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    EC Follows 'in Disbelief' Scandal With Austria's FPO Leader - Spokesman

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The European Commission is following "in disbelief" the scandal around former Austrian Vice-Chancellor and leader of the Freedom Party (FPO) Heinz-Christian Strache, Chief Spokesman for the European Commission Margaritis Schinas said Monday.

    "Indeed, we followed in disbelief as a leader of a political party was seen negotiating access to media and institutions in exchange for funds from external benefactors who clearly do not have Europeans' best interests at heart. We do not feel that a comment from our side would be necessary," Schinas told reporters, when asked about Strache.

    READ MORE: Austrian Prosecution Sees No Reasons to Launch Probe Into Strache Video Scandal

    On Friday, some of the major German media reported, citing a video recording made during a July 2017 meeting in Ibiza, Spain, that a woman offered Strache to give FPO money and help them with press support, while Strache reportedly offered the woman government construction contracts in return. The Austrian politician later said that the woman was a Russian-speaking Latvian citizen.

    As a result of the scandal, Strache resigned as the vice-chancellor and the leader of FPO. Strache, who became vice-chancellor as the result of the 2017 vote, described the situation as a trap and political assassination.

    Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen called on Sunday for the holding of a parliamentary snap election in the beginning of September.

    Related:

    Austrian President Sets Date for Snap Elections Amid 'Shameful' Video Scandal
    Austrian President Calls Video With Former Vice-Chancellor Strache 'Shameful'
    Outgoing Austrian Vice-Chancellor Says Latvian Citizen Approached FPO Officials
    Tags:
    Freedom Party of Austria (FPO), European Commission, Heinz-Christian Strache, Austria
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