This was his first statement as chancellor – and his oath of allegiance to Sebastian Kurz couldn’t be clearer!
Alexander Schalenberg (52) insisted that he would work “very closely” with Kurz (35) and said the allegations against Kurz were “false” from his point of view.
More loyalty is not possible!
Schalenberg and Kurz have known each other for almost ten years. Kurz made him his most important employee at the Foreign Office, followed him to the chancellor – and became foreign minister after the Ibiza affair.
Kurz has repeatedly said of Schellenberg in the past, considering him to be “one thousand percent loyal”.
The SMS from Kurz to Schellenberg that he should take over came on a Saturday night when Schalenberg was already asleep.
He had expected the shortlist on Friday night and the de-selected for fresh elections to be held on Tuesday. Then the chancellor earthquakes!
Kurz has already stepped out of the chancellor and is now “ruled” from the OVP headquarters in Lichtenfelsgasse, 800 meters from the chancellor. This is where the real power of the government is centered – this was also made clear by Schalenberg’s statement.
The former chancellor thanked his successor and close confidant via Twitter: “I want to thank Alexander Schalenberg for his willingness to take responsibility as federal chancellor, as this move ensures stability in the country. That was my goal even in this difficult situation.”
Soon after the inauguration, however, there were also direct consequences in the wake of corruption and fraud investigations. Gerald Fleischmann, the media officer at the chancellor, has resigned and is now on leave.
I According to the investigative decision the Vienna corruption prosecutor’s office charges against Kurz (available from BILD): He also wanted to improve his chances of handling his election as the “new” VP and chancellor with the onslaught of the media in the 2017 elections. Kurz, along with his assistants, decided to undertake and finance the tinkering surveys. Fellner Media Group “Austria” assumed the financing. In fact, OVP promised to buy advertisements in newspapers worth over one million euros. The advertisements were paid for with tax money from the Ministry of Finance.
Two days after the brief resignation, Schalenberg, the former foreign minister, has now assumed office. Federal President Alexander van der Belen took the oath of office from the OVP politician in the Vienna Hofburg on Monday.
In a speech after the swearing-in, Schalenberg said, the office is an honor “which I never expected nor ever wished for.” However, it was “not an option not to accept this responsibility”. Diplomat Michael Linhart, formerly his country’s ambassador to France, was sworn in as the new foreign minister.
Schellenberg wants to “do everything possible” with vice-chancellor Werner Kogler to clean up the trenches that have arisen. The physical work should be in the foreground again, hence Schellenberg. It goes without saying that he will continue to work with Kurz. And further: “Anything else would be absurd in the context of democratic politics.”
This is Alexander Schellenberg
Schalenberg – also called “Scali” by his followers – is one of the closest circles to his predecessor Kurz. It combines a number of common real situations in particular, migration policy and attitudes towards Turkey.
Schalenberg, born in 1969, hails from a diplomatic family with aristocratic roots. He is the father of four children.
He started his diplomatic career in 1997.
After various positions abroad, including in Brussels, the law graduate first became foreign minister in 2019.
Experts confirm Schalenberg’s extensive experience in international politics. The newly appointed chancellor speaks five foreign languages.
Political scientist Patrick Morrow says that Schellenberg also has the skills to communicate with the media.
According to Moro, however, Schellenberg’s lack of domestic political experience should mean that he must continue to rely on the environmental consultations of his predecessor, Kurz.
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