Austria's caretaker chancellor sworn in

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-03 20:54:19|Editor: Xiaoxia
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VIENNA, June 3 (Xinhua) -- Brigitte Bierle, the 69-year-old former head of Austria's top court has officially taken office as the first female chancellor for the country.

"I am particularly glad ... that for the first time in history we will have a female chancellor at the head of the government, and secondly that women and men are equally represented in this government," said President Alexander Van der Bellen as he swore in Bierlein and her 12-strong cabinet here on Monday.

"Our country is represented politically, diplomatically and sympathetically," he added.

"It is a great honor for me to speak in the Federal Chancellery for the first time," said Bierlein in the Hofburg palace. "I am convinced that the continuation of official business is in the best hands," she said, referring to her non-partisan ministers.

The new chancellor announced that a "strong, liveable, tolerant Austria" was a top priority for the government, and she would seek the trust of "citizens, parliamentary parties, officials, civil society and religious communities."

Austria should also be a "reliable partner in Europe and in the world," she added.

The interim ministers are all non partisan, but this does not imply political neutrality. Six ministers are said to lean towards the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP), four towards the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) and one to the Freedom Party (FPÖ).

The caretaker cabinet will stand until new government is formed after the snap election, which is expected to take place in September.