Sebastian Kurz resigns as Austria’s Chancellor – but remains a strong man in the ruling ÖVP party. But even a party expulsion process could threaten. The ticker.
- Sebastian Kurz resigned as Austria’s Chancellor at the weekend.
- The coalition of the ÖVP and the Greens wants to continue – Kurz’s successor is to be sworn in on Monday.
- Despite the corruption affair, Kurz is likely to remain a strong man in the ÖVP. This angered the opposition – but party friends were also thinking out loud about an exclusion.
- This news ticker is updated regularly.
Update from October 10th, 7:06 pm: After overcoming the government crisis, Austria’s Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen urged the ÖVP and the Greens to work in a concentrated and objective manner. It is important to restore mutual trust, said Van der Bellen in Vienna that evening. The future Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg and Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler had assured him that there was a solid foundation for further cooperation. “Both are in their word,” warned the head of state. “I am now expecting a phase of focused work.”
Van der Bellen apologized to the citizens for the disrespect shown by the chats that had become known. Confidence in politics had again been massively shaken. “Words alone are not enough here,” said the head of state and called on the political actors and above all the government to convince with deeds.
Update from October 10th, 6:35 p.m .: After the resignation of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP), the coalition in Austria should, according to Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler, “open a new joint chapter.” The recent meeting with the new head of government Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) made him very confident, said Kogler (Greens ) a few minutes ago at a statement in Vienna. According to the presidential chancellery, the previous foreign minister is to be sworn in as Austria’s new chancellor on Monday at 1 p.m.
The alliance has already worked successfully so far, explained Kogler. “As a government, we have achieved a lot together in the last few months.” The Green leader expressly thanked Kurz for his step. The Greens had made the departure of the 35-year-old a prerequisite for continuing the cooperation. However, it is doubtful whether the step will calm down – for a short time, the ÖVP remains a strong man, meanwhile there is also criticism from within the party (see first report).
Chancellor change in Austria on Monday – ÖVP is even thinking about expulsion for Kurz
First report: Vienna – Austria is facing a quick change at the top of the government: ÖVP Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg is to be sworn in as the successor to the resigned Chancellor Sebastian Kurz * on Monday afternoon, as it was announced in advance. Werner Kogler, party leader of coalition partner Greens, and Austria’s Federal President Alexander van der Bellen wanted to speak to the press on Sunday evening.
However, this is not likely to end the corruption affair for a while. On the one hand, investigations are still ongoing against the previous Austrian head of government. On the other hand, the opposition and parts of their own party continue to exert pressure. The speech was on Sunday of a motion of no confidence against the ÖVP part of the government – and even of a possible party expulsion process against Kurz.
Sebastian Kurz: Opposition is outraged by the continuation of “System Kurz” – exclusion from the ÖVP party is also conceivable
One background to the excitement: Kurz is vacating his post as Chancellor, but as things stand, he will remain the ÖVP’s puller. He is likely to remain party leader and become the “club chairman”, that is, group chairman, of the conservatives in parliament. According to the APA news agency, there will be one or more motions of censure at the special session of parliament on Tuesday, the content of which should be decided on Sunday. It was initially unclear whether Kurz would then speak as ÖVP parliamentary group leader.
In return, the opposition publicly confirmed their plans. “The Kurz system will be continued. It is one in which there is structural corruption, ”said Lower Austria’s SPÖ leader Franz Schnabl to the standard. He announced a motion of censure against the entire ÖVP government faction.
ÖVP regional leaders meanwhile increased the pressure. The provincial governor of Vorarlberg announced “zero pardon” for a short time if criminal misconduct was confirmed. “When judicial decisions come, when investigative authorities come to clear results”, then you “don’t have to discuss” with him, he emphasized in the Vorarlberg Live TV program. As a party, you also have “a certain claim on how you treat each other,” he added, referring to the spicy formulations in the SMS Kurz ‘*. The case also caused a stir internationally *. In some cases, commentators at Kurz’s rogue felt reminded of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
Austria after Kurz ‘Chancellor-off: Greens and ÖVP want to continue
Schallenberg and Kogler met on Sunday for a one-on-one conversation. It had been spoken “in a trusting atmosphere”, both then declared in a written statement. “The many projects that are planned, such as the eco-social tax reform * or the budget, will continue to be implemented as planned,” it said.
On Wednesday it became known * that the economic and corruption prosecutor’s office was investigating Kurz and some of his closest confidants on suspicion of breach of trust, bribery and corruption. The team is said to have secured Kurz’s rise to the top of the ÖVP and government since 2016 through embellished surveys and bought positive media reports. In return, the newspaper should Austria have received lucrative orders for advertisements from the Ministry of Finance. Tax money should also have flowed in the process.
Kurz rejects the allegations and initially repeatedly refused to resign. The Greens then threatened to support the opposition’s motion of censure planned for Tuesday if Kurz stayed in office. So everything was heading for a break in the coalition, and there were already considerations of a four-way coalition against the ÖVP. This scenario, at least, now seems off the table. (fn / AFP) *Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.