Austrian Times RSS FeedsLike the Austrian Times Facebook page!Follow us on Twitter!


Events for November
M T W T F S S
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Add your event FREE

Today

Videos


BurgKino

Pub Quiz everyTuesday at Johnny's Pub

Popular in Austria


Cosmo&Nanu

Citizenship not for sale, Minister says on 'corrupt Scheuch' claims

By Thomas Hochwarter

Peoples Party (VP) Interior Minister Maria Fekter has warned that Austrian citizenship cannot be "bought" amid claims Carinthian Freedom Party (FPK) boss Uwe Scheuch promised easier citizenship proceedings in return for party donations.

The Peoples Party minister said today (Thurs): "It is not possible to purchase Austrian citizenship."

Fekter explained "special links with Austria" had to be proven for someone to become an Austrian under a dual citizenship agreement.

"People who live here or are economically active here are evaluated differently than people who only make payments to an Austrian account but have no relation to Austria at all," she said in an interview with ORFs 1 radio.

Asked whether she could imagine that "financial return services" as allegedly offered by FPK chief Scheuch were common practice, she said: "I strongly doubt that. Apart from that, Im the last resort here."

Fekter admitted Austria was one of the countries which took part in "Citizenship by Investment" events in Japan and China, but said those interested were informed of the Austrian law and criteria that needed to be fulfilled.

The exact criteria for obtaining dual citizenship are not public, but Fekter claimed they were "very restrictive". Fekter added Russians investing in Austrian museums and galleries had great interest in Austrian citizenship. But she said all recent applications had been rejected.

Athletes and artists have occasionally become Austrian citizens after living and working in the country. Retired Croat-born football star Ivica Vastic who played for the Austrian national team 50 times and Russian opera diva Anna Netrebko are well-known examples of popular personalities being given Austrian citizenship.

Corruption prosecutors meanwhile said they were "of course" planning to look into the "Scheuch case", while magazine News and newspaper Kurier reported a Russian man allegedly negotiating an easy awarding of Austrian citizenship with the FPK chief had been interviewed by officials earlier this week.

Scheuch who was last Saturday elected leader of the FPK which recently split from the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZ) to cooperate with right-wing rivals the Freedom party (FP) pledged to cooperate with prosecutors after the controversial audiotape emerged last week.

Magazine News claims the tape holds a recording of the former FP MP offering a Russian businessman easier proceedings in becoming an Austrian citizen if he invests five million Euros in a project in Carinthia and donates five to ten per cent of the sum to his party, which at the time was the BZ.

The Greens in Carinthia said early elections must now be held and the Carinthian Social Democrats (SP) joined them in calling on Scheuch to step down.

But Scheuch said he could not remember whether the conversation had taken place and said it was likely that the audiotape was part of a campaign against him and the newly set up FPK.

Scheuch said he would "obviously" speak with a lot of people about investing in the southern province of Carinthia, but added the tape might have been manipulated.

Magazine News reported today that the person allegedly heard speaking to Scheuch on the tape had confirmed the authenticity of the tape. The weekly claimed the man identified as Austrian Kurt L. was being treated as a principal witness by corruption prosecutors.

The man said the conversation took place last year and was not taken out of context, News reports.

"The conversation was recorded to ensure the circumstances would not change for the worse for my client considering the possible realisation of the planned project," the man is quoted as saying.

But the deal eventually fell through, the weekly claims.

"Ive got a clear conscience," Scheuch said.

His former party BZ dismissed rumours they were behind a plan to harm the FPK leaders reputation.

Austrian Times


Are you on Facebook? Like the Austrian Times on Facebook and win great prizes!


Cosmo and Nanu
ORF Watch

Related articles: right-wing Austria

  1. Prll outpaces friends and foes in capability check

    » General News 2012-05-23

    Austrias longest-serving governor has been identified as the most capable one in the opinion of citizens.

  2. BZ ends Stronach speculations

    » General News 2012-05-18

    The Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZ) has finally dismissed the circulating rumours about teaming up with a billionaire businessman.

  3. BZ farewell possible, poll shows

    » General News 2012-05-17

    The chances of the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZ) to avoid dropping out of parliament are waning, according to a new poll.

more related articles tagged "right-wing Austria"

Related articles: political scandals

  1. Drachma reintroduction 'would mean social explosion'

    » General News 2012-05-31

    A renowned economist has warned from reintroducing the drachma in Greece.

  2. EC warns debt-ridden Austria

    » General News 2012-05-31

    Austria has been criticised for its high public debts.

  3. Graz coalition collapses

    » General News 2012-05-31

    Peoples Party (VP) Graz Mayor Siegfried Nagl has ended his factions partnership with the Greens.

more related articles tagged "political scandals"

Related articles: business scandals

  1. AUA under pressure as pilots quit

    » Business 2012-05-30

    The number of pilots and stewardesses leaving Austrian Airlines (AUA) because of the upcoming pay cuts is on the rise.

  2. Pay cuts scare off AUA pilots

    » Business 2012-05-29

    Dozens of pilots have left Austrian Airlines (AUA) in the past weeks, according to the loss-making carriers works committee.

  3. Coalition accelerates anti-corruption ambitions

    » General News 2012-05-24

    The government is intensifying its attempts to pass a transparency package in parliament.

more related articles tagged "business scandals"

Tag cloud:
magazine  allegedly  citizenship  Fekter  easier  cooperate  Scheuch  conversation  Austrian  Minister  tape  criteria  relation  audiotape  Carinthian  Citizenship  investing  prosecutors  weekly  Russians

Latest News

 

How An Austrian Park Every Year Becomes A Lake
Spectacular images that show how a park becomes a lake each spring complete with underwater trees have been captured by two divers.

Mad About Mammoths At Vienna Museum
A unique exhibition in the Austrian capital Vienna has proved a massive hit after bringing together for the first time some of the most famous frozen woolly mammoth remains.

Controversy Over Advert For Fucking Hell Beer
An Austrian political party has defended a decision to promote a local beer named after the village of Fucking.

Luigi Restaurant Cooks Up Delicious Delights For Winter Season
Brothers Luigi and Leo Doci who own the renowned Luigi restaurant chain will be cooking up a storm in Semmering this winter.

Church Porn Star In Court
A Polish-born woman who made a video of herself masturbating in church is facing six months in jail after a viewer called police when he recognised the woman.

Hugh Grant Cuddles Lamb On Animal Farm With Mrs Glock
Hugh Grant led a star-studded turnout at Austria's animal farm project which unveiled its Christmas market this week.

Cheating Wife Buries Hubby Alive For New Lover
A woman who married her sisters fiance and then attacked him with a knife before burying him alive so she could be with her new lover is facing life in jail.

Spate of Crimes throughout Vienna and Lower Austria Solved
Four men have been arrested after committing 113 break-ins, 21 thefts and causing at least 260,000 Euros worth of damage.

Dad Punished Child, 2, With Boiling Hot Shower
A two-year-old girl is in an artificial coma and fighting for her life after her father threw her into a scalding hot shower leaving her with severe burns at the family home in the Austrian capital Vienna.

Police And Firemen Get Cold Turkey
Flipping the bird was given a new meaning in Austria this week when a truck filled with plucked turkeys overturned, closing a busy motorway in the process.

 


Mala Vrata

The most popular stories –
last 7 days



Don't moan alone, the Ombudsman Investigates.

Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.

Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.


Austrian Zimmers