Austria is mourning the death of its interior minister. Liese Prokop died suddenly on New Year’s Eve at the age of 65. It is reported she suffered a ruptured blood vessel and died on the way to hospital. Prokop became interior minister in the conservative government of Wolfgang Schuessel in 2004. During her time in office, Austria tightened immigration rules and made it more difficult for refugees wanting to seek asylum.
Prokop first made a name for herself in the sporting world. She entered regional politics in 1969, a year after winning a silver medal in the women’s pentathlon at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. Prokop’s conservative party and the centre-left Social Democrats have been trying to clinch a deal for a so-called grand coalition after elections in October.