Police have appealed for witnesses to a fight near the station last Friday which left a man seriously injured.  Trouble flared between two men outside...

FIGHT APPEAL

Police have appealed for witnesses to a fight near the station last Friday which left a man seriously injured.  Trouble flared between two men outside a supermarket at around 6.30 in the evening.  Initially it looked as if little harm had come of it.  But one of them on Saturday took himself to hospital complaining of pain and needed emergency surgery.  Police are seeking information about the other man, who is decribed as wearing a blue jacket, jeans, a baseball cap and carrying a black rucksack.

A couple go on trial today accused of trying to murder a young woman in Hollerich in May of last year.  Prosecutors say they stabbed the 20 year old...

ATTEMPTED MURDER TRIAL

A couple go on trial today accused of trying to murder a young woman in Hollerich in May of last year.  Prosecutors say they stabbed the 20 year old victim in the chest, and left her to die on the street while they went for a drink in a nearby bar.  This is where they were arrested after passers-by alerted the police.  The victim just survived the attack. 

The European Union has given the thumbs up to the Grand Duchy for its economic performance.  The commission also believes the outlook is fairly rosy...

ECONOMIC PRAISE

The European Union has given the thumbs up to the Grand Duchy for its economic performance.  The commission also believes the outlook is fairly rosy as well.  In fact, the conclusions described the recent economic growth here as remarkable, and hailed the fiscal situation as very positive.  There was the usual criticism of high accommodation costs in the report, and warnings that the state pension system still needs to be managed carefully if it is to remain solvent.  The EU’s suggestion is that people stop being able to take early retirement when they have clocked up enough years of work, and be forced to carry on until they are 65.

An investigation is underway into how an unlicensed dentist was able to perform surgery here.  The man, who has qualifications from Portugal,...

DODGY DENTIST

An investigation is underway into how an unlicensed dentist was able to perform surgery here.  The man, who has qualifications from Portugal, apparently had support from other dentists who billed under their names, for the work he did, knowing that he did not have authorisation to practice here. The health ministry is saying little about the case, other than a criminal enquiry is underway.  The Medical Association, the AMMD, says it believes this is an isolated case.

Poultry farmers have been given the all clear to let their chickens outdoors again, starting at the end of the week.  For more than 4 months they have...

BIRD QUARANTINE OVER

Poultry farmers have been given the all clear to let their chickens outdoors again, starting at the end of the week.  For more than 4 months they have been forced to keep them indoors to prevent the spread of bird flu.  No cases were reported here, but some infected birds were found dead near Trier in Germany.  The H5N8 virus is not serious for humans, but lethal in many cases for birds.

The visit of the Duchess of Cambridge to Luxembourg was confirmed yesterday.  Rumours of the visit to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Treaty of...

DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE

The visit of the Duchess of Cambridge to Luxembourg was confirmed yesterday.  Rumours of the visit to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Treaty of London were reported in the media a week ago.  The date of the visit will be the 11th May.  The 1867 Treaty of London formalised Luxembourg’s status as an autonomous state and laid the basis for its current existence. 

Consumer confidence is at an all time high, according to data released by the Central Bank yesterday.  The BCL has only been keeping data since 2002,...

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE

Consumer confidence is at an all time high, according to data released by the Central Bank yesterday.  The BCL has only been keeping data since 2002, but that encompassed a period before the financial crash which was considered a boom time for spending by households.  For five months, the number of respondents expecting the economy to improve has risen.  The key to this is a growing belief that unemployment will continue to fall.  It has been falling for the last year here.

Metal fabrication specialists John Zink are planning a major restructuring at their Dudelange site which could see 54 of the 319 employees made...

JOHN ZINK RESTRUCTURING

Metal fabrication specialists John Zink are planning a major restructuring at their Dudelange site which could see 54 of the 319 employees made redundant.  News of the plan was communicated to unions at the plant at the week-end.  They say it comes as a surprise, as recent talks with management gave no hint that the plant was in any sort of financial difficulty.  But the company has many clients in the petro-chemicals sector, who have been scaling back investment in the wake of the fall in the oil price over the last 2 years.

