Sebastian Kurz resigned tonight as Chancellor of Austria, but that doesn‘t mean his days as the most powerful man in Austrian politics have been counted. He transfers his position to his foreign minister and will lead his Österreichische Volkspartei (ÖVP) from parliament.
Everything indicates that the 35-year-old former wonderboy, the youngest European government leader ever, is determined to continue fighting for power from parliament.
In the six minutes of explaining his resignation, he never made a hit impression. He denied doing something wrong, announced that he will prove it, stressed that he spent his entire life working “to contribute to Austria” and stated that he is merely about “serving our wonderful country”.
The texts that are seen as clues to his corruption, he said he wrote in the heat of the battle, and that would explain that they create a wrong impression. “I’m also a person with emotions and mistakes.”
He added that happens to him what has happened to many top politicians in recent years: being showered with wrongful accusations. The difference between him and the others is that his coalition partner, The Greens, does not want to move on with him, leaving him with no choice but to step aside.
Kurz showed himself “grateful for the support in the population”. Many people, according to him, have told him that he should not let this happen, but it‘s not about him, but about Austria, he said. Because the Greens’ arrangement is threatening chaos, according to him.
He pointed out that he still has the full support of his own party and that without that party only a multi-party coalition with the support of the right-populist FPÖ – something he calls as a shock, although he joined the party in 2017 his first cabinet formed.
fact that his own party is behind him makes his position very strong. Under the leadership of Kurz, the ÖVP became the largest party by far with more than 37 percent of the vote in 2019, with 15 percentage points more than the second party, the Social Democratic SPÖ.
In the polls, the ÖVP has slumped down a bit lately, but the decline is not dramatic and the ÖVP still has a more than ten percentage points ahead of the SPÖ.
Also, there are no signs of internal party opposition to Kurz. He has systematically strengthened his position in recent years by mentioning faithfuls who depend on him everywhere. It is also a sign that he was re-elected as party leader at a party conference with 99.4% of the vote in August.
Kurz doesn‘t seem like the man to give up either. He’s a typical political animal. He spent his entire life fighting for his political career. As early as sixteen years old, he wanted to sign up as a member of the ÖVP, he broke down his law studies to go into politics, and since then politics has been the only thing he has dealt with.
He is so focused on politics that he seems to live a decidedly boring private life. He still lives in the Viennese quarter where he was born, in a 65, square-foot apartment, and is still with the girlfriend he met in high school.
Politics is everything for Sebastian Kurz. Life outside politics seems unthinkable. In his speech, he said he hopes to regain the trust of the Greens. They may have to determine in the long run that there is no reign without Kurz.