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

4 min. 20.05.2023
In case you missed them, the Luxembourg Times has selected the best stories of the week for you
A beggar seeks donations as pedestrians pass
A beggar seeks donations as pedestrians pass
Photo credit: LT Archive

Government kills Luxembourg City's begging ban  

Luxembourg's interior ministry scuppered plans by officials in the Grand Duchy's capital to ban begging on the city's main streets, marking the latest spat between the local and national governments over security issues.

The ministry refused its needed approval to measures passed by the Luxembourg City council in March that would have banned all forms of begging in shopping streets and parks between 7.00 and 22.00. The decision means the national police cannot enforce the ban.

The ministry's legal service found that the begging ban requested by local businesses violated national and international law, and that the city council failed to justify the measure's necessity, Interior Ministry Taina Bofferding said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Luxembourg City will seek to overturn the ministry's refusal in court, Mayor Lydie Polfer said on Tuesday, shortly after the government intervention. 

Bodycam law won't protect public from police abuse, UN says  

A new law that would direct Luxembourg’s police force to wear body cameras during their duties won't protect the public from potential abuse or violence by officers, a United Nations human rights committee said.

Criticism of the draft bill, years in the making and still being considered in parliament, was contained in a report by the UN’s Committee against Torture, which published its latest assessment of Luxembourg on Friday. The committee of ten independent experts monitors compliance with the UN Convention against Torture in national reviews carried out every five years.

The law on body cameras does not “include the prevention and punishment of violence and excessive use of force by law enforcement agencies among its main objectives”, the UN committee said.

But officer misuse was “not a major concern” as police violence against civilians was virtually non-existent, the Grand Duchy's delegation said in its response at the end of last month.    

The pink tax: Is it more expensive to be a woman in Luxembourg?  

"€3,177 is the average amount spent by women living alone without children in 2021, compared with 2,766 euros for men in the same situation," national statistics agency Statec said in March. This means women spend over €400 more per month than men.  

To understand what women spend more money on, the survey gives a breakdown of their individual expenditures. The difference is particularly noticeable for household equipment and cleaning products, as well as for spending on leisure and culture, where women collectively spend over €2,000 more than men over an entire year.  

It is above all the "goods and services", which includes beauty products and hairdresser visits, and housing categories that weigh most heavily on single women. Their annual budget for these items is more than €4,000 higher than that of a single man.  

But while this explains the higher expenditure on housing and recreational services, is it the only reason?  

Expenses rules under review after Fayot's huge bill

Luxembourg will review rules for ministers’ expenses claims, the government confirmed on Wednesday, after Economy Minister Franz Fayot was accused of billing the taxpayer for expensive food and wine during trips abroad.

Fayot, who is also the Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, racked up expenses totalling around €92,000 during foreign trips between 2021 and February this year, according to an article published by the investigative news website Reporter on Monday.

The government council will “very soon deliberate on this matter”, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of State told the Luxembourg Times on Wednesday, but declined to specify when.  

Luxembourg businesses gloomy about prospects  

Long an economic engine for neighbouring regions, Luxembourg’s prospects have soured in the minds of company leaders who see a gloomier outlook than during the Covid-19 pandemic, a survey by the country's business lobby found.

The managers of small and medium-sized companies, which make up more than 90% of Luxembourg firms, in particular described struggling with their requirement to raise salaries in response to inflation.

More than four in ten entrepreneurs said they have delayed creating jobs and postponed investments, according to the most recent survey by the Chamber of Commerce.

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