Austria’s Chancellor Werner Faymann Abruptly Resigns


Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann abruptly resigned Monday, saying he had lost the backing of his Social Democrats party.

Faymann, 56, who heads the government but is appointed by the president, made the surprise announcement in a brief statement in Vienna. “I am thankful for seven and a half years and wish my successor much luck,” he said.

He has held the chancellor position since 2008 but been under pressure since his party’s electoral collapse in the first round of presidential elections last month.

Voters in Austria, like elsewhere in Europe, have flocked to populist parties across the continent amid frustration over the region’s refugee crisis.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Kim Hjelmgaard