This was his first statement as chancellor – and his oath of allegiance to Sebastian Kurz couldn’t be more clear!
Alexander Schallenberg (52) confirmed that he would work “closely” with Kurz (35) and said the allegations against Kurz were “false” in his view.
More loyalty is possible!
Schallenberg and Kurz have known each other for nearly ten years. Cortes made him his most important employee in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and he followed him into the Chancellery – and he became Foreign Minister after the Ibiza Affair.
Kurz has often rave about Schallenberg in the past, he is considered “a thousand percent loyal”.
The SMS came from Kurz to Schallenberg that he should take office on Saturday evening when Schallenberg was already asleep.
It was expected Friday evening to cancel the shortlisted list and the new elections that will take place on Tuesday. Then earthquake advisor!
Kurz has already moved out of the Chancellery and is now “governing” from the ÖVP headquarters in Lichtenfelsgasse, 800 meters from the Chancellery. This is where the real power center of government now lies – and this was also made clear by Schallenberg’s statement.
The former chancellor thanked his successor and close friend via Twitter: “I would like to thank Alexander Schallenberg for his willingness to take charge as Federal Chancellor, because this step ensures stability in the country. This has also been my goal in this difficult situation in the past few days.”
Immediately after the inauguration, there were also direct consequences in light of the investigation of corruption and fraud. Gerald Fleischmann, the chancellor’s media officer, has resigned and is now on leave.
► Corruption allegations of the Vienna Prosecutor’s Office against Kurz according to the decision of the investigation (available from BILD): He wanted to improve his chances of taking over the “new” ÖVP and electing him chancellor in the 2017 elections with a media attack. Kurz decided with his aides to launch and fund the manipulated polls. Funding was taken over by Fellner Media Group “Austria”. In fact, ÖVP promised to buy more than 1 million euros worth of ads in newspapers. Advertising costs were paid for with tax money from the Ministry of Finance.
Two days after the brief resignation, former Secretary of State Schallenberg has now taken office. Federal President Alexander van der Bellen was sworn in by an ÖVP politician on Monday in the Vienna Hofburg.
“The office is an honor I never expected and never desired,” Schallenberg said in a speech after being sworn in. However, it “was not an option not to accept this responsibility.” Diplomat Michael Lienhart, formerly his country’s ambassador to France, has been sworn in as the new foreign minister.
Schallenberg wants to “do everything possible” with Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler to clear the trenches that have sprung up. Physical work should be on top again, so is Schallenberg. Needless to say, he will continue to work with Kurz. Moreover: “Anything else would be absurd in terms of democratic politics.”
This is Alexander Schallenberg
Schallenberg—whose followers also call him “Shalli”—is one of the closest circles to his predecessor Kurz. It brings together a number of common thematic positions, particularly on immigration policy and the attitude towards Turkey.
Born in 1969, Schallenberg comes from a diplomatic family with noble roots. He is the father of four children.
He began his diplomatic career in 1997.
▶ After various positions abroad, including in Brussels, the law graduate became Minister of Foreign Affairs for the first time in 2019.
Experts attest to Schallenberg’s extensive experience in international politics. The newly appointed counselor speaks five foreign languages.
Schallenberg also has skills in communicating with the media, says political scientist Patrick Morrow.
According to Moreau, however, Schallenberg’s lack of domestic political experience should mean that he must continue to rely on consultations from his predecessor Kurz’s environment.