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Kurz steps down as Austrian chancellor amid corruption probe


Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced his intention to resign in order to defuse a government crisis triggered by prosecutors’ announcement that he was the target of a corruption investigation

BERLIN – Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Saturday he planned to step down in order to defuse a government crisis sparked by prosecutors’ announcement that he was the target of a corruption probe.

Kurz, 35, said he had proposed that Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg be his replacement. Kurz himself is considering becoming the leader of his parliamentary group of the Austrian People’s Party.

Kurz’s party had closed ranks behind him after prosecutors announced on Wednesday. But his junior coalition partner, the Greens, said on Friday that Kurz could not remain chancellor and demanded that his party appoint a “blameless person” to replace him.

Opposition leaders had called on Kurz to leave and were planning to table a no-confidence motion against him in parliament on Tuesday.

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