Left Menu
Development News Edition

Crisis meeting called by Australian Kurz as leaking of state contracts

Devdiscourse News Desk | Sydney | Updated: 18-05-2019 07:22 IST | Created: 18-05-2019 04:50 IST
Crisis meeting called by Australian Kurz as leaking of state contracts
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz called a crisis meeting late on Friday after two German newspapers published footage purportedly showing his deputy discussing state contracts with a potential Russian backer in return for political support.

Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache was filmed talking about the contracts with someone posing as the niece of a Russian oligarch in Ibiza in July, 2017, months before parliamentary elections, Der Spiegel and Sueddeutsche Zeitung said.

Strache did not reply to a request for comment on the video. Reuters was not able to verify the authenticity of the footage independently, and the German newspapers did not say how they obtained it.

Kurz planned to make a statement on the case on Saturday, a government source told Reuters. The opposition called for Strache to resign.

Strache is head of the far-right Freedom Party (FPO), which became junior partner in a coalition with Kurz's conservatives in December 2017 after winning 26 percent of the votes in the October elections.

The FPO's General Secretary, Christian Hafenecker, said the party's lawyers were evaluating the material.

Neither Strache nor the Freedom Party ever received or granted any benefits from the persons concerned, Hafenecker said in a statement.

"Since the video was obviously recorded illegally, we are also preparing appropriate legal steps."

The footage, parts of which were posted by the newspapers, showed Strache and party colleague Johann Gudenus with the woman in a room in what the newspapers said was a villa in Ibiza.

The woman said she wanted to invest several hundred million euros in Austria, according to the newspapers.

Strache and Gudenus discussed investment opportunities for her, including taking over a 50 percent stake in Austria's influential tabloid Kronen Zeitung and using it to support Strache and the FPO party in the election.

Gudenus was not immediately available for comment.

"If she takes over the Kronen Zeitung three weeks before the election and get us into first place, then we can talk about everything," Der Spiegel quoted Strache as saying in the video.

Strache held out the prospect of awarding her public contracts in road construction if she helped the Freedom Party succeed, according to the video.

Vienna prosecutors said they would study the reports and decide whether there was sufficient cause to open an investigation, a spokeswoman for the prosecutors said.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Domestic seafood trade in focus as COVID-19 changes market dynamics

As predicted earlier in a report titled Seafood industry post-COVID 19 An overhaul to trigger the growth of small fisheries, one of the changes going ahead would be increased focus on domestic seafood trade, driven by falling exports and su...

Migration post-COVID 19: Taking cues from the past to rebuild economies

Migrants are an irreplaceable part of even the essential workforce of developed countries and are on the frontline in the fight against the crisis, making an immeasurable contribution to saving the lives of natives with voting rights....

Socialization Post-COVID-19: Local associations and online groups to play crucial role

Though every age group is suffering due to the global lockdown caused by the ensuing COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges before adolescents are unique. Their social space has shrunk drastically, besides, they have become highly vulnerable to ...

Pharma post-COVID 19: Reducing political clout can alter business models

Powerful governments that have historically supported the pharma industry in enforcing global intellectual property rules are changing course and introducing legislation that can override normal patent rights during emergencies....

Videos

Latest News

PM Abe says Japan to lift limits on regional travel from June 19 - Kyodo

Japans Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told his ruling Liberal Democratic Party that Japan will lift limits on regional travel on June 19, Kyodo news agency reported.Japan is planning to lift a state of emergency for Tokyo and remaining areas sti...

Home Minister approves essential travel for South Africans

Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has approved essential travel for South Africans, who want to return to the countries where they are based.Motsoaledi made the decision following consultations with the Department of International...

China firmly opposes latest U.S. sanctions against Chinese firms over Xinjiang

Chinas foreign ministry says it deplores and firmly opposes the latest U.S. sanctions against Chinese firms over Xinjiang, adding that it is purely Chinas internal affair.Chinas foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian made the comments Monda...

French crisis measures have cost 450 bln euros, finance minister says

French government measures to prop up the economy through the coronavirus crisis have cost 450 billion euros 490 billion, the equivalent of 20 of gross domestic product, the finance minister said on Monday.Since mid-March, the government ha...

Give Feedback