08:06 GMT +319 September 2019
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    Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz

    Austria's Kurz Approves Cabinet Reshuffle Amid Video Scandal - Reports

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has approved the list of new ministers who will replace those who resigned over a recent video featuring Austrian Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache allegedly making an illegal deal, the radio station O3 reported.

    According to O3 radio, Austrian Finance Minister Hartwig Loger will serve as the vice chancellor in Strache's place.

    Austrian Supreme Court of Justice and former President Eckart Ratz will replace Herbert Kickl as the country's new interior minister, the APA news agency reported, and Austrian military officer Johann Luif will serve as the new defense minister instead of Mario Kunasek.

    The report comes after Strache and all ministers from Kurz’s minor coalition partner, the Freedom Party (FPO), except for Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl, resigned on 20 May. The decision came in the wake of a recently published video that showed Strache discussing a deal that reportedly could have helped the FPO in the 2017 parliamentary elections with a woman posed as a niece of a Russian oligarch from Latvia.

    READ MORE: Germany's Intelligence Agency Says Cooperation With Austria 'Risky' — Reports

    German media outlets reported that back in 2017, Strache discussed with a woman a deal that would see her acquire the Kronen Zeitung newspaper and gaining access to several government projects in exchange for favorable media coverage for the politician ahead of the 2017 general election. While media claimed that the woman was Russian, the official, who has described the video as an attempted "political assassination", said that she was from Latvia.

    The video was made public a week before the elections to the European Parliament, which will begin on Thursday.

    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:
    Cabinet reshuffle, scandal, Austrian Freedom Party (FPO), Sebastian Kurz, Austria
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