Luxembourgh Times
News round-up

Five stories you may have missed

In case you missed them, the Luxembourg Times has selected five of the best news stories of the week for you

Source: LT staff
Luxembourg City Photo: Chris Karaba

Luxembourg City Photo: Chris Karaba

EU budget deadlock will hamper crime fight, EPPO warns

Europe's newly established body to fight financial crime warned that the deadlock in approving the European Union's next budget was threatening its ability to investigate crimes in the way EU funds are spent.

The European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) will have to work with just its actual 65 staff - less than a third of what it needs - if the 27-nation bloc does not find away around Poland and Hungary's veto of the so-called Multi-Annual Financial Framework for 2021/2027.

Luxembourg banks grow despite increased pressures

Luxembourg's retail banking sector was worth some €86 billion at the end of last year despite operating under increasing pressure from regulatory requirements and reduced margins, the country’s banking association ABBL said on Thursday.

Customers added 7.5% to the money they already had entrusted with credit institutions but kept most of it in cash or in current and savings accounts.

Luxembourg wants EU armies to coordinate more

Luxembourg wants the European Union to gain more independence from the United States by pooling national armies together, even if the incoming administration of president-elect Joe Biden is likely to improve ties with the 27-nation bloc.

US President Donald Trump's distaste for international cooperation - in areas such as defence, climate policy and trade - caused a rapid souring of relations with Europe since he came into power, leading politicians to go in search for greater international clout for Europe.

Luxembourg's ispace to join NASA moon mission

Luxembourg-based ispace Europe will join a NASA Artemis mission to collect moon soil samples in 2023.

The company will provide robots it has designed for such jobs and machinery produced by its parent company in Japan. NASA also selected two other providers for the programme.

Uncertain economic outlook ahead

Predicting Luxembourg's recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic is posing increasing difficulties - even as the Grand Duchy is the least exposed country to the virus in the eurozone - with scenarios ranging from near-stagnation to a strong recovery in 2021.

Gross domestic product growth in 2021 could range widely, from between 0.5% and 4%, compared to a drop of between 3.5% and 4.5% in the current year, according to a model which envisages two main scenarios, set out by Luxembourg's statistics bureau Statec.

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