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Nowhere else in Europe can workers earn more than in the Grand Duchy - but that appeal is lessened once salaries are compared to the cost of living, Luxembourg's national statistics agency Statec said on Wednesday.
The average gross annual salary in the Grand Duchy is €64,932, which represents almost double the European average and is eight times the rate of pay in the lowest-ranked country, Bulgaria, according to a report by Statec. But when taking into consideration the cost of living and purchasing power, the value of the average gross annual salary in France, which is normally 58% of the total in Luxembourg, rises to 67% compared to its smaller neighbour.
More flexible work arrangements mean that many may abandon cities such as London, Paris or New York, and opt for mid-sized cities instead. Luxembourg – too small to be considered in either group – might nonetheless attract some foreigners. But if it really wants to benefit, it needs to tackle its dazzling real estate prices and its underwhelming urban design, experts say. And simply become hip.
“If there continues to be friction between what the consumer wants, i.e. people living in Luxembourg, and what the city provides, then at the point of a marginal decision – should I stay or should I go – people will probably move to another city,” Tom Walker, co-head of global real estate securities at Schroders said .
Luxembourg is playing catch-up as it seeks to boost spending on innovation to continue to compete with its powerful European neighbours, pinning its hopes on research facilities at the many companies it has managed to attract. The Grand Duchy is Europe's richest country, with the highest GDP per capita, but spends far less on research and development than the EU average, with countries such as France, Belgium, Germany and Sweden all outrunning it.
Investigating crime against the EU budget in countries outside the bloc will depend entirely on the co-operation of national prosecutors, the head of the union’s new fraud-fighting agency EPPO acknowledged on Tuesday.The Luxembourg-based European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) officially launched its operations on Tuesday, with an estimated in-tray of 3,000 cases.
The first new reports of alleged fraud against the EU budget – from Germany and Italy - had come in within hours of an online reporting system going live, Chief Prosecutor Laura Kövesi said at a press conference in the Kirchberg district, where many EU institutions are based.
Immigrants from Sub-Saharan Africa are seven times more likely than others to be stopped by Luxembourg police on foot, a survey has said, a finding that comes after police failed to back up a claim about West-African refugees dealing drugs.
Luxembourg's police, interior security and justice ministries told the Luxembourg Times that they are not tracking data about how many drug dealers are immigrants, and the police had to retract at least one statement they recently made about their nationality when asked to provide evidence. A total of 40% of all police stops of Sub-Saharan Africans in Luxembourg were ethnically motivated, the EU's Agency for Fundamental Rights found in a survey published on 25 May.