Factbox-Austria’s Next Prime Minister: Veteran, Hardcore, Survivor

Austrian Interior Minister Nehammer and Foreign Minister Schallenberg visit the Lithuanian border base in Medininkai
FILE PHOTO: Austria’s Interior Minister Karl Nehammer looks like that as he visits the Belarus-Lithuanian border in Medininkai, Lithuania August 24, 2021. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

December 3, 2021

VIENNA (Reuters) – Here are some key facts about Austria’s Interior Minister Karl Nehammer, who was selected by top officials of the ruling conservative party on Friday as the country’s next leader and prime minister. water.

* Nehammer, who will succeed Sebastian Kurz and his ally the current prime minister, Alexander Schallenberg, will head the current governing coalition between the People’s Party (OVP) and his Greens.

* His current job is his first cabinet position. He was appointed when Kurz led the OVP alliance with the Greens early last year.

* Nehammer, 49, is a military veteran and communications consultant who rose through the party ranks, eventually becoming the party’s president. He loves military dialects, such as when he wanted troops deployed on the Austrian border last year “Soldatenglueck!” (sewing soldier).

* As Interior Minister, he was an executor of Kurz’s prominent policy: a hard line on illegal immigration, increased border checks, and a commitment to preventing a repeat in the country. Austria during Europe’s 2015-2016 migration crisis, when Austria joined more than 1% of its population in asylum seekers.

* He has survived at least one major scandal as a minister. A serious intelligence failure by officials under his command meant that Austria failed to track down a convicted jihadist who was known to have tried to procure ammunition for an automatic rifle. That jihadist killed four people in a rampage in Vienna last year before being shot dead by police.

* While Nehammer admitted that “unacceptable mistakes” were made in handling jihadist intelligence, he blamed his far-right predecessor Herbert Kickl for the state of affairs. of his ministry, even though Kickl was there for less than two years and before that. has been run by Nehammer conservatives for 17 years.

(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Frances Kerry) Factbox-Austria’s Next Prime Minister: Veteran, Hardcore, Survivor


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