Austria's far-right vice chancellor resigns amid video scandal

Austrian Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache of the far-right Freedom Party said on Saturday he was stepping down and would be replaced by Transport Minister Norbert Hofer after an embarrassing video of him was published by German media.

Strache was shown in the video published on Friday meeting a woman posing as a Russian oligarch’s niece in 2017 and apparently offering to funnel state contracts toward a company in exchange for political and financial support. He announced his resignation at a news conference.

The daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and the weekly Der Spiegel on Friday published extracts of covert video purportedly showing Strache offering the contracts to the unnamed Russian if she were to buy an Austrian newspaper and support his party.

The scandal has led to speculation about the future of the governing coalition between Strache’s anti-immigration Freedom Party and Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s centre-right People’s Party. Kurz has not commented publicly.

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