Schallenberg to Succeed as Chancellor Following the Resignation of Kurz

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: October 10, 2021; 23:33 ♦ (Vindobona)

Following the resignation of Sebastian Kurz as Chancellor in the wake of the corruption scandal involving not only Sebastian Kurz but also his inner circle of about 10 associates, Alexander Schallenberg, the current Foreign Minister, will be inaugurated as the new Chancellor. Read also who could become Austria's new foreign minister.

Schallenberg (left) and Kurz (right) in NYC a few days ago. / Picture: © Bundeskanzleramt (BKA) / Dragan Tatic

Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen declared on Sunday evening that this government "crisis was over".

Following the resignation of Sebastian Kurz as chancellor, he said Monday he would inaugurate Schallenberg as the new chancellor as well as a new foreign minister, whose name he did not give. 

Decisively, the president took Schallenberg and Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler personally liable for a functioning cooperation.

First, Van der Bellen thanked Kurz for his withdrawal. In doing so, he had kept harm out of office and made a contribution to protecting the integrity of the Republic's institutions.

Van der Bellen also thanked all the other party leaders and all other decision-makers, such as the provincial governors, for working on a solution under great time pressure in the interest of the country.

After the last few days, in which the Greens had made further cooperation dependent on Kurz's resignation in view of the serious accusations against Chancellor Kurz and his closest circle, and Kurz had responded in return with an ultimatum that the entire ÖVP team would resign with him, doubts had been loudly expressed that the two parties could still find common ground.

Van der Bellen made it clear that everything was by no means in order with the replacement of the chancellor.

Trust in politics had been massively shaken. It was up to all political leaders to quickly restore this trust through serious and concentrated work.

In recent days, there has been a lot of talk about the ability to act. This has one prerequisite, namely mutual trust. This must now be worked out under the leadership of the new Chancellor Schallenberg and Vice-Chancellor Kogler, he gave them a first homework assignment.

Both want to work together and this cooperation must also work.

Both had assured him that there was a viable basis. Both bear personal responsibility, both are committed to the country, to you, the citizens, said Van der Bellen.

In view of the moral image and disrespect that we have seen, he did not want to shrug it off. Van der Bellen apologized "in all form" for the image that politics had given.

He now expects focused work to solve the problems at hand - in the economy, on the labor market, in social policy and the climate catastrophe.

Above all, he said, a budget was needed for all of this. And the Federal President once again emphasized that he expected the judiciary to be able to work undisturbed, free of sweeping attacks and judgments.

Kurz threatened with new inquiry commission

The accusations against the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) and Kurz are to become the subject of a new committee of inquiry in parliament, as the opposition parties announced on Sunday. In addition to the corruption allegations, it should also be about the tone of conduct that became known with the chats. Also the Greens would make here serious, clean clearing-up work, stressed leader of the club Sigrid Maurer.

When will Schallenberg be sworn in?

As announced by the Presidential Chancellery, the appointment and swearing-in ceremony of Chancellor Schallenberg will already take place on Monday at 1 p.m. at the Imperial Palace (Hofburg) in Vienna.

Schallenberg himself will not speak until after his swearing-in ceremony.

Who will become the new Austrian Foreign Minister?

No official decision has yet been made as to who will be the new Foreign Minister.

Various media and commentators have already circulated three names of possible successors.

These include

Full Speach of Alexander Van der Bellen