In it, he likened the replacement of civil servants and appointments to para state institutions by the current coalition government of DP, LSAP and Greens to the purge during the years of the civil administration by the Nazi occupation.
Engel, who used to be the secretary for the CSV parliamentary group, wrote on 1 September:
“The current government has, since it took office, undertaken the greatest purge in the civil service since the civil administration- and I choose my words carefully. If there had ever been a CSV-state—which is total nonsense—it has long been replaced by a definitive and ultimate anti-CSV state. This should be noted by all those, who are okay with anything as long as it goes against the CSV. This is not the reaction of a democratic state, in which all parties are in principle able to form a coalition. If the CSV had ever acted like that, it would have been stoned at the market square. It would NEVER have done that. Because our goal is not to put others down and eliminate them, but to govern decently. Decency is however a virtue, which one can find in the current government at most in the fine print.”
What most people took issue with was the fact that that Engel seemed to make a direct comparison between the current government and the Nazi occupation, when Jews and ideological opponents were purged from the civil service and replaced with sympathisers.
Many people called on Engel to retract this comparison and apologise, calling it nonsense.
Others argued that this was standard practice in Luxembourg, and that every party in government, including the CSV (who had been in government for over 40 years), assured some party members that they could get a job in the civil service.
Engel posted later that he referred to the period after 1944, when the current culture of governing was developed. He defended his post by adding that:
“since 2013, certain actors and supporters of Blue-Red-Green assume, that a civil servant who swore an oath on the constitution, could for party reasons keep a minister to develop his policies. What kind of attitude is that? What kind of attitude is that towards people, who swore an oath to serve the state, no matter what party is in government? How many excellent people belonged to other parties during the time the CSV was the strongest coalition partner without anyone, including the CSV, having a problem with that?”
While this debate raged on, the speaker of parliament, Mars Di Bartolomeo, weighed in and took issue with the reference to the period of the civil administration under Nazi occupation. He further called on him to apologise and admit to his mistake.
Engel “liked” instead the next post by Di Bartolomeo, who said that his reference to that period had been inappropriate, and referred to the ideological independence of civil servants at work.
On Sunday, the DP issued a statement on how "shocked" it was about the "inacceptable" statement.
It spoke of a Nazi comparison to the current legitimiate and democratically elected government and demanded that CSV president Marc Spautz and leading candidate Claude Wiseler to distance themselves publicly from Engel’s statements.
The DP family minister and minister for integration Corinne Cahen went further and called for his resignation on Facebook.