Austria's Kurz to launch coalition talks with Greens

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VIENNA (AP) — Austrian conservative leader Sebastian Kurz says his party will enter coalition talks with the environmentalist Greens. If negotiations succeed, the alliance is likely to be very different from the 33-year-old Kurz's previous government.

Kurz on Monday announced the start of what he called a "challenging process." After lengthy exploratory talks, Green leaders already backed formal negotiations Sunday.

Kurz's People's Party emerged as by far the biggest in an election in September. The Greens saw their support soar and they returned to parliament after a two-year absence.

The election resulted from a scandal involving the far-right Freedom Party, Kurz's previous coalition partner, which brought down his first government in May.

Parliament then ousted Kurz in a no-confidence vote. Austria has since been run by a non-partisan interim government under Chancellor Brigitte Bierlein.

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