SECRET DATABASE REFERRAL CONFIRMED
The government has confirmed that a man was denied access to the National Day Ceremony at the Philharmonie last year on the grounds of national security. 53 year old Francois Georges was the subject of an RTL documentary last month. He has a clean criminal record, and the only brushes with the law he has ever had were his divorce, and a civil case concerning commercial debts. Yesterday the prime minister, foreign minister Jean Asselborn and internal security minister said this was indeed the case, and that he had been blocked after the screening process referred to police databases. They point blank refused though to discuss other issues arising from the case, such as how many other people were treated like this. What they were prepared to say was that security screening was a very important matter for events like the National Day Ceremony.
SMOKING BAN NOT EXTENDED
The Government has opted against extending a ban on smoking to outdoor terraces at bars and restaurants. Its decision comes after a consultation with catering industry representatives HORESCA. Instead there will be a campaign asking smokers and non-smokers to respect each other’s rights. HORESCA says the vast majority of its members say they are happy to go along with the campaign. And the association says it might be a good idea if managers decide to designate part of their terrace, where feasible, as a non-smoking area. At the start of the year there were two petitions on the subject considered by parliament. One calling for a ban, and the other calling for bans to be banned.
ADAPTO PETITION CLOSE TO THRESHOLD
A petition calling for free transport for disabled people is close to having enough signatures to require consideration by MPs. The Transport Ministry last month said the Adapto scheme, which provided door-to-door travel for disabled people would still be paying after other forms of public transport become free next year. The reason is that the system is a sort of susbidised taxi, rather than a bus, according to sustainability minister Francois Bausch. But more than 4 000 people feel otherwise, and have already signed the petition. It needs 4 500 signatures to be eligible for parliamentary consideration.
Just over 15 000 people were registered unemployed last month. That is 87 fewer than in May, but it is around 500 more than a year ago. The overall workforce has however grown at a similar rate, so the unemployment rate, at 5.5% is lower than a year ago. It has however crept up since the end of last year when it stood at 5%. Employment office ADEM say there are around 3 500 vacancies on their books at the moment.
NEW AIRPORT AGREEMENT
Management and unions at the airport have concluded a new collective agreement. It will come into force in September, and remain in effect for two years. It’s conditions will be backdated to the start of this year. Unions say it contains higher pay, better hours and improved career progression compared with the old agreement. Around 300 people are employed at Luxairport.