Economy & Politics

The Fage case catches up with Etienne Schneider

The former holder of the Economy portfolio and two senior officials are invited to give their explanations to the Chamber on the arrangement between the State and the entrepreneur Fage who wanted to set up in the south of the country.

Patrick JACQUEMOT

Patrick JACQUEMOT

The former holder of the Economy portfolio and two senior officials are invited to give their explanations to the Chamber on the arrangement between the State and the entrepreneur Fage who wanted to set up in the south of the country.

The explanations of the Minister of Finance, Pierre Gramegna (DP) were not enough. No more than the hearing of the current Minister of the Economy Franz Fayot (LSAP). Also, failing to see more clearly on the way in which the government envisaged the establishment of the agro-food industrialist Fage on the Wolser activity zone (Bettembourg-Dudelange), the Budget Execution Committee ruled: MEPs need clarification from the man who was in charge at the time, Etienne Schneider himself.


Wirtschaft, Announcement of the new strategic orientations of the Observatory of competitiveness and presentation of the Competitiveness Report 2020, mit Frantz Fayot und Serge Allegrezza. Photo: Chris Karaba / Luxemburger Wort

Put in the public place in a special report of the Court of Auditors, the practices of the Ministry of the Economy are set to change with “better harmonization” and “a deepening of the analyzes”, assures Wednesday the Ministry of the Economy. And therefore turn the page on the Schneider era.


“We cannot summon him because he is no longer a minister,” indicates the president of the commission, Diane Adehm (CSV). So we’re going to send him an invitation. ” A request nicely formulated so that the socialist who led the Ministry of the Economy from 2012 to 2020 is explained on this file “which he had personally taken in hand”.

And among the points on which the deputies wish to hear it appears at the top of the list “a rebate of two million euros”. A sum that came to reduce the selling price of the land on which a production company was to set up, before the withdrawal of the industrialist last September.

From 29.9 million euros to 27.6

Because after the environmental controversy surrounding this installation, a financial mystery remains. “Why did the State already sell the land, when in most cases, in this type of area, provision is sufficient?” Asks Diane Adehm. Especially why is the site announced at a sale price of 29.9 million euros found in the activity report of Fage acquired for 27.6 million? “He said to himself that it was in disbursement in compensation for work that the industrialist should have implemented before starting. But it is the same in all areas: there is land serviced (by the State and the municipality) then everything remains the responsibility of the investor; there was an exception. Why?”


Itv Xavier Bettel Prime Minister Luxembourg on 02/02/2021 photo © Christophe Olinger

A few days after the judgment of the Administrative Court which upsets the political balances in the Chamber, the Prime Minister returns in video on this historic decision. And also evokes the case of Monica Semedo or the reform of the training of nursing staff.


Etienne Schneider, now withdrawn from the political scene, will not have to present himself. But following the same procedure, he had not hesitated to respond to the Chamber’s invitation to come and testify in the context of the LUXEOSys case, a satellite whose bill had continued to swell. Will he do the same this time?

The Budget Execution Committee also decided on Monday to invite two officials to give their point of view on this Fage file. A relative of the Minister of the Economy and the head of the acquisition committee of the Ministry of Finance. “With them, we will be able to analyze whether the legal process in this case has been well respected, but also whether it is advisable to proceed differently in the future in order to continue to attract industrialists to Luxembourg.”


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