The AfD and the FPÖ corruption scandal: silence, then downplay

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The AfD and the FPÖ corruption scandal

The AfD reacts restrained to the FPÖ scandal in Austria. When AfDler get in touch, then turn it off and conspiracy theorists.

Alice Weidel puts a finger on her lips

Has nothing to say about the FPÖ corruption scandal: Alice Weidel Photo: dpa

BERLIN taz | It is a very special perception that speaks on Monday morning from a new press release by the AfD. “Endspurt mit Rückenwind” is the title that promotes the most important AFD events in the week before the European elections. Party leader Jörg Meuthen, who is also the leading candidate, points to the rally of the European Right last Saturday in Milan.

Not a word about the topic, which has really moved the public since Friday evening: the Ibiza video, the resignation of FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache and parliamentary leader Johann Gudenus, the end of the coalition in Vienna. Surprisingly, that's not the case, because then we would probably have to talk about headwinds.

Throughout the weekend, the AfD leadership initially reacted mainly to the FPÖ scandal, with the exception of parliamentary spokesman Christian Lüth. He was on Friday evening with a tweet, in which he especially the mirror Ankofferte, who among other things had made the scandal public. “From nothing trying to create a pseudo scandal,” wrote Lüth.

Meanwhile, the party wrestled for the correct wording. Lüths was not, he later deleted his tweet. Allen was probably clear: The FPÖ scandal can also be a problem for the AfD. Intensive contacts with Russia, dubious donations, a difficult understanding of the freedom of the press – all this is also the case with the AfD.

And: The FPÖ was for the German right from the beginning a role model. The contacts with the Austrians are particularly close, they give you advice – and bask in their splendor, after all, it had brought Strache up to the Vice Chancellor. A “souvenir photo”, which shows today's AFD parliamentary group leaders Alexander Gauland and Alice Weidel together with Strache in Vienna in the summer of 2017, is making a malicious round of social networks. Meuthen has hitherto gladly called the ex-Vice-Chancellor, who is now so deeply involved, a “natural ally”.

Reactions according to the usual pattern

After the first shock, the AfD responded to a common pattern: downplaying, counterattacking the media, spreading conspiracy theories. Meuthen, who was a guest at the talk show “Anne Will” that evening, served the first of all. The missteps of the two FPÖ leaders in Ibiza, he called a “singular affair”, the resignation was correct – but with the FPÖ have the whole little to do. And of course even less with the AfD.

The two faction leaders, Alexander Gauland and Alice Weidel, did not comment on the FPÖ scandal. Weidel tweeted about the Austrian government on Saturday afternoon – a praise that this had brought a headscarf ban for primary school students on the way. Then nothing.

Others attacked the media. The Bundestag member Petr Bystron, for example, who was responsible for the recent conference among party media in the Bundestag. “Politprop instead of journalism,” Bystron tweeted mirror and Süddeutsche, who had published the video. And: “Disgusting with what illegal methods against our friends from the @ fpoe is fought.” No word on what the Austrian allies in Ibiza had said anything as possible and desirable.

Still further Björn Höcke went. The AfD right wing, the top candidate for the Thuringian state election in October, published on Facebook a screenshot from the Ibiza video, in which a ZDF camera is mounted. It says: “The Strache Trap: How much ZDF is behind the coup d'etat in Austria?” This is a really perfidious reinterpretation of what took place in 2017 in Ibiza and on the weekend in Vienna.

. (tagsToTranslate) Austria (t) FPÖ (t) EU Election (t) AfD (t) Strache-Video (t) Heinz-Christian Strache (t) Europe

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