Baring teeth

By Pascal SteinwachsLex Kleren Switch to German for original article

Claude Turmes hasn't been a "super-Turmes" for quite some time now, since he has to abide by the coalition agreement as a member of the government. But the Minister for Energy and Spatial Development is still as passionate as he was on the first day.

With his colourful shirts and his ponytail, which may be getting thinner but is still there, the 60-year-old Green politician somehow still seems like an exotic figure within somewhat stale government force, which seems to please him quite a bit. After almost 20 years in the European Parliament, where the former sports teacher built up a reputation as a force to be reckoned with, the Diekirch-born politician moved into government in June 2018 as Secretary of State for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure. There, he succeeded his party colleague Camille Gira, who had died shortly before. After the elections of 14 October 2018, he became Minister for Energy and Spatial Development.

We met a minister in high spirits a few days ago on one of the upper floors in the "Héichhaus" on Kirchberg.

Lëtzebuerger Journal: The Greens are often accused of being a party of the raised index finger, which likes to appear as the moral authority of the nation. That's not so wrong, is it?

Claude Turmes: In politics it is important to act ethically. I myself am an ecologically, socially motivated person, which I cannot hide even as a politician…

… You don't answer my question. So, the Greens are not a party of prohibition?

I'll give you an example: light bulbs were banned in order to make LED lamps possible. So it makes perfect sense to regulate various things by law, which in turn gives you more freedom. Climate protection actually means nothing other than not unnecessarily restricting the freedom of this and the next generations because we have allowed too much "laisser-faire" at a certain point.

As a green energy expert in the European Parliament, you became known as Superturmes. You even published a book on the energy transition at the time, in October 2017. In government, however, it has now become considerably quieter around you, to say the least.

It is clear that a MEP has more freedom to speak. A minister has to be more careful because he has to stick to the coalition agreement, that's just part of the job. On the other hand, a minister has more possibilities to shape things.

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Baring teeth


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