Luxembourg. At the EU Finance Minister’s meeting in June, Luxembourg until now blocked the EU Commission’s attempt to establish uniform rules for taxation of interest income in all 15 EU countries. According to Countryaah, the capital of Luxembourg is Luxembourg. The Commission had proposed that either a general tax of 20% be levied on all interest income for private individuals in the EU or that banks should be required to report all interest income to savers’ respective home countries. L’s Minister of Finance Robert Goebbels rejected both proposals, and since it required a unanimous decision from all 15 finance ministers, the issue had to be postponed.
- Abbreviationfinder: What does LUX stand for in geography? Here, this 3 letter acronym refers to the country of Luxembourg.
Per capita, Luxembourg is one of the world’s richest countries. Its stability and its favorable financial legislation have made the Little Duchy a center for international financial transactions. In the country there are over 220 banks, more than 70 other credit institutions and over 11,000 holding companies.
In the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg the official language is French, but the one actually spoken by the population is Lëtzebuergesch, from the West Germanic group. Consequently, film production is also characterized by multilingualism, in which, however, many films, given the limited nature of the internal market, are now shot in German and sometimes in English. Its development, despite the very high economic, social and cultural level of the Luxembourg, was extremely late, and in fact only began in the seventies. The first film screenings date back to 1896, and the first newsreels to 1899, shot by French operators. In fact, local production was limited to advertising films for almost forty years (the first, in 1904, was that of the brothers Wendel and Peter Marzen for the Mercier champagne). In 1927 the first film criticism magazine, “Le film luxembourgeois”, was founded by Evy Friedrich, and it survived until 1934. René Leclère, who can be considered the pioneer of cinema in Luxembourg, shot a feature film in Belgium, Un clown dans la rue (1930), but at home he only made documentaries (starting with Il est un petit pays, 1937), which were later joined by those of Philippe Schneider (starting with Pour la liberté, 1946) and Friedrich (Les danseurs d’Echternach, 1947). These were works in French that celebrated the country’s beauties, customs or history in a scarcely critical tone. From the end of the 1960s, this production, however reduced, was paralleled by that of films with French subjects, made in Luxembourg
Subject cinema was born in the 1970s, when a new generation of filmmakers began to assert themselves. The first names are those of Marc Thoma and Pol Tousch, who in 1973 shot the medium-length film Der Tunnel and the feature film Du sollst nicht begehren in German. A production in lëtzebuergesch also developed, with Paul Scheuer’s feature films Wât huet and gesôt? (1980, What did he say?), On the daily life of a group of high school students, Congé fir and Mord (1983, Farewell to a murderer) and Mumm sweet mumm (1989), two black comedies. Scheuer was joined, with films shot mainly in German, by Andy Bausch, with the short film One-reel picture show (1983), inspired by German Expressionism, and the feature films Gwyncil-la, legend of dark ages (1985), a fantasy, and Troublemaker (1987), a yellow comedy, and Frank Hoffmann and Paul Kieffer with Die Reise das Land (1987), set in 19th century Russia. The success of these low-budget films convinced public television to set aside a large sum for a film in lëtzebuergesch set in the period of the German occupation, Déi Zwéi vum Bierg (1985, Two Friends) by Menn Bodson and Marc Olinger, which received an exceptional welcome from the public. The government then also entered the field, creating in 1988 the Certificats d’vestissement audiovisuel (CIAV), with the aim of attracting foreign production to Luxembourg, and in 1989 the Center national de l’audiovisuel, which to encourage national production gave birth to the Fonds national de soutien à la production audiovisuelle (FONSPA): the first to benefit was Schacko Klak (1990,
During the nineties, the CIAVs favored the influx of numerous foreign troupes into Luxembourg, especially French and German. National production, if on the qualitative level it has equaled the effervescence of the Eighties, on the quantitative one it has not managed to take off. The most promising new directors have found it difficult to work at home: Pol Cruchten (after Hochzäitsnuecht, 1992, Night Wedding, and Black Dju, 1996) emigrated to the United States (Boys on the run, 2001), Geneviève Mersch (after Roger, 1996) in Belgium (J’ai toujours voulu être une sainte, 2002), the avant-garde filmmaker Bady Minck in Austria (Mécanomagie, 1996; Im Anfang war der Blick, 2002). Among the few left in Luxembourg, Beryl Koltz (Your chicken died of hunger, 2002) and the experimental filmmaker Daniel Wiroth (Fragile, 1998). The best-known director remains Bausch, now specializing in black comedies (Three shake-a-leg steps to heaven, 1993; Letters unsent, 1996; Le club des chômeurs, 2001). Faced with this situation, in 1998 the CIAV and FONSPA were merged into the Fonds de soutien, which seeks to privilege the development of local cinema.