Austria minister Heinz-Christian Strache resigns amid video scandal

Austria’s Heinz-Christian Strache gives a press conference in Vienna, 18 May 2019Picture copyright
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Mr Strache mentioned he was the “sufferer of a focused political assault”

Austria’s Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache has resigned a day after secret video footage mired him in a corruption scandal.

The video appeared to indicate Mr Strache discussing authorities contracts with an alleged Russian investor in return for marketing campaign assist.

He additionally appeared to trace at a probably unlawful donation system for the far-right Freedom Get together he leads.

Mr Strache mentioned that transport minister Norbert Hofer will exchange him.

He mentioned that his actions had been “silly” and “irresponsible” and was leaving to keep away from additional harm to the federal government.

Mr Strache claimed he was the “sufferer of a focused political assault” that had used unlawful means.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz of the centre-right Individuals’s Get together was additionally because of give a press release on Saturday.

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The damaging video that includes Mr Strache was allegedly filmed on the Spanish island of Ibiza in 2017, simply months earlier than elections introduced him to energy.

It was printed on Friday in a joint report by Der Spiegel and the each day Süddeutsche Zeitung. It’s unclear who arrange the assembly and who filmed it.

The footage exhibits Mr Strache and Johann Gudenus – additionally a Freedom Get together politician – speaking to a lady who claimed to be the niece of a Russian oligarch. She advised the pair that she was trying to put money into Austria.

Each politicians might be seen smoking and ingesting whereas enjoyable on sofas.

The girl provides to purchase a 50% stake in Austria’s Kronen-Zeitung newspaper and change its editorial allegiance to the Freedom Get together.

Mr Strache names a number of journalists who must be “pushed” from the newspaper.

He additionally seems to counsel that she may very well be awarded public contracts.

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