Agence Luvenburg Presse

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    Ascalun ? Luvenburgish heir apparent injured in sailing accident

    Crown Prince Philippe was in an ?alarming? yacht sailing accident when his boat capsized due to strong winds. The crown prince was, reportedly, rendered unconscious when he hit his head against the mast.

    The heir to the throne of Luvenburg was spending the weekend at the Mountaza Ch?teau in the coastal city of Ascalun. Sailing is renown to be one of his favorite hobbies.

    Palace officials are yet to release any comments on the incident, and it is unknown how grave the prince?s state is. However, unnamed sources within the Palace have commented that the crown prince was air-lifted to the capital city of Truva where he is to undergo ?immediate? surgery.

    Facts remain unclear and vague. With the Palace choosing to retain information from the public, many rumors have surfaced.

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    Truva ? Prince of Merovia condition is not grave

    The Palace has issued a statement confirming that the 24 year-old Prince Philip, Prince of Merovia, has in fact been injured in a sailing accident. The statement said that the Prince of Merovia fractured his arm and suffered ?minor knee injury? which required him to be admitted for surgery. It stated that even though the prince hit his head no head injury was sustained.

    The hospital officials said that the surgery went on for three hours, however, declined to comment on the nature of the operation. Luvenburgish law only allows medical records to be released to "family members."

    Prime Minister Anthony Trudeau told reporters she had visited the Prince of Merovia in hospital and found him ?in good form.? It is unclear though if he actually spoke with him, or he was not conscious yet.

    Heir Alert
    The Palace said all of the Prince?s engagements had been cancelled for the coming two week.

    This incident should raise the issue of succession to the Luvenburgish throne. The Prince of Merovia is King Edward III?s only son and rightful male heir to the throne. If Prince Philip does not marry and produce a legitimate heir, the throne will eventually pass to the king?s brother, Prince Henry, the Duke of Ascalon, and his family line.

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    Truva ? The Luvenburgish government reveals plans to privatize the country's flag carrier airline.

    Emilia Ollivier, Minister of Labor and Trade, has told LNA that Air Louvenburg S.A. will be sold in early 2008.

    The move is seen as evidence of a new commitment by the government to reduce the size of public sector.

    Ms. Ollivier refused to elaborate on whether the sale will be through a public flotation or a direct sale to a strategic investor. The details will be issued in a public statement in the near future.

    Sell-off revival?

    The move is seen as a sign that PM Anthony Trudeau is serious about a fresh wave of privatizations and reinforces investors? confidence. The government presented a plan to privatize the transport, postal, power, and water services starting with Air Louvenburg.

    As the nation gears up for elections in February privatization is expected to become a central issue during campaigning. If victorious, the election will silence any dissent to the PM?s program of public services privatization.

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    Truva ? The Prince of Merovia?s knee surgery a success.

    The Palace has released a statement saying Prince Philippus, Prince of Merovia, knee surgery was a complete success. The Prince of Merovia will be able to walk ?normally? within two weeks? time. In addition, his left arm will remain cast for three weeks, until his fracture completely heals.

    Prince Philippus has apparently regained full consciousness and has been eating and sleeping normally. He is expected to remain in hospital for the rest of the week.

    King Edward III and Queen Alexandra, his parents, were by the prince?s side when he awoke from the anesthetic.

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    • The government refers the Air Luvenburg SA projet de loi to the Chamber of Deputies for a first reading.
    • After the collapse of the ruling coalition, Chief Minister Albert Howard calls early provincial elections and dissolves the Legislative Assembly in the northern province of Baden.
    • Prince Philip, Prince of Merovia, leaves the hospital and returns to the Palace of Piedmont in Truva
    • King Edward III receives his weekly cabinet briefing

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    Truva ? Party leaders set to start campaign

    Prime Minister Anthony Trudeau will pay a call on Thursday to the Palace of Piedment, the seat of the Luvenburgish Monarchy. The visit is expected to signal the start of the general election campaign.

    At about 9:30 a.m. Mr Trudeau will ask King Edward III to dissolve Parliament and set a date for the election. Once Mr Trudeau emerges from the Monarch?s residence to announce the election call, likely setting the date for Jan. 25 to allow for a break over the New Year, the race will be on.

