Your Weekly Recap for 5 - 9 December

  • Paulette Lenert could be the next PM
  • Inflation in Luxembourg, lower than EZ
  • The Bianka Bisdorf trial
  • Check-free Schengen area enlarged
  • Germany stopped a plan to overthrow the government

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RTL

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1. Paulette Lenert and the LSAP were projected to win big, if elections were held this Sunday.

  • The poll showed the governing coalition capturing 33 (+2) out of 60 seats in the Chamber.

  • The Socialists (LSAP) polled at 20.7% gaining, theoretically, 3 seats and making Paulette Lenert a likely contender for the role of Prime Minister.

  • In the opposition, the CSV would lose 6 seat; the Pirates would gain 4 seats, giving them a total of 6 Deputies.

The party of Jean-Claude Juncker: The CSV looks set to perform worse-than ever. If it does in fact lose 6 seats in 2023, it will be left with 15 seats – a historic low point after a disappointing result for the party in the 2018 elections.

Down 3 seats from November 2021: The Alternative Democratic Reform Party (adr) would retain 4 seats. This time last year, polls showed it climbing to 7.

Ex-CSV President Frank Engel, now speaker of his new Fokus party, criticised the Pirate Party, saying he still doesn't know "where they stand politically” and questioned their ability to be an ‘honourable’ government partner.

Also: Paulette Lenert, as Minister of Health, took the decision to not allow a birth-centre in Bertrange to operate.

The Sonndesfro poll only reflects the current mood and should not be regarded as an election forecast.

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RTL

2. Inflation data for Luxembourg showed lower figures than most of the Eurozone.

The next wage indexation will be triggered early next year, expects STATEC.

A 12% decrease in school canteen prices was observed after free school lunches were introduced.

Rents getting more expensive too? The proposed increase in maximum rents “does not represent a conflict of interest” for deputies, said PM Bettel and Minister for Housing Henri Kox.

Concern about the purchasing power of households because of the continuous rise in prices was expressed by the Luxembourg Consumers' Union.

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RTL

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3. The Bianka Bisdorf trial began, 7 years after her disappearance. 

  • The young Bianka Bisdorff was reported missing in July 2015.

  • Bianka's mother stood accused of murder, homicide, and assault of a minor.

  • However, authorities haven’t stopped looking for baby Bianka since 2015.

Why is the mother accused? In 2015, the then 39-year-old mother of 6 gave birth to Bianka. She had already lost custody of all her previous children and was also set to lose custody of Bianka.

She said the baby was given to relatives to prevent the authorities from taking it away from her. However, the girl has not been found since.

Thrown in the pond? In 2015 two women said they had seen a woman approaching a pond in Linger with a baby in her arms before later leaving alone. No body was ever found.

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RTL

© AFP

4. Croatia joined the Schengen Area but Bulgaria and Romania did not.

Bulgaria and Romania: The negative conclusion did not come as a surprise, but represents a painful political defeat for both Romania and Bulgaria. They both joined the EU in 2007, 6 years before Croatia.

Why did the Netherlands block Bulgaria’s bid?  They believe there are still rule-of-law concerns and pending pieces of legislation to tackle corruption and organised crime.

Bulgaria threatened retaliatory measures in return after saying the Dutch stance was unrelated to the Schengen criteria.

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5. Germany arrested 25 people suspected of planning to overthrow the Government.

  • A large-scale anti-terrorist operation led to the nationwide arrest of 25 people belonging to the 'Reichsbürger' movement. 

  • A German prince, a former far-right MP, a soldier and former members of the police and elite special forces were arrested.

  • They are accused of planning to storm the Reichstag and execute Chancellor Scholz. 

What is the Reichsbürger' movement? The Reichsbuerger generally believe in the continued existence of the pre-World War I German Reich, or empire, under a monarchy and several groups have declared their own states.

Under Surveillance since Spring: The group planning the plot had been under surveillance since the spring, Thomas Haldenwang, Germany's domestic security chief, told RTL Deutschland.

Domestic Threat in Germany: Intelligence services have for years warned that the greatest threat to the country came from domestic, far-right extremist groups.

2019 Killing: Right-wing extremists in 2019 killed a local politician in the German state of Hessen, and in the same year attacked a synagogue. In 2020 a far-right gunman killed 9 immigrants and descendants of immigrants in nearby Frankfurt.

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Climate Change

  • European Union legislators reached a deal to increase the amount airlines must pay for emitting carbon dioxide. ✈️

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And in case you missed it

  • Luxembourg City to continue using private security firm GDL, confirmed Mayor-Deputy Lydie Polfder (DP) who is also expected to make an announcement next week about whether she will lead her party in 2023 in the City. Corinne Cahen confirmed her intention to run. 👮🏙️

  • Indonesia's legislation banning sex outside marriage represented a major new threat to the LGBTQ community's rights in the conservative country, where same-sex unions are not recognised. 🏳️‍🌈👩🏻‍🤝‍👩🏼

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

What did you think? What would you like the Weekly Recap to include?  Let me know: christos.floros@rtl.lu

Christos Floros covers News and Politics for RTL Today @christosfloros