The deputy of the Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party (LSAP) was the guest of RTL Radio on Saturday afternoon.
During his political career, Mars di Bartolomeo was a minister, president of the Chamber of Deputies, and today a deputy of the LSAP. On Saturday, Bartolomeo sat down for an interview with our colleagues from RTL Radio.
Result of the tripartite negotiations a “solid agreement”
Regarding the tripartite agreement, Bartolomeo said he would have preferred to have also had the Independent Luxembourg Trade Union (OGBL). The LSAP MP, who pointed out that he is also a member of the OGBL, nevertheless underlined that he thought the final agreement was “solid”. Bartolomeo declined to comment on OGBL’s position. This is not the first time that the OGBL and the LSAP have disagreed, the pension reform, for example, having already caused tensions between the two organisations. Bartolomeo said he recognizes that a union “must play its part”, but when a socialist party is part of a government, it must “strike a balance”.
The deputy considers it a “good thing” that the family allowance remains indexed. Bartolomeo also stressed that the child allowance will remain indexed, even if a possible indexation of wages in August is postponed. The LSAP politician dismissed criticism that the LSAP and the Green Party only acted as supporters of the Democratic Party (DP) during the tripartite negotiations. The agreement cannot be so bad, argued Bartolomeo, if the Christian Social People’s Party (CSV) decided to support it in the Chamber of Deputies.
“Getting vaccinated is a civic duty”
As for the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, Bartolomeo, who is a former health minister, said the government had no choice but “to act quickly”. In this context, the MP pointed out that the House has proven that it can “work quickly” when needed. The catch with the pandemic is that it remains to be seen what comes next, Bartolomeo acknowledged. For this reason, the government is trying to prepare for the fall with “different assumptions” in mind. These plans include a vaccination mandate, with Bartolomeo stressing that “getting vaccinated is a civic duty”.
The LSAP politician said he understood people were “slowly losing patience” but reiterated that it was important to “stay alert”. A partial vaccination mandate is “definitely still on the agenda,” according to Mars di Bartolomeo.
When asked if his party colleague Paulette Lenert would become Luxembourg’s next prime minister, Bartolomeo replied that “it would be nice to have a woman in this position in Luxembourg”.
Bartolomeo had less kind words to offer former LSAP ministers Jeannot Krecké and Etienne Schneider, describing their reluctance to give up their lucrative jobs at Russian companies as a “no-go”.