This site uses cookies. By accepting cookies you can optimise your browsing experience. Read more.
01:59

Austria: Kurz sacks FPO interior minister over video scandal

Austria, Vienna
May 20, 2019 at 18:01 GMT +00:00 · Published

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced that he intends to sack Interior Minister Herbert Kickl in the wake of the video scandal that engulfed the Austrian Freedom Party, of which Kickl is a member, while speaking at a press conference in Vienna on Monday.

While Kurz does not have the power to remove ministers himself, the President of Austria is constitutionally obligated to remove ministers when the Chancellor requests that they do so.

"Interior Minister Herbert Kickl was, at the time of this incident depicted in the video, General Secretary of his party and he was also therefore fully responsible for the financial management of his party," said Kurz.

Kurz added that "in the discussions I had with him and other representatives of his party, I did not get the impression that there was an awareness of the dimension of the whole thing. I also got the impression that there was not the necessary sensitivities in the handling of these allegations."

Due to these issues the chancellor said that he thought it would be appropriate for Kickl to resign, as Vice-Chancellor and FPO leader Heinz-Christian Strache had already done, but when the Interior Minister failed to do so Kurz decided to "recommend the dismissal of the interior minister to the Federal President."

A widely-circulated video shows Strache allegedly accepting support in the elections from a woman claiming to have Russian ties in exchange for public contracts in 2017. All FPO ministers have subsequently resigned in protest against Kurz's attempt to remove Kickl from office, and the chancellor has already announced snap elections to be held in September.

01:59
No Account? Sign up!
Description

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced that he intends to sack Interior Minister Herbert Kickl in the wake of the video scandal that engulfed the Austrian Freedom Party, of which Kickl is a member, while speaking at a press conference in Vienna on Monday.

While Kurz does not have the power to remove ministers himself, the President of Austria is constitutionally obligated to remove ministers when the Chancellor requests that they do so.

"Interior Minister Herbert Kickl was, at the time of this incident depicted in the video, General Secretary of his party and he was also therefore fully responsible for the financial management of his party," said Kurz.

Kurz added that "in the discussions I had with him and other representatives of his party, I did not get the impression that there was an awareness of the dimension of the whole thing. I also got the impression that there was not the necessary sensitivities in the handling of these allegations."

Due to these issues the chancellor said that he thought it would be appropriate for Kickl to resign, as Vice-Chancellor and FPO leader Heinz-Christian Strache had already done, but when the Interior Minister failed to do so Kurz decided to "recommend the dismissal of the interior minister to the Federal President."

A widely-circulated video shows Strache allegedly accepting support in the elections from a woman claiming to have Russian ties in exchange for public contracts in 2017. All FPO ministers have subsequently resigned in protest against Kurz's attempt to remove Kickl from office, and the chancellor has already announced snap elections to be held in September.

Video Feed
Providing you with the best in breaking news, politics, science, sports, tech, viral and entertainment content
All latest videos
State of Palestine: Funeral held for Al-Quds Brigades chief killed in Israeli airstrike
03:23
State of Palestine: Funeral held for Al-Quds Brigades chief killed in Israeli airstrike
November 12 at 15:02 GMT +00:00
Denmark: Border checks to tackle bombs and shootings
02:11
Denmark: Border checks to tackle bombs and shootings
November 12 at 14:52 GMT +00:00
Israel: Security forces pick up remains of possible Palestinian rocket
00:46
Israel: Security forces pick up remains of possible Palestinian rocket
November 12 at 14:36 GMT +00:00
Turkey: 'Breathe for the future' campaign plants 11 million trees
02:36
Turkey: 'Breathe for the future' campaign plants 11 million trees
November 12 at 14:31 GMT +00:00
State of Palestine: Home left heavily damaged after strike kills Islamic Jihad commander
01:24
State of Palestine: Home left heavily damaged after strike kills Islamic Jihad commander
November 12 at 14:17 GMT +00:00
Spain: French, Catalan police remove protesters from border point
01:46
Spain: French, Catalan police remove protesters from border point
November 12 at 13:43 GMT +00:00
France: Lavrov jokes that Russia ‘will resolve’ 2020 US elections
03:33
France: Lavrov jokes that Russia ‘will resolve’ 2020 US elections
November 12 at 13:31 GMT +00:00
Italy: Venice underwater as flood hits the historic centre
02:47
Italy: Venice underwater as flood hits the historic centre
November 12 at 13:09 GMT +00:00
How to Throw a Panda Shot – Watch Masterclass from Moscow Zoo’s Ru Yi 
Pool for subscribers only
02:01
How to Throw a Panda Shot – Watch Masterclass from Moscow Zoo’s Ru Yi
November 12 at 12:30 GMT +00:00
Palestine: High tensions after Israeli forces kill Al-Quds Brigades chief
02:43
Palestine: High tensions after Israeli forces kill Al-Quds Brigades chief
November 12 at 12:22 GMT +00:00
Israel: We will hit back at anyone threatening us, warns NetanyahuPool for subscribers only
03:07
Israel: We will hit back at anyone threatening us, warns Netanyahu
November 12 at 11:28 GMT +00:00
Syria: Israel targets home of PIJ deputy chief in Damascus
00:59
Syria: Israel targets home of PIJ deputy chief in Damascus
November 12 at 10:55 GMT +00:00
All latest videos