Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz called snap elections following the collapse of his coalition government following the leak of a video showing the 49-year old Vice-Chancellor and leader of the Freedom Party Heinz-Christian Strache offering Russian businesswoman assistance to secure public contracts in exchange for political support.
In the video, Strache expresses the wish to create a media conglomerate friendly to his party that is comparable to what Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has at his disposal.
The meeting allegedly took place on the Spanish island of Ibiza in July 2017 and the video release comes days before Austria goes to the polls for European elections.
Strache says that drinking affected his judgment and offered his resignation to avoid further damage to the government. He does not deny the authenticity of the video, but it remains unknown as to who recorded it.