“Biggest Scandal in Europe since WW II” – Ibizagate: How Soros Journalists Brought Down the Austrian Government

by Collin McMahon in Europe for The Gateway Pundit

A year ago, a leaked video seeming to show the head of the right-wing Austrian Freedom Party Heinz Christian Strache conspiring with Russians to take over the top local tabloid brought down the center-right government. In the court case, video has emerged exonerating Strache and his colleague Johann Gudenus. Apparently, the Soros-related “journalists” who broke the story deliberately omitted the exonerating parts.

It was a set-up straight out of the 1970s “Mission Impossible” series: In 2016-17, the right-wing Austrian Freedom Party was leading the polls in Austria on the back of their opposition to Angela Merkel’s illegal Open Borders policy for all of Europe. In a scenario echoing the Fusion GPS “Trump Tower Meeting”, charismatic party head Strache and the equally popular Ex-Youth Wing head Gudenus were lured to a villa on the trendy island of Ibiza, Spain with Gudenus’ wife to meet with the alleged niece of a Russian oligarch going by the name of Alyona Makarova, who was promising investments in Austrian media in return for lucrative government contracts. “Makarova” has since disappeared and is wanted for questioning by Austrian police.

Austrian Federal Police released photos of the woman going by the name of “Alyona Makarova” who is currently wanted for questioning by the Austrian police

The meeting turned out to have been a sting staged with intel know-how and equipment by unknown actors. The villa was fully wired for audio and video, producing roughly 20 hours of  recordings between July 22 and 25, 2017, without Strache and Gudenus’ knowledge. During a vodka-fueled meeting, the politicians, the woman posing as Alyona Makarova and her companion, private detective Julian H., discussed a possible buyout of leading Austrian “Krone” newspaper, currently owned by German Funke publishing house, which has close ties to the ruling leftist German Social Democrat party.

For unknown reasons, these recordings were then withheld for two years, possibly in an attempt to blackmail Strache and Gudenus. During this time, the Freedom Party joined a government coalition with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and his center-right Austrian People’s Party. The Freedom Party received the Interior Ministry and proceeded to implement a strict anti-illegal-immigration policy, renaming “Refugee Centers” into “Departure Centers”. Controversially, Interior Minister Herbert Kickl also ordered an elite police SWAT raid on the Austrian FBI department which had been spying on the Freedom Party for years (think Bill Barr raiding the Comey FBI with ATF agents, for example). The center-right coalition was highly popular in Austria and emerged as a vocal counterweight to Angela Merkel’s Open Borders EU policy.

On May 17, five days before the EU elections, six selectively edited minutes of the video were released by Süddeutsche newspaper and Spiegel magazine, seeming to indict Strache and Gudenus of offering kickbacks to the Russian “oligarch’s niece” in return for gaining control of the leading Austrian tabloid. In the ensuing scandal, the government collapsed, Strache’s and Gudenus’ political careers seemed over. In snap elections Sept. 2019, the Freedom Party lost their junior coalition spot in the government to the tiny Green Party, which rules Austria with Kurz’s People’s Party now.

Strache and Gudenus have consistently denied any wrongdoing and maintained they insisted any arrangements would have to be legal and on the level. Now, transcripts newly released by Austrian prosecutors seem to confirm that version of the story.

Honey trap Makarova allegedly offered Strache €270 million, with her companion, private investigator Julian H. repeatedly trying to get him to agree to illegal acts, which Strache repeatedly refused. Strache is quoted as saying, “No way, I won’t do that kind of thing. I’m strictly on the level.” Strache explicitly refused “kickbacks or any crap like that”, as the Austrian prosecutors’ transcript shows. He also explicitly declined any quid pro quo: “There’s political interests, and we have to think about what’s good for the people and the taxpayer. If a businessman can profit from that, sure, fine,” Strache said, “but I can’t put myself in a position which can be construed as corruption.”

The private eye repeatedly tried to get Strache to agree to a quid pro quo on tape several times. “Listen, she wants to hear, if she brings €270 million, she’ll get it back after a certain period and you get that.” Strache flat-out refused: “Yeah, but we can’t do that.” The alleged “oligarch’s niece” then intervened again with an appeal to Eastern European-style corruption, where “such things are possible”. “No, but let’s be straight,”  Strache answered. “You make yourself vulnerable with that kind of crap, and I don’t want that. I want to be able to sleep at night. I want to look in the mirror in the morning and say, I’m clean.“

These passages, which would seem to completely exonerate Strache and Gudenus, were apparently deliberately omitted from the video released by German news outlets Süddeutsche Zeitung and Spiegel. Süddeutsche journalists Frederik Obermaier and Bastian Obermayer are members of the “International Consortium of Investigative Journalists” (ICIJ), which is one-third funded by George Soros’ Open Society. Austrian Journalist Florian Klenk, who broke the story in left-wing Austrian Falter, also worked for ICIJ in 2016.

Spiegel journalist Maik Baumgärtner broke a story in September 2019 relying on info by Soros-linked “investigative portal” Bellingcat claiming US secret agencies had identified the killer of a Chechen terrorist in Berlin, to which then-US ambassador Richard Grenell tweeted, “I thought you had fact checkers? Shame on Spiegel   – again – for making up stories about the US. You didn’t even call us to ask about this claim.” While US ambassador in Berlin, Grenell repeatedly criticized left-wing Der Spiegel for its anti-American bias, as Gateway Pundit reported.

“This is looking like the greatest media scandal in post-war Europe,” German politician Petr Bystron (AfD) said, an early ally of Strache and Gudenus. “Using manipulated video, a popular and successful Austrian government was ousted by foreign involvement, using illegal taped and released material. Heinz Christian Strache and Johann Gudenus were deliberately framed in a deceit attempt to get them to agree to criminal collusion. Even though they adamantly refused, two years later the Spiegel and Süddeutsche released misleading videos to make them appear corrupt. This is clear interference in Austrian politics by German media with the aim of overthrowing the elected government. We’ve not seen anything like this in Western Europe since 1945.”

After the Russia collusion hoax, Soros-linked prosecutors and their media lackeys have gone after conservative leaders like Matteo Salvini in Italy, Viktor Orbán in Hungary, the PiS Party in Poland, Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel and Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil with politically motivated “lawfare” cases, as Gateway Pundit has reported. In February, US conservative Jay Sekulow’s European Center for Law and Justice (ECLJ) in Strasbourg revealed that at least 22 of 100 judges who have served on the European Court of Human Rights since 2009 are former staff or leaders of Soros NGOs.

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Jim Hoft is the founder and editor of The Gateway Pundit, one of the top conservative news outlets in America. Jim was awarded the Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award in 2013 and is the proud recipient of the Breitbart Award for Excellence in Online Journalism from the Americans for Prosperity Foundation in May 2016. In 2023, The Gateway Pundit received the Most Trusted Print Media Award at the American Liberty Awards.

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