Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Köstinger Statement: That’s why she’s leaving

Köstinger Statement: That’s why she’s leaving

Austria’s Agriculture Minister Elisabeth Köstinger is resigning from her post. At a press conference convened at short notice, she now justifies her decision – eXXpress broadcasts the statement live.

editorial staff
9 May 2022 11:10

“The last five years were personally and politically the most challenging, (..) but also the most beautiful,” Köstinger begins her statement. “By Sebastian Kurz’s decision to leave politics, it was also clear to me that my political chapter would soon be closed, only the timing was still unclear.” However, it was still important to her to push through a few important political issues. This includes the mandatory sign of origin for animal products in Austria, and a relief package for Austrian farmers has also been decided. “My convictions have always found their home in the People’s Party.” A strong and fair welfare state is important to her, she thanked the mayors and honorary officials of the People’s Party. In particular, she thanked Sebastian Kurz, with whom she had the opportunity to “change Austria on the basis of our common values.” She now wants to start a new chapter in her life.

Political career of Köstinger in ÖVP has been going uphill since 2017

Köstinger has been Federal Minister for Agriculture, Regions and Tourism for the Austrian People’s Party since 2017. She has been considered a replacement candidate since taking office and is said to have been thinking about her own withdrawal from politics since Sebastian Kurz resigned.

Köstinger was born in Wolfsberg in Carinthia in 1978 and graduated from high school there in 1998. From 1999 she worked as an assistant at the Carinthian regional health insurance fund. In 2003 she began studying journalism and applied cultural studies, which she later broke off due to her political career. From 2002 Köstinger was in charge of the Austrian rural youth organization, from 2007 to 2012 she was federal chairwoman of the Austrian Young Farmers’ Union.

From 2009, Köstinger was an EU parliamentarian for the ÖVP and was re-elected in 2014.

In November 2014, Köstinger was elected deputy federal party chairman of the ÖVP, and since 2015 she has been chairwoman of the ÖVP’s political academy.

After Sebastian Kurz was elected the new ÖVP party leader, Köstinger was appointed Secretary General in November 2017, and on November 9 she became President of the Austrian National Council, succeeding Doris Bures (SPÖ) in office. However, she gave this function to Wolfgang Sobotka after just five weeks in order to follow Sebastian Kurz at the end of 2017 as Minister of Agriculture and Tourism in the black-blue federal government. She has remained in this post to this day, with the exception of a brief interruption in 2018 when she gave birth to her son.

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