Your Weekly Recap for 28 November - 2 December.

  • The proposed 2023 Budget came under fire
  • Finances and economic outlook in focus
  • MP Roy Reding resigned one of his posts
  • The EC blocked € 7.5 billion in funds for Hungary
  • Historic protests in China called for Xi to go.

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1. The draft budget for 2023 came under fire this week with negotiations still underway.

  • The opposition said the proposed budget will have negative consequences on Luxembourg’s financial centre.

  • The Chamber of Employees (CSL) said they feared the proposed budget will increase inequalities and called for an adjustment to the tax tables.

  • The IDEA Foundation criticised the draft budget saying the government had shifted from “pandemic socialism” to “energy socialism”

Avoid Greenwashing: The government said it wants to promote environmentally beneficial investments, avoid Greenwashing, and prevent the misusing of ESG tax breaks for non compliant investments.

The opposition: feared negative consequences for the financial centre as well as legal risks if Luxembourg changes EU regulations. Now, amendments to the draft budget, are being discussed in the responsible parliamentary committee.

The Luxembourg Consumer Protection Association (ULC): said the temporary VAT cut will have too limited an impact on purchasing power.

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RTL

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2. Luxembourg’s finances and economic outlook were in focus, with the CNFP expecting a deficit by end of year.

  • The president of the National Council of Public Finances (CNFP) predicted a deficit of €‎1.3 billion in the government's budget by end of year.

  • In light of next year's national elections, parties are going to be positioning themselves on tax reform.

  • STATEC said the latest tripartite measures have already had a positive impact on Luxembourg’s economy.

Adjust the rates to inflation? With 2 or 3 wage indexations expected to be triggered next year, revenues will go up but expenses will increase as well. The economy will eventually weaken to the point where the government will have to consider this option too, said CNFP’s president.

STATEC said Luxembourg’s GDP is projected to grow by 2% this year and 4% in 2023 and according to Luxembourg's Central Bank, consumer confidence in the country increased in November.

A study that came out last week showing Luxembourgish civil servants earn on average €8,688 gross per month, was criticised, not for its content, but for its timing, before the 2023 elections, by the General Confederation of the Civil Service (CGFP).

Relevant: Eurozone unemployment dropped to a record low of 6.5% in October.

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© ADR

3. After being sentenced for fraud, ADR MP Roy Reding resigned, but not from the Chamber of Deputies.

  • Roy Reding resigned from Luxembourg City’s municipal council.

  • He will however keep serving as a Deputy for ADR in the Chamber.

  • His party, the ADR, said they believe the trial and its verdict concern Roy Reding as a private individual and not as a political representative.

Roy Reding was sentenced to a one-year suspended prison sentence for fraud last week. He has appealed the court’s decision.

He resigned on Facebook: Roy Reding explained that he felt he no longer had the time or energy to carry out his responsibilities, which is why he made the decision to resign his post in the city council. However, he made it clear that he wasn't leaving politics.

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© AFP

4. The European Commission blocked € 7.5 billion euro in funding to Hungary over ‘rule of law’ concerns.

Now what? Brussels attached has demanded Budapest attain 27 so-called "super milestones" in order to secure the funds:

The 27 reforms: include the 17 steps already negotiated as part of the rule of law conditionality regulation as well as reforms to strengthen judiciary independence and new rules on auditing and reporting on EU funds.

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© AFP

5. Historic, nationwide protests in China called for more freedom, democracy and for Xi to go.

Young Chinese are not politically apathetic: Wang Dan, who was jailed and then exiled after the 1989 Tiananmen pro-democracy movement was crushed, told reporters in Japan that the string of protests also proved that younger Chinese are not politically apathetic.

Britain condemned Chinese police: after the BBC said one of its journalists was arrested and beaten while covering Covid protests in Shanghai. The UK summoned China’s envoy to the UK in response.

A deadly firelast week in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang’s region, became a catalyst for public anger, with many blaming Covid lockdowns for hampering rescue efforts.

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Climate Change

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And in case you missed it

  • The Luxembourg Confederation of Christian Trade Unions (LCGB) accused the CNS of disrespecting the rule of law, and criticised the lack of progress in the service’s digitalisation.👩🏼‍⚕️🧾

  • Turkey continued to block Sweden’s NATO membership bid, with Turkey’s Foreign Minister calling for ‘more concrete steps’ at a summit in Bucharest. 🇸🇪🇹🇷

  • An erosion of democracy was observed across half the world’s democratic countries, according to the International Institute for Democracy. 🗳️🌎

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Your Weekly Recap is published every Friday at noon. Read earlier versions.

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Christos Floros covers News and Politics for RTL Today @christosfloros