    The tone for much of the debate has already been set, coming out in comments from the leaders following the vote.

    "We will hear nothing but pessimism from the Opposition, and there's a reason for this," the PM told his supporters. "That's all that they have to offer."

    But Liberal Leader Selene Clark is ready for the arrows coming from the Conservative camp.

    "Know when the Conservatives scream about us, it's just a diversion," he said. "It's like the thief who cries fire in a crowded restaurant, so when no one's looking he can clear out the cash register."

    Campaigning to commence
    All the federal party leaders say they are ready for the campaign, and each has the first stops on his campaign trail planned.

    PM Trudeau attends a campaign launch party in Truva, and is expected then to travel to Ascalon where he is widely expected to reveal some campaign promises.

    Liberals Leader Selene Clark will go to an all-candidates meeting in Turva and plans to hold a news conference in Baden.

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    Truva ? Parliament passes the Air Luvenburg Privatization Bill.

    Prime Minister Anthony Trudeau has forcefully pushed through the Air Luvenburg SA Privatization Bill. The Bill was rushed through Parliament this week in a closed session of both chambers. This is the first time either chamber had met in private for some time.

    The drastic move comes hours ahead of the suspension of Parliament in preparation for the general election. The move allows the PM to fulfill his promise of privatizing the airline ahead of the general election.

    King Edward III is expected to sign the bill into law in the morning ahead of his audience with the PM.

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    Truva - The Lazarus-Balduin consortium Air Luvenburg bid approved

    The government of Luvenburg has given its backing to Lazarus-Baldiun Venture?s proposal to buy the majority of Air Luvenburg. The consortium is formed from two high profile Holy Roman enterprises with financial backing from the Imperial Bank of Jerusalem.

    The profitable government-held airline will now enter three weeks of exclusive talks with its preferred bidder, Luvenburg's Labor and Trade Minister Emilia Ollivier revealed.

    The contest to buy the government's stake in Air Luvenburg had been closely fought, with the firm choosing to Lazarus-Baldiun Venture last week.

    Air Luvenburg is hoping the tie-up will generate significant savings and provide financial liquidity for further global expansion.

    "Favourable opinion"
    "I expressed a favorable opinion towards launching of exclusive negotiations between Air Luvenburg and the Lazarus-Baldiun consortium," said Ms. Ollivier, after a cabinet meeting.

    "We are convinced that the indication given by Air Luvenburg?s board is the right one," he added.

    The government, which holds 91.5% of Air Luvenburg, is selling 71.5% of the firm to one or more strategic investor.

    Air Luvenburg has turned LL16.6 billion in revenue in the 2007 fiscal year. The firm is planning a major global expansion program.

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    Truva ? **The Liberal Party is consolidating its lead over the Conservatives - the latest opinion polls suggest. **

    The surveys - carried out between Friday and Wednesday - give the Liberals leads ranging from 1% to 10%. The polls also suggest the Social Democrats are slowly picking up speed.

    According to a LNA poll the governing Conservatives are on 23% - within two points of the Liberals, who are on 25%. It put the Social Democrats on 20%.

    Landslide predicted

    If this was repeated in the election on January 25, Liberals will win the elections but must enter into coalition talks to form a governing majority.

    However, a poll for the Truva Times newspaper suggests the Liberals are heading for a landslide victory winning up to 145 seats out of 484 in the Chamber of Deputies.

    That survey puts the Liberals on 30%, the Conservatives on 22% and the Social Democrats on 18%.

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    Truva ? **Conservative campaign gains momentum **

    Twenty days ahead of the general election, opinion polls indicate that the opposition Liberals continue to command a lead. However, the gap appears to be dwindling with the Conservative campaign garnering larger support.

    The latest poll conducted by LNA, shows the Liberals leading by 1-2 percentage points. It puts the Liberals on 26% with the Conservatives battling to remain in office on 25%. The Social Democrats are trailing on 19%. Observers have pointed out that the campaign is losing steam.

