Thursday, December 02, 2021
Finance minister also throws down
Austria’s Chancellor Schallenberg resigns
Quake in Austria’s politics: After only two months, Chancellor Schallenberg gives up again. He wants to see the chancellorship and party leadership in one hand, but has no ambitions to do so himself. The resignation comes only hours after his predecessor Kurz announced his retirement from politics.
There is no calm in Austrian politics. Less than two months after taking office, Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg has already thrown out again. Schallenberg announced in a written statement that he will make his office available as soon as the relevant course has been set within the party. The withdrawal followed a few hours after ÖVP boss and ex-chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced his resignation from all political functions. In the evening, Finance Minister Gernot Blümel announced his departure. “I have decided to leave politics,” writes the 40-year-old ÖVP politician on Facebook. Kurz’s resignation was the final impetus for his decision, he said.
“It is not my intention and has never been my goal to take over the role of federal party leader of the New People’s Party,” said Schallenberg. “I am of the firm opinion that both offices – head of government and federal party chairman of the strongest party in Austria – should quickly be reunited in one hand.”
Schallenberg followed shortly. He himself had proposed his foreign minister at the time as his successor in office. Kurz had resigned from office under pressure from corruption investigations against him. The prosecutor’s office for business and corruption is investigating the 35-year-old on suspicion of breach of trust, bribery and corruption. It’s about embellished surveys and positive media reports bought by those around him. Tax money should also have flowed in the process.
The 52-year-old Schallenberg comes from a diplomatic family. The lawyer of noble origin began his own diplomatic career in 1997. After various posts abroad, including in Brussels, he became Foreign Minister in 2019.
According to several media reports, the current Minister of the Interior, Karl Nehammer, is to take over the leadership of the ÖVP and also become Federal Chancellor. A meeting of the federal executive committee of the ÖVP is planned for tomorrow, Friday.