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Top five stories you may have missed
News roundup

Top five stories you may have missed

3 min. 16.07.2022
In case you missed them, the Luxembourg Times has selected the best stories of the week for you
The Brussels-Luxembourg train at the Luxembourg train station
The Brussels-Luxembourg train at the Luxembourg train station
Photo credit: Guy Jallay

Luxembourg freezes €400m of sanctioned oligarchs' cash  

Luxembourg has frozen €430 million of cash belonging to sanctioned oligarchs and blocked a further €1 billion in securities, the finance ministry told the Luxembourg Times.

While the €430 million sit in Luxembourg-registered bank accounts, €1 billion are securities owned by both sanctioned individuals and companies, the finance ministry said in an email. This is the first time Luxembourg has revealed a breakdown of the frozen assets of Russia's business elite in the country.

Luxembourg bought Soviet-era weapons for Ukraine  

Luxembourg bought 200 rounds of ammunition for a Soviet-designed multiple rocket launcher system from an undisclosed EU country to give Ukraine, which is relying on heavy weapons to repel invading Russian forces.

Luxembourg acquired the ammunition for the truck-mounted BM-21 system this year on the "European market" from a "EU country" specifically with Ukraine in mind, a spokesman for Luxembourg's defence ministry said on Wednesday. 

A ghost town for shoppers around Luxembourg's Gare  

One in four shops in Luxembourg's Gare district is standing empty, according to a local real estate expert, underlining how the area around the central train station struggles to come back to life after years of construction chaos.

Just as many shops were already hard to reach because of the vast road works needed to build the tram, many had to close during the pandemic - at a time that clothing stores were involved in a fierce competitive war.

This "textile crisis" has been driving investors and tenants away, said Guillaume Pellegrino, a consultant at CBRE, a U.S. commercial real estate giant which handles 60% of the owners with spaces on the Avenue de la Gare. 

Gramegna to face off Leão for ESM post in September  

Luxembourg's former finance minister Pierre Gramegna on Monday made it to the finals of the race for the top job at the eurozone's bailout fund, and will now need to face off Portugal's Joao Leão in a later vote.

Four countries had queued for the top role at the Luxembourg-based fund, which doled out hundreds of billions of euros in loans to near-bankrupt governments during the sovereign debt crisis. Italy withdrew its candidate - Marco Buti - from the race on Wednesday, leaving only two men in the race, after the Netherlands had pulled out weeks earlier. 

After EU year of rail, Commission takes bus to Luxembourg  

When the full European Commission leaves Brussels for a rare trip to Luxembourg on Wednesday, President Ursula von der Leyen and her team will opt for a bus, not the notoriously unreliable train between the two cities.

"Whether the speed of the train played a role in this decision, I cannot confirm here", Carole Thoma, spokeswoman for the European Commission in Luxembourg said in an email on Tuesday. "It is important, however, that the Commissioners and the President of the Commission arrive on time in Luxembourg for the audience with the Grand Duke," she said.

The audience with the world's only ruling grand duke is scheduled for 09:45h. To arrive on time by train, the Brussels VIPs would need to embark at 05:52h from the Schuman stop for a journey of around three hours, according to the schedules published by Luxembourg's national railway company CFL.


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