Nervy Austrian Extreme-Right Names New Minister
The Austrian extreme-right moved to shore up its tottering party by naming a replacement for the latest minister to resign from Austria's governing coalition, press reports said on Saturday.
Monika Forstinger was named transport minister, replacing Michael Schmid who stepped down on November 4 after saying he was "extremely disappointed" by the way the far-right Freedom Party was being run.
Forstinger is expected to be sworn in on Tuesday, Austrian news agency APA said.
Schmid had said he was unhappy at changes made to the Freedom Party team in the province of Styria following an unexpectedly bad showing by the party there in regional elections on October 15.
Schmid was the leader of the Freedom Party in Styria.
Forstinger's arrival is the third re-shuffle within the party since the controversial Freedom Party joined the government coalition in February.
Far-right justice minister Michael Krueger stepped down for health reasons in February while Social Affairs Minister Elisabeth Sickl was forced out in October after being accused of incompetence.
The Freedom Party is facing a deepening crisis over a political spying scandal, in which party members are alleged to have paid police for information on their rivals.
The party's woes have triggered suggestions that the party's figurehead, Jorg Haider, who stepped down as party leader in May, could return to a leading role. The speculation intensified after Schmid's resignation -- VIENNA (AFP)
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