Spindelegger set to become new Austrian foreign minister
Michael Spindelegger is set to become foreign minister in Austria's new coalition cabinet, his conservative People's Party said Monday, after incumbent Ursula Plassnik stepped down Sunday over a dispute on European Union referenda, reported dpa.
The People's Party, which on Sunday agreed to govern as a junior partner with the Social Democratic Party, announced the names of its ministers Monday.
As expected, conservative leader Josef Proell, 40, will become vice chancellor and finance minister, while the social democrat Werner Faymann, 48, will lead the government as chancellor.
Spindelegger, 49, was elected as one of two deputy presidents of parliament following the September national elections.
Despite having served as chairman of the EU committee in parliament for the last 2 years and as a member of the European Parliament in 1995 and 1996, he does not have much of a a foreign policy profile in public.
Ursula Plassnik, 52, stepped down after 4 years in office, after her Conservative Party did not insist on explicitly excluding the possibility of referenda on future EU treaties in the coalition agreement.
The previous coalition between social democrats and conservatives broke apart over this issue in July, when Conservative Party called it quits over the Social Democratic Party's announcement that changes of the EU treaty should be decided by popular vote.
Another new conservative minister is Reinhold Mitterlehner, 52, who takes on the economic portfolio, leaving his post as Secretary General of Austria's chamber of commerce, Austrian news agency APA reported.
The Social Democratic Party were expected to announce their ministers later on Monday.