Luxembourg. Parliament adopted a law on euthanasia in February, with the numbers 30 to 26. But Grand Duke Henri opposed the law with reference to his Catholic faith. Thus, a constitutional crisis arose because the signature of the head of state was required for the law to come into force. The result was that, in December, with the vote numbers 56–0, Parliament amended the constitution so that the head of state no longer has to approve laws for them to apply.
Luxembourg went in with Belgium and the Netherlands with money, totaling just over € 11 billion, to save the bank Fortis, which was hit hard when the global financial crisis blossomed in September. The bank was also divided into three parts, but the Luxembourg and Belgian parts were soon taken over by the French big bank BNP Parisbas.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Click to see the meanings of 2-letter acronym and abbreviation of LU in general and in geography as Luxembourg in particular.
In February 1989, Sajudis called for the creation of a free and neutral Lithuania within a demilitarized zone. The same month, the local communist party’s general secretary, along with Sajudis, participated in the National Independence Day celebration. In December, the country’s top Soviet removed the article in the constitution that gave the Communist Party its leading role. It was the first such decision in a republic within the Soviet Union.
In January 1990, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachov of Vilnius declared a new law to establish relations between the Republic and the Union, but as early as March, the Lithuanian parliament declared the country immediately independent. Following violent riots, which also included clashes between Soviet and Lithuanian troops, in September 1991, the new Soviet Union recognized the independence of the three Baltic States and was followed by the immediate recognition of several other countries. September 17, 1991, the country was admitted to the UN.
Following the failed coup in August 1991 against Mikhail Gorbachov, Parliament declared the Communist Party, the Democratic Labor Party and the Lithuanian Youth Communists for illegal organizations. The following month, Lithuanian President Vytautas Landsbergis in the UN requested the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the country. Since the beginning of the year, 50,000 soldiers had been stationed in Vilnius.
The country’s new constitution was passed by a referendum on October 25, 1992. That same year, gross domestic product fell by 35% and inflation reached 1,150%.
On February 14, 1993, the former leader of the Communist Party, Algirdas Brazauskas, was elected president by 60% of the vote. In 1993-94 he continued the transition to market economics.
In 1995, it was estimated that 80% of Lithuanians were «poor», 15% belonged to «middle class» and 5% were «rich». The rising social inequality was the reason why the government parties lost the local elections that year.
According to Countryaah reports, the population of Luxembourg in 2008 was 507,778, ranking number 170 in the world. The population growth rate was 2.100% yearly, and the population density was 196.0961 people per km2.
As for sex, in 1930 out of 299,993 persons 154,405 were males and 145,588 females with the percentage ratio of 51.47 and 48.53 respectively.
The foreign element is of great importance: it rose from 5895 individuals in 1875 (2.9% of the entire population) to 55,831 in 1930 (18.6% of the total population). The distribution by cantons is very different. In 1930 there was a minimum of 629 foreigners in the canton of Redange to a maximum of 34,094 in that of Esch (32.5% of the entire population of the canton): the cantons of Luxembourg city, Diekirch, Vianden, Echternach, Grevenmacher present each from 10 to 20% of the population made up of a foreign element. Nationalities with more than 1000 individuals each were in descending order: Germans 22,948 (7.6% of the entire population); Italians 14,050 (4.7%); French 4,669 (1.6%); Belgians 4080 (1.4%); Poles 2607; Yugoslavs 1238. As regards the distribution of Italians by cantons, it can be said that for the most part they live in the canton of Esch (12,616), followed at a great distance by Luxembourg city (793), the canton of Diekirch (172), that of Luxembourg countryside (106) and that of Capellen (104). In the absolute majority of Italians they are employed in the work of the mines. However, the number of Luxembourgers surveyed abroad is also noteworthy: 28,270 in France; 9726 in Belgium; 2578 in Germany. 43,109 individuals of Luxembourgish origin live in the United States.
In Luxembourg too, the birth rate problem is worrying in the sense that a constant decrease is felt over the years, not compensated by the progressive decline in the mortality rate. The birth rate drops from 30.64 ‰ in 1901-1905 to 20.96 ‰ in 1926-1930; at the same time for the dead there is a regression from 19.18 ‰ to 14.23 ‰. It follows that the surplus of births, while it was 11.46 ‰ in the period 1901-1905, shrinks to only 6.74 ‰ in 1926-30.