BETTEL TO CARRY ON

Prime Minister Xavier Bettel says he will continue in politics even if he loses the upcoming general election.  Mr Bettel is naturally still optimistic about being able to form a new ruling coalition, but all the signs are that there will be some change of government after the October vote.  Mr Bettel, in an interview with the German media on Friday, added that he was not ruling out any options in terms of coalition partners, saying that his priority was to safeguard the reforms made by the current administration.  On Saturday Mr Bettel debated head to head with opposition leader Claude Wiseler of the CSV on RTL.  Central to their discussions was the model of economic development the country should follow.  Mr Wiseler accused the government of confusing a rapidly growing population and workforce with improved competitiveness.  Mr Bettel countered that surveys showed the people of Luxembourg have never been happier with the economy.   But in many other areas, such as fiscal policy, the rival politicians were in agreement, and Mr Wiseler was at pains to say that there was no ill-feeling between the CSV and DP over the result of the 2013 election.

ASYLUM SEEKERS ARRIVE

15 asylum seekers rescued in the Mediterranean have arrived in Luxembourg.  They were all picked up by the rescue ship Lifeline, which was then denied permission to dock in either Malta or Italy.  A deal finally saw it landing around 200 asylum seekers in Malta, who are in the process of being transferred to other EU nations.  The 15 coming here all come originally from Sudan. 

 POLICE SEEK BURGLARS

Police are trying to trace two burglars who escaped after breaking into a house at Olingen on Saturday afternoon.  In all three men were involved, but one who tried to escape by running through a field of maize was caught.  The other two made a getaway in a white seat hatchback registered as DC1209.  And police have appealed for information about a black VW Golf which was abandoned near the railway lines in Rodange at the end of last week.  It appears to have a false registration plate. 

COWS RESCUED FROM INFERNO

Fire crews had to rescue a herd of cattle from a blazing barn in Bolloendorf in the early hours of Saturday morning.  The fire was spotted just after midnight, and firefighters from both Germany and the Grand Duchy were called to the rescue.  All the animals were escorted to safety while the blaze was extinguished.  It needed more than 80 firefighters to complete the task.

GRASS SNAKE ON BALCONY

A woman from Konz in Germany found a 2 foot long snake on her apartment balcony yesterday afternoon.  She decided to throw a large transparent bucket over the reptile0 while she called the police. It turned out to be a grass snake, which is not poisonous and is endemic to the region.  The police removed it and later set it free again in some suitable habitat.