Sitemap

Austria’s Alexander Schallenberg Sworn In As Chancellor After Sebastian Kurtz Quits

Donation Agreement Signed For The Fourth Section Of Trans-Balkan Corridor

The Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka...

Serbia Celebrates The Chinese New Year

With the warm wishes of Chinese Ambassador...

Serbia Has 500 Tons Of Gold In Existing And Potential Deposits

According to the latest estimates of the...

The Japanese Imperial Family Publicly Recited Their Poems

Japan's Emperor Naruhito recited his poem at...

Celebration Of Republic Day Of India

The Embassy of India India in Belgrade celebrated the 74th Republic Day of India on 26 January 2023 to commemorate the coming into...

Spectatular Mileston In First Boeing 767 Conversion In Europe Marked At Ceremony In JAT Tehnika

Avia Prime Group, one of the leading organizations for aircraft maintenance in Europe, consisting of three eminent companies including...

Ministry Of Mining And Energy And USAID Forge Energy Partnership

The Ministry of Mining and Energy (MoME) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a Memorandum...

Donation Agreement Signed For The Fourth Section Of Trans-Balkan Corridor

The Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka Đedović, the Minister for European Integration Tanja Miščević, the director of Elektromreža...

Serbia Celebrates The Chinese New Year

With the warm wishes of Chinese Ambassador H.E. Chen Bo and Prime Minister of Serbia Ana Brnabić to strengthen...

 Austrian foreign minister Alexander Schallenberg was sworn in as chancellor on Monday after fellow conservative Sebastian Kurz stepped down as Austria’s leader in the face of corruption allegations, to keep the ruling coalition with the Greens alive.

Schallenberg was sworn in at a ceremony in President Alexander van der Bellen’s office along with his successor as foreign minister, Michael Linhart, who like Schallenberg is a career diplomat and had been serving as ambassador to France.

Chancellor Kurz resigned on Saturday to pull his coalition government back from the brink of collapse after the junior party demanded his head because he has been placed under investigation on suspicion of corruption.

The move by Kurz, who denies wrongdoing, satisfied his coalition partner, the Greens, and came just three days before a special session of parliament at which they were preparing to back a motion of no-confidence that would have forced him out.

At the same time, his resignation is more a matter of form than substance in terms of policy. He plans to stay on as his party’s leader and become its top legislator in parliament, and he is likely to continue to call the shots in the coalition.

“I would therefore like to make way in order to end the stalemate, to prevent chaos and to ensure stability,” Kurz said in a statement to the media.

A star among Europe’s conservatives known for his hard line on immigration, Kurz, 35, became one of the continent’s youngest leaders in 2017 when he formed a coalition with the far-right Freedom Party that collapsed in scandal in 2019. Parliament sacked him but he won the snap election that followed.

He has so far been unchallenged as leader of the People’s Party (OVP) — he was reappointed in August with 99.4% support.

Sebastian Kurtz, Photo: Reuters

“This resignation is not a real resignation,” political analyst Thomas Hofer said. “It is [formally] a step back into the second row but the power in the OVP and therefore within the OVP government team still lies with Sebastian Kurz.”

Schallenberg, who worked with Kurz when Kurz was foreign minister before he became chancellor, is unlikely to shed the image of a man who owes his ministerial career to Kurz.

“Of course he will do nothing without agreeing it with Sebastian Kurz beforehand. He is one of Kurz’s closest confidants,” Hofer said.

Prosecutors have placed Kurz and nine others under investigation on suspicion of breach of trust, corruption and bribery with various levels of involvement.

Starting in 2016 when Kurz was seeking to take over as party leader, prosecutors suspect the conservative-led finance ministry paid for manipulated polling and coverage favourable to Kurz to be published in a newspaper.

Documents circulated as part of their investigation and published in Austrian media also included embarrassing and compromising text-messages saying Kurz’s opponents say show a lack of scruples and underhanded tactics.

Austrian media reports before Kurz’s announcement had said he would step down only temporarily. While Kurz did not say that, he did say of his future: “Above all … I will, of course, use the opportunity to refute and disprove the accusations that have been made against me.”

Related

Sebastian Kurz, Austrian Chancellor

Unprecedented Challenges

Like the rest of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic and the necessary containment measures shape Austria’s economic development considerably. GDP losses were as high...

Sebastian Kurz, Chancellor of Austria

The Balkans Impact Austria Directly

Any solution (for Kosovo) needs to have the support of the major powers, particularly the permanent members of the Security Council. We have an...

The political consequences, both in terms of his party’s popularity and its relationship with the Greens, are unclear.

“Is it enough?” the leader of the liberal Neos party, Beate Meinl-Reisinger, said at a news conference reacting to Kurz’s announcement.

“We know from the [investigation] documents that he bought himself a party, that he bought himself an election, that he manipulated and lied to people, and he did it all with your tax money.”

Source: Reuters

Related Articles

H.E. Christian Ebner, Ambassador Of Austria

Looking Ahead With Optimism

We will succeed in making a breakthrough for peace, in developing new sources of energy to free ourselves of dependence on a few states,...

Awards For Sustainable Environmental Solutions At The Austrian Embassy

An event organized by the Trade Department of the Embassy of Austria ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA and the Ambassador of the Republic of Austria in Belgrade...

Christoph Neumayer, General Secretary Of The Federation Of Austrian Industry

Partnerships Are Crucial In Gloomy Times

The volume of trade and investment between the Western Balkans, Serbia and Austria is increasing. We are convinced that this economic relationship can be...

Austrian Ambassador Hosts Welcoming The Winter Event

Ambassador of Austria H.E. Christian Ebner and Mrs Viktoria Ebner hosted a get-together event Welcoming the Winter. At the Radisson Old Mill Hotel’s Piazza,...

Comment

Solid Relations In Turbulent Times

Relations between Serbia and Austria are on the rise and this trend is expected to continue. Expanded collaboration in many fields, as well as...

H.E. Christian Ebner, Austrian Ambassador To Serbia

Serving In The Balkans Is A Dream Job

I am convinced that Serbia will be a member of the European Union, which is our common goal. To realise this goal, we -...

Jürgen Schreder, Commercial Counsellor, Advantage Austria

Dual Education Needs A Makeover

With direct investments totalling 2.83 billion euros, Austria is among the top foreign investor countries in Serbia. For Austrian companies, the availability of a...

OMV

20 Years Of Successful Operations

As the first company to introduce the concept of a multifunctional petrol station to the Serbian market, by constantly investing in the development of...