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Home / World / The Austrian right-wing extremist FPÖ resigns after being released from the government

The Austrian right-wing extremist FPÖ resigns after being released from the government



  The Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, seen in profile

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EPA

Caption

Chancellor Kurz has tried to dismiss his Minister of the Interior because of the scandal ̵
1; but is faced with obstacles himself

Austria's extreme right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ) has withdrawn from the governing coalition after two top party figures were arrested in a secret video.

President Alexander Van der Bellen dismissed the FPÖ Interior Minister Herbert Kickl and demanded that the other minister of the party stand down in solidarity.

In the video, right-wing extremist leader Heinz-Christian Strache appears to offer government contracts to a woman in exchange for electoral support.

He resigned as Vice Chancellor. [19659007] The Interior Minister was not included in the footage, but President Van der Bellen dismissed him on Tuesday at the request of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

Mr. Kurz is now trying to replace all five ministers with technocrats – which he promises experts in their field – to form a transitional government.

The only exception is Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl, an independent election of the FPÖ, which stated that she would remain at her post.

Mr Kurz is meanwhile faced with the prospect of a vote of no confidence on Monday in political chaos. A special session of the Austrian Parliament has been scheduled for 27 May.

Why is the Chancellor under attack?

The precipitation has extended beyond the FPÖ to the Chancellor Kurz, the chairman of the center-right People's Party in the Federal Republic of Germany coalition government.

Mr. Kurz effectively ended the coalition by calling new elections in September and announcing the dismissal of Interior Minister Kickl, who was FPÖ General Secretary at the time of the 2017 video.

said Mr. Kurz wished "total transparency and a complete and unbiased investigation".

Other FPÖ ministers, however, said Monday they would stand with Mr. Kickl and resign in solidarity.

Mr. Kurz said a transitional government would go until the September vote, but his ruling party has only 62 seats in the 183-member parliament.

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AFP

Caption

Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache resigned on Saturday about taking office Appearance in the video

The no-confidence motion presented by Peter Pilz of the Now Party called for a technocratic government to replace him until the elections.

Mr. Kurz was part of two failed governments, he said. "Increasingly, we have the impression that this failure is no coincidence, it seems to be about increasing one's own power."

"In the current situation, stability can only be achieved with an independent group of experts, not with a short-term campaign cabinet."

It is unclear which parties will support the motion.

On Tuesday morning, Mr. Kickl said his party would vote against the Chancellor if a vote of no confidence was made.

However, a spokesman for the Freedom Party told the Austrian press association that Mr Kickl's comments had been misinterpreted and not The decision had not yet been taken.

What's in the video?

The scandal is commonly referred to as the "Ibiza Gate" after the Spanish island where the video was shot. It was held only a few weeks before the election, during which both the FPÖ and the People's Party of Chancellor Kurz developed well.

Media playback is not supported on your device.

Media Signature Mr. Strache said he had resigned because he did not want to pretense the collapse of the government

In the footage released last Friday by the German media, Mr. Strache is seen in a villa with the group leader for hours The FPÖ, Johann Gudenus, relax and drink while they meet with a woman an investor, who is allegedly the niece of a Russian oligarch.

During the conversation, Mr Strache seems to propose her offer for public contracts if she acquires a large stake in the Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung – and supports the Freedom Party. [19659007] You can hear him pointing out that a number of journalists would have to be "pushed out" of the newspaper and that he wanted to "build a media landscape like [Viktor] Orban" – with reference to Hungary's nation alist leader.

Many questions remain open about the video itself: It is not clear who recorded it or how it was offered to the German media.

The date of its publication – a week before the elections to the European Parliament in the EU – was also called into question. The Vienna Public Prosecutor's Office is considering a possible criminal investigation.

How did the scandal develop?

The content of the video was enough to force Mr. Strache's resignation on Saturday, a few hours after his appearance and despite his innocence.

Federal Chancellor Kurz said his party was "shocked". and described Mr. Strache's behavior as a "wrong approach to politics". He also called for a criminal investigation.

And he revealed the long-standing friction between the coalition parties and said, "Even though I did not speak out in public at that time, there were many situations that I found difficult to swallow."

"To be honest, enough is enough enough, "he added.

Mr Kurz and President Alexander van der Bellen called for new elections on Sunday because of the scandal.

A spokesperson for the European Commission said members had "followed in disbelief when a leader of a political party negotiated access to media and institutions in exchange for funds from external benefactors who clearly did not focus on Europeans' interests" ,

A flood of meetings and press conferences on Monday showed little more, but it soon became clear that the FPÖ stood by the Home Secretary.

When he was released by the president on Tuesday, the other ministers of the party immediately followed.

What happened next?

Austrians vote this week like all other EU countries. Many who vote by mail have already cast their vote, reports the Austrian ORF – and they can not change their opinion at the present time.

High-level officials continue, and it is possible that the President will announce a replacement for the FPÖ ministers. as the chancellor tries to hold his government together.


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