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Luxembourg finance minister unexpectedly quits

Luxembourg’s finance minister, Pierre Gramegna, unexpectedly announced on Tuesday he was leaving the government “for personal reasons” with the prime minister vowing to promptly come up with a replacement.

The resignation apparently caught his centre-right Democratic Party — in coalition with the leftist Socialist Workers’ Party and the Greens — by surprise.

Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, also from the Democratic Party, said he would quickly call on the party’s executive committee to chose a replacement “as soon as possible”.

The finance ministry, contacted by AFP, said Gramegna, 63, was expected to exit at the beginning of next year. It did not elaborate on the reason behind his departure.

Gramegna twice lost bids to head the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers, which is currently led by Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe.

Luxembourg, a tiny Duchy nestled between Germany, France and Belgium is a banking and finance centre and boasts Europe’s highest GDP per capita.