Bettel in Brussels for European Summit
(CS) Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel is attending his first European Summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday, as European leaders have a bone to pick with Luxembourg over the Savings Tax Directive.
The Grand Duchy and Austria have so far blocked the directive, saying that negotiations first need to take place with European partners, such as Monaco, Andorra, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, to ensure a level playing field among financial centres.
Speaking to the press on Thursday, Bettel announced that the came prepared with a paper explaining Luxembourg's position. Europe's heads of government had announced in May that they wanted to directive in place by the end of 2013.
Gathering support for Luxembourg
Earlier this week, Bettel had already travelled to Brussels and Paris to meet with European Council president Herman Van Rompuy and François Hollande, as well as speaking to Commission president José Manuel Barroso and Parliament president Martin Schulz on Thursday morning.
This followed a meeting between Bettel and his Benelux Prime Minister colleagues Elio Di Rupo from Belgium and Mark Rutte from the Netherlands who had voiced their support for Luxembourg's stance on the directive.
At the summit Bettel proved to be one of the most-wanted government leaders by the international press. After all, Bettel follows in the footsteps of “Mister Euro” Jean-Claude Juncker, who was also in Brussels on Thursday for a meeting of the European People's Party just ahead of the European Summit.