    Conservatives leader, PM Anthony Trudeau dismissed opinion polls stating that ?anything can happen in twenty days.? Mr. Trudeau asserted his party is indeed heading for another term in office.

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    • A new poll for Journal de Truva puts the Liberals and Conservatives neck to neck on 26%; Social Democrats continue to trail on 19%
    • Tonight party leaders debate health, education, environment, and transportation issues
    • Director General of ?lections Luvenburg finalizes preparations for the general elections

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    Truva ? With new poll results, parties scramble for edge

    A new national poll commissioned for LNA/Journal de Truva gives the Conservatives a slight edge over the rival Liberal camp. The poll indicates the Conservatives have open up a lead on 27% with the Liberals on 26%, but that race is still very close. The poll put the Social Democrats at a distant third on 20%.

    One factor that seems to be driving the polling figures is the party leaders? performance in the first debate. The debate centered on domestic issues including health, education, environment, and transportation. Most observers perceived Prime Minister Anthony Trudeau?s performance to be more approachable and hands-on than that of rival Liberal leader Selene Clarke.

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    Truva ? Jacqueline de Richelieu announces candidacy for the European Court of Justice

    President of the Constitutional Court of Lunenburg, Jacqueline de Richelieu, has formally announced that she is a candidate for European Court of Justice at a press conference. After delivering a prepared speech, De Richelieu took questions from the audience, including members of the media.

    ?In the upcoming period, our region will make decisions that will affect our lives and our families far into the future,? De Richelieu stated. ?We can't allow ourselves to become weaker and less prosperous. We need a European Court of Justice composed of experienced individuals committed to safeguard the Constitution and the democratic institutions of Europe.?

    De Richelieu is a Luvenburgish scholar of constitutional law and as of April 2002, President of the Constitutional Court. In 1967, De Richelieu graduated from the Universit? du Sud with a degree in Law. In 1970, De Richelieu completed her Ph.D. dissertation at the Universit? du Truva. In 1973, she received her Habilitation ? diriger des recherches on the basis of a second dissertation on questions concerning Luvenburgish constitutional law.

    From 1974 onward, De Richelieu received tenure at the Universit? d?Ascalon and taught constitutional law. In 1992, she moved to Truva to teach Luvenburgish constitutional and administrative law as well as public social law at the Universit? d??douard II.

    In 1998, De Richelieu was elected Vice-President of the Constitutional Court of Luvenburg. When Pierre Vednarius, President of the Constitutional Court, retired from his position in 2002, De Richelieu was elected to succeed him. She is the first female President of the Constitutional Court.

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    TRUVA ? Selene Clarke believes privatization is the way to proceed but will reverse tax cuts given to the rich

    In an interview with LNA reporter Guillaume Villiers, Liberal Party leader Selene Clarke confirmed that she will back the deregulation of industries historically considered off limits. If elected to office, Ms. Clarke ?will move forward with a massive privatization program.?

    Aviation, rail, postal services, fisheries, electricity, and pharmacare are among the industries she is proposing to deregulate. ?In order to sustain a strong economic performance, the private sector must be allowed to compete efficiently,? Ms. Clarke stated.

    Luvenburg managed a sluggish economic performance in 2007 growing at only 2.8%, an issue bound to hurt Prime Minister Anthony Trudeau and his conservative Party.
    This is the strongest statement to date that Selene Clarke will not attempt reverse the decision to privatize of Air Luvenburg SA.

    She also stated her intent to further relax Luvenburgish foreign ownership laws to increase foreign direct investment. This is an issue Prime Minister Anthony Trudeau failed to deliver on. Facing a hostile left-dominated Senate, Mr. Trudeau failed to pass legislation to do so on two occasions.

    Tax cuts to be reversed
    Selene Clarke declared that she will seek to overturn the government's cut in income tax if the Liberals win power. The Liberals blame the tax cuts enacted by the Trudeau Ministry in 2004 for the government?s spiraling budget deficit.

    Ms. Clarke is hailed as champion of balanced budgets. She served as Finance Minister between 1996 and 2001 under Prime Ministers Marcus Levindi and Anne de Brantis. During her tenure, she avoided large tax hikes, rolled back government spending, and announced Luvenburg's first federal surplus in 27 years.

