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Austria Calls Snap Election After Far-Right Leader Caught in Corruption Scandal

HeadlineMay 20, 2019

In Austria, a snap election has been called after the Saturday resignation of Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, who was also the leader of the far-right, nationalist Freedom Party. Strache resigned after a hidden camera video was released showing him promising government contracts to a Russian woman who claimed to be the niece of a powerful Russian oligarch. Strache said he or his Freedom Party never received any money, and apologized for the incident, blaming his actions on alcohol and his desire to impress his female companion. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz dissolved his People’s Party’s coalition with the Freedom Party following the resignation. The news comes as a blow to nationalist politicians in Austria and across Europe who are hoping to increase their political power in the upcoming European Parliament elections taking place later this week.

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