Luxembourg News: 25 Oct ’09

Headlines for this week: Mad Trucker; Active Weasel; Demo Fallout; Cashier drives off Robber; Fuel Tax Dodging; Pensioner forgets Wad.

An angry trucker caused chaos in the capital on Friday afternoon. He blocked the Rue d’Epernay with his lorry and refused to move on. Commuters were blocked in a carpark and there were fears over a dangerous build-up of carbon dioxide there. The driver refused to move his truck even when the police arrived, and then tried to load them into the truck. He was eventually subdued with pepper spray and his truck removed. Police say they have no idea why he was so angry.

Military exercises are underway in the North and East of the country. Soldiers from Luxembourg, Belgium, France and Germany are all taking part in Exercise Active Weasel. 300 troops are taking part in all.

Police are conducting an investigation into the demonstration by dairy farmers in Kirchberg on Monday. 5 protestors could face charges stemming from unrest on the fringes of the demonstration. Three of them are alleged to have thrown Molotov cocktails at the police. Another allegedly cut down a tree to make a fire and a fifth set fire to straw bails he’d brought with him. Police are still looking for whoever set fire to several portable toilets.

A petrol station employee from Echternach drove off an armed robber on Wednesday night by throwing bottles at him. The robber threatened the woman with a gun and pepper spray while she was working in the stockroom. She ignored his demands for money and opened an outside door. The robber kept up his demands so she threw the bottles at him and he beat a hasty retreat, but only after spraying her with pepper-spray. Police were unable to trace him. He is described as being of medium build and speaking German with an east European accent.

Hundreds of German trucking companies are avoiding paying tax at home by filling up their vehicles in Luxembourg. German tax authorities say they are missing out on millions of euros of tax as a result. According to German customs, the companies use specially modified trucks with extra tanks to carry fuel home. They are only allowed to carry back into Germany the fuel which is carried in the main tank of the truck.

And finally…….

It was raining euros earlier this week after a German pensioner drove off without picking up his wad of cash from the bonnet of his car. The man had put the unsealed envelope containing a cool 20 000 euros on his car while he filled up at the Wasserbillig services. He only realised it was missing when he next stopped and called the police. They recovered just over 18 000 euros from the area around the motorway. The pensioner said he was carrying the cash because he was buying a car in Luxembourg.

Thanks, as always, to ARA City Radio.