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Austria’s Kurz backs formal coalition talks with Greens

Austria’s Kurz backs formal coalition talks with Greens

Austrian conservative leader Sebastian Kurz said on Monday that he plans to hold formal coalition talks with the Greens, but warned that a deal bringing the left-wing party into government for the first time was uncertain.

Kurz and his People’s Party (OVP) came first in a parliamentary election on September 29, but need a coalition partner to form a government that commands a majority in parliament. Exploratory talks with the Greens aimed at laying the groundwork for fully fledged coalition talks ended on Friday.

“We will enter talks with the Greens,” Kurz told reporters after consultations within his party.

The Greens’ leadership backed formal talks with Kurz’s OVP on Sunday. Had he not taken them up on that offer, Kurz would have had to turn again to the right-wing – reeling from a video sting scandal that blew up its coalition with him – or to the Social Democrats with whom Kurz has fraught relations, Reuters said.