Luxembourg

Three feeder columns of the annual Long March to free Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, which started in Geneva, Frankfurt and Luxembourg, are converging on Strasbourg, France, reports Peter Boyle.

Compared with a southern Europe stricken by ever-rising unemployment and government attacks on social welfare and democratic rights, Luxembourg can feel as if it is on another, much more pleasant, planet. The richest country in Europe ― with Gross Domestic Product per capita at least 30% higher than that of the US, unemployment at 5.9% and the second-lowest public sector debt to GDP ratio ― this most important financial centre after London’s City would seem to be floating above the crisis.
During UN Disarmament Week (October 24-31), a bill to enact the UN Convention banning Cluster Munitions is to be tabled in the House of Representatives. However, it is unlikely to contain a provision prohibiting financial institutions from funding manufacturers of cluster bombs. It has been found that the ANZ bank has provided loans of $136.5 million to producers of cluster bombs.
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