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European Parliament Member Resigns amid Corruption Scandal

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TEHRAN, March 21 (ICANA) – The European parliament has opened an investigation to find out The Sunday Times’ corruption claims into "cash for law" scandal.
Monday, March 21, 2011 3:06:36 PM
European Parliament Member Resigns amid Corruption Scandal

Former Austrian Interior Minister Ernst Strasser has resigned from the European Parliament after a newspaper exposed that he accepted a bribe of $141,066 annually for submitting legislative changes to the European Union’s banking regulations.

In the sting operation carried out by The Sunday Times, the newspaper created a fake company, Taylor Jones Public Affairs, where Strasser, Romania's Adrian Severin and Slovenia’s Zoran Thaler offered to willingly push through legal amendments on behalf of this firm.

Strasser denied any wrongdoing and insisted that his resignation was aimed at preventing Austria's coalition government from any further damage.

"I have decided to take this step because there has been a campaign against me in Austria,"  Strasser, who had successfully led the Christian democratic Austrian People's Party (OVP) in the European elections two years ago, said.

On Sunday, OVP leader and Austria's vice-chancellor Josef Proell demanded Stasser’s "immediate resignation from all political posts".

Meanwhile, the parliament opened an investigation to find out the newspaper’s corruption claims

"The parliament has just opened an inquiry into these allegations so the facts can be fully established. The Sunday Times' allegations are severe and the European parliament is taking them seriously," Parliament spokesman Jaume Duch told AFP.

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