Ernst Strasser is a former Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) politician and Federal Minister of the Interior in Austria (2000–2004), and was a Member of the European Parliament (2009–2011). He resigned because of the 2011 cash for laws scandal.
Between 2005 and 2008 Strasser was Managing Partner at VCP Energy Holdings, a subsidiary of Vienna Capital Partners. He took care of "energy projects in the new EU member countries in Eastern Europe" and reportedly enjoyed a salary of 500,000 euros per year.
Like Strasser, his cabinet secretary Christoph Ulmer is also a senior member of the Austro-Russian Friendship Society and went to become Executive Director of CE-Oil Gastrading AG, an energy company owned by Vienna Capital Partners.
He led his party in the 2009 European Parliament election. He was a Member of the European Parliament between 2009 and 2011. He was sentenced to 4 years jail as consequence of the 2011 cash for laws scandal.
Der Standard newspaper's investigations in Ernst Strasser found that Strasser has many business holdings and listed some of these activities. Strasser founded Consulting, Coaching & Educating-GesmbH (CCE) in 2005. It is a one-man company 100% owned by Strasser. For the first two years, the CCE recorded a profit of around 380,000 euros. When the newspaper studied the holdings in May 2009, more recent data was missing from the commercial register. The company owns stakes in various other companies.
Strasser's CCE owns stakes in Russland-Connection Anteile as well as Firmen Advisory Partners (registered in Innsbruck), Konti Holding (registered in Wien) and Expert Management Beratung Russia (registered in Vienna).
2011 cash for influence scandal
On 20 March 2011, Britain's Sunday Times reported that three MEPs, including Austria's Ernst Strasser, had accepted offers of up to 100,000 euros ($141,000) per year in exchange for proposing amendments in the EU parliament.
Austrian vice-chancellor and ÖVP leader Josef Pröll had called for the deputy's "immediate resignation from all political posts," describing his behaviour as "unacceptable". After initially fighting the claims, 54-year-old Strasser announced his resignation on Sunday, noting: "I have decided to take this step because there has been a campaign against me in Austria" and this was "damaging the People's Party."
On 14 January 2013, Strasser was sentenced to 4 years jail.
- tritt nach neuen Enthüllungen zurück, ORF, 2011-03-20.
- "Im Sumpf der Polizei-Freunde von Redaktion". Der Standard. 2007-11-02.
- FORMAT-Interview: Strasser & sein Boss Pecina über den Neo-Job des Ex-Ministers. news.at
- "FORMAT exklusiv: Ernst Strasser wird Investmentbanker bei VCP Energy Holding". FORMAT. 2005-04-20.
- Russians Buying Up Austrian Resort
- Übernahme: Catro ohne Leissingers
- EU parliament probes MEP corruption claims
- Austrian MEP Strasser resigns over corruption claims
- Official profile on the website of the European Parliament