May 22, 2019
VIENNA (Reuters) – While Austrian politicians have been in crisis mode since a video sting led to the collapse of the right-wing government, one song has become an unlikely anthem: the 1999 sing-a-long party hit “We’re Going to Ibiza” by Dutch pop group Vengaboys.
The Austrian government collapsed over the weekend after far-right Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache resigned as vice chancellor. He had been filmed at a villa on the Spanish Mediterranean island of Ibiza offering to fix state contracts for favors from a woman posing as a Russian oligarch’s niece.
Strache has denied breaking the law but accepted that the video was “catastrophic”. Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz, a conservative who formed a coalition with the far right in 2017, pulled the plug on his government and called a snap election.
Since Strache stepped down on Saturday, the far right’s political opponents have been partying to Vengaboys.
According to the website PopVortex, “We’re Going to Ibiza” is now the number 1 download on iTunes in Austria. More than 5,000 people chanted the song at the Vienna Heldenplatz central square next to the Hofburg palace presidential residence after Strache quit government on Saturday.
German comedian Jan Boehmermann, who knew about the Strache video weeks before it was published and whose role in its release has been the source of speculation in Austria, posted a YouTube link to the song’s music video on Twitter on Sunday.
The pop group expressed its joy in a reply tweet. “Wow, Going to Ibiza is #1 in Austria,” it said. “Hey @janboehm did you make this happen?!”
A popular Austrian satire TV program played the song at the beginning of the show on Tuesday.
The Vengaboys will give an open air concert in the Austrian province of Carinthia on August 23. Tickets are still available, a spokeswoman for event agency SEMTAINMENT said.
(Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Peter Graff)