Offices of Austrian Chancellor Kurz’s party raided in Vienna

Austria's ruling People's Party (OeVP) said it had been targeted by raids from prosecutors on Wednesday morning, with local media reporting that offices in the chancellery were among those searched.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz walks through the rain holding an umbrella.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and his party have had their offices raided. Photo: JOE KLAMAR / AFP

Cellphones and documents were confiscated in the raids, which Austrian media reported was connected to ongoing corruption allegations. 

Deputy OeVP general secretary Gaby Schwarz confirmed the prosecutors’ actions but did not confirm who was being investigated, saying only that raids were “for show” and that “accusations were constructed over events that date back as far as five years”.

According to Die Presse newspaper, raids also took place in the chancellery and targeted several employees of OeVP Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

The newspaper reported that the raids related to possible corruption offences in the publication of adverts and opinion polls in the Oesterreich daily.

Kurz himself is allegedly suspected of being an accessory to the offences, it added.

OeVP Finance Minister Gernot Bluemel said there had been a raid at his ministry but said it did not concern him personally or his time in office.

Kurz began his second term as chancellor in January 2020 at the head of a coalition with the Green party.

His previous government, a coalition with the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe), fell apart in May 2019 over the so-called “Ibiza-gate” corruption scandal.

After ex-FPOe chief Heinz-Christian Strache was caught on camera appearing to offer public contracts in exchange for campaign help for the FPOe, investigators launched several sprawling investigations into alleged corruption in Austrian politics.

Some of these have targeted high-ranking OeVP figures, including Bluemel. Kurz himself is under investigation on suspicion of making false statements to a parliamentary committee on corruption, though he has not been charged.

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One dead and 20 injured after Flixbus travelling from Berlin overturns in Austria

A woman was killed and 20 people were injured after a coach travelling from the German capital Berlin to Trieste in Italy came off the road in Austria.

One dead and 20 injured after Flixbus travelling from Berlin overturns in Austria

Police said a 19-year-old Austrian woman died after the bus overturned near Micheldorf, situated between Salzburg and Vienna, in the early hours of Tuesday morning. 

A 25-year-old German woman was taken to hospital with serious injuries following the crash. A further 20 people suffered injuries. 

According to a police spokeswoman, the bus was on its way to Trieste in northern Italy. The vehicle left the road on a motorway, hit a rail and flipped over on its side. 

Photos from the scene of the accident showed that it was a double-decker from the Flixbus company.

The scene of the bus crash in Austria.

The scene of the bus crash in Austria. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/APA | Gert Eggenberger

According to initial investigations, two drivers and 40 passengers from Austria, Slovenia, Italy, Germany and Ukraine were on board, the spokeswoman said. According to police, a driver of a vehicle behind the bus alerted the emergency services. 

When they arrived, there were still injured people on the bus. They were rescued from the vehicle with the help of hydraulic equipment.

The cause of the accident remains unknown at this stage. Police said the alcohol tests carried out on the drivers were negative.  

Investigations into the crash will continue. 

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