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Top five stories you may have missed
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Top five stories you may have missed

3 min. 09.04.2021
In case you missed them the Luxembourg Times has selected the best stories of the week for you
The European Medicines Agency approved AstraZeneca on 29 January
The European Medicines Agency approved AstraZeneca on 29 January
Photo credit: AFP

Luxembourg followed EMA's vaccine's advice - and didn't  

Luxembourg has alternately followed and ignored recommendations of the EU drugs regulatory agency in the past month when it came to deciding whether to administer the AstraZeneca vaccine.  

Luxembourg's government three weeks ago joined Germany, France and other countries in suspending use of the British-Swedish jab over concerns. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) days later repeated its earlier findings that the drug is safe and effective, at which point Luxembourg resumed its use.

Yet, despite the EMA's advice, the Grand Duchy's politicians then decided to join its two larger neighbours, France and Germany, in suspending the AstraZeneca vaccine once more on 16 March amid fresh concerns.  

Luxembourg's manco fund control room gears up for more work  

US fund managers in search of European clients and growing assets for established alternative fund operators point to growth for a crucial segment of Luxembourg's financial industry - companies doing compliance and risk management work.  

Managers who want to sell funds to EU investors are legally required to appoint a management company, or manco. However, it is Luxembourg mancos which are destined to win more business because of how the market is set up.

Local banks are reluctant to cooperate with non-Luxembourg mancos even if, legally, an asset manager with a fund domiciled in Luxembourg could choose a service provider from another EU country. Working with providers in markets other than Luxembourg increases the risk in case of disputes, industry insiders told the Luxembourg Times.

Price of housing rises almost 17% in year 

Housing prices in Luxembourg are continuing to increase year-on-year, rising by almost 17% in the last quarter of 2020 compared to the same period the previous year, according to figures from the country's statistics agency, Statec.

The average price of a house in Luxembourg City now stands at €1.35 million, more than twice the cost of a property in the north of the country. 

The cost of real estate in the country almost doubled in the decade between 2010 and 2020, Eurostat, the EU's official statistics agency, reported last year.    

June start for EU anti-fraud body as prosecutors line up  

The EU's Luxembourg-based fraud-fighting agency is set to start its work on 1 June, Chief Prosecutor Laura Kövesi said on Wednesday.

Twelve EU countries have now appointed a total of 40 out of 140 so-called delegated prosecutors. EPPO is confident that the remaining countries will appoint at least one prosecutor by 1 June, a requirement without which it cannot start its investigative work. 

Luxembourg and nine other countries still have not come up with any names, with the Grand Duchy extending the deadline to receive applications for its' two posts by two weeks due to low interest.

Court rules government deal with Google can stay secret  

Judges have rejected an effort to force into the open a document outlining promises government officials made to Google to lure the tech giant to build a massive data centre in Luxembourg.  

A ruling issued on Tuesday dismissed the case by the Mouvement Écologique. The environmental group said it had sought to reveal how much water and electricity Google had been promised if it would build the project in Bissen in central Luxembourg. 

Google countered that disclosing its water needs would enable its rivals to figure out important details of its business plans, the US tech giant argued in court last year. At Tuesday's ruling, judges said that the Google document did not fit a narrow legal definition of what defines an "administrative document".

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