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Austrian vice-chancellor resigns after release of secret video

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Austrian vice-chancellor resigns after release of secret video

Austrian vice-chancellor and far-right leader Heinz-Christian Strache on Saturday resigned, following the release of a secret video in which he is seen appearing to offer government contracts in exchange for political support.

Strache said he offered his resignation to Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in order to prevent the collapse of the governing coalition between Kurz’s conservative People’s Party and Strache’s far-right Freedom Party (FPOe).

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Although he insisted he did not break any law, Strache admitted to the “extremely embarrassing, drunken affair,” which saw him appearing to offer infrastructure contracts to a woman posing as a wealthy potential donor from Russia while in Ibiza in July 2017.

Strache apologized to his wife and his supporters for what he called “alcohol-fuelled macho behavior partly intended to impress the attractive woman” posing as a would-be donor during the 6-hour encounter.

“I behaved like a teenager,” he said.

It is unclear who set up the apparent trap and who recorded the meeting.

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Strache blamed “criminal networks,” saying that the incident had been a “targeted political attack” on Austria’s right-wing government.

NAN

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