"We don't talk nonsense"

By Pascal SteinwachsLex Kleren Switch to German for original article

The DP has been riding a wave of success for several years now. Colette Flesch and Henri Grethen look back on the history of the DP and do not hesitate to share anecdotes.

For the DP, things couldn't be better at the moment, since they provide the Prime Minister, the President of the Chamber and the Mayor of the Capital; only the chairmanship of the Council of State, which was last presided over by a DP representative, is currently not in their hands. In addition, the CSV, which is still the largest party, has been so weak and divided since the departure of its father-in-chief Jean-Claude Juncker that it is no longer able to take any advantage of the government's worst mistakes, so that next year the DP could succeed in doing what only the CSV has managed so far, namely to become prime minister for a third time in a row.

The predecessor of today's DP was the Liberal League ("Liberale Liga"), founded in 1904, before becoming the Radical Liberal Party 30 years later. After that the "Groupement Patriotique et Démocratique" was founded in June 1945, from which the Democratic Party finally emerged in April 1955.

The DP experienced a first high point in 1974 when Gaston Thorn, who had already been foreign minister under Prime Minister Pierre Werner (CSV) from 1969 onwards, became the first politician not belonging to the CSV to become head of government, a post he held until 1979. That year, Werner became Prime Minister again and Thorn briefly has been Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister again, before his party colleague Colette Flesch replaced him in the government as Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, Cooperation, Economy, Small and Medium-sized Businesses and Justice in November 1980, as Thorn became the first Luxembourger to chair the EU Commission.

From 1984 to 1999, the DP then had to make do with the unloved role of the opposition, before it emerged as the big winner from the 1999 elections and won 15 out of 60 parliamentary seats. Jean-Claude Juncker remained Prime Minister; Lydie Polfer, now known to some younger people only as the eternal mayor of Luxembourg City, became Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.

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