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.

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