بازدید 35590

Austrian government collapses as far right leader caught in video sting

Austria raced on Saturday toward a snap election as Chancellor Sebastian Kurz pulled the plug on his coalition with the far right after its leader was caught on video offering to fix state contracts with a woman posing as a Russian oligarch's niece.
کد خبر: ۹۰۰۱۳۷
تاریخ انتشار: ۲۹ ارديبهشت ۱۳۹۸ - ۰۹:۰۷ 19 May 2019

Austria raced on Saturday toward a snap election as Chancellor Sebastian Kurz pulled the plug on his coalition with the far right after its leader was caught on video offering to fix state contracts with a woman posing as a Russian oligarch's niece.

The far-right Freedom Party's Heinz-Christian Strache resigned as vice chancellor and party leader after the video was released by two German news organizations. He acknowledged that the video was “catastrophic” but denied breaking the law.

Kurz, a conservative who formed a coalition with the Freedom Party a year and a half ago, said the apparent video sting, in which Strache discusses contracts in return for financial or political favors, was the last straw in the relationship.

“After yesterday's video I honestly have to say - enough is enough,” Kurz said in a statement to the media, listing various lesser scandals that had previously strained their relations.

Kurz said he was proposing to President Alexander Van der Bellen that a snap election be held as soon as possible. Van der Bellen, who can dissolve parliament, said he backed a snap election and would discuss next steps with Kurz on Sunday.

“These are shameful images and no one should be ashamed for Austria,” he said of the video. “We need in this sense to rebuild confidence anew. This rebuilding can in this case only happen with a snap election.”

The downfall of the Austrian coalition comes just a week before elections to the European parliament and is a blow to one of the most successful of the anti-immigrant, nationalist parties that have surged across the continent in recent years. The Freedom Party is a major part of a new nationalist grouping that aims to score record gains in the European vote.

The head of the opposition Social Democrats told broadcaster ORF she would not oppose a snap election if a bill calling for one were put to parliament.

تور تابستان ۱۴۰۳
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