Youth party calls for referendum over monarchy

March 2018 photo shows Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa during a State visit to France Cour grand-ducale/Bertrand Rindoff

March 2018 photo shows Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa during a State visit to France Cour grand-ducale/Bertrand Rindoff

The Jeunesses Socialistes Luxembourgeoises (JSL) is calling for a referendum on abolishing the country’s constitutional monarchy in favour of a republic.

The question from the youth section of the LSAP, one of the three parties to form the coalition government, comes after the publishing of the Waringo report, a government commissioned investigation into the royal court.

Published on Friday, its author, Jeannot Waringo, outlined the need for reform of the grand ducal court, notably in relation to the role played by the Grand Duchess in staffing matters. The marshall of the grand ducal court responded that the court would contribute constructively in implementing improvements proposed in the report.

It was not enough, however, for the JSL who wrote on Wednesday: “In this discourse on the modernisation of the monarchy, we increasingly come to the conclusion that the monarchy is less and less compatible with our modern values ​​and ideas of democracy.”

Equality, democracy & spending

The JSL takes issue with the fact the royal family receives social privileges through birth right, which defeats the idea that all people are equal.

However, if the state were to assume greater power over the grand ducal family’s activities and responsibilities, the JSL recognises it risks reducing the head of state to a puppet, which would “violate all human principles and fundamental rights”.

“We do not want people to be privileged based on their origins, nor do they want their freedom, the right to self-determination and the right to privacy to be impaired,” it wrote.

As for court spending, the 2020 budget allowed for €10.6m. The JSL claims real tax contributions to the family are closer to €14.3m, saying this money also flows into “areas of everyday private life.”

“We come to the conclusion that the demand should rather be to remove the institutionalized elements of the monarchy entirely from the government. Only in this way could the state, the government and the grand ducal family preserve their own dignity in the long term.”