Party; and both the Austrian Freedom Party and political landscape in general.  The scandal was triggered on 17 May 2019 by the publication of the content of a secretly recorded video of a July 2017 meeting in Ibiza, Spain, which appears to show the then opposition politicians Strache and Gudenus discussing their party's underhanded practices and intentions.  In the video, both politicians appeared receptive to proposals by a woman posing as the niece of a Russian oligarch, discussing providing the FPÖ positive news coverage in return for business contracts. Strache and Gudenus also hinted at corrupt political practices involving other wealthy donors to the FPÖ in Europe and elsewhere. The video also revealed the party's authoritarian intents to suppress the freedom of the press in Austria and replacing it with a compliant media, with a view to turning the country's largest-circulation tabloid, Kronen Zeitung, into a mouthpiece of the FPÖ.  The scandal has now  caused the collapse of the Austrian governing coalition and the announcement of the early election.

Five people took part in the videotaped meeting, according to the German news outlets, which had examined the tapes but had not released the full recordings. Those persons included Heinz-Christian Strache; a woman who said she was the niece of a Russian oligarch; an interpreter (the woman's company); another Freedom Party official, Johann Gudenus, who appears to have set up the meeting; and Gudenus’s wife, Tajana. The persons spoke in English, German, and Russian.  During the conversation in the footage, Strache said he had contacts with Israelis who opposed left-wing politics in Israel, and that he had been invited to China to promote business between Austria and China. Strache also said that Hans Peter Haselsteiner, a major shareholder of the construction company Strabag, would no longer receive commissions by government.

The highly professional setup of the apparent trap, the amount of time and money expended on preparing and realising it, made Germany's Die Welt wonder who might have been behind this operation meant to create what the newspaper referred to as Kompromat (incriminating material to be used at the right moment to undermine one's enemy), which had been held back for two years and made public days before the 2019 European Parliament election.  This has led to the resignation on 18.5.19 by   Heinz-Christian Strache  as Vice-Chancellor of Austria and Chairman of the Freedom Party at a press conference. He stated that he offered Chancellor Sebastian Kurz his resignation from the office of Vice-Chancellor at 11 o'clock that day, shortly before attending the press conference – Kurz accepted his withdrawal and will advise President Alexander Van der Bellen to formally dismiss him. At the press conference, Strache portrayed the recording of the video as an illegal and immoral act by the press and announced that he would take any legal action possible against the organizers, recorders and publishers of the video. However, he later admitted and recognized his wrongdoing.  Shortly after Strache's announced resignation, Johann Gudenus followed up and officially announced his withdrawal from all political posts as well.

We have seen this in cinemas and now a video has turned the applecart of politicians and changed the political atmosphere in Austria

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
20th May 2019.

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