Home News Juncker faces Luxembourg’s first confidence vote in 150 years

Juncker faces Luxembourg’s first confidence vote in 150 years

Published on 11/06/2013

Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean Claude-Juncker, Europe's longest-serving leader, faces a confidence vote in the tiny nation's first crisis of its kind for 150 years after two opposition parties lodged a motion against him Tuesday.

The motion, brought by the two main opposition parties, says the former Eurogroup head’s coalition government is in an “untenable” position due to allegations that a minister pressured a prosecutor to drop legal proceedings over a series of bombings in the 1980s.

Juncker has been in office for 18 years and in government for 30. He heads a coalition of his Christian Social People’s Party and the Socialist party.

The confidence motion by the opposition Liberals and Greens, submitted to parliament by Liberal leader Xavier Bettel, criticises the “ambiguous behaviour of certain members of government towards justice and parliament.”

The Socialists have not said if they will vote for or against the motion.

The last confidence motion in Luxembourg was in 1848 and led to the fall of the government.

Bettel singled out Finance Minister Luc Frieden, a member of Juncker’s party, who in his previous position as justice minister allegedly pressured the state prosecutor to stop legal proceedings against a group accused of a series of bomb attacks in the 1980s.

The proceedings began in February against two police officers accused of involvement in the attacks, which they strongly deny.

The prosecutor, Robert Biever, has accused Frieden of making repeated efforts to damage the case.

Frieden denies any involvement.

Biever also alleges that Luxembourg’s intelligence service tried to undermine his own position.

Juncker stepped down as head of the Eurogroup, the 17 nations that use the euro single currency, in January. He was replaced by Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

But Juncker has kept his seat around the table, saying he was “not quitting the European scene.”