Play it again, Xavier!

By Pascal Steinwachs Switch to German for original article

It's a yearly tradition. Prime Minister Xavier Bettel will address the nation this week for the eighth time in a row with his "Etat de la Nation". Not so much is expected of this nearly half-century-old routine any more.

In the US, the State of the Union Address has been around since 1790, while in the EU it was only introduced 220 years later, when the then Commission President José Manuel Barroso gave the first such address in September 2010. Even Luxembourg was a little quicker, when the then liberal prime minister Gaston Thorn launched this tradition in 1974, in which the head of government delivers a comprehensive speech once a year on the country's economic, social and financial situation.

Prime Minister Xavier Bettel should have developed a certain routine by now, as this week he will already deliver his eighth statement on the state of the nation, directly in the first session of the parliamentary “Rentrée”, which traditionally takes place on the second Tuesday in October and always heralds the start of the new Chamber session. This will also be the first public session to be held again in the – slightly renovated and technically upgraded – Plenary Hall in the Chamber on the Krautmarkt, after the Chamber of Deputies had to move to the Cercle building on the Place d'Armes in spring 2020 due to the pandemic.

The following day, on Wednesday, Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna will present the draft budget for 2022, so MPs should not run out of work in the coming days and weeks.  

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