Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) resigns. It was announced on Saturday evening. “My country is more important to me than myself,” Curtis said. “In order to get out of the impasse, I would like to make room to prevent chaos and ensure stability.” Without the withdrawal, it would have threatened to break the alliance between the ÖVP and the Greens, which Kurz declared unable to function.
The 35-year-old has not announced a complete withdrawal from politics. He said he would remain at the helm of the ÖVP and would move to Parliament as the leader of a parliamentary group. Former Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) is set to become the new head of government.
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Austria’s Green Party welcomed the resignation announcement. “Given the current situation, I believe this is the right step for future government action with responsibility for Austria and Austria’s reputation abroad,” Greens chief and Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler said Saturday night.
Thus the continuation of the alliance of the ÖVP and the Greens is guaranteed. Kugler added that it is now possible to “continue government work on the basis of the government’s programme.” “Cooperation with Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg has been very constructive so far,” Kogler said. He will hold talks with him on Sunday.
On Wednesday, investigators searched the Federal Chancellery and the headquarters of the conservative Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), among other things. According to the Office of the Attorney General for Business and Corruption, Kurz’s close associates are suspected of buying well-intentioned reporting at a media company in order to pave the way for Kurz to become party leaders and federal counsel from 2016 onwards.
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It is said that this money from the Ministry of Finance has been embezzled. Investigators see Kurtz as a participant in the crimes of blasphemy and corruption. In his speech, Kurz dismissed the allegations. “I will be able to clarify it, I am very convinced of that,” he said. It would be nice, so Kurts, “if the presumption of innocence were to apply to everyone in our country.”
The Greens, as ÖVP coalition partners, declared Kurz no longer fit for office and demanded his withdrawal – as a condition for continued cooperation. If Kurz had not resigned, the opposition parties would have submitted a vote of no-confidence on Tuesday. A few votes from the Green Party were enough for a majority.
The conservative green government led by Kurz was sworn in at the beginning of 2020. Previously, Kurz had ruled with the right-wing FPÖ party from 2017 to 2019. The 52-year-old Schallenberg had been jointly responsible for Austria’s foreign policy in senior positions for years. A multilingual diplomat with international experience is just as tough on immigration issues as Kurz. (teaspoon / dpa)