Europe

Christian Kern sworn in as new Austrian chancellor

  • Designated new Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern smiles during a news conference after hearings with the Social Democrats, SPOE, in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, May 17, 2016. Kern will be inaugurated later on Tuesday by Austria's President Heinz Fischer. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

    Designated new Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern smiles during a news conference after hearings with the Social Democrats, SPOE, in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, May 17, 2016. Kern will be inaugurated later on Tuesday by Austria's President Heinz Fischer. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)  (The Associated Press)

  • Austrian President Heinz Fischer, right, swears  in the new Chancellor Christian Kern, left, during the inauguration ceremony   at the Hofburg palace in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, May 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

    Austrian President Heinz Fischer, right, swears in the new Chancellor Christian Kern, left, during the inauguration ceremony at the Hofburg palace in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, May 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)  (The Associated Press)

  • Austrian President Heinz Fischer , left, and  the new  Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern, attend the inauguration ceremony  at the Hofburg palace in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, May 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

    Austrian President Heinz Fischer , left, and the new Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern, attend the inauguration ceremony at the Hofburg palace in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, May 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)  (The Associated Press)

Christian Kern has been sworn in as Austria's new chancellor, just over a week after his predecessor resigned amid falling support and dissent in his party.

The 50-year-old Kern, who previously ran Austria's national railway, was sworn in Tuesday by President Heinz Fischer. He is also taking over the leadership of the Social Democrats, the biggest party in the governing coalition, from ex-Chancellor Werner Faymann.

Kern described himself as "a newly minted politician" who wants to overcome persistent squabbling in the coalition government with the conservative People's Party.

Fatigue with governing parties, along with concern over the migrant crisis, has helped push the Euroskeptic right-wing Freedom Party higher in polls.

Kern acknowledged that the mood in Austria is poor and said "we have to turn around this bad mood."