Luxembourg. In September, the L.A. authorities destroyed
thousands of banknotes that had been secretly printed for 20
years should the monetary union with Belgium collapse. It
revealed Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker in December,
just before the euro replaced the Belgian franc. Luxembourg had
shared currency with the neighboring country since 1921. At
one point, in connection with the crisis in exchange rate
cooperation ERM in 1993, Luxembourg also threatened to withdraw from
the monetary union, Juncker stated.
Countryaah, Luxembourg continued during the year to oppose an EU
agreement on cross-border information exchange on
foreigners' bank accounts.
In August 2007, the EU Statistical Office published
figures for GDP within the Union. Luxemburg placed in first
place and was 280% above average.
A bitter controversy over active euthanasia prompted
Parliament in 2008 to pass a law limiting the Grand Duke's
potential for veto. The Grand Duke was a warm supporter of
active euthanasia for personal reasons.
The June 2009 parliamentary elections gave a slight boost
to the Christian Democrats who continued in government.
Luxembourg was also hit by the global economic crisis in
2008. GDP fell by 4.5% in 2009. Nevertheless, the crisis
became more limited than in the rest of the EU. Throughout
2009, unemployment remained just over 5% - below half the EU
average. Only in the Netherlands and Austria was it lower.
Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker resigned from the post
in July 2013 when a spy scandal shook the country. Already
in November 2012, the local media had been able to report
that in 2007, the head of the country's intelligence service
Marco Mille had recorded conversations between Juncker and
Grand Duke Henri with a tape recorder stored in a
wristwatch. Juncker later found out that Mille had recorded
the meeting, but had not taken any further action.
Parliament therefore set up a commission of inquiry to
investigate intelligence. The Commission's report was
published in July and contained highly stressful material.
The service continued to hold an extensive archive of
"political espionage" targeting individuals during the Cold
The subsequent parliamentary elections in October were
won by Juncker, whose Christian Democratic Party declined
4.4% to 33.6%. Although the party remained the largest in
parliament and Juncker wanted to continue in office, he
could not get a majority. Instead, in December a coalition
government joined the Social Democrats, the Liberal
Democratic Party and the Greens. The three parties had a
total of 32 out of the 60 seats of Parliament. It was the
first time since 1979 the Christian Democrats were in
opposition. It is presumed that the new government will
allow marriage between gays (Prime Minister Xavier Bettel is
already gay), replace Christianity education in primary
school with teaching ethics and reduce state spending to
maintain the country's AAA rating with the international