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Salzburg used State loan to gamble claim

A central government loan made to the regional government in Salzburg appears to have been used at least in part for risky financial investment according to local media.

The latest development follows on from the news that millions were invested on financial markets by an alleged rogue trader without the knowledge of her financial superiors.

But while that investigation is continuing it now appears that a credit of 1.7 billion Euro granted by the federal financing agency (OeBFA) is partly used for questionable financial investments. According to Austrian finance minister Maria Fekter of the Austrian Peoples Party (ÖVP) currently 400 million Euro are unaccounted for.

The missing millions were originally borrowed for use by the regional building fund. However, of the 1 billion Euro designated for the fund, only 600 million arrived and are accounted for.

The finance ministry now believes that the missing 400 million Euro have been used for questionable financial speculation, which would be illegal because money borrowed from the OeBFA must not be invested in securities. However, this would not be the first case of such transactions in Salzburg.

Markus Kumpfmüller, the responsible manager for risk assessment at the OeBFA, explained that it is neither the OeBFAs function to supervise the use of the borrowed money on the regional level nor to ask for securities in exchange for the debt.

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