SPÖ, NEOs Sue to Reinstate Ibiza Inquiry

A new investigatory committee has been redirected by the government to less explosive topics, opposition leaders say.

An investigatory committee established Wednesday, January 22, by the ÖVP-Greens majority has been directed to look into possible corruption between the Freedom Party (FPÖ) and Casinos Austria. What the committee will actually investigate, however, is still a matter of debate.

This summer, two scandals rocked Austrian politics and the FPÖ along with its then party leader Heinz Christian Strache were center stage for both. First came the Ibiza scandal in May 2019, when then vice-chancellor Strache was caught on film offering political favors in exchange for Russian money. The scandal caused the collapse of the ÖVP-FPÖ coalition government and triggered a snap election in September in which the ÖVP once again emerged victorious, this time in a coalition with the Green party.

Casinos Austria and Novomatic

Novomatic building

Then in August, a second affair involving Casinos Austria came to light, when an anonymous whistleblower provided evidence of possible corruption by the FPÖ and gambling company Novomatic. The evidence indicated that the party had offered political promises in return for the appointment of FPÖ insider Peter Sidlo to Novomatic-subsidiary, Casinos Austria.

Now, an investigatory committee meant to probe the Ibiza scandal has been shifted to this second Casinos scandal and the possible reform of gambling laws, when the initial motion for an “Ibiza Ausschuss” filed by the SPÖ and NEOS did not pass. However the mission of the new committee, say the SPÖ and NEOS, has been heavily redacted in favor of the ÖVP.

SPÖ party leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner accused the ÖVP-Green coalition of limiting the committee’s investigating powers by removing ÖVP-sensitive topics from the agenda – in particular the Ibiza scandal and party finance reform, which they consider essential in wake of revelations that the ÖVP spent over twice the campaign limit in the 2019 snap election cycle.  

Contesting the new motion’s legality in the Constitutional Court, the SPÖ and NEOS hope to reinstate the deleted topics on the agenda.

(Foto: Wikimedia Commons/KarlGruber, Unsplash)

Sophie Spiegelbergerhttps://sophiespiegelberger.com
Born in New York, raised in Moscow, Sophie now lives in Vienna where she is a freelance graphic designer, contributing writer at Forbes and director of communications for Democrats Abroad Austria.

Help us help you

“Strong media and independent journalism are built on the shoulders of subscribers. Your support means the world to us.

Benjamin Wolf
COO & Managing Editor

The coronavirus outbreak affects and challenges your life in big and small ways. Metropole is here for you and we are proud to be your news source during this crisis.

But just as the coronavirus has increased the need for independent journalism, it has also undercut a major revenue source of media companies, ours included – advertising.

We need your support to keep it up – donate or subscribe and #helpushelpyou!

Support Metropole!


RECENT Articles

In Corona Time, So Few Sniffles!

A silver lining for COVID-19 has been how well we are preventing the common cold.

Vienna’s Ultimate Swimming Pool Guide

It will be a summer like no other. This year due to Corona, many Viennese will opt to spend a good part of their holiday in the city. Lucky for us, there are few better places for relaxing in the shade and swimming in pools or rivers than Vienna.

The Coronavirus in Austria & Vienna | School Vacations Started

With summer approaching, new challenges await Austria in dealing with the coronavirus. Here’s all you need to know about current measures and developments, including trusted sources and tips – regularly updated.

Liberal Freedom and Its Flip Side

The renewed struggle against discrimination is really two struggles: one about rights, the other about opinion.

Taste of India | Keep Calm and Curry On

Nestled in the 3rd district, The Taste of India’s second location serves authentic North Indian cuisine in a cozy atmosphere, balancing food and feeling.

Traditional Brand Icons and the New Sensitivities of Race

The worldwide Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has now spilled over onto the supermarket shelves. A look at Austria’s own racially problematic icons.


Join over 5,000 Metropolitans, who already get monthly news updates and event invitations.