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Austrian ex-Chancellor Kurz to work for Thiel Capital

December 30, 2021

Kurz will work as a "global strategist" at the California-based venture capitalist firm after resigning amid graft allegations. The former chancellor is under investigation for suspected bribery and breach of trust.

Sebastian Kurz
Sebastian Kurz resigned as chancellor in early October after persistent corruption allegationsImage: Lisa Leutner/AP Photo/picture alliance

Former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who resigned amid corruption allegations, will work for financial firm Thiel Capital next year, Austrian media reported on Thursday.

Kurz told the Kronen Zeitung newspaper and Heute news that he would work as a "global strategist" at the firm founded by Frankfurt-born billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel starting in the first quarter of 2022.

Thiel is one of the founders of PayPal and had been a staunch supporter of former US President Donald Trump's.

His firm Thiel Capital, which invests in large corporations, is based in California. 

Heute, citing sources close to Kurz, said the ex-chancellor would commute between Europe, where his family will remain, and the United States.

Kurz could also be given one or two supervisory board positions in Europe, as well as honorary positions in international organizations, the newspapers reported.

'Neither a saint, nor a criminal'

Kurz, 35, resigned as chancellor in October after Austrian prosecutors announced that he was one of the 10 targets of an investigation into suspected bribery and breach of trust. 

Kurz said the recent birth of his first child had motivated him to step down.

Prosecutors say Kurz tried to secure his position as party leader and then chancellor in 2017 with the help of manipulated polls and positive media reports financed with public money. 

The accusations prompted Kurz's junior coalition partners, the Greens, to call for his replacement.

In early December, Kurz retired from all political posts, including as chairman of the conservative Austrian People's Party. He denies any wrongdoing.

In early December, he told reporters that he had always done his best to "move our beautiful Austria a little bit in the right direction,'' but acknowledged having made some mistakes during his 10-year career.

"I'm neither a saint, nor a criminal. ... I'm a human being with strengths and weaknesses,'' he said, adding that he looked forward to defending himself against the corruption charges in court.

mvb/msh (dpa, AFP, Reuters, AP)