Austria: Alexander Van der Bellen sworn in with four new ministers

The departments of social affairs, traffic, defense and home affairs are now being managed by experts in Vienna. President Van der Bellen has sworn in.

Austria has a transitional government following the withdrawal of the OVP-FPO coalition. Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen sworn in with four new ministers on Wednesday.

The Cabinet under the leadership of Sebastian Kurz (OVP) is now to lead the fortunes of the country until after the new election in September and the subsequent coalition talks.

The establishment of the interim government was necessary after Ibiza video released on Friday. The video from the summer of 2017 shows former FPO leader Strache, who talks to a supposed Russian republics  about possibly illegal party donations.

The new ministers are experts and top officials. The new Minister of the Interior Eckart Ratz is former President of the Supreme Court, the Transport Minister Valerie Hackl was previously head of air traffic control “Austro Control”.

The 59-year-old Defense Minister Johann Luif was the Deputy Chief of Staff. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs takes over Walter Poltner, former head of department in this house.

Minister of Finance Hartwig Loger becomes new Vice Chancellor. The competencies of retired vice-chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache – sport and public service – are taken over by family minister Juliane Bogner Strauss.

Read also: Freedom Party could not take the mistake of Strache: Austrian Interior Minister

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