September 26, 2022

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Austria, goodbye to Wunderkind: Ex-Chancellor Kurz leaves politics at 35

Give wonders, child prodigy, retired children of Austrian politics. This is the tale of Sebastian Kurz, a former chancellor who was investigated for aiding corruption and embezzlement of public funds, who announced his farewell to politics and subsequently resigned as leader and parliamentary leader of the Övp People’s Party.

“I am neither a saint nor a criminal”

“I am neither a saint nor a criminal – he stated in a short press conference -. I will prove that the accusations against me are baseless, even if I have to wait years.” Kurtz regained his career, admitting that he had made “bad decisions.” He added: “Recently, the flame of enthusiasm has subsided,” he was forced to defend himself from “accusations and insinuations” and ended up with the staff, like “hunting prey.”

This news was already circulating early in the morning in some Austrian media, such as the Kronen Zeitung, which states that even the recent birth of a child could have “raised something” in the 35-year-old former chancellor. But it is inevitable to link it to the latest judicial developments and political repercussions, as the Popular Party lost ten percentage points in the polls, surpassing for the first time since 2017 the Socialist Party.

About Kurz and his “magic circle”, capable of dictating the law in politics and directing important appointments at state-owned enterprises, the judiciary has been researching for months. Not to mention “Ibizagate”, the scandal that in 2019 toppled former coalition partner Heinz-Christian Strache, then the right-wing populist leader of the FPÖ, from which Kurz emerged politically unscathed, and regained the chancellorship. With a new majority this time with the greens..

The scandal that afflicted the former chancellor

However, the scandal that expedited matters appeared in October, with the hypothesis of an underlying crime by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor General, where in 2016, the chancellor, when he was still Minister of Foreign Affairs, commissioned and pushed some surveys with the public . money (partly manipulated) in favor of his rise to the leadership of the People’s Party. The ascent peaked in 2017, at the age of 31, with an appointment as a consultant.