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    Truva ? PM proposes plans to privatize pension provisions

    With the general elections voting only 11 days away, conservative Prime Minister Anthony Trudeau announces his party's intent to privatize the state pension fund causing a stir in opposition circles. Mr. Trudeau proposed for the first time establishing a ?national debate? concerning scrapping job-seekers allowance in attempt to ?reduce the welfare state.?

    Under the plans revealed at a campaign speech in Ascalon, the state would no longer have responsibility for pensions? provision. Instead it would be up to individuals to settle their own financial future. For those that don't want to take out a pension plan from an existing bank, the government intends to create the National Pensions Bank which would be governed under statute
    and this is where they expect most to pay their pensions to.

    Mr. Trudeau said that the plans would allow more flexibility and more choice for citizens. The opposition, Liberals, remains adamant it will oppose the further privatization of any of Luvenburg?s ?integral? public service provisions.

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    • Voting for the Luvenburgish general elections starts in 11 days
    • King ?douard III addresses the nation urging all eligible citizens to vote
    • LNA poll: Liberals gain ground putting them on 28% while Conservatives and Social Democrats remain on 26% and 19%, respectively. The same poll also puts the National Reform on 12% and the Progressives on 11%.

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    Truva reprimands Gro?deutscher ambassador over nuclear weapon testing

    The Luvenburgish government has summoned Gro?deutsches? ambassador for a
    dressing down over Berlin?s decision to detonate a 5 kiloton nuclear fission bomb in Northern Bavaria.

    ?A decision has been taken to summon the Gro?deutscher ambassador to the Luvenburgish Ministry of Foreign Affairs,? stated the Foreign Ministry spokesperson.

    The move follows a widespread outcry throughout Europe cumulating in Aleutia recalling its ambassador to Berlin in protest over the testing.

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    • Liberals see jump in poll now holding a 29% to 26% lead over the Conservatives. Social Democrats continue to trail on 19%.
    • The benchmark Boutrex 250* stock index rose 295.59 points, or 1.94 percent, to close at 15,552.59 points on the Bourse de Truva on Tuesday, a two-week high. Luvenburgish stocks surge comes 9 days ahead of the general elections.
    • Banque du Luvenburg, the central bank of Luvenburg, raises interest rates to 5.25% from 5% in an effort to curb inflation.

    * The Boutrex 250 name is derived from the Bourse de Truva Index.

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    A special on the characteristics of the Luvenburgish electoral system

    As the nation prepares to go to the polls in five days, every eligible citizen receives an important opportunity to take part in the democratic process we hold sacred to the well being of our nation. In an attempt to facilitate the experience on our readers, we are providing a concise guide into how the electoral system works in Luvenburg.

    • The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Parliament, has 484 members elected for four-year terms
    • The Chamber rarely sits for the entire period and early general elections are usually called. By advising the monarch to do so, the prime minister can dissolve the Chamber at will. A vote of no confidence in the government can also trigger an early election.
    • The Chamber of Deputies is elected using a single constituency proportional representation electoral system. This means the entire nation is consider one large region and all members of the Chamber are elected at the same time.
    • The proportional representation system relies on party-lists, meaning that you will actually be voting for political parties instead of individual candidates.
    • The Chamber has a minimum threshold of 3% of the national vote in order for the party to gain representation.

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    Jacqueline de Richelieu defeated at the European Court of Justice elections

    The President of the Constitutional Court of Luvenburg has been defeated at the second round of elections to the European Court of Justice. Ms Richelieu won only 20% of the vote with her rivals fairing much better.

    Ine Kelander am Daen from the Duxburian Union secured 50% and Jonas Pfetzing from Stadt Luxemburg won the remaining 30%. Ms Richelieu trailed her rivals throughout the two rounds of elections. She finished with only 5.56% of the vote in the first round of voting.

    Speaking to the press she admitted her defeat and congratulated her rivals on ?an emphatic victory.?

    Ms Richelieu is the first Luvenburgish citizen to run for a regional European position. Luvenburg?s recent membership of the European Union is believed to have reduced her chance at attracting much needed regional support.