The agreement was not hard to reach. It has to be said that the programmes of the CSV and the DP were quite similar, especially on economic issues. These issues were at the heart of the debates and were key to the election.
“The method for reaching an agreement was quite clear: combine the programmes of the two partners. And I quickly saw that the objectives were the same: purchasing power, housing, security and climate. The discussions essentially focused on the means to achieve them,” explains formateur Luc Frieden (CSV). He is delighted that “it took such a short time to bring everyone’s points of view closer together.”
The broad outlines of the government programme will be unveiled this Thursday at a press briefing. The entire agreement will be discussed before the Chamber of Deputies, says Frieden, who believes that in a parliamentary democracy, it is parliament that should have the first say on the programme.
“The aim is to prepare Luxembourg for the future and therefore to resolve immediate and medium-term problems, notably housing and purchasing power. We want to strengthen people’s ability to live and the competitiveness of the economy. At the same time, we want to ensure that climate and biodiversity issues are respected. But from a different perspective and with different means: we want to encourage people to achieve certain goals. We want to give them more freedom to organise themselves and contribute to achieving these environmental goals,” Frieden summed up.
Parties to vote on Wednesday
As far as the timetable is concerned, Tuesday and Wednesday will be devoted to putting the agreement down on paper in its entirety. On Wednesday, Frieden will visit the grand duke “at his request” to inform him of the progress of the negotiations.
Also on Wednesday, members of the DP and CSV delegations will present the coalition agreement and the distribution of ministerial responsibilities to their parties. It will then be up to these parties to appoint the ministers. These ministers will be known on Wednesday evening, “Thursday at the latest.”
It will then be up to the grand duke, as head of state, to set the date on which the ministers will be sworn in. Frieden hopes it will be this weekend at the latest. “Once the ministers have been sworn in, there will be a government statement before the Chamber of Deputies. My hope is that I will be able to make this statement as soon as possible, next week if possible.”
The new ministers will be announced on Wednesday evening, as both parties must approve the ministers. This is a matter for the parties.
When asked whether Frieden would be taking up another post in addition to that of minster of state--there are insistent rumours that he will be taking up post of economy minister--the man in question refuses to comment. “One step at a time.”
Similarly, while confirming the number of fifteen ministers and the absence of secretaries of state, Frieden refuses to confirm the distribution of eight CSV ministers and seven DP ministers. “We are in the process of looking at the overall organisation of the future government, including the distribution of portfolios and the number of mandates allocated to each party.”
This article was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.