News World Austria's Kurz leaves office, eyes return within months

Austria’s Kurz leaves office, eyes return within months

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz left office on Tuesday after parliament voted out his conservative provisional government, blaming him in part for a political crisis triggered by a video sting scandal that felled his far-right deputy.

President Alexander Van der Bellen formally relieved the cabinet of its duties and asked ministers except Kurz to carry on for some days until a caretaker cabinet is chosen pending the next parliamentary election, expected in September.

Being ousted does not spell the political demise of the 32-year-old Kurz, however. He remains leader of his People’s Party and intends to lead it back to victory in September after it came first in Sunday’s European Parliament election.

“I am still here,” he told a party rally after Monday’s parliamentary no-confidence vote against his ruling coalition.

The opposition Social Democrats and Kurz’s ex-coalition ally, the far-right Freedom Party (FPO), backed the move, saying Kurz was partially responsible for the scandal that discredited FPO leader Heinz-Christian Strache.

“The disturbing image of Ibiza – however you say it, Ibiza? – has buried itself deep in our heads, not only here but also of course abroad,” Van der Bellen, 75, said at the ceremony in which he dissolved the cabinet, referring to the video filmed on that island in which Strache spoke of fixing state contracts.

Strache denies committing any crime but quit all political posts shortly after the video surfaced. The footage raised questions about money and influence peddling in Austria while shaking public trust in the country’s political parties.

Strache denies committing any crime but resigned quickly after the video surfaced, and the footage has raised questions about money and influence peddling in Austria while shaking public trust in the country’s political parties.

“It creates a distorted image of our homeland, a different image to what Austria is really like. Now it is our task to change that image step by step,” Van der Bellen said.

Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Hartwig Loeger took over temporarily as chancellor and will represent Austria at a summit of European Union leaders in Brussels on Tuesday.

Van der Bellen must now choose a new chancellor to put together a transitional cabinet. He has said he hopes to reach a solution for a new government this week.

Van der Bellen called on all parties to show respect for each other, which the opposition will see as a swipe at Kurz for failing to make a serious effort to build bridges with them before Monday.

“It is not enough in a democracy to only speak to the others when you need them,” Van der Bellen said, adding that forging deeper relations was “hard work”.


Top Stories

London police chief says 14 officers injured during anti-racism protests

  Fourteen police officers were injured in "shocking and completely unacceptable" assaults during anti-racism protests in central London on Saturday, London police chief Cressida Dick...

Health Ministry issues rules for places of worship

  The Health Ministry has issued a health protocol for the operation of places of religious worship in order to protect public health from the...

Fire at two abandoned houses in Nicosia

  The roofs of two abandoned houses in Nicosia have collapsed after a fire earlier on Sunday. Fire services spokesman Andreas Kettis said in a message...

Australian minister calls anti-racism protests “self-indulgent”

  Australians who defied public health rules and rallied in support of the U.S. "Black Lives Matter" movement were reckless and self-indulgent, Finance Minister Mathias...

Bumpy year for tourist sector; not all hotels will open

  It will be a difficult and bumpy year for the tourism sector, says the president of the Association of Hotel Managers Christos Angelides. In an...


Poulles (Υoung kolokassi)

Either you thrash the coriander seeds in a mortar, without making them into dust, or you gradually crush them in a blender. Remove the edges...

Pork cooked in wine

Crush the coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar or pulse-blend in a blender, taking care not to over-grind. Put the meat in bowl (not...

Lefkaritikos tavas – O ‘protinos’

Wash and dry the meat and rice separately. In a ‘tava’ (oven proof deep clay pot) first put a layer of five-six pieces of meat...

Local cuisine: An introduction

Rich in fresh ingredients and tasty herbs, offers the very best of Mediterranean culinary delights. Head out to a tavern and feast on a...