Interior Minister Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) finds strong words in the direction of Turkey in AUSTRIA. He sees evidence that Ankara is behind the riots in favorites.
AUSTRIA: You investigated ringleaders and suspects after the riots of favorites. Who is this?
Karl Nehammer: There were a number of ads. Thanks to the excellent work of the police, 22 people were researched, including four ringleaders. One is actually organized by the right-wing extremist Gray Wolves. They are Turkish citizens, but also Austrians with a Turkish migration background.
AUSTRIA: Was that controlled from Turkey?
Nehammer: We have had our experiences in the past, and 6,000 demonstrators were brought to the streets with flags in a very short time – this is not possible without the appropriate organization. We noticed that the participants in the Kurdish demo were spied on using professional means. However, the right to freedom of expression is a valuable commodity, and of course that is not possible. I have therefore given the task force, with the involvement of the protection of the constitution, to intensify the research.
AUSTRIA: What if Turkey was behind the riots?
Nehammer: That would be unacceptable and would have consequences, including at the diplomatic level. Turkey would intervene indirectly in an EU country.
AUSTRIA: Your party has demanded that the Ernst Kirchweger House, in which left-wing and Kurdish clubs are, be closed. But they are the attacked.
Nehammer: The Ernst Kirchweger House has always been the starting point for left-wing extremist activity. As Minister of the Interior, I also have to guarantee freedom of assembly – this inevitably creates a field of tension.
AUSTRIA: Corona numbers are increasing, especially in Upper Austria. Is the police getting stricter about penalties?
Nehammer: We have expanded the law so that the police can also primarily collect health data over the phone by contact tracing. It is important that the quarantine is checked. We have already done this 50,000 times, and the cooperation with the countries works very well here.
AUSTRIA: Shouldn’t the distances be checked more closely? Were there many ads?
Nehammer: No, there are very few. We rely on personal responsibility and appropriate advice from the Polizei.G. Schröder