Best of the Week: News, 27 August 2010

First, the news of the last several days, courtesy ARA City Radio. Please note the changed link to their local news. Also note that the headlines are our own editorial responsibility.

Lots of news from the Luxembourgish Department of Obviousness
CEPS/Instead has been conducting a survey into attitudes to immigrants. For the first time they’ve looked to see if men and women have different feelings about migrants here, and also what immigrants themselves think of other immigrants. The survey found that both men and women are equally concerned over the impact of immigrants on Luxembourg society. Immigrant men and women worry that more immigration will mean more competition for jobs. Indigenous men and women seem more worried about their impact on social security and crime figures. But second generation immigrants seem to start sharing the concerns of the indigenous population the longer they live here.
And in another important piece of social research, National Statistics Bureau STATEC has discovered that wealthy people are generally happy. Researchers say people with high incomes feel better about life than those who struggle financially. 94% of people in the survey’s top income bracket said they satisfied with their life. Only 71% of the poorest surveyed said things were going their way. But its not just about money, the researchers say. They also found that the more educated a respondent was, the more likely they were to feel positive about life.
Unions and Employers: Fighting together against change
Unions and Employers have joined forces to condemn proposed legislation to prevent harassment at work. LSAP deputy Lucien Lux has been trying to get his legislation adopted for nearly 9 years. He says there must be a legal framework to prevent harassment in the workplace. But unions and employers say they have already implemented a voluntary code of practice concerning harassment, and legislation isn’t necessary. They want to see how well self-regulation works for 5 years before deciding on any other measures.
Campaigners say self-regulation isn’t good enough to protect employees against harassment. Last week, a coalition of unions and employers were lobbying the government to scrap proposed legislation to outlaw harassment at work. They say an agreement they have come to should be given a chance to work. But a support group for victims of harassment says the agreement doesn’t afford enough protection for staff at small and medium enterprises. They also say the agreement between unions and management lacks clear definitions of what constitutes harassment.
All criminals are international criminals in Luxembourg
A jewellery dealer was robbed yesterday afternoon near Redange. He’d just finished an appointment at a shop there and was in his car when he noticed a dark Audi A4 with a flashing blue light on its roof behind him. The driver of the Audi indicated he should pull over and stop. Thinking it was the police, the man stopped, only for a masked man to jump out of the fake police car and demand he hand over all his jewellery at gunpoint. The fake police car then fled in the direction of Bastogne with a valuable haul of gold. Police are appealing for witnesses. The dealer had to be treated for shock.
…and you’d better make it across that border
A man was spotted pinching 6 bottles of Cognac from a delivery truck in the Grand Rue yesterday morning. When a witness approached the thief, he cursed her before fleeing. He didn’t get to enjoy his booty though, because he was picked up minutes later by a police patrol.
All politics is international in Luxembourg
The Saarland business confederation, the VSU, has bit back at Jean-Claude Juncker’s critique of German wage policy. Last week, Mr Juncker said low wages in Germany were causing problems for companies in other countries. VSU president Joachim Malter said German companies had won customers globally because of their excellent products and first class service. He added that Luxembourg, with a business model built on low taxes on savings accounts and banking secrecy was in no position to lecture other countries on how to run their economies. Mr Malter also said that Mr Juncker was being economical with the truth when he said millions of Germans take home less that 700 euros a month. This data relates to part-time workers, something the Luxembourg prime minister failed to mention.
Take care driving around Luxembourg
There was a slew of driving incidents at the week-end, even by local standards Two Belgian cars were stopped on the way to the Stausee on Saturday. Both had two more people than permitted on board. The police fined the drivers, but agreed to take the 4 extra people in their minibus to the lake. Another man from Belgium was booked twice for drunk driving on Saturday. He was picked up in Sanem on the A13 in the early hours of the morning. He failed a breath test and had his license taken away. His car was left in Rodange station car park. Ninety minutes later police found him back in his car in Rodange. He has lost his car as well as his license now. A driver rammed a police car while trying to evade a checkpoint in Leudelange on Saturday night. He continued on his way but was picked up at his home later and arrested. A man in Petange was spotted reversing around a roundabout before he tested positive. And in Ettelbrück a drunk driver was picked up parked in the middle of the road, fast asleep at his steering wheel on Sunday morning.
Good news for Oktoberfest
There will be an extra two flights a day to Munich from Luxembourg once the winter timetable comes into force. Lufthansa’s City Line subsidiary will operate the flights. Luxair already flies three times daily to the capital of Bavaria. Munich airport is an popular intercontinental gateway for passengers starting their journey in Luxembourg.
Tough old ladies: not just a comic sketch!
An elderly lady drove off a mugger on Monday by hitting him with her walking stick. The young man tried to grab her handbag in the Rue Dicks in the early evening. The feisty old woman however managed to land several hits on him with the stick before he abandoned his assault. Two passers-by also got involved and attacked the young man too. He eventually broke free and ran off down the Avenue de la Liberte. Police are appealing for witnesses.