Luxembourg mulls ‘G9’ of small European countries
The small European duchy of Luxembourg on Tuesday proposed a so-called "G9" of countries with around a million inhabitants or less, so that their voice can be heard by the G7 leading economies.
Speaking during a visit by Japanese premier Shinzo Abe, whose country assumes the presidency of the Group of Seven nations in January, Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said the views of smaller nations were often drowned out.
“The prime minister was always talking about the G7, so I told him that I was going to organise a meeting of the ‘G9’,” Bettel told a press conference with Abe.
“I have invited the leaders of the countries with less than a million inhabitants to meet in Luxembourg before the summer holidays — because often the G-countries take the decisions and the smaller countries aren’t able to have their say,” he added.
The countries involved would be Andorra, Cyprus, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro and San Marino, Bettel’s spokesman said.
The Luxembourg premier, whose country holds the rotating European Union presidency until the end of this year, said he had a number of names under consideration for the new group.
“Maybe S, for small, L for little or G for group, as you will,” he said.
The G7, or Group of Seven, consists of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.