Coalition talks get off to positive start
(CS) Government “formateur” Xavier Bettel on Tuesday evening issued a positive verdict on the first day of coalition talks, saying that meetings are likely to continue until the end of the November.
Going into the talks on Tuesday, the Luxembourg City mayor and DP President said that he is “very proud of the situation,” adding: “I'm convinced that we need to move Luxembourg out of a standstill and that this is the team, which will achieve that.”
Bettel also defied critics, who have accused the DP, the LSAP and “déi Gréng” of planning their coalition in advance, with no other possible outcome of coalition talks. “The people who thought that this was planned and calculated – I have to disappoint them,” he said. “It wasn't like that.”
Still, there appeared to be an overall accord between the parties before key programme issues were even addressed. “I hope that we can start work relatively quickly,” said François Bausch of the Green party.
The LSAP's Etienne Schneider meanwhile said on Tuesday morning: “we seem to be moving in the right direction,” adding, however, he said that several rounds of talks with representatives from Luxembourg's different administrations are only a first step, before working groups are put together and a programme is finalised.
Meetings to last until end of November
The first day of talks, which saw delegates from all three prospective coalition parties meet with representatives from the financial administrations, came to an end around 5.45pm.
At a press conference Bettel, who is officially in charge of managing coalition talks and building the next government, said that the Grand Duchy is not yet out of the financial crisis.
However, no details on how the parties might tackle the challenge were given.
Bettel revealed that 12 plenary meetings are expected to be held in total, with eight working groups addressing more detailed issues from education and transport to the financial centre and administrative reform at the same time.
Meetings should conclude by the end of November, with hopes that the new government can take up work by mid-December.