Austria’s Sebastian Kurz steps down as chancellor amidst graft charges

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VIENNA: Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Saturday that he is stepping down after being placed under investigation on suspicion of corruption offences, however he plans to remain on as the leader of his party and its leading lawmaker in parliament.
Kurz rejects misdeed and had said that he was willing to keep governing with his union partner, the Greens. However the left-wing party has said the investigation makes Kurz unsuited to serve chancellor and contacted his celebration to name a successor who was “beyond reproach”.
The Greens started talks on Friday with Austria’s three opposition parties, which have all required that Kurz resign and plan to submit one or more no-confidence motions against him at an unique session of parliament on Tuesday. For a movement to pass, the Greens need to support it.
“I would therefore like to make method in order to end the stalemate, to avoid chaos and to make sure stability,” Kurz said in a statement to the media.
He added that he planned to remain on as party leader and to take over as the leader of its lawmakers in parliament. As celebration leader, he was proposing foreign minister Alexander Schallenberg to succeed him as chancellor, he said. The Greens have yet to say whether they would accept Schallenberg.

Published at Sun, 10 Oct 2021 02:22:38 -0500

EU alerts of security risks connected to migration from Afghanistan

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Europe should take the security risks that might emerge from migration out of Afghanistan more seriously, EU home affairs commissioner Ylva Johansson cautioned on Friday.
“On the terrorist threat from Afghanistan, I should say that my assessment is that the alert level is not high enough. We actually need to do more,” she informed press reporters after a meeting with her EU counterparts in Luxembourg.
The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August brought worries in Europe of a replay of 2015, when nearly 1 million asylum-seekers, mostly Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans, ran away to Europe by crossing from Turkey to Greece.
At the minute, the EU does not see huge motions of Afghans towards its borders and the world has an ethical obligation to protect Afghans at danger, Johansson said.
However, she urged member states to correctly evaluate and register all people arriving from Afghanistan.
“This is really essential for security. And I need to say that I am quite worried about the huge threat of Al Qaeda having the ability to recuperate once again in Afghanistan,” the Commissioner said.
She pointed out a variety of factors that might trigger Afghans to leave their home country.
“The situation in Afghanistan is actually alarming, there is a big risk of economic collapse, there is substantial risk of starvation and humanitarian catastrophe,” Johansson said, adding that even before the takeover of the Taliban, countless Afghan refugees had been residing in Pakistan, Iran and Turkey.
Half a million individuals have been displaced within Afghanistan in recent months, according to the United Nations, a number which will grow if health services, schools and the economy break down.

Released at Fri, 08 Oct 2021 17:17:35 -0500