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Kurz starts talks to form Austria’s new coalition govt

Kurz starts talks to form Austria’s new coalition govt

Austrian conservative leader Sebastian Kurz opened talks with potential coalition partners on Tuesday after his People’s Party (OVP) fell short of the majority needed to form a government in last month’s snap parliamentary election.

Before meeting Pamela Rendi-Wagner, the leader of the second-placed Social Democrats (SPO), Kurz said his aim was to improve Austria’s political culture after a campaign full of mud-slinging, Reuters said.

On Wednesday, Kurz, 33, will meet the environmentalist Greens and the liberal Neos, as he tries to find a deal that would give him the extra 21 seats he needs for a majority in parliament.

The publication in May of a sting video showing the leader of the Freedom Party (FPO) and then-Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache offering to fix state contracts ended the governing coalition between the FPO and OVP.