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Kurz set to return to power in historic coalition deal bringing Greens into Austrian government

2 min read
Austrian conservative leader Sebastian Kurz has finally made a deal with the Greens to form a governing coalition that will see Kurz return to power and the Greens join the national government for the first time.

Kurz and his Greens counterpart Werner Kogler announced on Wednesday that a deal had been done, both seeming quite proud that they had been able to keep “key campaign promises.”

When you present the program you will see that both work – greening the tax system, and reducing the tax burden,” Kurz said, vowing to “do everything to serve the Austrians.”

We agreed more on climate protection than we suspected,” Kogler said, explaining that “greening and social balance go hand in hand.”

The deal still has to be approved by a majority of Greens delegates at the party’s Federal Congress on Saturday. If it passes, the new government could assume power as soon as next week.

The conservative People’s Party (OVP) leader entered into negotiations with the left-wing Greens in November, two months after both parties made strong gains in September’s parliamentary elections. Kurz’s party was far and away the winner, but their previous coalition partner – the far-right FPO – lost badly, its reputation damaged after a manufactured scandal brought down its leader – and by extension the entire government – in May.

The OVP and Greens had tried and failed to form a coalition before, in 2003, and Kurz had warned that it would not be an easy task finding common ground between the conservative and liberal parties due to widely divergent stances on issues including immigration and economic policy.

The OVP-FPO coalition government was dissolved in a vote of no confidence after a video appearing to show Kurz’s FPO counterpart, Heinz-Christian Strache, engaging in corrupt dealings with the fake “niece” of a Russian oligarch in Ibiza in 2017 was mysteriously released just over a week before the European Parliament elections two years later. Strache has claimed the complicated scheme was designed by foreign intelligence agencies to torpedo the coalition and by extension the entire Euroskeptic right.



Source: RT NEWS

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