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Pallas Athena fountain (1902) before the Parliament Building in Vienna

The collapse of a government sounds awful to American ears, but in parliamentary systems appears to be normal. American lovers of freedom can only be jealous that the US government can’t formally collapse and have snap elections. Sometimes, however, there are problems reconstituting a government in politically polarized countries.

The Reuters article explains that the now former Austrian Vice Chancellor Strache’s “party has a cooperation agreement with Russia’s ruling United Russia party.”
Austrian government collapses as far right leader caught in video sting

Posted:Sun, 19 May 2019 04:26:18 -0400
 Austria raced on Saturday toward a snap election as Chancellor Sebastian Kurz pulled the plug on his coalition with the far right after its leader was caught on video offering to fix state contracts with a woman posing as a Russian oligarch’s niece.

Austria’s Vice Chancellor Resigns
May 18, 2019 7:41 AM VOA News
Austria’s vice chancellor has resigned.
Heinz-Christian Strache stepped down Saturday after two German newspapers — Der Spiegel and the Sueddeutsche Zeitung — posted video footage of him appearing to offer state contracts to a potential Russian benefactor.

Strache said Saturday he was the “victim of a targeted political attack,” but admitted that his actions in the video were “stupid and a mistake.”

Political analysts say the scandal throws into the question the governing coalition between Strache’s anti-immigration Freedom Party and Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s center-right People’s Party.

Neither politician has commented on the future of their alliance.

Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache was filmed talking about the contracts with someone posing as the niece of a Russian oligarch in Ibiza in July, 2017, months before parliamentary elections, Der Spiegel and Sueddeutsche Zeitung said…. “If she takes over the Kronen Zeitung three weeks before the election and get us into first place, then we can talk about everything,” Der Spiegel quoted Strache as saying in the video….” Read the entire article here: “Austrian Leader Calls Crisis Meeting After Deputy Filmed Discussing Deals” May 17, 2019 9:07 PM Reuters https://www.voanews.com/a/austrian-leader-calls-crisis-meeting-after-deputy-filmed-discussing-deals/4922673.html

The neo-classical Parliament Building in Vienna took 10 years to complete (1884). The fountain fronting the structure is of Pallas Athena, the goddess of wisdom.”

Photos source: CIA World Factbook – obtained from a variety of sources – are in the public domain and are copyright free.