Austrian Kurz joins long list of disgraced EU leaders


PARIS – Disgraced Austrian outgoing Chancellor Sebastian Kurz joins a long list of EU leaders who have had to resign over corruption over the past 10 years. Here’s a recap.


On January 13, 2021, Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas resigned after the opening of a corruption investigation against his center party over his links with a real estate company.


Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat resigned on December 1, 2019, after daily protests against accusations he intervened to protect associates in an investigation into the 2017 murder of anti-corruption blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Muscat chief of staff Keith Schembri, a childhood friend, has been convicted of bribery in connection with the case.


In February 2018, the double assassination of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée, who were investigating alleged links between senior politicians and the Italian Mafia, plunged Slovakia into political crisis.

Prime Minister Robert Fico resigned in March after public reaction to the killings, followed a month later by the Home Secretary and the police chief.


A deadly nightclub fire drew tens of thousands of protesters to the streets of Bucharest in October 2015, forcing Social Democratic Prime Minister Victor Ponta to resign.

In May 2018, Ponta was cleared of fraud and other charges by the country’s high court after a corruption investigation.

Czech Republic

In June 2013, center-right Prime Minister Petr Necas was forced to resign after being embroiled in a corruption and abuse of power scandal involving his main collaborator and mistress. Prosecutors said they would not press charges.

The mistress, now his wife, was given a suspended prison sentence for unlawful use of military intelligence to spy on Necas’ wife in the hope of speeding up the divorce.

Benjamin Netanyahu, left, meets Petr Necas in Prague in May. (Photo credit: Petr David Josek / AP)


Germany’s leaders have come under close scrutiny since former Chancellor Helmut Kohl was fined and forced to step down as honorary chairman of the Christian Democratic Union, after admitting to handling secret funds for the party in the 1990s.

Christian Wulff resigned from his post as German president in February 2012 on an accusation of influence peddling. He was later authorized to accept payments amounting to some 700 euros ($ 744) when he was Prime Minister of Lower Saxony.

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