Austria acquires new Chancellor after Kurz resigns

Splattered by a new corruption scandal, Sebastian Kurz resigned himself to resign on Saturday. Alexander Schallenberg, Minister of Foreign Affairs, was officially invested on Monday to succeed him.

Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg was officially invested Monday, October 11 in the chancellery in Austria to try to restore confidence and stability, two days after the resignation of Sebastian Kurz, swept away by a corruption scandal. The new Conservative leader, 52, was sworn in shortly after 1 p.m. in front of President Alexander Van der Bellen, under the golds of the Hofburg Palace in Vienna.

The new government has a “heavy responsibility to restore confidence“, Underlined the Head of State who had greeted the day before”the end of the crisis“. Because the episode has severely tested the coalition with environmentalists, already scalded by several disputes in recent months. For now, the government is trying to display an image of unity. Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler, responsible for the Greens, spoke of the opening of “a new chapter in the work of government», Which now hopes to continue its task without hindrance until the next elections, scheduled for 2024.

A devotee of Kurz

Sebastian Kurz, the architect of this unprecedented alliance between the conservative ÖVP party and environmentalists sealed in early 2020, was forced to withdraw on Saturday evening. The pressure from the Greens, but also from some in his camp, had become too strong after the announcement of an investigation against him. The 35-year-old politician, who vehemently denies the allegations, is believed to have used government funds in the past to secure favorable media coverage and thus gain power.

It was he who proposed the name of Alexander Schallenberg to succeed him. According to the press, he would have sent him an SMS on Saturday at 3 a.m., leaving his minister in shock. This diplomat’s son, from an aristocratic family, studied law in Vienna and Paris, then joined the ranks of Austrian diplomacy in 1997, with his mastery of five foreign languages. After various posts, notably in Brussels, this “European convinced“, In the words of the Austrian president, had become Minister of Foreign Affairs in June 2019. He will be replaced by Michael Linhart, the current ambassador in Paris.

Experts praise the “reputation for integrity“Of”Schalli“, Father of four children, but also”their communication skills with the media», Underlines the political scientist Patrick Moreau. He is also a devotee of Sebastian Kurz, “a loved one to whom he owes most of his careerHe adds. He shares the same convictions, from the fight against immigration to hostility towards Turkey. Without experience in domestic politics, he will be “recommended by the Sherpas of Kurz and strongly supportedBy the latter, estimates the analyst. In fact, the opposition fears that “the Kurz system“.

The head of the ÖVP experienced a meteoric rise on the Austrian political scene and became the youngest elected leader on the planet at the end of 2017. In 2019, he has already suffered a scandal from which he recovered without difficulty. Will he be able to get back in the saddle? In the meantime, Sebastian Kurz, who will sit in Parliament and remain omnipresent, has promised to “shed all the lightOn the charges against him. In addition to the current case, he is also the subject of investigations for false testimony before a parliamentary committee.

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