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Top five stories you may have missed

4 min. 09.07.2022 From our online archive
In case you missed them, the Luxembourg Times has selected the best stories of the week for you
Read the Luxembourg Times story on Marion Barter, who walked out of her family in Australia in 1997, never to be seen again
Read the Luxembourg Times story on Marion Barter, who walked out of her family in Australia in 1997, never to be seen again
Photo credit: Police New South Wales

Luxembourg, key to Australian vanished lady mystery?

An 82-year-old man with an obscure background, who spent part of his life in Luxembourg, has become the unlikely star of a probe into an Australian woman who walked out of her family 25 years ago, never to be seen again.

An inquest by a court in New South Wales (NSW) found multiple links between Marion Barter, who disappeared on 22 June 1997, and the octogenarian, who ran a business in the Grand Duchy, used dozens of aliases, and admitted to having been arrested at least three times during his life.

The NSW State Coroner opened the inquest in 2020, after insistent probing by journalists of "The Lady Vanishes", one of Australia's most widely heard podcasts. Earlier investigations into the case - with more than a whiff of Netflix's 2022 "The Tinder Swindler" film - had yielded no results.

Barter, born in 1945, quit her job as a teacher and changed her name to Remakel - a common Luxembourgish surname - just a month before disappearing. She did so without saying a word to her next of kin.

US-based artist seeks court action in plagiarism case

The US-based Singaporean photographer who accused a Luxembourg painter of seeking to profit from her work is launching legal action to stop the artist from displaying, selling and reproducing the artwork which she claims he copied.

A painting by Dieschburg, seemingly closely based on photographs by Zhang and offered for sale at €6,500, infringed on Zhang's legal copyright protection for her creative work, her lawyer, Vincent Wellens, told Luxembourg Times last month. Dieschburg's work had been displayed at Strassen's cultural centre as part of the 11th Contemporary Art Biennale, which was funded by the Culture Ministry and ended last month.

Luxembourg's once reliable tax revenues under fire

With Luxembourg struggling to attract high-earning professionals and facing an attack on two lucrative and once-reliable sources of tax revenue, the country needs to find new ways of bolstering its state coffers.

When an EU ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars comes into force in 2035, the EU's wealthiest country will inevitably lose its position as a magnet in the region for lorry drivers and tourists in search of cheap fuel.

Moreover, over a quarter of corporate tax revenue is under threat from an EU crackdown on holding companies, who will lose profitable tax advantages if they turn out to be just empty shells with no real business, which could well trigger an exodus from Luxembourg to other low-tax jurisdictions. 

Luxembourg court fines ArcelorMittal lawyer for contempt

A lawyer working for ArcelorMittal was fined for contempt of court this week, after he criticised a judge presiding over a case into a deadly work accident at the Luxembourg-based steel giant.

André Lutgen was ordered to pay a €1,000 fine, the Wednesday verdict said, half of the €2,000 a lower criminal court had first imposed in December. The court also acquitted him of a charge of intimidation.

The case centres around the death of a factory worker, who was electrocuted in May 2019 at the company's Differdange site. The judge, Filipe Rodrigues, had ordered the sealing of a faulty circuit, a standard procedure when such an accident happens, to make space for experts to conduct investigations.

Businesses promise greater attention to human rights

Fifty Luxembourg companies and institutions on Wednesday signed a voluntary pledge to focus more on meeting human rights expectations, a step that falls short of the legal requirements in force in other European countries.

The voluntary national scheme and European Union efforts to hold companies accountable for human rights violations have come as Luxembourg has so far opted against a due diligence law similar to other EU member states despite pressure from many advocacy groups. 

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