Austrian government leader Sebastian Kurz, who is haunted by corruption charges, announced his resignation on Saturday evening. The coalition partner in his government, the Green Party, does not want to continue with the chancellor.
“The allegations of corruption against me are false, but the coalition partner decided to stand against me,” Kurz said. “My country is more important to me than my person, so I make room to avoid chaos and ensure stability.”
Kurz also announced that Alexander Schallenberg would succeed him as chancellor. He previously served as Foreign Minister in the Kurz government.
Corruption and bribery
Cracks in the alliance between Kurz’s conservative Austrian People’s Party and the Green Party have widened rapidly since the chancellor was suspected of corruption and bribery. The prime minister himself does not want to budge on Friday. But the left-wing Environmental Party asserted that Kurz could no longer survive. The Green Party demands “flawless” behaviour.
Earlier this week, ÖVP’s junior partner had already begun shaking hands with Kurz. This happened after he learned that the judiciary was investigating Curtis’ dealings with influence on the media. This led to a series of home searches, including among close members of his team. As foreign minister, Kurz was allegedly involved in bribing newspapers with taxpayer money in 2016. The target was positive coverage of the ÖVP. In 2017, at the age of 31, he became the world’s youngest head of government. He has ruled with the Green Party since early 2020.