SPÖ-German: “Resignation is a logical consequence”. NEOS: “Necessary Step for Political Integrity”. Hofer: You need a real expert.
For SPÖ Federal Managing Director Christian Deutsch it is “the logical consequence” that Minister of Labor and Family Affairs Christine Aschbacher (ÖVP) resigns after allegations of plagiarism relating to her diploma thesis and dissertation. “The Kurz government is sliding from one chaos to another, especially since Aschbacher is the second member of the government to resign after Lunacek,” Deutsch said in a statement on Saturday.
“The situation is particularly fatal when you consider that Austria currently has an unemployment rate of over half a million people,” said Deutsch. “In addition, more than 400,000 people are currently on short-time work. We therefore expect that someone will quickly take over the labor market agendas who are genuinely concerned about combating unemployment with concrete measures and who do not just pay lip service and make announcements.”
FPÖ chairman Norbert Hofer expressed his respect to Aschbacher for her resignation. “Nevertheless, a review of your scientific work by the responsible universities is inevitable,” Hofer said in a press release. “I expect that this department will now be filled with a real expert who has greater weight within the government and who will oppose further damage to the domestic labor market through wrong, exaggerated and health policy no longer justifiable measures,” said Hofer.
NEOS General Secretary Nikola Donig welcomed Aschbacher’s departure as a “necessary step for the integrity of politics”. Given the seriousness of the allegations, “this is actually a matter of course,” said Donig. It is important “that precisely in one of the most serious crises on the labor market the ministerial office is not impaired in terms of reputation or ability to act.” The ministry must now be filled with a competent person.
Thanks from the coalition partner
Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler (Greens) took note of Aschbacher’s resignation: “I respect Christine Aschbacher’s step and thank you for the good cooperation over the last few months,” wrote Kogler on Twitter on Saturday evening.
The Styrian ÖVP governor Hermann Schützenhöfer stated in his statement that Aschbacher had “informed him today about your personal decision, which I did not expect but have to respect”. He regretted the resignation of the minister, who had “increased day by day” in the government, but the “protection of her family” had priority.