Conservative figures have secured important posts in the new left-right coalition in Austria, including that of foreign minister. They take over the foreign ministry after Ursula Plassnik, who resigned as Vienna’s top diplomat over plans for a referendum on European policy, and the right will also control Austria’s finances. The Conservative leader Josef Proell will be finance minister as well as vice-chancellor, despite his party trailing its Social Democrat partners in the polls. “We have laid the foundations of government, and work starts now on the three major issues facing the government: solving the economic crisis, boosting the economy, and helping the people,” said Proell. The new coalition hopes to avoid the internal bickering that paralysed the outgoing government.
Austria unveils new government