U.S. Markets open in 3 hrs 28 mins

Austria Clears Final Hurdle to Conservative-Green Coalition

Jonathan Tirone

(Bloomberg) -- Austria cleared the final hurdle to installing a new government after its Green party voted to accept a compromise policy program negotiated with the ruling conservative party.

Agreement was sealed Saturday in the Alpine city of Salzburg and opens the way for People’s Party leader Sebastian Kurz, 33, to be sworn in next week. The parties released a 300-page document on Thursday that includes measures to put Austria on a path to become climate neutral by 2040 while keeping the federal budget in check and lowering taxes on workers.

“The future is made out of courage and we are determined, ready to fight,” said Werner Kogler, 58, the Green leader who’ll become vice chancellor. “The Austrian Greens are ripe for this time.”

Austria’s Green party gained traction in September’s national election after climate change climbed in the agenda of voters. The coalition agreement, hashed out over months of negotiations, aims to use the shift to cleaner technologies to create jobs and boost the economy to position Austria as “a pioneer in Europe for climate protection.”

A coalition with the Greens is a marked shift for Kurz, who sought a return to power after his previous alliance with the far-right Freedom Party collapsed in the fallout from a lurid influence-peddling scandal.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Tirone in Vienna at jtirone@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net, Boris Groendahl

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.