Austrian government collapses over Russia scandal | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

20 June, Thursday


Austrian government collapses over Russia scandal

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Kurz calls for snap election after video shows far-right leaders offering contracts for cash

Turns out Russian collusion isn’t a "witch hunt hoax" after all. At least not in Austria.

The country’s government collapsed on Saturday after Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said he was pulling the plug on his ruling coalition after just 17 months in office.

The move came barely 24 hours after the release of a bombshell video showing Heinz-Christian Strache, the far-right leader of his junior coalition partner, trying to trade public contracts for party donations from a woman he believed to be the wealthy niece of a Russian oligarch.

“Enough is enough,” Kurz said in a brief statement to the press from his baroque office in Vienna, describing the many challenges he faced in recent months in dealing with Strache’s Freedom Party, which despite its alignment with the chancellor’s center-right People’s Party on policy issues remained a lightning rod for criticism with its racist comments and other controversies.

The government crisis was a blow to the youthful chancellor who sees himself as the future of European conservatism and whose international stardom won him a private dinner with Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner in February.

Politico

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