Luxembourg is to hold early elections after Prime MInister Jean-Claude Juncker announced his resignation following a secret service scandal.
Juncker bowed to pressure from his coalition partner after a parliamentary report concluded the security agency was engaged in illegal activity and misusing public funds.
“I’m not free from mistakes,” admitted Juncker. “I have committed some mistakes, small mistakes. I have responded to parliamentary objections which were raised. Parliament didn’t respond to my objections. So there is no choice other than the choice of calling early elections.”
Although Juncker has denied any personal wrong doing a parliamentary vote laid responsibility for the service’s activities at his door.
Opposition spokesman Claude Meisch said: “What has just happened is what we at the Democratic Party had asked for four weeks ago. That is to call on the government to quit and to make way for a new government via new elections because Luxembourg has a lot of problems and we realised this government was preoccupied with all these scandals.”
Juncker tendered his resignation on Thursday. Once parliament is officially dissolved by Luxembourg’s Grand Duke, elections must take place within three months.
Reporting for euronews Sándor Zsíros concluded: “Jean-Claude Juncker was Europe’s longest serving prime minister. He had governed his country since 1995. The parliamentary vote doesn’t mean an automatic end to his political career as he is likely to stand in the next election.”