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Austria: Strache accuses Kurz of breaking his word during Ibiza Affair *EXCLUSIVE* *PARTNER CONTENT*

Austria, Vienna
August 11, 2019 at 09:57 GMT +00:00 · Published

Former Freedom Party of Austria (FPO) leader Heinz-Christian Strache accused ex-Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz of breaking his apparent promise that the Austrian coalition government would continue to rule together in the wake of the Ibiza Affair. He made the comments during an exclusive interview with RT Deutsch in Vienna on August 6, his first since the fall of the Austrian government.

Strache, who was vice chancellor at the time, accused Kurz of breaking his reported word that the FPO-People's Party (OVP) coalition would continue for a period of time if he were to step down.

"The reality is, I was evidently given the promise - and I experienced this - from the chancellor's side that if I resign, this would give this well-functioning government some time [to continue]," said Strache.

After Strache resigned from both his posts, Kurz then dismissed the FPO Interior Minister Herbert Kickl, after he refused to resign. The remaining FPO ministers then resigned in solidarity as they had previously threatened to do.

"He [Kurz] said on the phone that things have changed now and he also asked Minister of Interior Herbert Kickl to resign," Strache recounted.

If the minister didn't resign, it would have been reason enough for Kurz to unilaterally put an end to the government, Strache added.

"This shows clearly that there was a development here, in which one can surely see, one has the impression that someone was trying to strategically capitalise on this video," he said.

After the collapse of the coalition government Kurz went on to lose a no-confidence vote called for by the opposition.

The fall of the government followed the emergence of a video in German media which apparently shows Strache and his fellow FPO member Johann Gudenus meeting in Ibiza with the supposed niece of a Russian oligarch and encouraging her to buy Austria's largest newspaper, offering access to government projects in exchange for favourable election coverage and campaign funds.

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Former Freedom Party of Austria (FPO) leader Heinz-Christian Strache accused ex-Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz of breaking his apparent promise that the Austrian coalition government would continue to rule together in the wake of the Ibiza Affair. He made the comments during an exclusive interview with RT Deutsch in Vienna on August 6, his first since the fall of the Austrian government.

Strache, who was vice chancellor at the time, accused Kurz of breaking his reported word that the FPO-People's Party (OVP) coalition would continue for a period of time if he were to step down.

"The reality is, I was evidently given the promise - and I experienced this - from the chancellor's side that if I resign, this would give this well-functioning government some time [to continue]," said Strache.

After Strache resigned from both his posts, Kurz then dismissed the FPO Interior Minister Herbert Kickl, after he refused to resign. The remaining FPO ministers then resigned in solidarity as they had previously threatened to do.

"He [Kurz] said on the phone that things have changed now and he also asked Minister of Interior Herbert Kickl to resign," Strache recounted.

If the minister didn't resign, it would have been reason enough for Kurz to unilaterally put an end to the government, Strache added.

"This shows clearly that there was a development here, in which one can surely see, one has the impression that someone was trying to strategically capitalise on this video," he said.

After the collapse of the coalition government Kurz went on to lose a no-confidence vote called for by the opposition.

The fall of the government followed the emergence of a video in German media which apparently shows Strache and his fellow FPO member Johann Gudenus meeting in Ibiza with the supposed niece of a Russian oligarch and encouraging her to buy Austria's largest newspaper, offering access to government projects in exchange for favourable election coverage and campaign funds.

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