SCHNEIDER IS STAYING
Economics Minister Etiennne Schneider says he has no intention of heading off to Brussels as a European Commissioner. Rumours of just such a move have been circulating since the elections, when Mr Schneider was the prime candidate of the LSAP, who fared the worst of the ruling coalition parties, losing three seats. Instead Mr Schneider says he would rather carry on as deputy prime minister in the new coalition. Longstanding employment minister Nicolas Schmit seems the most likely candidate now for the Brussels job.
IRRGAERTCHEN ROUNDABOUT CHAOS
The environment ministry says it is looking at a way to help busses avoid getting stuck at the Irrgaertchen roundabout.. Some passengers last night said it took them three hours to get from the city centre to Sandweiler on the bus. There were no reports of accidents, but roadworks mean that the roundabout is currently operating at reduced capacity, as are some of the slip roads. At the moment though it seems the environment ministry is not ready to say exactly how they plan to help busses, other than to say things should get better as the work progresses.
CSV ATTACK SCHNEIDER
Meanwhile the opposition CSV took aim at Mr Schneider over his recent parliamentary responses. Harking back to September, they said Mr Schneider should have taken responsibility for giving inaccurate information about the level of taxes paid by yoghurt maker Fage. Mr Schneider erroneously claimed the company had paid 60 million euros in tax, when in fact it was closer to 600 000, something he blamed on civil servants who had given him the original number. CSV leader Claude Wiseler also said, given this misunderstanding, was also then sensible to sell the company such a large piece of state-owned land, and who fixed the price. The CSV also claim there has not been enough disclosure by the economy ministry about a loss of nearly 14 million euros from an investment in space mining company Planetary Resources, which is now in financial difficulty..
ANOTHER PRISONER MAKES A BID FOR FREEDOM
For the second time in a week a prisoner has made a break for it in the west of the Capital. He was actually being picked up to be taken to Schrassig to start a custodial sentence when he did a runner. He made it into a Betrange shopping mall ahead of the pursuing police. They then deployed reinforcements there and caught the man, whom it was felt could pose a risk to the public at large. Last Friday a prisoner escaped while on a trip to the central hospital in Strassen, and was free for several hours before being found in a nearby road
HORESCA V AIRBNB
Online holiday accommodation broker AirBnB is struggling to break into the Luxembourg market. The economy ministry revealed yesterday that it had arranged less than 3% of the rooms booked here last year. Luxembourg’s catering and hotel association Horesca is lobbying hard to get Airbnb banned, saying it exploits a number of loopholes which give it an unfair advantage. In releasing the information yesterday, Etienne Schneider pointed out to Horesca that its own members seem to be happy to use Airbnb to promote their accommodation, and that it should be considered as a compliment, rather than a threat to the tourism sector.