Austrian Chancellor resigns amid corruption accusations

Sebastian Kurz, Austria’s Chancellor, has resigned amidst pressure prompted by a corruption scandal.

He proposed current Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg as his replacement.

Mr Kurz and nine others were placed under investigation after a number of raids linked to his right-wing People’s Party (ÖVP).

He has denied claims he used government money to ensure positive coverage in a tabloid newspaper.

His coalition government reached the brink of collapse last week, after its partner, the Greens, said the ÖVP leader was no longer fit to serve.

The Greens had begun talks with opposition parties who were threatening to bring a vote of no confidence against the leader.

Mr Kurz’s resignation was welcomed by Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler, leader of the Greens, who signalled that he would be willing to work with Mr Schallenberg if he were appointed Chancellor, describing their relationship as “very constructive” relationship.

In his resignation announcement Mr Kurz said: “What’s required now is stability. To resolve the impasse I want to step aside to prevent chaos.”

He promised to remain leader of his party, and to sit in parliament, adding: “First and foremost, however, I will of course use the opportunity to disprove the allegations against me.”