BERLIN — When Sebastian Kurz first became chancellor of Austria the whole of Europe sat up. Only 31, he had turned around the fortunes of his ailing conservative party and almost overnight become a role model for struggling center-right leaders elsewhere on the Continent.
Four years later, Mr. Kurz has been forced to resign amid a criminal investigation into allegations that he used public money to manipulate opinion polls and that he paid off a tabloid newspaper for favorable coverage.
His downfall is unique to Austria but it could reverberate far across Europe.
It comes at a time when Europe’s