This is the highest distinction that Austrian social democracy has to offer: the Victor Adler plaque. The fact that it was presented to Alfred Gusenbauer yesterday, Thursday, as part of the festival’s summer reception, had already generated significant voices. Gusenbauer was president of the SPÖ for eight years and federal chancellor for almost two years. Since his abrupt departure from top politics in late 2008, however, his professional activity as a lobbyist has made headlines rather than for social democratic initiatives. Nonetheless, Gusenbauer was clearly proud of the ceremony and quoted the slogan on the plaque: “Participation in the liberation struggle of the proletariat gives meaning and anointing to life”. Now, however, it is once again about the delicate question of what Gusenbauer has fought for in recent years. Research shows: In 2014, ex-chancellors received substantial sums of money from autocratic-ruled Azerbaijan. But why?
A research consortium of Profile and ORF has documents documenting transfers to the Gusenbauer company for a total of 120,000 euros. The money flow happened in a very complicated way: Incorporated was a Scottish offshore company called Faberlex LP, which had an account with Danske Bank in Estonia. Money went out of this account. The Estonian subsidiary of Danish Danske Bank has been involved in a major money laundering scam for several years. Gusenbauer payment information can be found in the bank statement that the Italian magazine “L’Espresso” has shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), an investigative network. ICIJ made the data available to international partner media.
Money came from mailbox company
In the documents, Profile and ORF found six separate transfers from offshore company Faberlex to an Austrian account for 20,000 euros. Known as the recipient of the “Güssenbauer Projectantwicklung”. It is not clear whether it is “Güssenbauer Projektentwiklung und Zussmannerbeit GmbH” or its subsidiary “Güsenbauer Projektentwicklung und Autovermeitung GmbH & Co. KG”. However, both are essentially attributed to Alfred Gusenbauer. As per the booking text, the payment was made on the basis of three challans.
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