Austria: Disgraced ex-vice chancellor Strache returns to politics

Published on 24 Jan 2020, 3:29
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Austria's former vice-chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache returned to politics on Thursday night, eight months after his role in the Ibiza affair forced him to resign and brought down the Austrian government.

Strache's comeback was at the launch of a new party: The Alliance for Austria (DAO) in Vienna.

He said he was no longing looking in the "rear-view mirror" but instead "looking forward".

The new political grouping was formed by several fellow Freedom Party (FPO) politicians, disillusioned with the party's treatment of its former leader Strache.

The far-right politician was expelled last December for his part after video footage emerged of him offering to fix government contracts in exchange for positive press coverage from a woman purporting to be the niece of a Russian oligarch.

The sting led to the collapse of the coalition between the FPO and conservatives led by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and an electoral setback for the FPO in subsequent snap elections.

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