Οχι μόνο πουλημένες αλλά και πάμφθηνος ΛΕΤΣΟΣ. Έτοιμος να δώσει τα κλειδιά της χώρας σε μια ρωσίδα βιζιτούThe leader of Austria's far-right Freedom Party has been filmed offering to trade public contracts for campaign support, German media reported Friday.
The revelations could bring Austria's government to breaking point amid growing tensions between the far-right party and its coalition partner, the Austrian People's Party of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
The secretly recorded footage of Heinz-Christian Strache, Austria's vice chancellor and leader of the Freedom Party (FPÖ), was taken on the Spanish island of Ibiza before the Austrian election in 2017, according to Der Spiegel and Süddeutsche Zeitung, which obtained the video from an unnamed source.
It shows Strache, alongside fellow FPÖ politician Johann Gudenus, speaking to a woman claiming to be a wealthy Russian citizen who said she wanted to invest in Austria, apparently with money of dubious origin.
The encounter, which lasted six hours, appeared to be a trap for Strache, according to Der Spiegel and Süddeutsche.
The woman offered to buy a 50 percent stake in Austria's Kronen-Zeitung newspaper and switch it to a pro-FPÖ line. In turn, Strache said he could award her public contracts.
If the alleged Russian helped the FPÖ succeed, Strache said in the video, "she should found a company like Strabag," a major Austrian construction company. He added: "She will then get all the state contracts that Strabag gets now."
Strache and Gudenus also appeared to hint at the existence of a potentially illegal donation system for the party. The FPÖ leader said in the video that wealthy donors "pay between 500,000 and 1.5 to 2 million" not to the party but to an association.
Strache added: "The association is charitable, it's got nothing to do with the party. That way no report goes to the Rechnungshof," the Austrian court of auditors.
In comments to Süddeutsche and Der Spiegel, alleged donors named by Strache and Gudenus in the meeting denied sending money to the party either directly or indirectly. Strache and Gudenus said that such donations never arrived.
The two politicians did admit that the meeting happened, but said it had been a "purely private" encounter with plenty of alcohol involved. They said they had repeatedly mentioned "the relevant legal regulations and the necessity to observe Austrian law" during the evening.
In the video, Strache also said he wanted to "build a media landscape like Orbán," referring to Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán.
https://www.politico.eu/article/austria ... m-strache/
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