Socialist Worker

International round up: Corruption final nail in coffin for Austrian Tory - Nazi allies

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2655

Thousands gathered in Austria to pile pressure on the government

Thousands gathered in Austria to pile pressure on the government


Anti-fascists in Austria are celebrating after the collapse of the country’s Tory/Nazi coalition last weekend.

Tory chancellor (prime minister) Sebastian Kurz was forced to call early elections on Sunday amid protests.

His deputy, fascist FPO leader Heinz Christian Strache, resigned the day before over a corruption scandal.

The FPO’s parliamentary leader Johann Gudenus was also forced to resign.

Two newspapers published a video secretly filmed in Ibiza of Strache, Gudenus, and a woman who claimed to be the niece of an oligarch close to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The footage from 2017 shows them discuss how she could gain control of the Kronen Zeitung newspaper to help the FPO’s election campaign.

In the video, Strache floats the possibility of awarding her public contracts.

Around 5,000 people took to the streets of the capital Vienna on Saturday after the news broke. Chants of “Fresh elections” and “Strache fuck you—no one misses you” rang out.

Lin joined the protests to “show her resistance because we have no other option”.

“It’s very clear that this government should be replaced, that new elections should be called, that this can’t go on,” she said.

Changes 

Another protester Lili added, “We hope that ­something really changes now”.

Julia Herr, chair of Socialist Youth of Austria, told the crowd, “This government does not represent our interests.

“This government sees the Austrian state as a ­self?service store for its own interests and the interests of its friends in business.” Kurz has said he wants another election in September in the hope of buying time to regroup the Tory OVP.

He claimed to be ­“personally insulted” by the video, but his vicious racism against Muslims, migrants and refugees has fuelled the FPO.

He took the party sharply to the right and mimicked parts of the fascists’ ­programme in the general election in 2017. He then formed a coalition and gave the FPO top jobs, including ministries in charge of police and security.

Linkswende Jetzt (Left Turn Now), a ­revolutionary socialist organisation, has been at the heart of the movement against FPO.

In a statement it said, “The anti-fascist movement meant that Heinz Christian Strache was ready for a fall.

“The nail in the coffin was the Ibiza video.”

It added, “We cannot allow the FPO to sanitise its image again and we must not let Kurz get away with it. He knew exactly what he was getting into when he brought the FPO into the government.”

Anti-fascists and ­socialists demanded an immediate general election.


Conservatives triumph in Australia 

The Liberal (Tory) government in Australia was re-elected last Saturday following widespread predictions of a Labor victory.

Instead, prime minister Scott Morrison’s conservative coalition won a majority in the election. He told supporters, “I’ve always believed in miracles.”

Labor leader Bill Shorten resigned following the party’s defeat.

Labor had failed to come out clearly in favour of working class people and against the rich.

And a lack of active mobilisation from the unions meant that class issues were less prominent in the election campaign.

The right wingers of One Nation capitalised on fears that measures to tackle climate change would hit workers’ jobs. Labor failed to make clear that fighting climate change can boost jobs and benefit ordinary people.

Sadie Robinson


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