Change Edition

Juncker defends state of nation address
Luxembourg

Juncker defends state of nation address

10.05.2012 From our online archive
Following the parliamentary debate on Juncker's state of the nation address on Wednesday, the Prime Minister fired back at the opposition who accused him of a lack of energy and vision.

(CS) Following the parliamentary debate on Juncker's state of the nation address on Wednesday, the Prime Minister fired back at the opposition who accused him of a lack of energy and vision.

In his speech on Tuesday, Juncker had given few new impulses, according to the opposition parties DP, ADR and Déi Gréng. They also found that the measures proposed in the speech were not far reaching enough.

With the Prime Minister given the last word at the debate on Wednesday, Juncker defended his speech.

For example, he addressed the rent benefits of around 100 euros planned for financially disadvantaged households, saying the idea originally came from the unions. Juncker said he had long been an opponent of the idea, but decided it was the right way to go after all.

He also said that the speech had included plenty of new content, such as comments on eurobonds, a financial transaction tax, the government's administrative costs and the country's real estate market.

The accusation that Juncker was cynical towards the country's unemployed was also met with opposition from the Premier. “Some unemployed say they won't take a job as long as they receive benefits. I don't think that's normal,” the Prime Minister said.

Juncker fired back at the DP's Claude Meisch who had said that Juncker was an “old politician,” commenting that Meisch was confusing “age with wisdom.”

Meisch had also called himself a lone voice in the wilderness in the debate, to which Juncker replied he could understand the feeling considering the last election's results.