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     Grand coalition formed in Austria  <<back  next>>

After three months of wrangling, the two largest parties in Austria, the centre-left Social Democrats and the conservative People's Party, have agreed to form a coalition government.

The administration will take office on 11 January 2006, with Social Democrat leader Alfred Gusenbauer becoming Chancellor. He will replace Wolfgang Schüssel of the People's Party, who headed a coalition with the far-right Freedom Party for six years.

The coalition follows weeks of bargaining which often faltered over policy differences and accusations of bad faith. The People's Party was narrowly beaten into second place in the election on 1 October 2006.

The post of vice-chancellor is expected to go to the People's Party, which has also secured the ministries of finance, foreign affairs, the interior, economy, health, agriculture and science. The Social Democrats will run the ministries of defence, education, justice, infrastructure and social affairs.

9 January 2007

 Last updated: 12/01/2007 12:03:00

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