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The Austrian president, Heinz Fischer, has described what is going on among the politicians of his country as “shameful and sad,” which should give you some idea of the state of play at the moment.Der Spiegel reports that there are four main scandals since the turn of the century where dirty money has ended up greasing the palms of corrupt politicians.
Firstly, police are investigating the actions of five politicians from who ruled between 2000 and 2007 in their involvement in aiding businessmen and lawyers in cheating the state out of billions of euros during that period.
The second scandal of note is the “Buwog” affair. According to the Vienna Review, former finance minister, Karl-Heinz Grasser is facing the courts over embezzling funds through the sale of 60,000 state owned homes.
The third scandal relates back to the upgrading of emergency services’ radios in 2003. Former interior minister, Ernst Strasser, handed out contracts to companies to implement the upgrades and may have received some hefty remunerations for doing so.
Lastly, the Austrian chancellor, Werner Faymann, is under scrutiny after he reported paid for favourable media coverage. With public funds.
Stamping out corruption is one thing, but Der Spiegel notes that most of the buck is currently passed on to lobbyists. At the moment, the political elite have found the perfect fall guys.
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