10 Oct. 2021 18:31
The government crisis in Austria resolved with the resignation of Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. What this step means for him and the Austrian People’s Party, explained the Viennese political scientist Prof. Dr. Heinz Gärtner in conversation with RT DE.
Was the resignation inevitable in your eyes?
It was inevitable because the coalition partner, the Green Party, said it could not rule with this Chancellor. If Kurz had stayed in office, the coalition would have broken up. So the now former Chancellor Kurz can remain the head of the People’s Party and exercise his power in the background. The party itself remains in government. So that was important for the party. It was inevitable that he would resign in order for his own party to stay in power.
Does this mark the end of Kurz’s political career, or do you see the possibility that he will recover from this scandal?
If there won’t be any real criminal convictions, then there’s a very good chance that Kurz will come back. He is 35 years old and can run for the next election. Kurz has charisma, he is on hold and still powerful as chairman of the People’s Party. He can stay on hold until the allegations slowly disappear from the media. Then maybe he can run again in the next parliamentary elections in 2024. It is by no means the end of his political career.
What are the consequences of the scandal and the associated resignation of Kurz for the future of the ÖVP?
The ÖVP will recover from this, it still has government power in its hands. The previous Foreign Minister Schallenberg will become Chancellor. The ÖVP remains the ruling party until the next elections. If he runs again shortly afterwards, he may not get a good result. Of course, the governors now have real power in the People’s Party, and they keep their positions. I do not believe that the People’s Party will emerge as a party harmed by this scandal.
Heinz Gärtner is a Viennese political scientist and member of the editorial board of International Politics. He is a professor at the retired University of Vienna and the author of numerous books on questions of international politics.
more on the subject – Austrian Chancellor Kurz declares his resignation: “Will make room to prevent chaos”