MPs gave short shrift yesterday to a popular petition which called for a minimum 6 week paid holiday for all workers.  More than 10 000 people signed...

NO TO MORE HOLS

MPs gave short shrift yesterday to a popular petition which called for a minimum 6 week paid holiday for all workers.  More than 10 000 people signed the petition.  Employment minister Nicolas Schmit told the two petition sponsors that more flexible working conditions were a better way to improve job satisfaction for employees.  MPs from opposition parties at the committee meeting yesterday for the most part backed him up, with the exception on one from the Left Party, who said more holidays were a means to social progress.  The sponsors said they knew, realistically, they had little chance of success with their proposal, but it had been good to put the idea in the public domain.

Three of the countries main political parties held their spring conferences at the week-end.  The right of centre CSV party, who are currently in...

PARTY CONVENTIONS WEEK-END

Three of the countries main political parties held their spring conferences at the week-end.  The right of centre CSV party, who are currently in opposition, met in Ettelbruck.  Party president Marc Spautz said CSV members had to be prepared for a long campaign ahead of general elections next year.  Activists were also said that there would be changes ahead with new parliamentary leader Claude Wiseler.  He told delegates that the CSV had to respond to the legitimate concerns of voters, if it was to win back power.  The left of centre LSAP party met in Moutfort.  They are in the ruling coalition.  For them, the challenges will be to develop policies to maintain social justice in a rapidly changing economy.  Coping with digitisation and automation will be one of the biggest,  according to deputy prime minister Etienne Schneider.  The third party having a congress this week-end were the Left Party.  Delegates voiced their opposition to plans for increased military spending.  There were also calls for a reduction in the working week, increased holidays and age of retirement eligibility. 

The CSU party have retained control of the German state of Saarland.  The vote yesterday had been trailed as a test of whether the rival SPD party...

SAARLAND STAYS CSV

The CSU party have retained control of the German state of Saarland.  The vote yesterday had been trailed as a test of whether the rival SPD party would be boosted by their recent nomination of Martin Schultz as their candidate to be chancellor.  But in the end, incumbent first minister Annegret Kramp Karrenbauer won comfortably, even extending her share of the vote by more than 5%.  If the result was disappointing for the SPD, it was worse for Saarland’s Greens.  They no longer have any representatives in the state parliament after failing to claim 5% of the vote.

Interior minister Dan Kersch on Friday announced changes to the way building land will be regulated. The changes aim to prevent land banking, which is...

LANDBANKING – NEW RULES

Interior minister Dan Kersch on Friday announced changes to the way building land will be regulated. The changes aim to prevent land banking, which is a serious hinderance to the Grand Duchy keeping pace with demand for housing.  Plots with building permission can lie unbuilt for decades in some cases.  The main change means that people hoping to have their land rezoned for development must agree a plan with the local authorities within two years, or lose the planning permission. This contract must also specify a timetable for construction, which will have to be kept to.  The changes will apply initially to larger developments.  Individual families will still be able to landbank single plots for their children without conforming to the rules.

A member of an German radical right wing group is in custody after shooting several people with an air pistol in the city on Friday night.  The last...

MAN WITH AIR GUN SHOOTS SHOPPERS IN TRIER

A member of an German radical right wing group is in custody after shooting several people with an air pistol in the city on Friday night.  The last year has seen several criminal incidents involving members of the Reichsburger movement, who refuse to accept the legitimacy of the German state.  The 45 year old man launched his attacks in and around the Alleen shoping centre.  Police say the suspect also stole goods from a shop there.  After being chased down by police, he tried to hold them off with his air pistol, but was soon apprehended when the police started firing warning shots with live ammunition at him. 

Several buildings in Kirchberg were evacuated last night as security forces investigated a bomb warning.  A call was received by the operators of the...

BOMB HOAX IN KIRCHBERG

Several buildings in Kirchberg were evacuated last night as security forces investigated a bomb warning.  A call was received by the operators of the shopping mall at around 5.45pm, saying there was a bomb in the building, and one in the adjacent cinema as well.  The buildings were evacuated, along with some adjacent ones, and searched for several hours.  No bomb was found at either location.  Police eventually gave the all clear at around 9.15 pm.  They have given no further information about the call and what investigations are now running.

