Top 5 stories you might have missed

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In case you miss them, the Luxembourg Times has selected the best story of the week for you

In case you miss them, the Luxembourg Times has selected the best story of the week for you

Scene of a court battle between the Luxembourg District Court, Berkeley Research Group and private equity firm Novalpina

Photo provider: Photo: Chris Karaba

Novalpina cannot regain control of the funds behind NSO

The Berkeley Research Group (BRG) will continue to manage a € 1 billion fund that manages the controversial spyware company NSO, defeating private equity firm Novalpina, which was seeking expulsion of BRG in a Luxembourg court.

Novalpina has requested the Luxembourg District Court to return to steering the fund, which owns 70% of the NSO, after investors have stripped the management role of private equity firms in steering the fund as a result of a scandal against Pegasus. NSO is the most well-known spyware.

London-based Novalpina has asked judges to suspend all decisions made by BRG since it came under control last August, according to a court document in a civil lawsuit seen by the Luxembourg Times. I was looking for it.

However, the court dismissed the request, stating that it “declares that the request is acceptable but unfounded,” according to an anonymous one-page document provided by the court when asked about the case.

More family photos than the numbers in the Grand Duke’s first report

A long-awaited investigation by the Royal Courts of Justice in Luxembourg provided a wealth of snapshots, but the 2020 report condemned centuries of staff mismanagement, culture of fear, and lack of openness to spending. Later, there was less financial insight.

Just under half of the 132 pages of the court’s first annual report released Thursday, the head of state of Luxembourg and his family shook hands with foreign officials, visited care facilities, vaccination centers and breweries. Of the newborn Prince Charles showing a snapshot.

Only 20 pages of the report deal with royal finances, showing that the Luxemburg monarchy spent € 12 million on taxpayers in 2021, 40% of the allocated € 21.4 million budget. It is less than that.

Tourists are away from pumps as Luxembourg dominates

Pump operators said few drivers detour to fill their tanks with cheap fuel in Luxembourg after Germany cut fuel taxes to help consumers cope with rising energy prices. ..

One day last week, there was little practice of dozens of gas stations on the main street of Wasserbillig, a cross-border village with Germany.

Currently, the prices of gasoline and diesel in Luxembourg are 1.97 euros and 1.98 euros per liter, respectively, which is almost the same as in Germany. In some cases, gasoline can even be a few cents cheaper in the eastern part of Luxembourg.

“At this point, filling up with Luxembourg saves almost nothing,” he said when nearby Trier’s Ralph Seifert filled up the red convertible.

Severe punishment for racial crimes in Luxembourg

Luxembourg plans to address stricter penalties for crimes in which race, religion, or sexual orientation played a role, Justice Minister Sam Tanson said Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the government submitted a legislative amendment to the Judiciary Committee of Parliament, citing criteria such as disability and union membership as exacerbating crimes. Courts will need to take them into account to justify the stricter penalties, Tanson said.

The bill, which has not yet been approved by Congress, infringed on Luxembourg last year, saying it “did not take the necessary steps to ensure that racist and foreign-excluded hate crimes were effectively criminalized.” We are addressing an issue raised by the European Commission that initiated the lawsuit.

Luxembourg doubles defense spending by 2028

Luxembourg plans to increase its annual defense spending to 1% of its economy, or nearly 1 billion euros, by 2028 following Russia’s deadly invasion of Ukraine in February.

“Given the changing security situation in Europe […] I want to be a credible partner, “Defense Minister François Bausch told the media on Friday.

Luxembourg plans to spend € 994 million by 2028, based on current economic forecasts. This is almost double the € 573 million next year, five times the year 2014, and the year NATO leaders promised to spend 2% of the size of the economy. In the army.

But even with a significant acceleration in military spending, Luxembourg is well below NATO’s target and budget spending reaches only 1% of gross domestic product (GDP).

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