Austria's vice chancellor and finance minister resigns, citing criticism from his own party

Associated Press

Austria's vice chancellor and finance minister has announced he is stepping down, citing criticism from his own political party over his refusal to accelerate tax reform plans.

Michael Spindelegger also said Tuesday that he is giving up his function as head of the conservative People's Party, the junior government coalition partner of the Social Democrats.

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Spindelegger says that reducing taxes for the average wage-earner now would come at the cost of new government debt or increasing other forms of taxation. He told reporters that he opposes both scenarios.

Spindelegger became vice chancellor three years ago and was appointed finance minister last year.