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Austria: Kurz to create ‘transition government’ staffed with experts after FPO scandal resignations

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Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced his intentions to form a technocratic “transition government” staffed with experts at a press conference alongside President Alexander Van der Bellen at the Presidential Chancellery in Vienna on Tuesday.

The decision comes in the wake of the collapse of the coalition government of Kurz’s Austrian People’s Party (OVP) and the Freedom Party of Austria (FPO), after all FPO ministers resigned yesterday when Kurz announced his intention to sack FPO Interior Minister Herbert Kickl over his role in a video scandal.

On Friday a widely circulated video was released that appeared to show then Vice-Chancellor and FPO leader Heinz-Christian Strache allegedly accepting support in the latest round of Austrian elections from a woman who claimed to be a Russian investor in exchange for public contracts in 2017. Strache subsequently resigned from both the government and his position as FPO leader, while Kurz has announced snap elections to be held in September.

On Monday Kurz will reportedly face a vote of no-confidence in his leadership and with statements from the FPO to local media indicating they will not be supporting him, his fate will likely lie in the hands of the second largest opposition party, the Social Democrats.

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