The affair was triggered by the publication of a video showing Heinz-Christian Strache, until then a vice-chancellor in the Kurz I government and federal party chairman of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), and Johann Gudenus, until then a member of the National Council and managing FPÖ club chairman. The footage, secretly shot in July 2017, a few months before the National Council election, documents a meeting between the two politicians and an alleged niece of a Russian oligarch in a villa on the Spanish island of Ibiza. During the meeting, both showed their willingness to engage in corruption, to bend the rules to finance parties and covertly take control of non-party media.
Still, this is the biggest political scandal in recent Austrian history, which falls within the Sebastian Kurz’s term of office as the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) leader. It raises many questions around those involved and the Ibiza backers. "Alyona Makarova", her fake name, has made it together with "Alexander Surkov", aka Julian Hessenthaler, aka other two so far known fake names, the realtor with Serbian roots (Irena Markovic), and the Viennese, apparently "untouchable", lawyer with Persian roots (Dr. Ramin Mirfakhrai), who does not want to see his photo and name in the media, but continues to run his law firm, managed in 2019 to overthrow the then, with about 55 percent voter share democratically consolidated Austrian government.