Justice authorities say they will launch a criminal investigation now into a case of illegal wiretapping by intelligence agency the SREL.  The agency...

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT TO LOOK AT ILLEGAL WIRETAP

Justice authorities say they will launch a criminal investigation now into a case of illegal wiretapping by intelligence agency the SREL.  The agency recently continued to listen to a suspect’s telephone for three weeks after their warrant to do so ran out.  The SREL, and prime minister Xavier Bettel, who is politically responsible for it, say it was just an administrative oersight and an internal enquiry has sanctioned those responsible.  On Wednesday, opposition MPs told Mr Bettel that the code of conduct for state employees obliges them to report cases of illegal activity, whether they wish to or not.

706 came of the unemployment register last month, bringing the total out of work to 17 239.  It means the unemployment rate fell from 6.3% to 6.1%...

UNEMPLOYMENT REPORT

706 came of the unemployment register last month, bringing the total out of work to 17 239.  It means the unemployment rate fell from 6.3% to 6.1% over the course of the month.  This time last year it stood at 6.5%.  There are more than 3 000 open vacancies available at employment office ADEM.  That is up by 0.4% on this time last year.

German Police  this week uncovered a quantity of explosives, detonators and pipe bombs from a home in the village of Aach, which lies between Trier...

BOMBS NEAR TRIER

German Police  this week uncovered a quantity of explosives, detonators and pipe bombs from a home in the village of Aach, which lies between Trier and Rosport.  They had gone to the house originally to search for drugs, and also found a small quantity of these.  A special explosives team was called in to remove the bombs.  A 28 year old man has been placed under investigation. 

Veteran CSV MP Laurent Mosar has got into hot water for apparently praising French National Front leader Marine Le Pen.  Mr Mosar posted a tweet on...

LE PEN : YOU GOT TO GIVE HER CREDIT SOMETIMES, APPARENTLY

Veteran CSV MP Laurent Mosar has got into hot water for apparently praising French National Front leader Marine Le Pen.  Mr Mosar posted a tweet on Tuesday evening during the televised debate between France’s presidential hopefuls.  Mr Mosar’s comment said that he was no fan of Marine Le Pen, but that she was sometimes right.  He then linked to a tweet from television company TF1, who were quoting the National Front leader verbatim from the debate as it happened.  Her comments were criticisms of centrist independent candidate Emmanuel Macron.  Mr Mosar is insisting he didn’t directly retweet Ms Le Pen, and that his comment does not amount to support for her.

It’s time for yet another fascinating social trends survey from TNS Ilres.  Last month the Freshly Squeezed team wrongly suggested this might be about...

WE LIKE POP

It’s time for yet another fascinating social trends survey from TNS Ilres.  Last month the Freshly Squeezed team wrongly suggested this might be about chocolate and Easter.  But because Easter does not in fact fall in March, TNS Ilres went with a more general theme.  It turns out that most people like pop, when it comes to listening to music.  After that there is a 15%  following for rock, particularly among the middle aged.  Classical music has appeal across the age groups, and is as popular as rock.  RnB, Hip Hop and Jazz are only the choice of 4%, and even fewer people like Techno or Blues.

Sunday shopping could be a reality for the capital, after the government lifted restrictions yesterday.  Any shop which wishes to, starting next...

SUNDAY SHOPPING

Sunday shopping could be a reality for the capital, after the government lifted restrictions yesterday.  Any shop which wishes to, starting next month, can open between 1pm and 6pm on a Sunday.  Economics secretary Francine Closener said she has been consulting with retail industry representatives about the initiative.  There have been several attempts to get Sunday shopping going in the capital in the last five years.  It has always been, frankly, a complete flop, with less than 10% of stores opening.  Retailers said they didn’t think there was enough custom to justify the extra costs.  This time, Ms Closener says the retailers association has agreed to try and persuade enough stores to get a critical mass going.  She says it is important that the city presents a modern and attractive image.

Fire completely destroyed a Howald house in the early hours of this morning.  The fire service arrived at around 1 am to find most of the building in...

