Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz resigns amid corruption scandal

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“I want to make room for stability guarantees,” Kurz said in a televised address on Austrian television.

However, the 35-year-old chancellor said the corruption allegations against him were “false” and denied that he had used government money for political purposes.

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According to public broadcaster ORF, Kurz said Foreign Minister Alexander Schalenberg would become the new chancellor.

The allegations of corruption against Kurz caused a crisis in the Austrian government. Ahead of Kurz’s resignation on Saturday, opposition parties had threatened to move a no-confidence motion against him in Parliament on Tuesday.


Kurz, elected as chancellor in 2017, cleverly turned one of Europe’s biggest crises – the refugee influx of 2015 – into a vote-winner in the ballot box.

Kurz came to power just as Chancellor Angela Merkel’s hold in neighboring Germany seemed to be weakening. Despite his regular emphasis on his support for the European project, he was keen to dismantle his at least somewhat welcoming approach to migrants and move the continent on a more drastic path.

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His party was the driving force behind the 2017 law banning the full-face Muslim veil in public places.


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