Luxembourg is set to hold a minute’s silence during next year’s national day festivities, to honour the people who died of the coronavirus during the pandemic.
A petition submitted to parliament received 4,975 signatures and as a result was debated in parliament by lawmakers and the government on Tuesday.
The petition had initially asked for a moment’s remembrance on New Year’s Eve this year, but members of parliament didn't agree that this was the best moment. They instead offered to hold a minute’s silence on national day next year.
Minister of the interior Taina Bofferding (LSAP) supported the plan and said the initiative should not only remember those who died during the pandemic but also all essential workers who helped combat covid-19.
Since March, 450 people have died after testing positive for the coronavirus. More than two thirds of them are aged 79 or over, according to government reports. Another one in five are aged 70 to 79. The youngest victim was in their 30s.
The petitioners had also suggested that no fireworks be launched on 31 December as a mark of respect to those who lost their lives in the pandemic.
The shooting of fireworks in Luxembourg is generally forbidden for private persons unless allowed by the commune. Most communes have upheld the ban, said Emile Eicher (CSV), president of Syvicol, an interest group representing all communes.
The 9pm curfew that should be voted into law my MPs later this week should also make it unlikely that people fire fireworks, lawmakers said.
Public petitions are open for signature on the parliament’s website. When they receive 4,500 signatures or more, they must be discussed by the petitioners, parliament and the relevant members of government. Anyone aged over 15 and with a Luxembourg social security number can submit or sign a petition.