Prime minister and minister for communication Xavier Bettel has taken over the culture portfolio from Maggy Nagel; pictured here together at the 2014 Lëtzebuerger Filmpräis
Politics: Minister for culture and housing Maggy Nagel has tendered her resignation. Prime minister Xavier Bettel takes over the culture portfolio, while Marc Hansen is promoted to head the housing ministry.
Maggy Nagel’s demise has long been on the cards. Indeed, it was merely a question of when rather than if she would become “former minister for culture and housing” and also whether she would jump or be pushed. She has has finally thrown in the towel, tendering her resignation to prime minister Xavier Bettel at Wednesday morning’s cabinet meeting.
The resignation has had domino effect like consequences on the political landscape. Nagel’s touted successor was Lex Delles, by virtue of having placed second behind her on the Democratic Party’s list in the eastern constituency at the last election. But when Delles declined the post, prime minister Xavier Bettel was in a bind.
Facebook had already been inundated with calls to choose a culture minister “who knows something about culture”. This has long been a bugbear of players in the cultural scene in Luxembourg, as successive culture ministers have failed to demonstrate a real grasp of the subject or fire the imagination.
Indeed, like picking teams in the schoolyard, the culture portfolio seems to be the last to be handed out when a new government is formed and is often given to a lesser politician. The last culture minister who truly had a grasp of the subject was Erna Hennicot-Schoepges from 1995 to 2004.
Bettel has taken it upon himself to pick up the culture portfolio, and has appointed Guy Arendt, a member of parliament and the mayor of Walferdange as secretary of state for culture.
That means that Joëlle Elvinger will become the new mayor of Walferdange and Claude Lamberty comes into parliament to replace Arendt on the Democratic Party benches.
Meanwhile, Marc Hansen has been promoted from his position as secretary of state for housing to minister--he had only recently been drafted in to support Nagel after she had come under fire. Hansen also takes over the higher education portfolio.