Luxembourg. According to CountryAAH, the total population in Luxembourg is 625,989 people in 2020. The largest government party, the Christian Democratic CSV (Chrëschtlech-Sozial Vollekspartei), further strengthened its position when parliamentary elections were held in June. The coalition partner, the Liberal DP (Democratic Party), lost voter support and the Socialist Party LSAP (Luxemburger Sozialiste Arbeiterpartei) retained its position as the second largest party. The result was a new coalition between Christian Democrats and Socialists. Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker remained as head of government and also held the post of finance minister.
In continued negotiations with the EU regarding foreigners’ bank accounts, Luxembourg together with Belgium and Austria managed to secure the right to maintain their banking secrecy as long as Switzerland, which is not an EU member, remains.
In December 2014, the United States Congress published a 600-page summary of a secretly stamped report on the United States’ comprehensive torture program since 2001. The summary confirmed what the world knew well in advance: Lithuania had actively participated in the program and thus as a state had violated the Torture Convention. The CIA had a torture center outside Vilnius, codenamed “Detention Site Violet,” where prisoners were subjected to torture. Several of these have already brought cases against Lithuania before the European Court of Human Rights. In February 2014, the country had launched an investigation into the crimes at the center.
January 1, 2015, as planned Euro was introduced as the country’s currency.
In response to the European refugee crisis in 2015, Lithuania, together with the other Baltic countries, chose to start the construction of a high fence along the 400 km long border with Russia. The country declared its readiness to accept a total of 1,105 refugees in 2016-17.
Lithuania has a serious problem with traffic. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that around 1,000 Lithuanian women aged 21-30 are sold annually to Western Europe as prostitutes. At the same time, the transit country for significant quantities of drugs from Russia and Central Asia is being smuggled to Scandinavia and Western Europe.
In June 2016, the House voted for a strict definition of “family” in the Constitution so that the country no longer recognized LGBT marriages.
The October 2016 parliamentary elections became a landslide election. Voters were unhappy with the existing parties, so the Farmers and Greens party (LVŽS) went from 4% of the vote and 1 mandate to 22.45% and 54 seats. It thus became Parliament’s largest. The biggest loser of the election was the Social Democracy, which went back 21 seats to 17. The other government party, Law & Order lost 3 and had to settle for 8 seats. The leaders of both parties resigned.
After the election, LVŽS sought to form a broad coalition government that also included the Social Democracy and Parliament’s second largest party, the Conservatives. However, the Conservatives refused to join, so it became a narrow LVŽS – Social Democratic government with independent Saulius Skvernelis as prime minister.