Vienna, Dec 3 (EFE).- Karl Nehammer was on Friday appointed the new chancellor of Austria and leader of the conservative Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) following a choppy two months in the country’s politics prompted by the resignation of Sebastian Kurz over a corruption scandal.
Nehammer, who served as interior minister, takes over from Alexander Schallenberg, who held the position of chancellor since Kurz’s October 9 resignation but who announced Thursday that he, too, would step aside once the ruling party had selected a new leader.
It was one of two major announcements Thursday as it was compounded with the news that Kurz was to retire from politics altogether to focus on his family.
In his first speech as chancellor and party leader, Nehammer announced he would maintain the current government coalition between the ÖVP and The Greens.
He also said he would uphold the government’s hardline immigration policy and tax reform to reduce the tax burden on lower income people.
Schallenberg will return to his former position as foreign minister and there will be changes in the heads of finance, education and interior ministries, Nehammer said.
Kurz said recent criticism and allegations of corruption against him hampered his “passion” and ability to focus on politics, making him feel like a victim of a “hunt.”