FIRE IN HOWALD

Fire completely destroyed a Howald house in the early hours of this morning.  The fire service arrived at around 1 am to find most of the building in flames.  The house in the Rue de la Redoute is not currently inhabited. 

A woman from Germany has gone on trial here accused of inciting racial hatred.  She is a Luxembourg citizen, and posted comments on media websites...

HATE SPEECH TRIAL

A woman from Germany has gone on trial here accused of inciting racial hatred.  She is a Luxembourg citizen, and posted comments on media websites here which prosecutors say broke hate speech laws.  In one she accused immigrants of being serial rapists who posed an existential threat to Luxembourg’s way of life.  The irony that she herself is an immigrant to Germany seems to have escaped her.  Prosecutors are calling for 6 month prison sentence.

Police are appealing for information after an object landed on the roof of a car travelling on the A6 motorway yesterday lunchtime.  The car was badly...

CAR HIT BY MYSTERY OBJECT

Police are appealing for information after an object landed on the roof of a car travelling on the A6 motorway yesterday lunchtime.  The car was badly damaged in the incident, which happened at around 1.30 on the section between the Strassen and Bridel exits.  Police are investigating whether something was thrown from a footbridge in the vicinity.

The Archdiocese and the Interior Ministry yesterday confirmed that they are standing by their 2015 agreement which will see local church councils...

PARISH COUNCIL ROW : FIGHT IS ON

The Archdiocese and the Interior Ministry yesterday confirmed that they are standing by their 2015 agreement which will see local church councils abolished and replaced by a central funding structure.  This means the Church will not be honouring a separate agreement it made with the parish councils, which suggested it would at least try to preserve some of them.  The parish council umbrella organisation SYFEL has suggested it will take legal steps now against the Archdiocese.  The joint announcement from the Archdiocese and the government yesterday suggests they are happy to contest any case.

Media reports yesterday suggested the Duchess of Cambridge will visit the Grand Duchy soon.  Plans are apparently underway for a visit in May.  That...

DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE COMING IN MAY?

Media reports yesterday suggested the Duchess of Cambridge will visit the Grand Duchy soon.  Plans are apparently underway for a visit in May.  That is the month that Luxembourg celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Treaty of London.  This decided that Luxembourg should remain an independent territory, and not become part of France, or Prussia and Belgium for that matter.  It will involve a number of cultural engagements.  There was no official confirmation though of the visit yesterday from either the government here nor the British embassy.

A preliminary report into the rail accident at Bettembourg last month has concluded technical and human errors played a role.  One train driver lost...

TRAIN CRASH INITIAL FINDINGS

A preliminary report into the rail accident at Bettembourg last month has concluded technical and human errors played a role.  One train driver lost his life and another was severely injured in the collision between two trains on the line which links Luxembourg City and Thionville.  First of all, an automatic signalling system failed to prevent one of the trains from entering the track when there was another coming the other way.  It however did trigger an emergency alarm, telling the driver to stop the train.  This it seems was not done, for some reason or another, as soon as the alarm started.  Instead, the driver, who is now dead, appeared to have started an emergency braking manoeuvre only after a second signal was passed.  By then, however, it was too late.

German states along the country’s borders have vowed to continue their fight against a new road toll system planned by the government.  Yesterday...

GERMAN ROAD TAX

German states along the country’s borders have vowed to continue their fight against a new road toll system planned by the government.  Yesterday German transport minister Alexander Dobrint rejected their calls for the toll to only start once vehicles are well inside the Federal Republic.  States like Rheinland Pfalz and Saarland believe it will deter cross-border trade, and hit their economies.  The issue risks becoming a major electoral headache for the ruling CSV party of Chancellor Merkel.  Their first minister in Saarland, Annagret Kramp-Karrenbauer is open revolt against her own party about the tolls.  She may even try to delay the legislation in the German senate, with the bill coming up for its final reading this week.

Police have now identified the victim of a collision between a car and a tree near Waldhaff more than a week ago.  DNA tests have revealed she was a...

