Pierre Gramegna says Luxembourg’s AAA ratings are confirmation that government policy and fiscal reform are on the right track.
Photo: Matic Zorman
Lux top of ratings, Putin for Motherland, Brexit negotiations in Brussels, BGL Ligue continues to be tight, former Wort editor dies: Delano’s breakfast briefing for 19 March
Luxembourg retains AAA rating
Finance minister Pierre Gramegna has welcomed the news that Standard & Poor’s has once again given Luxembourg an AAA rating. Gramegna said that following a similar rating from DBRS last week, the S&P rating shows that the financial centre is making a significant contribution to qualitative growth, and substantiates the merit of the government’s public finance policy and last year’s fiscal reform. The agency has predicted annual growth of 3.3% for the grand duchy’s economy between 2018 and 2021.
Putin for another six years
Following his expected election victory on Sunday, Russian president Vladimir Putin has said he will use his new term to beef up Russia’s defences against the West and to raise living standards, Reuters reports. “It’s very important to maintain this unity. We will think about the future of our great Motherland,” he told a crowd in Moscow’s Red Square. Putin won over 75% of the vote, and will now be in charge of the country until 2024, though he apparently laughed off suggestions that he may seek another term then. “Let’s count. What, do you think I will sit (in power) until I’m 100 years old,” he told a reporter.
Provisional Brexit deal in sight?
A senior EU diplomate has suggested that an agreement on the Brexit transition period could be reached during negotiations this week in Brussels. David Davis is in the Belgian capital on Monday and Theresa May will attend an EU summit on Thursday and Friday. “There could be an agreement on transition, but it would in any case only be a provisional agreement,” a senior EU diplomat said on Friday, according to Reuters. Meanwhile, the British parliament’s Exiting the EU Committee has suggested that the government “should seek a limited extension to the Article 50 time”, and also consider allowing the possibility of prolonging the transition period, to ensure “a full, bespoke trade and market access agreement” can be reached.
Football: top two win
Goals from Sébastien Thill and Aleksandre Karapetian gave FC Niederkorn a hard-fought 2-1 win away at Differdange on Sunday, while F91 Dudelange put 4 goals past Rosport without reply. The results leave the top two teams neck and neck after 17 matches with 41 points each, with Dudelange on top having scored 50 goals compared to Niederkorn’s 49—both teams have conceded 18.
Heiderscheid passes away
Abbé André Heiderscheid, the former director and editor-in-chief at the Luxemburger Wort, has died at the age of 91. Born in December 1926 in Lorentzweiler, Heiderscheid was one of the many young Luxembourg men forced to fight for the German army in WWII. After returning from the war, he entered the priesthood in 1953 and started working at the Wort six years later. He ended up being the paper’s hugely influential editor-in-chief from 1967 to 1984, and was the director of the Saint-Paul publishing house from 1971 to 1994. Delano passes its condolences to his family and friends.