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Top five stories you might have missed
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Top five stories you might have missed

3 min. 11.12.2021 From our online archive
In case you missed them the Luxembourg Times has selected the five best stories of the week
Cattenom nuclear power plant
Cattenom nuclear power plant
Photo credit: AFP

Pension fund profits from nuclear as Luxembourg fights it

Luxembourg's pension fund is seeking to gain from nuclear energy - including the Cattenom plant looming just across the border - despite the country's determined resistance against European plans to use the uranium-fuelled power source to fight climate change.

Just on Wednesday, Luxembourg's parliament threatened legal action if the EU were to rank nuclear power among the sustainable energy sources to help it cut carbon emissions, adopting a unanimous motion urging the government to use "every political and legal means" to stop the likely labelling.

Prime Minister Xavier Bettel has also spoken out against nuclear energy, saying it was "neither safe nor sustainable" at the COP26 climate conference.

Yet Luxembourg's €22 billion sovereign pension fund still has money tied up in nuclear energy providers, according to its 2020 annual report. For instance, it has poured some €20 million into Electricité de France (EDF), which runs Cattenom and France's 17 other nuclear power plants.

No fair trial for French singer in Luxembourg Madoff claim  

French singer Enrico Macias vowed to continue his legal fight against a Luxembourg court order to repay a €30 million loan - much of which he invested in Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme - after a human rights court awarded him €12,000 in damages, a sum his lawyer called "totally derisory".

The Luxembourg Court of Cassation had breached Macias' right to a fair trial in 2019 when it refused to hear the now 82-year old singer's appeal against the original ruling, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said this week. But it dismissed Macias' claims for a €15 million compensation package.

A Luxembourg court had previously ordered Macias to repay the €30 million loan to liquidators of the Landsbanki bank, which went bankrupt in 2008, a year after the singer had agreed the loan.   

 City sets up restricted protest zone to quell violence

Antivax demonstrators will have to stay within a restricted zone in the city of Luxembourg from now, authorities said on Thursday, after police struggled to contain violence that erupted during protests last weekend.

The protest zone will extend from the Glacis in Limpertsberg on to the Kirchberg district across the red bridge, Interior Security Minister Henri Kox and Luxembourg city mayor Lydie Polfer said at a press conference.

The city does not hold the power to put a complete ban on protests, Polfer said during the press conference, citing article 25 of the Luxembourgish constitution, which gives the right to any individual to protest peacefully.

Most trafficking victims in restaurants, building sites 

A man working in an Asian restaurant or a building site is a more typical victim of human trafficking to Luxembourg than a woman forced into prostitution, the country's human rights commission said in a new report.

While Luxembourg found only 23 cases over the 2019-2020 period, there has been a "clear trend towards an increase in the number of victims of trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation," the Consultative Commission on Human Rights said in its biennial report released this week.

Of those cases, 18 involved people forced into labour once they arrived in Luxembourg, half of them in the hospitality businesses - primarily Asian restaurants, the government advisory body's report said. 

The victims were most often from China or Portugal, the report said.

Luxembourg Covid-19 cases near peak of a year ago  

Luxembourg recorded more people with confirmed Covid-19 cases than it has seen since the worst crest of the pandemic at this time last year, data released by the health ministry on Wednesday show.

Testing identified 666 people infected with the virus causing the disease, with the unvaccinated being twice as likely to contract Covid-19, health officials said.

Yet the number of 72 Covid-19 patients being treated in hospitals was far fewer than November and December 2020, when the daily hospitalisations ranged from between 160 to 200 people, the ministry's web site showed.


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