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Dialogue in Luxembourg: At the tripartite, negotiations are bogged down

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Dialogue in LuxembourgAt the tripartite, negotiations get bogged down

SENNINGEN – No agreement was found on Tuesday between the social partners, despite a new discussion session. These will resume at the end of the day.

The social partners have not yet reached an agreement.

SIP/Jean-Christophe Verhagen

Still no white smoke in Senningen. While the hope of an agreement was raised by some Monday evening, nothing had succeeded Tuesday in the middle of the day at the tripartite, when the dialogue was interrupted. The government, unions and employers had resumed negotiations shortly before 10 a.m., with the aim of concluding quickly. Nothing happened and the social partners will meet again at the end of the day, after a time to analyze the proposals made.

The participants are trying to find a global agreement allowing the population and businesses to cope with high inflation, which is expected to reach 6.6% this year. “It is always energy prices and wage indexation” that occupy the debates, confirms Nora Back, president of the OGBL, without going into the details of the proposals. The other participants did not want to react when the negotiations were interrupted.

Tuesday evening or next week

A limitation of energy prices, on the model of the tariff shield in France, is the subject of debate, but the thresholds remain to be fixed. The proposals of the various actors are for the moment considered insufficient or unacceptable by the others. Regarding the index, the subject is all the more burning as Statec plans up to four index tranches by the end of 2023, in addition to that of July 2022 postponed to April 2023.

Tuesday evening, participants could see the failure of the tripartite, in the context of exploding energy prices. Prime Minister Xavier Bettel had judged Monday evening that it would be “irresponsible not to find an agreement”. The dialogue could not resume before next Thursday, since the head of government is flying off to New York on Wednesday and then to Japan, before returning on Wednesday of next week. The social partners still hope to find a solution before he leaves.