SPÖ Reveals Systematic Corruption by ÖVP

On Friday, the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) presented its parliamentary group report systematic corruption by ÖVP to the ÖVP corruption investigation committee, entitled “So corrupt is the ÖVP”. The 56-page report details what the SPÖ believes has been brought to light in the parliamentary investigative body. At the presentation to journalists, SPÖ parliamentary group leader Kai Jan Krainer summarized the report, stating that it provides an insight into a “systematic abuse of the state”.

The question of how corrupt the ÖVP really is came to light after the Ibiza U Committee. Krainer stated, “Were these just isolated cases or are we dealing with a system here?” After a year and four months of the ÖVP corruption investigation committee, it has become clear that “yes, we are dealing with systematic corruption here and not with any isolated cases.”

The report of ÖVP’s involvement in “poll corruption” through dozens of people using the “Beinschab-Österreich-Tool”. Additionally, surveys were centrally controlled across the ministries purely based on party political points of view and financed with tax money using the “Demox-Unterhuber-Tool”. The ministries asked for profiles of politicians or opposition work, but “the results have never gone to any department of a ministry”, Krainer complained.

The ÖVP also diverted as much of the Covid aid as possible to its own party coffers via clubs, as well as back taxes of the Economic Association in Vorarlberg. Krainer said, “The ÖVP is of the opinion that the tax laws apply to everyone in this country, just not for the People’s Party.” The U Committee also discovered that “for the super-rich there is also the ÖVP in addition to (the tax consultancy firms, note) KPMG and PWC,” Krainer mentioned, playing on the tax cases of entrepreneur Siegfried Wolf or investor René Benko. Orders were always decided at the political level, and the same companies always came into play using the same method.

However, according to Krainer, the work is not done yet. No “relentless reappraisal” has occurred, and the ÖVP is still blocking. For instance, the Chancellery is persistently not sending out any e-mails, and Krainer demanded that “official secrecy has to go”. “We finally need a freedom of information law,” he added. Furthermore, the documentation requirements would have to be extended, and the archive law is being trampled on by the ÖVP.

A reform of the rules of procedure is also necessary. In addition to the much-quoted live broadcasts, it must be discussed “how to prevent someone like Sobotka (President of the National Council Wolfgang, ed.) from presiding”. He harmed the institution with his actions. In general, the ÖVP torpedoed minority rights by preventing the extension of the U-Committee from having interview days. “We have to think about how we can prevent such a blockade in the future.”

The systematic corruption by ÖVP highlights systematic corruption by ÖVP involvement in systematic corruption by ÖVP, which the party believes has gone on for some time. The report also calls for significant reforms to prevent future abuse of power and to increase transparency in government.