Prime minister Xavier Bettel (DP) and energy minister Claude Turmes (déi Gréng) on 2 September presented what future measures the government is considering to tackle the ongoing energy crisis.
“Social dialogue is an important part of Luxembourg’s success model,” Bettel said during the conference. Though he reminded his audience that “Luxembourg cannot fix this crisis on its own” and needs an EU-wide solution, the head of government said he would put aside the 18, 19 and 20 September–“and more days if needed”–for tripartite meetings between the government, labour unions and employers representatives.
On 14 September, a series of bilateral meetings between the different actors will take place.
While it is known that the energy and inflation will be at the heart of the discussion, Bettel remained wilfully silent on the positions and demands of the different actors ahead of talks, “to have space to find a compromise”.
Ultimately, he said. the aim of the tripartite would be to secure the quality of life and job security of Luxembourg residents. “Energy can’t become a luxury, it can’t depend on a person’s wages,” Bettel concluded.
Electricity supply now also on the menu
Turmes gave a brief update on the energy situation in the grand duchy and Europe. “We are in a much better situation” in terms of gas storage, he said.
However, electricity shortages were now a new addition to the list of problems the EU would have to solve collectively. In part due to the droughts that plagued the EU during the summer and weakened hydraulic energy production, but also due to the number of French nuclear plants that had to go off the grid due to corrosion.
With a press conference planned for 8 September, and an extraordinary meeting of EU energy ministers–at which the structure of the energy market will be discussed– on the following day, Turmes said that solutions and plans could not be at the detriment of the environment. “Everything we do cannot in any case impact energy transition,” he stated.
Ultimately, neither government official commented directly on the green party’s suggestion to hand out €1,000 aids to households. Instead, Bettel again highlighted the importance of talking with the concerned actors during the tripartite meetings.
The energy situation–much like the covid-19 crisis–will be on the state council’s weekly agenda “until the issue is over.”