Luxembourg. Prosecution was brought in April against a French journalist for his role in the “Luxleaks” scandal, which revealed that the tax authorities helped international large corporations avoid tax and in practice made Luxembourg a tax haven in the EU. Press freedom organizations were sharply critical of the prosecution. Two former employees of the audit firm PWC had already been indicted after the disclosure came in late 2014. One of them was the whistleblower Antoine Deltour, who was awarded the EU Citizens’ Prize in June.
According to COUNTRYAAH, Luxembourg is the capital of Luxembourg which is located in Western Europe. Prime Minister Xavier Bettel married his partner in May for many years and thus became the first sitting EU head of government to enter into same-sex marriage. The marriage became possible after a law change at the beginning of the year.
- Also see AbbreviationFinder.org for Luxembourg country abbreviations, including geography, history, economy and politics.
A referendum was held in June on constitutional amendments to lower the voting age from 18 to 16, give voting rights to foreign citizens who have lived in the country for at least ten years and introduce a ten-year limit for participation in the government. The voters said no to all three proposals.
The economic difficulties following the oil crisis led to a drastic downsizing of the reform commitment assumed at the time of the mandate by the liberal-socialist coalition government (Democratic Party: PD, and Socialist Workers’ Party: LSAP), led by the democratic leader G. Thorn: the only innovative measure launched in the legislature was the abolition of the death penalty (May 1979), while on the level of economic policy the Thorn cabinet agreed on a plan, with trade unions and entrepreneurs, which included, among other austerity measures, a regulation of the right to strike.
With the elections of June 1979 the political framework of the Luxembourg changed: the Christian-socialists (PCS) were in fact rewarded by the electorate for the opposition conducted against the Thorn government, and thus passed from 18 to 24 seats, while the socialists they lost 3 (from 17 to 14) and the Liberals won only one (from 14 to 15). (At the same time, the elections for the European Parliament had taken place, which had assigned 3 seats to the PCS, 2 to the PD and 1 to the LSAP). The advance of the Christian Socialists, after 4 weeks of negotiations, led to a new change in the governing coalition which, this time led by the leader of the PCS P. Werner, obtained the support of the Democrats. The policy of the new cabinet, marked in the socio-economic sphere by a severe liberalism – in April 1982 the escalator was also abolished – caused strong social tensions, which resulted in the first general strike after 1942 (April 1982). While the socialist opposition strengthened, and at the same time the Social Democratic Party – formed in 1971 following the pact of unity of action with the Communists – was dissolving, new political groups were being formed, among which the Ecological Party (Déi Gréng Alternativ).
The political elections of June 1984 – characterized, among other things, by an increase in seats, from 59 to 64 – therefore saw a further reversal of the balance of power in the country (the PCS was limited to 25 seats, the liberals dropped to 14 and the socialists went back to 21, while the ecologists won 2 seats and the communists did the same). The results of the European elections, also held in June 1984, substantially mirrored the national ones: the PCS was still assigned 3 seats, the Socialists 2 (against one seat in 1979), the Liberals one (2 in 1979). This change in the political framework thus led to the formation of an unprecedented coalition between Christian-Socialists and Socialists, led by the new leader of the PCS, J. Santer.
In the subsequent political elections of June 1989 (in which the seats had decreased again, in relation to the decrease in the population, passing from 64 to 60), the three major parties lost consensus (the PCS obtained 24 seats, the socialists 18 and the liberals 11), while the ecologists of the Déi Gréng Alternativ doubled the number of their representatives (from 2 to 4) and the new Comité d’Action Party 5/6 (a sort of party of pensioners), which had focused its electoral campaign on the need to adjust the pension of private employees to that of public employees (equal to five sixths of the last salary), won 4 seats; the communist representation was reduced to one seat. In the contemporary European elections, the three major parties confirmed the data of the previous consultations, keeping the number of seats unchanged. Despite the affirmation of the new opposition parties, the previous coalition between Christian-Socialists and Socialists was reconfirmed, under the leadership of Santer.
Member State of the United Nations, of the European Community (since its origins) and of NATO, Luxembourg has directed its greatest efforts towards the realization of the economic and political unity of Europe, however renouncing to become the permanent seat of Parliament European.