Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian conservative was reportedly sworn in as Austria's chancellor by President Alexander Van Der Bellen and inaugurated the first governing coalition to include the conservative People's party and the environmentalist Greens. Kurz took the oath of office on January 7 and his government including, ten from the conservatives and four from the Greens were also sworn in. The 33-year-old is also breaking new ground in Europe with his alliance with Green leader Werner Kogler. Their program reportedly combines Kurz's trademark hard line on migration with an ambitious goal for Austria to become climate neutral by 2040.
While speaking to an international media outlet, Kurz said that the unprecedented coalition partnership between the two parties would work together to protect the borders and the environment. The new cabinet, for the first time also includes more women than men as nine of the 17 members of the new cabinet are reportedly women. However, both the roles of chancellor and vice-chancellor are held by men. According to international media reports, the new government is also the first in which the immigration-sceptic, conservative Austrian People's Party and the left-wing, environmentally-focused Greens will work together and the first time ever the Green will enter the government.
Sebastian Kurz will return to power after seven-months hiatus, and will again reclaim the title of the world's youngest serving head of the government. Both the parties have also provided one state secretary each. The Greens have further also been handed four ministries, including taking on environmental and justice portfolios. On the other hand, Kurz's party will keep the other ten ministries including the interior, defence and finance.
Back in May, Austria's previous government collapsed due to a reported corruption scandal involving the FPO leader Heinz-Christian Strache. Another election which was triggered in September saw a record high for the Greens, however, the centre-left Social Democrats and Kurz's party collapsed following the release of a video showing Heinz offerings favour to a purported Russian investor. The new cabinet now will comprise 13 ministers, two-state secretaries and a chancellor and a vice-chancellor.