Bettel confirms Google now owns land in Luxembourg

In parliamentary question, prime minister reveals that land near Bissen has changed hands and is now owned by internet giant

Luxembourg prime minister Xavier Bettel has confirmed that the land for the possible construction of Google’s European data centre has now been bought.

It was in mid-December last year when the announcement was first made that Google had “secured” the acquisition of 16 plots of land, spanning 33.7 hectares near the town of Bissen.

In response to a parliamentary question from CSV MPs Diane Adehm and Gilles Roth, Bettel said that, “according to the information available to the government, these 16 acquisitions of land from private owners are not mere purchase options”.

He added: “The land in question has, therefore, changed ownership, and it is the current purchaser, Google, that now holds the deeds.”

As for the financial terms of the deals, the prime minister said: “The amount freely negotiated between the buyer and the sellers and paid before a notary come under private contractual agreements and, therefore, cannot be revealed.”

Luxembourg’s government has been courting the US-based technology giant to establish a data centre in the Grand-Duchy since the autumn of last year.

At the time, economy minister Etienne Schneider told the Luxemburger Wort, the Luxembourg Times’s sister publication: “This would be the biggest investment in Luxembourg’s history.”