Austria: Interim ministers sworn in after video scandal

VIENNA (AP) — Austria’s president has sworn in new, technocratic ministers to replace politicians from the far-right Freedom Party who left the government amid a scandal surrounding its leader, but it remains unclear whether Chancellor Sebastian Kurz will survive a no-confidence vote next week.

Austria faces early elections in September after the conservative Kurz’s coalition with the Freedom Party collapsed. Heinz-Christian Strache quit as vice chancellor and party leader after a video surfaced showing him appearing to offer favors to a purported Russian investor.

President Alexander Van der Bellen urged the interim ministers on Wednesday to contribute to “Austria taking a constructive role in the European Union.” They include Interior Minister Eckart Ratz, who formerly headed one of Austria’s top courts.

Parliament is to vote Monday on an opposition no-confidence motion against Kurz.

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