“Constructive” talks between Grand Duke and Bettel

Photo: Gerry Huberty

(CS) Luxembourg government “formateur” Xavier Bettel on Tuesday evening met Grand Duke Henri, with another meeting scheduled for Friday.

Coming out of the talk on Tuesday, Bettel said that the discussion was “constructive”, without however divulging more details on what was discussed.

Bettel did, however, say that the issue of national day and changes to the "Te Deum" religious service came up, but were not the “main subject.”

The coalition partners had suggested earlier this week that Luxembourg's national day should be celebrated with a secular ceremony, rather than the official "Te Deum", traditionally held on the morning of June 23 at the Notre Dame Cathedral.

While the DP, LSAP and “déi Gréng” did not suggest that the "Te Deum" should be cancelled altogether, this would mean a shake-up of the annual festivities.

At the same time, the coalition partners had announced that they wish to make progress on the separation of church and state, for example by eliminating religious education from schools and introducing significant changes to the funding of religious groups in the Grand Duchy.

Another meeting between Bettel and Grand Duke Henri is foreseen for Friday. On the same day, the coalition partners want to conclude negotiations.

The coalition agreement will then be presented to their respective parties for a vote on December 3. The government is expected to be sworn in on December 4, followed on December 5 by the rest of parliament.