Wednesday, October 20

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz will face a vote of no confidence on Tuesday


Correspondent in Berlin

Updated:

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The President of Austria Alexander van der Bellen, convened this Friday an extraordinary plenary session of the Austrian Parliament to vote a motion of no confidence against Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. After the Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation against the 35-year-old conservative for an alleged use of public money to buy advertising space in the media, in exchange for favorable information, the minor partner with whom Kurz forms a government coalition, Los Verdes, they have withdrawn their support. “It is very clear that someone like this is no longer capable of exercising their position,” said the leader of the green parliamentary group in Vienna, Sigrid Maurer, which in the last 24 hours has held talks with all political parties with a parliamentary presence to seek an alternative government coalition. “We still do not know if this investigation will lead to the formulation of accusations and the presumption of innocence must prevail,” defended Van der Bellen, also a member of Los Verdes, during a statement to the nation, “but in the contacts I have maintained in In the last hours with several games I have perceived a loss of confidence ». “From now on,” he promised, “I will watch so that the government crisis does not lead to a state crisis.”

Chancellor Kurz has no intention of resigning and defend his innocence. The Greens have publicly called on their party, the ÖVP, to appoint another “flawless” person to continue to run the government, but the party has closed in on Kurz. “In view of this refusal, we are negotiating with other parties an alternative government,” the environmental leader and vice chancellor announced this Friday. Werner Kogler, which, however, did not answer the big question that this strategy leaves behind. For a possible multi-party government without the participation of the ÖVP, the Greens would not only need the votes of the Social Democratic SPÖ and the Neos Liberals, with whom the dialogue worked very well yesterday, but also those of the FPÖ, on the extreme right. Herbert Kickl, the head of the FPÖ, indicated that his party would demand an active role in this hypothetical government, referring to ministerial positions. “I want to have conversations on an equal footing and not a procedure in which several parties negotiate something and then you approach the FPÖ, give him a pat on the back and give him the order to support the whole matter,” he said after his meeting with Kogler. In view of this condition, neither the Greens, nor the SPÖ nor the Neos rule out the calling of new elections.

Since Friday, the ÖVP has been conducting discreet contacts to testing out another possible coalition, while governors, mayors and local party presidents send to Vienna their expressions of solidarity and support for Chancellor Kurz. Today, before the Chancellery, a first citizen protest took place in which pabout a thousand left-wing protesters participated, demanding his resignation, despite the fact that, as the evidence available to the Prosecutor’s Office is leaked to the Austrian press, it is becoming clearer that the irregularities do not come from his office, but from the current Minister of Labor, Martín Kocher, and the head of the ÖBAG and the Chancellor’s henchman, Thomas Schmid.

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