Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)
Corruption probe triggers coalition crisis in Austria
VIENNA (DPA), 7 OCT, 2021 – A corruption probe targeting the office of Austria’s conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has triggered a crisis in his governing coalition with the Greens.
“We cannot go back to business as usual; The chancellor’s ability to act is in question,” Greens lawmaker and Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler said in a statement on Thursday.
Anti-corruption investigators seeking materials for a probe searched the offices of Kurz and his ruling conservative Austrian People’s Party (OEVP) as well as the Ministry of Finance and a media house on Wednesday.
According to the Economic and Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (WKSTA), there are indications that, from April 2016 onwards, funds from the Ministry of Finance were used to publish “exclusively partypolitically motivated, sometimes manipulated polls by an opinion research company” in the interest of Kurz, who was then foreign minister.
“It is devastating,” Kogler said. The Greens leader announced talks with all parties in parliament and with Austria President Alexander Van der Bellen.