RTA VICTIM IDENTIFIED

Police have now identified the victim of a collision between a car and a tree near Waldhaff more than a week ago.  DNA tests have revealed she was a young woman who lived in the capital.  Her car was completely consumed by a fire which started upon impact.

The new national obudsperson is Claudia Monti.  She replaces Lydie Err, who is now retiring.  Ms Monti was  chosen ahead of five other candidates by...

NEW NATIONAL OMBUDSPERSON

The new national obudsperson is Claudia Monti.  She replaces Lydie Err, who is now retiring.  Ms Monti was  chosen ahead of five other candidates by MPs yesterday.  She is an experienced lawyer, and will now be the first port of call for people with complaints against government institutions.

There will be a major new music festival in the capital this year.  The Siren’s Call event is being promoted by Den Atelier, and will take place on...

SIREN’S CALL

There will be a major new music festival in the capital this year.  The Siren’s Call event is being promoted by Den Atelier, and will take place on Saturday June 24th, centered on the Abbaye de Neumunster, but with performances as well at the Melusina club and St John’s church.  Atelier creative supremo Michel Welter says the idea is to create a new sort of festival in an urban environment.  Muscially, there will be three themes, with idie, electro and singer-songwriter acts on stage.  Full details on the Atelier website.

High profile Alt-right-winger Joe Thein, who was last week expelled from the ADR, has founded his own party.  Called the conservatives, the Petange...

JOE THEIN

High profile Alt-right-winger Joe Thein, who was last week expelled from the ADR, has founded his own party.  Called the conservatives, the Petange councillor says it initially eschew any links with political groups outside the Grand Duchy. Patriotism will be a key ideology for the Conservatives.  The ADR party has responded by saying  competition is healthy. 

Economics minster Etienne Schneider is this week embarked on a mission to Turkey, in a bid to improve economic links between the two countries.  But...

SCHNEIDER IN TURKEY

Economics minster Etienne Schneider is this week embarked on a mission to Turkey, in a bid to improve economic links between the two countries.  But the run-up to the trip has been dogged by a row between some European Union member states and Turkey over electioneering in Europe by the government in Ankara ahead of a constitutional referendum.  Mr Schneider however says that improving economic links could be an effective way of healing divisions.  But he said he is still prepared to raise concerns about human rights and democracy in Turkey with his hosts if they are justified.  His trade talks will include developing cooperation in logistics and finance between Turkey and the Grand Duchy.

New figures show a sharp growth in the number of people who travel from France each day to work here.  Within a year the number has risen nearly 5% to...

FRENCH WORKERS INCREASE SHARPLY HERE

New figures show a sharp growth in the number of people who travel from France each day to work here.  Within a year the number has risen nearly 5% to 90 000.  Luxembourg is the leading cross-border destination for workers living in France’s Greater East region, which encompasses the old Champagne-Ardennes and Alsace-Lorraine administrative districts.  Germany, Switzerland and Belgium are also places where they work.

A collision involving three light trucks closed the Grouft tunnel on the Nordstroos motorway yesterday at lunchtime.  Large queues built up during the...

COLLISION CLOSES TUNNEL

A collision involving three light trucks closed the Grouft tunnel on the Nordstroos motorway yesterday at lunchtime.  Large queues built up during the four hours it took to clear the damage.  Luckily, nobody sustained any major injuries in the collision.  But the fabric of the tunnel itself was lightly damaged. 

Police are urging the public to be on their guard against fake roofers.  They are a group of two or three men who have been knocking on doors telling...

FAKE ROOFERS

Police are urging the public to be on their guard against fake roofers.  They are a group of two or three men who have been knocking on doors telling people they have a hole in their roof which needs to be repaired. If allowed access to the house to inspect the damage, they have in several cases stolen cash and valuables.  Please contact the police immediately if they visit you.  So far they have mainly been active in the south of the country.

A Saarbrucken cat was finally rescued after spending 4 days up a tree.  The bewildered feline resisted all attempts to rescue it, depite heavy rain at...

CAT ON THE RUN

A Saarbrucken cat was finally rescued after spending 4 days up a tree.  The bewildered feline resisted all attempts to rescue it, depite heavy rain at times.  Even the fire brigade needed two days to reach it, since the tree it had chosen was in an inaccessible spot.  Eventually they brought in a sort of crane to reach the cat, which is now back  safe with its owners.

