Romain Wolff at the CGFP pre-election press conference on 27 September 2018
Photo: Matic Zorman
In what could be a significant declaration just two weeks ahead of the elections, the CGFP said that the DP was the only party to answer yes to all five of its core questions on future policy.
It is something of a tradition that the civil servants’ union CGFP polls political parties on a series of policy questions ahead of a general election. This year, at the start of July, the union sent out a questionnaire comprising 34 questions covering 7 policy areas to all parties.
On Thursday CGFP president Romain Wolff delivered a summary of the answers the union received. The CGFP insists that “as a politically independent and ideologically neutral organisation” the publication of the answers was “under no circumstances meant to influence the election campaign” or be viewed as any sort of endorsement of any particular party. “It is only meant to help civil servants enter the polling booth in full knowledge of the facts.”
The questions ranged from the abolition of tax class 1A, which the union says hits single parents particularly hard, to further opening access to jobs in the civil service to non-Luxembourgers and the right of non-Luxembourgers to vote in national elections, both of which the union vehemently opposes.
Despite the insistence on neutrality, Wollf did reveal that the DP was the only party to answer “yes” to five core “yes or no” questions. “If the other parties had also done it [answered “yes” to all five questions], then I would also have named them,” he said.
Civil servants make up a significant proportion of the Luxembourg electorate and in 1999, when the DP openly backed the CGFP over civil service reform, it was elected into government for the first time since 1979.
Indeed, CGFP general secretary Steve Heiliger warned that whichever constellation of parties is in government after 14 October would be “ill-advised” to attempt any revision of the agreement over civil service pay.