Designated leader of FPOE and Austrian Transport Minister Norbert Hofer, right, and Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, left, arrive for a meeting at the Hofburg palace in Vienna, May 20, 2019. (AP/Michael Gruber)
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Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz proposed Monday sacking his interior minister, escalating a battle triggered when a video sting took down the longtime leader of his far-right coalition partners.Kurz, a conservative, ended his coalition with the nationalist Freedom Party (FPO) Saturday after leader and Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache was caught in the apparent sting operation offering to fix state contracts for a woman posing as a Russian oligarch's niece.The fight took a new turn when Kurz told reporters he would propose to Austria's president removing Interior Minister Herbert Kickl from office after Kickl refused to go voluntarily, as Strache has.Kurz has argued Kickl could not oversee an investigation into the sting that snared his party leader.Kickl, one of Austria's best-known politicians, accused Kurz of attempting a power grab for his OVP party.
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