The government is under pressure over reports that the Luxembourg intelligence agency, the SREL , illegally tapped a telephone line recently.  It...

ILLEGAL WIRETAPPING - NOT FAKE NEWS HERE

The government is under pressure over reports that the Luxembourg intelligence agency, the SREL , illegally tapped a telephone line recently.  It seems the line was under surveillance without a court warrant for three weeks.  It’s not been revealed who was the target of the illegal surveillance.  The SREL has let it be known that this was just a procedural error, albeit a serious one.  But media over the week-end have been  pressurising the government and the data protection commission to explain what they know about the affair, and when they knew about it.  Former Prime Minister Jean Claude Juncker in part lost the last election here because of illegal surveillance operations by the SREL, for which it was deemed he held political responsibility.  On Sunday Prime minister Xavier Bettel confirmed the reports of the illegal wiretap.  He said neither a warrant had been obtained, nor his office informed.  He said all data collected by the surveillance had now been deleted.  And he added that several people had been disciplined over the affair.

A man was found dead in the capital on Saturday evening.  The body of the 27b year old was lying on the Rue Sosthene Weis, beneath the Bock cliff.  He...

BODY FOUND

A man was found dead in the capital on Saturday evening.  The body of the 27b year old was lying on the Rue Sosthene Weis, beneath the Bock cliff.  He has been identified as a Belgian citizen, and his rucksack was found on a viewing platform above where his body was found.  A investigations and appeal for witnesses is underway.

The government on Friday gave details of the refugee situation in Luxembourg.  In all, there were just over 2 000 applications for asylum.  522 were...

ASYLUM SITUATION

The government on Friday gave details of the refugee situation in Luxembourg.  In all, there were just over 2 000 applications for asylum.  522 were approved.  The bulk of applications came from Syrians, though Albanians and Kosovans were also strongly represented.  Right now, the mix has shifted again, with Serbian citizens being the most likely to ask for asylum here.   More than a quarter of applications were made wrongly, because they should have been made first in other EU nations, as set out by the Dublin accord regulations.  The government is concerned that these applicants use up resources which should be dedicated to refugees who have filed their claims correctly.  A new a fast track processing centre for these cases is being created in Kirchberg which will start work within a month.

A man was beaten unconscious and robbed in the early hours of Saturday morning after he stopped to help a woman whose car appeared to have broken...

LAYBY MUGGING

A man was beaten unconscious and robbed in the early hours of Saturday morning after he stopped to help a woman whose car appeared to have broken down.  The biker was in his way to work at around 5.15 when he saw the woman on the road between Ehnen and Lenningen, in the east of the country.  All he can remember is that he was struck on the head as he helped her to check the motor of the car.  His colleagues raised the alarm soon afterwards when he didn’t turn up for work.  They called his wife who set off along his usual route, and she found him unconscious next to his motorbike, and with his valuables missing.  The woman he helped is described as French, and her car a old three door Peugeot 205.

The right-wing ADR party held its annual convention over the week-end.  Speakers were critical of the rate of growth of the economy, saying...

ADR CONVENTION

The right-wing ADR party held its annual convention over the week-end.  Speakers were critical of the rate of growth of the economy, saying Luxembourg’s environment and infrastructure were on the point of collapse, unable to handle the rapid influx of immigrants and cross-border workers.  They also accused the government of not doing enough to find jobs for unemployed citizens.  ADR leaders that the party it is now on a sound financial footing, and has a more diverse and younger membership. 

The Pont Adolphe will reopen on Friday.  It has gone through a 4 year major renvovation, much of it to upgrade its structure to handle the traffic...

PONT ADOLPHE BACK

The Pont Adolphe will reopen on Friday.  It has gone through a 4 year major renvovation, much of it to upgrade its structure to handle the traffic demands of the modern capital.  The reopening is several months late.  It had been hoped to get it open last December, but adverse weather held that up.

A man and his daughter were found dead from gunshot wounds in a Metz suburb early yesterday morning.  French police have already said they fear this...

