Luxembourg. According to
COUNTRYAAH, Grand Duke Jean abdicated in the fall in
favor of his son Prince Henri. Jean had been head of
government for the past 35 years, as the country evolved
from a secluded, second-class industry into a center for
satellite communications and financial services.
Luxembourg agreed during the year on a compromise within
the EU, which meant that the country where bank accounts
exist with foreign owners should tax interest income or
submit information to the account holder's home country.
An armed man entered a preschool in the city of
Wasserbillig in eastern L. in the summer and took children
and teachers hostage. The man was lured out on the pretext
of being allowed to speak for the press. A police officer
disguised as a TV journalist shot the man in the head,
causing a storm of protests from journalists around the
A report by a French parliamentary commission in January
2002 accused Luxembourg of sabotaging the fight against
money laundering and financial corruption. The report's
central arguments for this claim were the country's banking
secrecy and administrative slowdown whenever cooperation
with the authorities was required. Also in January, the
country, like 12 other EU countries, got its currency
changed with the euro.
In February 2004, rumors circulated that Prime Minister
Juncker had been appointed to the post of European
Commission President. It was the start of the elections to
be held in June. The same month, statistics showed that the
unemployment rate was 4.5%.
On March 1, 2004, workers, government and EU
representatives met to define Luxembourg's position on the
Kyoto Protocol on CO2 emissions.
In June, Jean-Claude Juncker received the most votes in
the Chamber of Deputies and was re-elected as Prime
Minister. He went on to form a new coalition government.
Despite the fall of the EU in the referendum in France
and the Netherlands, in July 2005 57% of Luxembourg's
citizens voted in favor of the constitution. Despite other
EU countries deciding to give their peoples a year to think
after the defeat of the Constitution in France and the
Netherlands, the Luxembourg Parliament in Luxembourg decided
to carry out the referendum as planned. Up to the vote,
Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker had also threatened to
withdraw from the post unless the people voted yes.
According to former Foreign Minister Lydie Polfer, Juncker
had made the same political mistake as the French in linking
national politics with the European one. Despite
Luxembourg's status as the richest country within the EU -
and at the same time the country receiving the most support
per country. population - there was some uncertainty in the
population about the future of the country. Concerns most
closely linked to cross-border crime, immigration and rising
unemployment. Observers felt that even if these themes had
nothing to do with the vote directly, they would be able to
intensify opposition to the constitution, already aroused by
the fear of globalization and the EU's expansion to the