Austrian MEP resigns over expenses allegations
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Austrian MEP resigns over expenses allegations

An Austrian European deputy announced her resignation yesterday over expense allegations, just a week after another Austrian MEP stepped down in a corruption scandal.

The Austrian daily Kurier yesterday alleged that Hella Ranner, 59, planned to repay a seven million euro debt using expenses which she can claim as a European deputy.

“I have been confronted with accusations that, although they are without foundation and untrue, make it impossible for me to continue my parliamentary work,” said Ms Ranner, European deputy for the conservative Austrian People’s Party (OeVP).

“For this reason, I resign as of March 31.”

Ms Ranner’s move came just a week after another OeVP MEP, Ernst Strasser, was forced to step down following allegations of corruption reported in Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper.

Kurier yesterday published a letter from Ms Ranner’s lawyer in which he listed part of the deputy’s parliamentary expense allowance, totalling some €4,000 per month, to demonstrate her ability to repay her debt.

According to her lawyer, Ms Ranner was left with her massive debt after several companies in which she had a stake went bust.

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