Austrian FM Schallenberg Sworn in as Chancellor After Kurz Resigns Amid Corruption Probe
11:09 GMT 11.10.2021 (Updated: 12:28 GMT 11.10.2021)
© AP Photo / Virginia MayoAustrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg in Brussels
© AP Photo / Virginia Mayo
Kurz earlier stated that he was resigning from his position due to an ongoing corruption probe against him being conducted by the Austrian prosecution
Foreign Minister of Austria Alexander Schallenberg was sworn in as the nation's new chancellor on 11 October.
President Alexander Van der Bellen swore in Schallenberg at a ceremony in the president's office along with his successor as foreign minister, Michael Linhart, who had previously served as ambassador to France.
The newly-sworn in chancellor said he will work closely with his predecessor amid the corruption allegations Kurz has been facing.
"I will of course work very closely... with Sebastian Kurz. I believe the accusations that have been made [against Kurz] are false and I am convinced that at the end of the day it will turn out that there was nothing to them", Schallenberg said in a statement for the media.
Schallenberg earlier pledged to follow the pragmatic line of his predecessor, Kurz, in maintaining a dialogue with Russia and attitudes towards the Nord Stream 2 project.
Schallenberg took over as press secretary at the Foreign Ministry in 2017 and began working with then-Foreign Minister Kurz, who appointed Schallenberg as the head of the Strategic Foreign Policy Planning Unit. After heading the government in 2017, Kurz named Schallenberg as head of strategy and planning in the Austrian Federal Chancellery.
9 October 2021, 23:51 GMT
The collapse of the first Kurz government in May 2019 provided Schallenberg with further career growth - he became foreign minister in the transitional government of Chancellor Brigitte Bierlein and retained this post in Kurz's second government, who returned to power following early elections in the fall of 2019.
Earlier this month, Austrian prosecutors confirmed that Kurz and nine others were under a corruption investigation and that the chancellery and the offices of Kurz's Austrian People's Party had been searched. According to investigators, Kurz and his allies are suspected of having used public funds in 2016-2018 to secure positive media coverage.