UPI en Espanol

Austrian President Thomas Klestil dies

July 6, 2004 at 8:24 PM

VIENNA, July 6 (UPI) -- Austrian President Thomas Klestil died Tuesday at age 71 in a Vienna hospital after suffering a heart attack at his home in the capital.

Klestil's death came fewer than two days before he was due to leave his largely ceremonial post after two six-year terms in office, the BBC reported.

Social Democrat Heinz Fischer, who was elected in April, will become the new president.

After a successful career in diplomacy, Klestil in 1992 replaced Kurt Waldheim as Austria's president. Waldheim was found to have worked as an officer in a Nazi unit that committed war crimes.

Klestil is credited with improving Austria's image abroad, which had been marred by the scandal surrounding Waldheim. Klestil expressed sympathy for the victims of the Holocaust during a speech to the Israeli parliament in 1994.

Top Stories
Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio requests new judge and public assistance with legal fees
New Orleans police officer fatally shot in patrol car
Islamic State says it can soon buy nuclear weapon, smuggle it into U.S.
Landslide in Nepal blocks Kali Gandaki River, threatens flooding
Generator in basement causes carbon monoxide poisioning in five Pennsylvania homes