Sat07222017

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The Luxembourg Ministry of Finance has confirmed the favourable situation in the public finance sector for the second quarter of 2017.

On Thursday 20 July 2017, Minister of Finance Pierre Gramegna presented the budgetary situation of the state for the second quarter of 2017 at the Cofibu / Comexbu of the Chamber of Deputies. The results proved favourable.

As of 30 June 2017, tax revenue, that is receipts from the Administration of Direct Contributions, Registry and Domain Administration, and the Customs and Excise Administration, amounted to 50.3% of the amount budgeted for the year, underscoring the reliability of the Department of Finance’s prediction. With a growth of 1.6% compared to the same period in 2016, tax revenues reflect the positive development of the Luxembourg economy. As announced, VAT revenues on e-commerce continue to fall, reaching a level of 60% lower than the previous year.

Whilst current government expenditure is at 47% of the budgeted amount, direct investment grew by 173.8 million, a positive change of 21.7%, compared with the same period of 2016. The government continues to pursue its ambitious investment policy, aimed in particular at developing efficient and sustainable infrastructures to ensure qualitative growth in the years to come.

Pierre Gramegna commented that: "The evolution of revenue in the first half of 2017 is in perfect accordance with forecasts. Given that expenditure is under control, it is reasonable to anticipate for the current year a reduction in the Central Government deficit well below the € -1 billion level under the Stability and Growth Program (SGP)."

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On Thursday 20 July 2017, the Luxembourg Prime Minister and Minister of State Xavier Bettel attended a working meeting in Matignon, where he was received by the French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe.

The discussions between the Luxembourgish and French Prime Ministers made it possible to review bilateral affairs, notably that of cross-border cooperation and its relation to mobility and social issues. In this context, Xavier Bettel recalled the important contribution of the French community to Luxembourg.

The Luxembourg Prime Minister also stressed the importance of making progress on the issue of the closure of the Cattenom nuclear power plant.

Moreover, the discussions entailed an in-depth exchange of views on the main strategic orientations for guiding the work of the European Union in the coming years. On this point, Xavier Bettel stressed that "Luxembourg wants to be at the forefront of the revitalisation of the European Union".

The meeting also provided an update on the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union and the future of European defence.

Prime Minister Bettel was then received together with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel for an interview followed by a dinner at the Elysée by the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron.

Photo by SIP / Charles Caratini

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On Thursday, the cabinet of the Luxembourg government met and agreed to the organisation of a national horticultural exhibition in Luxembourg City in 2023.

On 20 July 2017, the Luxembourg Ministers in Council approved the decision to organise a national horticultural exhibition known as LUGA 2023 in the capital to take place in six years’ time.

The government's 2014 program of the Ministry of Agriculture, Viticulture and Consumer Protection provides that "the government recognises the economic, social and environmental importance of the agricultural, viticultural and horticultural sectors to its true value."

As such, the Department of Tourism of the Ministry of the Economy and the Ville de Luxembourg will show, through the joint organisation of this horticultural exhibition, a different image of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

The horticultural exhibition aims to contribute, among other things, to the development of solidarity agriculture and urban gardening in accordance with the Rifkin study, to the improved public perception of horticultural, viticultural and agricultural products in the region, and in particular the "green" trades, and to the promotion of food security and healthy nutrition.

Additional goals of the LUGA 2023 include the promotion of biodiversity and stable and urban ecosystems, and the optimisation of urban infrastructure between parks, gardens and soft mobility, as well as the creation of a positive image of the country, and the promotion of the cultural and tourist diversity of the region.

Photo by Visit Luxembourg

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On Thursday, the cabinet of the Luxembourg government met and agreed to modify the amended law of 29 August 2008 on the free movement of persons and immigration and the law of 18 February 2013 on the reception of au pairs.

The draft bill transposes Directive 2016/801/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2016 on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of research, studies, training, voluntary service and student exchange programs, educational projects and au pairs in national legislation. One of the novelties is the introduction of the right for students and researchers to stay nine months after completing their studies or research activities in order to find a job or start a business.

In addition, the directive provides for provisions facilitating the intra-European mobility of students and researchers. Thus, students who follow EU programmes or multilateral programmes with mobility measures will not need to apply for a new residence permit but must only inform the Member State in which they are traveling. Au pairs are covered for the first time by European legislation.

The Council also endorsed the draft Grand-Ducal Regulation modifying the amended Grand-Ducal Regulation of 5 September 2008 defining the criteria for resources and housing provided for by the Law of 29 August 2008 on the free movement of persons and immigration.

The amendments to the Grand-Ducal Regulation take account of the adaptation of the conditions governing residence permits issued to persons covered by the directive and the mobility schemes for researchers and students.

The text clarifies the level of sufficient resources as provided for in Article 34 of the law defining the conditions for a stay of less than three months in Luxembourg.

