Jean Asselborn, pictured in May 2019, is renowned for not mincing his words. His diplomatic style has been criticised by the opposition, but he received the backing of 55 MPs in parliament on Thursday afternoon.
Photo: Matic Zorman
An ADR motion demanding the foreign minister step down for comments made about Austria was soundly defeated.
Luxembourg’s foreign minister Jean Asselborn (LSAP) received backing in parliament from 55 MPs on Thursday after the members of all parties, bar the ADR, voted against a motion calling for him to resign.
The vote was called during a debate on the EU migration pact. ADR faction leader Fernand Kartheiser, who had just taken over the post on Wednesday from Gast Gibéryen, said that Asselborn’s conduct in an interview on German television had not served Luxembourg’s interests. In the interview Asselborn had been critical of the Austrian government of Sebastien Kurz, whose stance on taking in refugees has been negative.
In response, an emotional Asselborn called upon Kartheiser to be on the side of German chancellor Angela Merkel rather than Kurz or Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán.
Asselborn is renowned for not mincing his words--he once famously exclaimed “merde alors!” (fucking hell) to a far-right Italian minister’s comments about slavery. Indeed, CSV MP and former party leader Claude Wiseler, while defending Luxembourg’s policy on migration and refugees, also criticised the manner in which Asselborn sometimes represents the grand duchy.