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    Austrian President Says All FPO Ministers Except Foreign Minister Quitting

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen said all ministers from the Freedom Party of Austria (FPO) are leaving the Austrian government, except for Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl, the Kronen Zeitung newspaper reported.

    "Van der Bellen has just announced that all the ministers from the FPO are resigning, Foreign Minister Kneissl remains in office", it said on Twitter.

    Earlier on 20 May, a poll showed that the FPO party has lost five per cent of votes in a prospect snap election amid the situation with the video. 

    Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen has called for the holding of a parliamentary snap election in the beginning of September after a meeting with the chancellor.

    Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has not only called for holding snap parliamentary elections, but refused to maintain a government coalition with the FPO. The scandal also resulted in Strache's resignation as the FPO leader and country's vice-chancellor.

    READ MORE: Moscow on Austrian Video Scandal: Enemies Produce Fake News to Smear Russia

    Before eruption of the video scandal, former FPO leader Heinz-Christian Strache was the country's vice-chancellor. The government also includes following FPO members: Interior Minister Kickl, Defence Minister Mario Kunasek, Minister of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection Beate Hartinger-Klein, Minister of Transport, Innovation and Technology Norbert Hofer as well as State Secretary in the Finance Ministry Hubert Fuchs. Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl is not an FPO member but was nominated by this party.

    The tense situation around Strache erupted on 17 May, just over a week before the European Parliament elections, when Der Spiegel and Suddeutsche Zeitung reported, citing a video recording that they obtained, that in 2017, Strache discussed the possibility of an acquisition of the Kronen Zeitung newspaper by a Russian-speaking Latvian citizen in order to secure help in the coming parliamentary election. The outlets claimed that million-euro deals were also discussed at the meeting in Ibiza, Spain, including access to government contracts.

    Related:

    EC Follows 'in Disbelief' Scandal With Austria's FPO Leader - Spokesman
    Video Scandal in Austria Caused Great Damage to Political Culture - German FM
    Germany's Intelligence Agency Says Cooperation With Austria 'Risky' - Reports
    Austria Prosecutors to Check Video of Vice-Chancellor with Alleged Russian Woman
    Tags:
    resignations, scandal, Austrian Freedom Party (FPO), Karin Kneissl, Heinz-Christian Strache, Austria
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