"If we talk about methods, it reminds me a lot of Tal Silberstein, adviser to the SPO during the election campaign of 2017. He used similar methods around the world … I think it's possible that Silberstein is behind this … One thing is clear: even given the questionable methods, the content [of the video] and ideas of abuse of power remain a major scandal", Kurz told the Bild newspaper in an interview.
Silberstein is an Israeli political adviser and expert in building electoral strategy. According to media reports, he is known for his questionable methods. He has also worked with former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Ukrainian politician Yulia Tymoshenko. During Austrian parliamentary elections of 2017, Silberstein was reportedly involved in a smear campaign against Kurz.German media reported, citing a video recording made during a July 2017 meeting in Ibiza, Spain, that an alleged niece of a Russian oligarch offered Strache to give FPO money and help them with press support, while Strache reportedly offered the woman government construction contracts in return. As a result of the scandal, Strache resigned as the vice-chancellor and the leader of FPO.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz then called for snap parliamentary elections, refusing to maintain a government coalition with the FPO because of the scandal.