Friday, 21 July 2017 10:33

Irbich Viaduct to Launch Next Week

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The launch of the Irbich viaduct will take place on Thursday 27 July 2017 at 14:00.

Next week, the Luxembourg Minister of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure François Bausch and the Secretary of State for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure Camille Gira will attend the launch of the Irbich viaduct, a flagship project for sustainable construction.

The launch will begin with a speech from the Mayor Emile Eicher, followed by a speech by François Bausch, and finally, the launch of the viaduct.

Friday, 21 July 2017 09:27

New Playground Opened on Rue d'Anvers

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On Thursday 20 July 2017, the College of Mayors and Aldermen of the Ville de Luxembourg (VdL) inaugurated a new playground on the outskirts of the Rue d'Anvers in the Gare district.

With the help of citizen participation, the existing playground has been redesigned and expanded in recent months by the Parks Department of the VdL.

On the existing multi-sports ground there is now a playground with three spaces dedicated to different ages. The playground for the little ones is secured by a fence, while the older children will be able to move more freely or enjoy, just as the adults can, new sports facilities, such as outdoor fitness and a slackline.

The playground is also equipped with a drinking water fountain and a dog toiler, as well as a place for the installation of a food truck.

The cost of redevelopment and new installations, which has been ongoing from March to July 2017, is approximately €680,000.

Photo by Photothèque de la Ville de Luxembourg / Charles Soubry

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Villeroy & Boch has developed an exclusive design for the Riva Boatyard at Lago d’Iseo in Italy.

The head office of the Riva Boatyard, located on the Italian sailing paradise the Lago d’Iseo, is now equipped with an exclusive design by Villeroy & Boch and cutlery by Broggi.

This stylistically and colour co-ordinated series includes a timelessly designed coffee set from the classic-elegant Stella Hotel collection made of high-quality Premium Bone Porcelain and the contemporary tableware creation Dune made of Premium Porcelain.

The product line includes a two-piece Espresso set and a mug in the boatyard’s corporate colour, mint green, decorated with a fine platinum border.

Known from numerous Hollywood films, the company has made its name with Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren and George Clooney.

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On Wednesday 19 July 2017, Guido Berghmans, Managing Director of Casino 2OOO presented a check worth €50,000 to Sophie Glesener, Director of SOS Village of Enfants Monde Luxembourg, and Sonia Dos Santos, manager of events and partnerships.

On Tuesday 4 July 2017, after the start of the fourth stage of the Tour de France 2017, which departed from Mondorf-les-Bains, Casino 2000 held a Grand Carnival Luncheon for the benefit of SOS Villages d'Enfants Monde.

Casino 2000 subsequently donated the proceeds of this lunch, which amounted to €50,000, to the non-governmental humanitarian organisation to support its multiple projects in the field of the rights and protection of children.

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Luxembourg swimming federation FLNS is sending seven of its athletes to this year’s FINA World Championships in Budapest, which are taking place between 14 and 30 July 2017.

Since last week, the 17th swimming world championships in Hungary's capital have been ongoing, testing participating athletes’ skills in swimming, free-float, synchronised swimming, water polo and high-diving. This year, more than 2000 athletes from over 180 countries are competing in the competition for medals, records and personal bests.

The Luxembourg-based swimming federation FLNS is sending a team of seven athletes to the championships in Budapest. The swimmers chosen to represent the Grand Duchy are Julie Meynen, Raphaël Stacchiotti, Laurent Carnol, Julien Henx, Pit Brandenburger and Monique Olivier, as well as Alain Kohl, who will compete as a high diver for the first time. The 34-year-old qualified at the end of April at the World Cup in Abu Dhabi for the World Championships on the banks of the Danube.

Already next Sunday, the swimmers will enter the starting blocks in the fight for best times and medals. In the "Duna Arena", which has been specially built for the World Cup, the athletes have two Olympic 50-meter pools and the spectators and media 15,000 seats at their disposal.

Photo by FLNS

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SES Video has partnered with ATM System to provide satellite capacity for the transmission of the World Games 2017.

The 10th edition of the World Games 2017 will be distributed in Europe jointly by SES and ATM System, the official host broadcaster for the multi-sport event. The international event, taking place in Wroclaw, Poland, from 20 to 30 July 2017, will be transmitted via two SES satellites: SES-4 located at 22 degrees West and ASTRA 3B at 23.5 degrees East.

Under the agreement announced by SES, ATM System will be responsible for TV production and will use SES’s satellite capacity for distribution from the Wroclaw sports arenas to broadcasters across Europe.

The broadcast will include the opening ceremony on 20 July at 19.00 CET, and will feature 31 sporting disciplines performed by over 3,000 international athletes, including ball and precision games, water and aerial sports, gymnastic, and martial arts.

Photo by Business Wire

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