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Gives Wunderkind, child prodigy, a baby-pensioner of Austrian politics. This is the parable of Sebastian Kurz, former chancellor investigated for aiding corruption and appropriation of public funds, who announced his farewell to politics, thus also resigning as leader and parliamentary leader of the Övp People’s Party.
“I’m neither a saint nor a criminal”
“I am neither a saint nor a criminal – he declared in a short press conference -. I will prove the accusations raised against my person to be unfounded, even if I will have to wait years ». Kurz retraced his career, admitting he made “bad decisions”. “Lately – he added – the flame of enthusiasm has however lowered”, having to defend himself from “accusations and innuendo” and ending up feeling, together with the staff, like “the prey of a hunt”.
The news had already circulated early in the morning in some Austrian media, such as the Kronen Zeitung, according to which even the recent birth of a child would have “triggered something” in the 35-year-old former chancellor. But it is inevitable to link it to the latest judicial developments and political repercussions, with the Popular Party losing ten percentage points in the polls, surpassed, for the first time since 2017, by the Socialist Party.
Around Kurz and his “magic circle”, capable of dictating the law in politics and piloting important appointments in state-owned companies, the judiciary had been looking for months. Not to mention the “Ibizagate”, the scandal that had swept away in 2019 the former coalition partner Heinz Christian Strache, then leader of the populist right wing of the FPÖ, from which however Kurz had emerged politically unscathed, regaining the chancellery at the helm of a new majority, this time with the Greens ..
The scandal that engulfed the former chancellor
The scandal that caused things to precipitate, however, emerged in October, with the hypothesis of a dormant crime by the anti-corruption prosecutor that the chancellor, when he was still foreign minister, in 2016, had commissioned and paid for some surveys with public money (in part manipulated) to favor his rise to leadership of the People’s Party. Ascent that culminated in 2017, at the age of only 31, with the appointment as chancellor.