Ahead of what are being called the most important ever European Parliament elections in May, on 2 April Delano Live asks what the EU needs to do to reconnect with voters and regain their trust in the...
Alex Bodry attributed the excellent results of the recent opinion polls for the CSV to a basically conservative attitude in the country.
Photo: Christophe Olinger/archives
LSAP and CSV gave their assessments of the recent opinion polls
Alex Bodry, the head of the LSAP parliamentary group, said that the CSV, contrary to its communication strategy, was a right-wing party. Claude Wiseler, head of the opposition CSV parliamentary group, argued instead that he saw his party as a centrist party.
Bodry argued that the recent opinion polls were contradictory, because 5 out of the 10 most popular politicians were from the LSAP, yet his party would lose 3 seats. Bodry also pointed out that 80% of the people were satisfied with their own personal situation and how the country was doing, but the current coalition, and his own party, could not benefit from this.
The current coalition between DP, LSAP and Déi Gréng would not achieve a majority in parliament anymore, getting only 26 seats. The CSV would get 27 seats, but Wiseler’s own approval rating has fallen by 5% to 57%.
Bodry explained the CSV’s good results in the polls through a basically conservative attitude, and that Luxembourg was not a country which wanted constant change. Some issues, which were also present in other countries, such as immigration and security, “tend to produce conservative reflexes” rather than exploring new ways. He added that the safe road was now for Luxembourg to show its readiness to find new ways, and that was his party’s message.
Wiseler countered that his party was in the centre and was trying to find answers to people’s concerns. His party had always had a social wing and a middle-class wing, which it was always trying to reconcile and was therefore reflecting the country. He repeated that his party was unwilling to enter a coalition with the ADR because there were too many differences in policies.
Viviane Reding candidate
Wiseler said that Viviane Reding (CSV), who was European commissioner for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship from 2010 until 2014 and is now an MEP, will return to national politics. She is ahead of Wiseler in the polls in terms of popularity. Wiseler said the party conference on 24 March 2018 would decide in which district (Centre or South) she would stand.
Recent discussions about raising the minimum wage by 10% have been batted down by the Chamber of Commerce and the prime minister, but LSAP employment minister Nicolas Schmit had said he was open to discuss the issue.
Wiseler said his party had supported the indexation of the minimum wage, and that it had introduced several motions to amend the taxation of the minimum wage. But to raise it by 10%, either immediately or in stages, was “at this moment not realistic” but was open to a discussion with the social partners (trade unions and business) on the room for manoeuvre for raising the minimum wage.
The CSV lead candidate called for a discussion on reforming the pension system, which was based on unrealistic demographic growth projections, according to Wiseler. However, Bodry argued that the reserves of the pension funds would last for three years, and that there was no need to spread panic.