Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg’s prime minister (centre), addressing the Paris Bar Association, where he received a medal of honour on Monday. Also pictured are Frédéric Sicard, president of the Paris Bar, and Patrick Wajsman, founder of Politique international magazine. Photo: ME
Luxembourg’s prime minister has suggested closing internal EU borders for 24 hours to demonstrate the value of the EU and European freedom of movement.
Xavier Bettel floated the idea at a conference in Paris, addressing the need for the EU27 to draw a tough line with the UK over Brexit negotiations. The temporary border closures would remind voters of the value of the bloc, Bloomberg News reported.
“Shutting the frontiers for a day would show people what it means to wait two hours to get into Italy or Spain, to have controls everywhere, to block all exchanges,” Bloomberg News quoted Bettel as saying. “One day. So that people see what it is to be outside Europe. It’s terrible what I’m saying, but it would be good for people to understand.”
At the end of March, 176,837 people commuted from Belgium, France and Germany to work in the Grand Duchy, according to Statec, Luxembourg’s statistics bureau. That is about 45% of country’s total workforce.
The DP prime minister was in in the French capital on Monday to receive a “medal of honour” from the Paris Bar Association. Bettel graduated from law school in Nancy, in Lorraine.