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.
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.
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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 War,
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 rating agencies.
According to Countryaah, the population of Luxembourg in 2001 was 457,731, ranking number 171 in the world. The population growth rate was 0.980% yearly, and the population density was 176.7730 people per km2.