Alexander Schallenberg has taken office as Austria‘s new head of government. The former foreign minister took the oath of office on Monday, following up his party mate Sebastian Kurz. It was forced to resign because of a corruption scandal.
Schallenberg’s sworn in took place in President Alexander Van der Bellen‘s office. He is succeeded himself as Foreign Minister by Michael Linhart, an experienced diplomat. The change of power within the cabinet was necessary to prevent government collapse. The progressive coalition partner the Greens did not want to continue with Kurz anymore.
Kurz had come into contradiction a few days ago. Justice said it suspected that between 2016 and 2018 tax money was used to get “partially manipulated polls” published. Kurz would have benefited politically. In 2017, he became the youngest head of government in the world at 31 years. Since the beginning of 2020, the “political prodigy”, as he was considered, ruled with the Greens.
Now 35-year-old Kurz insists he is innocent and stated that he wanted to avoid “chaos” last weekend by stepping back. He stepped up as Chancellor, but he didn’t leave politics. Kurz remains in parliament as the leader of his ÖVP party and has a major influence on the government as a result.