Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Bizarre twist in the 'King of the Carinthians' death saga

Ingo Krassnitzer the organizer of the Stermann and Grissemann comedy show due to take place at Klagenfurt University in December has survived a murder plot. Krassnitzer was driving near Klagenfurt when for no apparent reason his car began to skid. Austrian Times reports that the wheel nuts on Krassnitzer's car had been loosened by persons unknown.
This bizarre attempt at a repeat performance of a Jörg Haider type death accident follows an ORF TV show in which the comedy duo Stermann and Grissemann made jokes about the circumstances surrounding the death of the late Governor of Carinthia in particular about his vodka drinking spree in a gay bar.
Writing in The Vienna Review Maruska Strah reports that a survey of 2,000 internet users found that 79% believed that Haider had been murdered. Only 16% believed that the fatal accident was of his own making. Several blogs and websites highlight a strange looking hole in the roof of Haider's VW Phaeton and suggest it was made by some kind of explosive device. This theory can be laid to rest here and now. The indentation in the car roof above the driver's seat corresponds to the size and shape of the top of an Austrian fire hydrant. The hydrant was uprooted by the impact of the Phaeton and obviously struck the vehicle a heavy blow on the roof.
A story originating in Algeria is that Haider was responsible for securing the recent release of the two Austrian hostages held for over 250 days in Mali and that he did this through his Libyan connections. It is being widely reported that a sum of money, perhaps as much as €5,000,000 has been paid to the kidnappers. Austrian Foreign Minister Plassnik and the Mali authorities deny that any ransom was paid.
There was another political death in Austria recently and that was the demise of Helmut Zilk, a retired socialist Mayor of Vienna, who passed away in his sleep at the age of 82 following a long illness. In 1993 when in office Zilk was the victim of a right-wing fanatic's letter bomb campaign; his left hand was blown to pieces when the device exploded as he was opening a package. Helmut Zilk has said of Haider: "Whether we like it or not Jörg Haider is the only political talent that Austria has experienced in the past few years." The recent words of Zalka Kuchling, of Carinthia's Green Party appear to confirm Zilk's observation: "There wasn't a single day that Haider was not mentioned in the newspapers or on the radio. The journalists made him look good. This kind of adulation was never here before."
And so we are unlikely to see the truth and reality of what really happened on that dark night when a man driving to his mother's 90th birthday party met his end. The man was drunk and driving too fast. The rest is a private matter.
- The king is dead. Long live the king!

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