Austria: Kurz sworn in as chancellor, completing comeback

Austria: Kurz sworn in as chancellor, completing comeback
New Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler, left, and Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, right, attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new Austrian government of the conservative Austrian People's Party, OEVP, and the Austrian Green party in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

VIENNA (AP) — Conservative Sebastian Kurz was sworn in Tuesday as Austria’s chancellor, completing a comeback from the collapse of his previous government as the leader of a new and very different coalition, with the Greens.

Kurz, 33, returned to the top job after a seven-month absence. The Cabinet sworn in by President Alexander Van der Bellen is Austria’s first with a female majority and marks the first time that the environmentalist Greens have entered the country’s national government.

The combination of Kurz’s center-right People’s Party and the Greens, traditional adversaries, could set an example for other countries — in particular neighboring Germany, where polls suggest a similar combination could emerge from the next election.

Kurz reclaims the title of the world’s youngest serving head of government from Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin, 34, who took office last month.

Kurz first became chancellor at 31 in late 2017, leading a coalition with the far-right Freedom Party. In May, a video showing then-Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache offering favors to a purported Russian investor prompted Kurz to pull the plug.

Parliament then ousted Kurz in a no-confidence vote. Austria has been run over recent months by a non-partisan interim government under Chancellor Brigitte Bierlein.

The People’s Party and the Greens were the big winners of an election held in September.