SUICIDE/MURDER AT METZ

A man and his daughter were found dead from gunshot wounds in a Metz suburb early yesterday morning.  French police have already said they fear this is some sort of family tragedy.  INvestators say he sent an SMS to other members of his family during the night announcing his intention to kill himself and the three year old girl.The man and the mother of the dead child had recently undergone an acrimonious separation. 

The Great Alfa hotel near the station has been closed down on the orders of a court.  Bailiffs and police went to the building on Wednesday afternoon,...

GRAND ALFA CLOSED DOWN BY BAILIFFS

The Great Alfa hotel near the station has been closed down on the orders of a court.  Bailiffs and police went to the building on Wednesday afternoon, and told the guests to prepare to leave.  It all comes from a long running dispute between the tenants, who are the Accor Hotel group from France, and the owner of the building, who is based here.  Unions say the hotel is profitable, and said they feared they were being used as pawns in a dispute which was not of their making.

Police are still struggling to identify a person killed in a car accident on Monday.  They died when their car hit a tree at speed on the N11 road...

MYSTERY RTA VICTIM

Police are still struggling to identify a person killed in a car accident on Monday.  They died when their car hit a tree at speed on the N11 road near Dommeldange and then burst into flames.  The initial results of an autopsy carried out yesterday have so far only confirmed that the dead driver was female.  Police had suspected this at the scene of the crime.  Police would still like to hear from anyone who fears that a woman they know has gone missing since Monday.

A part of Esch sur Alzette suffered an electricity blackout yesterday afternoon.  Rescue services had to deal with a number of people trapped in lifts...

ESCH GOES DARK

A part of Esch sur Alzette suffered an electricity blackout yesterday afternoon.  Rescue services had to deal with a number of people trapped in lifts in the Brill region of the town. Sudstrom, the company which supplies energy to that part of Esch were able to restore power, but a longer search was needed to find the original cause of the blackout.  It turns out that a mechanical excavator working at the site of the new youth hostel had damaged a power line.

Luxembourg’s workforce grew by 0.9% in the final three months of the year.  National statistics Bureau Statec says this means an increase of 3.3% over...

STILL GROWING LIKE MAD

Luxembourg’s workforce grew by 0.9% in the final three months of the year.  National statistics Bureau Statec says this means an increase of 3.3% over the whole of 2016.  Cross border workers are still a higher proportion of new hires than residents.  The biggest growth areas have been IT, Communications and social care services.

The National Youth service says it will put in place new rules to make sure it doesn’t finance any more videos with graphic rape scenes and murders. ...

SNJ UNDER FIRE OVER VIDEO

The National Youth service says it will put in place new rules to make sure it doesn’t finance any more videos with graphic rape scenes and murders.  The SNJ has been criticised for its role in helping create a video called Dance Revenge.  It says none of its staff actually worked creatively on the video, and only facilitated the young creators in their work.  It has also said it might seek to recover the 2 000 euros it handed out to the people behind the video.

The court of appeal has reduced the sentences of Antoine Deltour and Rafael Halet.  The former PriceWaterhouse employees were convicted last year of...

LUXLEAKS APPEAL

The court of appeal has reduced the sentences of Antoine Deltour and Rafael Halet.  The former PriceWaterhouse employees were convicted last year of breach of professional confidentiality.  They were the sources of the material which became known as the Luxleaks scandal.  This revealed the extent to which major companies used corporate structures with the acquiescence of the government here to minimise global tax liabilities.  Last year the two, who have been hailed as whistleblowers by some, were given suspended prison sentences.  These were reduced yesterday on appeal to fines.

The Archdiocese says it stands by the agreement it has signed with the government, including the part which involves a major reform of local parish...

I WASH MY HANDS

The Archdiocese says it stands by the agreement it has signed with the government, including the part which involves a major reform of local parish finances.  On Tuesday night, local church councils, through their umbrella organisation SYFEL rejected all talk of compromise, and threatened legal moves against the church.  In response yesterday, Vicar General Leo Wagener said without compromise, all that would now happen would be the enactment of laws based on its original agreement with the government, meaning the complete abolition of church parish councils and their role in deciding how public money is spent on church upkeep.

