As the Liberals, Greens and Socialists go into coalition talks, following the election on 14 October, the widespread narrative seems to be that “nothing is going to change” on a political level in Luxembourg. However, voters have made an unmistakable turn to the left, by giving more support to the Greens, as well as voting in two MPs for the Pirate Party.
The new parliament has 21 seats for the CSV (centre-left), 12 for the DP (liberal democrat), 10 seats for the LSAP (socialist), nine seats for Déi Gréng (green), four for the ADR (conservative), and two for Déi Lénk (far-left).
This gives certain political factions more leeway to push for more left-wing politics, than has been seen under the last government. Policies such as schoolbooks and childcare free of charge, or the never-ending debate about housing subsidies, are likely to pick up steam under this parliament. Even as a centre-left party, the CSV seems aware of a decline in fiscal responsibility,and therefore seeks a coalition with the DP.
The Greens are very vocal that there is no way around a government participation that includes them, and, despite them only being the fourth largest party in the Chambre des Députés (the Luxembourgish parliament), it seems to be commonly accepted that the Walgewënner (election winner, used in Luxembourg for those parties that considerably increased their share of votes/seats in parliament) will have to included some way or another, in order for the result to be respected.
In any case, we now find ourselves with a parliament that will debate extensive energy transitions (Greens), far-reaching government involvement in the housing market (Socialists), a universal basic income (Pirates), increased marginal income tax rates and corporate tax rates (Déi Lénk), increased government support for the Luxembourgish language (ADR), and a CSV and DP who will balance the equities by approving an increased amount of public expenditure programmes.
This is particularly influential on the government’s position towards EU policies. With a strong environmentalist influence in the incumbent government, the Grand Duchy asks for even tougher crackdowns on CO2-emissions for both cars and heavy-duty vehicles, and supports EU Commission proposals such as the plastic strategies, and, after a recent change of heart, the digital tax.
No matter what coalition government we get, the parliament will have a more interventionist tone in the way it approaches issues of welfare, taxation and government interventionism overall.
This article was first published by the Luxembourg Times.
Pictures are Creative Commons.
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