Sunday, January 23

Kurz, in his farewell to politics: “I am neither a saint nor a criminal”


Correspondent in Berlin

Updated:

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“Today a new chapter of my life opens,” he briefly declared this Thursday. Sebastian Kurz in Vienna, when he announced that he was resigning from all his positions and leaving politics. Former Chancellor of Austria and President of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), of 35 years, spoke quietly of the birth of his first child last weekend, alluding to personal reasons, and also mentioned a “new professional challenge” without providing more details about it. Kurz again rejected the accusations that led him to resign in October, but declared himself “worn out”.

“I am neither a saint nor a criminal, I am a human being with my qualities and weaknesses,” he said in a message to the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, which maintains an investigation on suspicion of false testimony in the Parliamentary Investigation Commission of the ‘ Ibiza ‘case and suspected breach of trust.

‘Buying’ surveys

Newspaper reports pointed out that Kurz and several of his political colleagues promoted his rise to the top of the government with the help of taxpayer money, buying advertising space from the media in exchange for publishing. favorable polls. With parliamentary immunity lifted, he is now preparing to defend himself.

His successor as Chancellor is since his resignation the former Foreign Minister, Alexander Schallenberg. Today he will participate in his last meeting of the federal office, in which he will propose the Interior Minister, Karl Nehammer, as the new president of the ÖVP, although Minister Karoline Edtstadler is also under discussion.

His current government partners, Los Verdes, found out yesterday through the media and some parliamentarians expressed their first reactions on social networks. Social Democrat (SPÖ) Mario Lindner greeted “a good day for Austria and the world” and added that “Kurz is finally doing the right thing.” Franz Schnabl, head of SPÖ in Lower Austria, sees it like this: “A resignation that is close to an admission of guilt.”

Kurz continues to defend his innocence, although yesterday he acknowledged: “I have always done the best I could, but I have made some wrong decisions.” This would end the dreamy public career of the so-called ‘Austrian political prodigy’, although Kurz may well continue to shine in the private sector.

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