A man was given a 10 year prison sentence, 8 of them suspended, for repeatedly raping a boy between 2005 and 2009.  The victim was the son of his...

CHILD SEX TRIALS

A man was given a 10 year prison sentence, 8 of them suspended, for repeatedly raping a boy between 2005 and 2009.  The victim was the son of his sister-in-law, and the assaults started when he was only 6.  He finally told his family what had been going on in 2014.  And the trial started yesterday of a 36 year old man charged with raping his stepdaughters.  Family members became suspicious of him in 2014, and reported him to the police.  They found several images of child pornography on his computer.  The man strenuously denies his charges, and his lawyers accused the two girls of fabricating the accusations of rape.  They added that three pictures of children in a collection of online pornography featuring thousands of images did not suggest the accused had paedophile inclinations.

MPs yesterday debated the government’s plans to promote the use of the Luxembourgish language.  Politicians from the ruling coalition praised the...

LANGUAGE DEBATE

MPs yesterday debated the government’s plans to promote the use of the Luxembourgish language.  Politicians from the ruling coalition praised the measures, saying they were a major step forward in raising awareness about the local language and culture.  The initiative comes after MPs rejected a popular petition calling for Luxembourgish to be an official national language.  This, according to the government would be impractical, but as a gesture towards the popular support for a higher profile for Luxembourgish. It includes additional study opportunities and cultural facilities.  In the chamber yesterday, the ADR party was however critical.  It said the moves were a gimmicky sop to voters, and fell far short of what people really wanted.

A man is being treated in hospital after vandalising the main church in Bettembourg on Tuesday.  His activities were noticed when he set fire to part...

CHURCH VANDALISM - MAN TAKEN TO HOSPITAL

A man is being treated in hospital after vandalising the main church in Bettembourg on Tuesday.  His activities were noticed when he set fire to part of the church interior, and smoke started billowing out through the windows.  He was still in the church when the police and fire service arrived.  He seemed in a confused state when they confronted him, and he has now been seen for medical evaluation.

Police are appealing for help in identifying a woman who lost her life in a road accident on Monday.  The car she was driving along N11 near...

MYSTERY ROAD DEATH

Police are appealing for help in identifying a woman who lost her life in a road accident on Monday.  The car she was driving along N11 near Dommeldange collided with a tree, and was immediately engulfed in a fireball.  This left no way form of identification of the driver.  An autopsy was conducted yesterday in the hope it may shed more light on the circumstances of her death, and maybe even identify her.

Media  reports yesterday in Germany claimed Luxembourg’s chief financial regulator may have  links to offshore companies which could be used to evade...

CSSF BOSS UNDER FIRE

Media  reports yesterday in Germany claimed Luxembourg’s chief financial regulator may have  links to offshore companies which could be used to evade tax and launder money.  As head of the CSSF,  Claude Marx is obliged to monitor any illegal financial activity.  But accusations relate to the time Mr Marx spent earlier in his career at HSBC.  Documents obtained by the newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung suggest he worked closely with law firm Mossac Fonseca, who specialised in offshore structures for clients looking to minimise tax liabilities.  Mr Marx has admitted to working with Mossac Fonseca in the past, but not to the extent which the latest revelations suggest, nor in such a pro-active role. 

The Irish government has complained to the European Commission that other countries are competing unfairly with it to lure banks and other financial...

IRISH GOVERNMENT UNHAPPY WITH LUXEMBOURG

The Irish government has complained to the European Commission that other countries are competing unfairly with it to lure banks and other financial companies away from London in the event in Brexit.  While the official complaint does not name Luxembourg, sources in Dublin said that the Grand Duchy was the country they are most concerned about, and alleged that illegal incentives were being offered.  The same sources told Reuters that Luxembourg was not insisting on insurers having a sufficiently substantial incorporation in the country.  Last week insurance giant AIG suggested it was leaving London for Luxemboug, perhaps the most significant Brexit based move so far.  The Luxembourg finance ministry says its financial supervision regime is of the highest standard.

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