The appearance of the side letters, the confidential ancillary agreements to the government program of turquoise-blue, confirms what was common in all Austrian federal governments – and is probably still practiced in turquoise-green: the coalition parties record who has which ministries and the associated spheres of influence takes over – if only to ensure that none of the partners is cheated.
In the excitement, an important point in the side letters of the turquoise-blue federal government is only touched upon by the mainstream media and the ORF (on purpose?): How the ÖVP and the FPÖ wanted to reform and depoliticize the ORF in a massive privatization program.
The eXXpress has the secret SMS about it: They show that the willingness of the ÖVP for a comprehensive ORF reform suddenly ended up at zero in the spring of 2019 – and how Heinz-Christian Strache pushed for the “agreed” ORF conversion to finally be passed by law decide on.
Strache not only put pressure on him at the end of April 2019, he also threatened Sebastian Kurz via SMS: “You will understand that we cannot agree to the tax package and the budget if our key FPÖ positions, which were agreed in the government program (such as the Abolition of the GIS fee, …) are secured by you and the Minister of Finance.” The eXXpress has this SMS from April 26, 2019.
Only 21 days later, a criminal clique with dark financiers in the background shot HC Strache from the Vice Chancellor’s chair by publishing some incriminating snippets from the Ibiza video. Norbert Hofer should have taken over, the demolition of the entire coalition that was witnessed a few days later could have happened unintentionally and uncontrollably.
Of course, the temporal proximity between the scandal about the secret side letter and the Ibiza video could only be a coincidence. It has been proven, however, that the ÖVP side of the coalition has been quite angry with the smaller government partner since November 2018: At that time, an FPÖ National Council had given a “Krone” journalist the confidential agreements of turquoise-blue for the total reform of the fee-financed state hand over TV. The Blues were angry because the ÖVP side had “massively slowed down” on this topic since autumn 2018 (quote). The leak should also increase the willingness to reform among the Turks.
The excitement about this “breach of trust” in the coalition was great: Norbert Hofer accused Strache of betraying secrets via WhatsApp, who knew nothing and was surprised by the accusations. Hofer then literally: “I have never experienced media ministers (note: Gernot Blümel) and chancellors like today.”
The ORF and its well-paid stars were very happy with the Ibiza video: the ORF reform, including the complete abolition of GIS fees, was buried under the interim government after May 17, 2019 and after Sebastian Kurz’s further election victory with subsequent ones turquoise-green coalition never dug up again.
By the way: After months of left-leaning reporting and constant bashing of the FPÖ, the ORF was even allowed to increase the fees by 8 percent again…