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    Germany's Intelligence Agency Says Cooperation With Austria 'Risky' - Reports

    © AFP 2019 / JOHN MACDOUGALL
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    A massive political scandal involving Austria's Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache has erupted, promoting the senior official to resign.

    Germany's Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), the country's domestic intelligence service, sees cooperation with Austria as risky, local media reported on Saturday.

    Austria is unreliable when it comes to keeping intelligence data it receives from its partners, Thomas Haldenwang, the BfV head, said during a closed-door meeting, Welt am Sonntag reports. Mr Haldenwang suggested that secret data could be handed over to other countries.   

    READ MORE: Austrian Vice-Chancellor Denies Receiving Any Assistance From Alleged Russian

    Earlier in the day, Austrian Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache announced that he was resigning from his post amid the video scandal.

    Now, the country is likely to hold snap election, the APA news agency says citing a source in the right-wing Freedom Party. 

    On Friday, two German newspapers, Der Spiegel and Suddeutsche Zeitung, published a video dating back to 2017 which shows Mr Strache, who is also leader of the right-wing Freedom Party, talking to a woman.

    The woman can be heard offering to buy a 50% stake in Austria's Kronen-Zeitung newspaper in order to change its editorial position in favour of the Freedom Party. Mr Strache, in exchange, said he could provide her with access to government contracts.

    Tags:
    intelligence, scandal, Austrian Freedom Party, Heinz-Christian Strache, Germany, Austria
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