Étienne Schneider addresses the extraordinary meeting of the LSAP at the Centre Barblé in Strassen on Tuesday evening.
Photo: Nader Ghavami
Grand Duke Henri has this morning officially sworn in the 17 members of the new government.
The affirmation of the make-up of the cabinet and the coalition’s policy programme followed extraordinary meetings of the DP, LSAP and Déi Gréng on Tuesday evening. Members at all three meetings passed motions in favour of the agreement that will see the parties govern Luxembourg in a coalition for the next five years.
But while the DP and Déi Gréng were in unequivocal celebratory mood, the LSAP meeting was more dramatic following a declaration by its youth wing on Tuesday that it could not support the coalition agreement. Étienne Schneider told the party that it was leaks and open letters, like the one sent by the young socialists, that were destroying the party rather than its policies. Schneider also told public broadcaster 100,7 on Wednesday morning that former secretary of state in his ministry, Francine Closener, would continue to be in charge of the nation branding project launched in 2016.
The party meeting also revealed that Schneider, who retains the economy portfolio and shares the duties of deputy prime minister with Félix Braz of Déi Gréng, will also be in charge of the health ministry. Paulette Lenert, whose promotion to cabinet by the LSAP caused much of the rupture with the young socialists, had been touted as taking on the health and social security portfolios. But it looks as though the party has scaled back her responsibilities in the wake of the controversy.
The full list of cabinet ministers and their portfolios now reads like this:
Xavier Bettel (DP): prime minister and minister for media and communication, digitalisation and administrative reform
Étienne Schneider (LSAP): deputy prime minister, minister of the economy and minister for health
Félix Braz (Déi Gréng): deputy prime minister and justice minister
Pierre Gramegna (DP): minister for finance
Jean Asselborn (LSAP): minister for foreign affairs, immigration and asylum
François Bausch (Déi Gréng): minister for transport, infrastructure, defence and domestic security
Claude Meisch (DP): minister for education, higher education and research
Corinne Cahen (DP): minister for the family, integration and responsible for the Greater Region
Sam Tanson (Déi Gréng): minister for housing and culture
Lex Delles (DP): minister for small and medium business, and for tourism
Marc Hansen (DP): minister in charge of the civil service and parliamentary relations
Romain Schneider (LSAP): minister for agriculture and social security
Dan Kersch (LSAP): minister for employment
Taina Bofferding (LSAP): minister for domestic affairs and equal opportunities
Paulette Lenert (LSAP): minister for cooperation and consumer protection
Carole Dieschbourg (Déi Gréng): minister for sustainable development, the environment and climate
Claude Turmes (Déi Gréng): minister for energy and land planning
As expected, former agriculture minister Fernand Etgen will replace the outgoing Mars di Bartolomeo as president of the Chamber of Deputies--the equivalent of speaker of the house. And the LSAP has confirmed that former employment minister Nicolas Schmit is its candidate to be the next Luxembourg EU commissioner in Brussels.
It also emerged from the party meetings that Josée Lorsche will be the new leader of Déi Gréng’s parliamentary faction. Djuna Bernard has also confirmed that she will take up the Déi Gréng seat in the Chamber of Deputies that becomes vacant with Sam Tanson moving into cabinet. Also, as a consequence of that move, François Benoy will take over as leader of the Déi Gréng faction in the Luxembourg City council, and Linda Gaasch joins as a councillor to take up the vacant seat left by Tanson.