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Magdalena Berger:Austria’s Communist Party Is Defying the Right-Wing Turn
     Release time: 2024-04-07

  In May 2019,the press obtained hidden-camera footage of the far-right Freedom Party of Austria (FP?) chairman and federal vice-chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache apparently drunk and high on cocaine during a vacation in Ibiza. He was shown promising political favors to a Russian heiress (actually an actress involved in a sting operation) if she bought Austria’s biggest tabloid and turned it into a mouthpiece for his party. it had brought down the federal government—a coalition between the FP? and the center-right Austrian People’s Party (?VP)—and forced Strache’s resignation from all political functions.The FP? was exposed as at least as corrupt as the “establishment” it loves to criticize—and that fall, it lost almost 10 percentage points in a snap national election. In ensuing months, the far-right party suffered yet more electoral defeats on the state level and descended into infighting.

  In 2024,Salzburg and Innsbruck,Austria’s fourth- and fifth-largest cities respectively, are set to hold elections, as are the states of Styria and Vorarlberg. On top of all that, there will also be two national elections. Particularly on the national level, the FP?’s prospects couldn’t be better as Austria heads into its mega election year.For months, FP? chairman Herbert Kickl has stood atop all polls, which have only varied on how wide his

  Editor: Zhong Yao Liu Tingting


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