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Video scandal rocks Austrian governing coalition

FRANKFURT — Austria’s vice chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache is expected to make a statement about his political future after two German newspapers published footage of him apparently offering lucrative government contracts to a potential Russian benefactor.

The dpa news agency reported Saturday Strache was expected to address the issue at a news conference at noon local time (1000 GMT) Saturday.

The scandal has led to speculation about the future of the governing coalition between Strache’s anti-immigration Freedom Party and Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s centre-right People’s Party. Neither Strache nor Kurz have commented publicly.

The daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and the weekly Der Spiegel on Friday published extracts of covert video purportedly showing Strache offering government contracts to an unnamed Russian woman if she were to buy an Austrian newspaper and support his party.

The Associated Press