Xavier Bettel in first official visits abroad
(CS) Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel travelled to Brussels and Paris on Monday to meet with Herman Van Rompuy and François Hollande.
Bettel first met European Council President Van Rompuy for a working lunch and to discuss the European Summit, to be held in Brussels later this week, on December 19 and 20.
The Premier will clock in quite a few kilometres, as he then heads straight for Paris to meet President Hollande to discuss European and international affairs, including the summit, as well as bilateral relations between both countries.
Bettel could also be in support for Luxembourg's position on the EU's Savings Tax Directive at these meetings, which are both scheduled to last only one hour.
Luxembourg and Austria have previously blocked the directive, which would require banks to automatically exchange information on the savings of non-residents with tax authorities in other countries.
The countries have objected to the plan, arguing that all financial centres would have to apply such a rule to create a level playing field.
The Grand Duchy has therefore requested that parallel negotiations are held with Liechtenstein, San Marino, Andorra, Monaco and Switzerland.
At a Benelux Summit in Luxembourg last week, Bettel's colleague from the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, and Belgium, Elio Di Rupo, had voiced their understanding for Luxembourg's approach.