October 25, 2021

Austria’s new chancellor sworn in as corruption scandal involves ruling party

Issued:

Alexander Shalinberg, Austria’s top diplomat, took over as chancellor on Monday as the ruling party struggled to recover from a corruption scandal that left Europe’s youngest leaders jobless.

Sebastian KerzA 35-year-old man, once referred to as “Wiz Bacha”, said over the weekend that he was leaving his top job after being embroiled in a corruption scandal.

Shalin Berg, 52, was sworn in by President Alexander van der Balen after 1:00 p.m. (1100 GMT).

Van der Balin said the government has a “huge responsibility to restore trust”.

Karz’s center-right People’s Party (OEVP) and his junior Green coalition partners are hoping to move beyond the scandal and complete the remainder of their term by 2024.

However, the outcome of last week’s events could resonate.

On Wednesday, prosecutors raided several locations linked to the OEVP, including the Chancellery and party headquarters, alleging that between 2016 and 2018, the Ministry of Finance’s resources were used for “partially manipulated polls”. Which was done exclusively for the political interests of the party. “

The prosecution alleges that a newspaper was paid to publish the survey. Oesterreich tabloid offices were also raided on Wednesday as part of the investigation.

The crimes were allegedly committed to help Karzai, a former government minister who led the OEVP at the start of the debate.

‘Loan system’

Although Karz initially insisted there was no reason for him to resign – and he continues to protest his innocence – he later retracted, saying he was putting the country ahead of his own interests. Are

But many say Kerz succumbed to pressure from Greens and his own party.

Critics of Karz say he will still be the head of the OEVP and will now sit in parliament as the leader of his bloc – an ideal position to use his influence as a “shadow chancellor”. ۔

Opposition parties have stated they will not run in the by-elections, but will continue to do so in the presence of loyal ministers and high-ranking officials.

So far, Shalin Berg has served as Foreign Minister under Kerz and is widely seen as loyal.

According to press reports, Karz himself contacted Shalinberg at 3 a.m. Saturday to inform him that he would be his successor.

The latest Karz assassination scandal adds to the list of corruption charges against the OEVP and several of its key figures, including Finance Minister Granot Belmel.

The allegations come after the so-called “Ibiza-gate” scandal that toppled Karzai’s first government in 2019, an alliance between the OeVP and the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe).

Despite Karz winning the election in the fall of 2019 and re-entering the government, this time the head of the coalition with the Greens.

‘Shali’

Schlinberg will be replaced by Foreign Minister Michael Linhart, Austria’s current ambassador to France.

Schleinberg himself is a divorced father of four from an elite background and was born in Switzerland as the son of an Austrian diplomat.

He himself joined the Austrian diplomatic service in 1997, his five languages ​​helping him to appear in various postings, including Brussels.

Upon his return to Vienna, he became an advisor to successive OEVP foreign ministers, including Karz, before becoming foreign minister in June 2019.

According to political scientist and Austrian expert Patrick Moro, nicknamed “Schalli”, he has a “reputation for integrity” but also for his “ability to communicate with the media”.

Morello says Shalin Berg is the most important part of his career.

Moro says that when Shalinberg has no experience in domestic politics, he will “guide Kerz’s Sherpass.”

They may need all of their skills to advance the alliance with the Greens, who have already been weakened by the queues in areas such as refugee policy since last week’s events.

(AFP)

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