“..The far-Right Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) is set to lose exclusive oversight of the country’s intelligence services after cooperation with Britain and other European allies was suspended.
Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian chancellor, moved to put the intelligence services under his direct control this week as it emerged that they have been isolated from European intelligence sharing..“
“..Austria has been excluded from the Club de Berne, Europe’s intelligence sharing forum, for the best part of a year, the head of the country’s domestic intelligence service admitted on Monday.
Concerns among Austria’s allies are believed to centre on the close relationship between Russia and the Freedom Party, Mr Kurz’s coalition partner, which currently has oversight of the intelligence services as it controls the interior and defence ministries.
There are also believed to be concerns over sharing classified material following a raid authorised by the interior ministry last year in which police seized secret files.
But Mr Kurz appears to have been spurred into action by alleged links between the Freedom Party and the Identitarian Movement, a far-Right group which has been connected to the chief suspect in the New Zealand mosque shootings.
“Far-Right extremism has no place in any political party,” Mr Kurz said on Monday. “Any sort of involvement with the Identitarians must stop. Looking away is not an option..”