Luxembourg News: 15 November 2009

Headlines from the past week: Complicated Scam with Imported Carpets; Car Party for One; Luxembourgers Subject to Belgian Speed Laws; “Unashamed Policy of Class War”; Greenpeace vs Coal-fired Power; and Germans Now Threatened by Panther.

Police have caught a trickster running a complicated scam involving carpets imported from North Africa. The man would call at the houses of people here who’d recently been on holiday in Tunisia. He’d tell them he was a carpet dealer and ask to see any carpets they’d bought in Tunisia. He would then trick them by exchanging their top of the range carpet with a much cheaper one he had with with him in a van. He was caught thanks to a detailed description supplied by a victim. Police not only found the original top-of-the range carpets he’d taken in his van, they also found a collection of receipts from Tunisian carpet sellers which he’d used to target his victims.

Police in Biwer came across a driver in the early hours of yesterday morning who’d been having a little party all by himself in his car. They found him asleep at the wheel, but with his engine still running, pulled over at the side of a rural road. He was still clutching to his chest his final, unfinished bottle of beer. His car was littered with empty beer bottles. A subsequent alcohol test naturally proved positive.

The Belgian transport ministry has installed 7 fixed speed cameras on the motorways in Wallonia. Four will be on the E411, two between Luxembourg and Namur, and another two between Namur and Brussels. One of the others is on the E42 between Namur and Charleroi, and the remaining two are close to Liege. Residents of Luxembourg are legally compelled to pay any speeding tickets issued in Belgium, despite popular rumours to the contrary. The cameras go into operation next Monday.

Public sector unions have reacted furiously to the suggestion by the Chamber of Trade that the government cut the salaries of state employees. The CGFP union accused the Chamber of Trade of conducting an unashamed policy of class war. They added that the Chamber could not now be regarded as a serious negotiating partner in the wake of its comments. But the union held back from calling for a boycott of the Chamber of Trades members.

Greenpeace protestors dumped 5 tonnes of coal in front of the offices of local energy utility Enovos yesterday. The protestors wanted to highlight the company’s commitment to coal fired power stations. Representatives from Enovos met the protestors to discuss their concerns. According to Greenpeace member Roger Spautz the talks were constuctive and cordial. Enovos has a participation in a coal-fired power station in Neurath and is planning another in the Netherlands. Greenpeace urged the company to dispose of these investments and re-direct the funds to renewable energy sources.

and finally…..
Parts of the press in the Grande Region remain obsessed by the famously untraceable panther. The latest development is that the panther is in the German Eiffel region apparently, with sightings as far north as Aachen. Since the German tabloid press are now in on the act, it’s no surprise that a well known big game hunter from Hamburg has pitched up in a bid for some free publicity, and to trap the panther, if indeed there is one. Heino Krannich has shot buffalos, lions, wolves and even elephants and tigers in his time with his tranquilizer gun. Herr Krannich’s cunning plan is to isolate the panther in an area around its den by using leopard urine.