RELATIONS WITH LUXEMBOURG STRENGTHEN
Luxembourg’s Prime Minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, will make an official visit to Cape Verde during the month of January, A Semana Online has learned. Two other European statesmen, Portugal’s José Sócrates and Italy’s Romano Prodi, are also expected to visit the archipelago over the course of the year.
Jean-Claude Juncker will arrive in Cape Verde on January 16 for a state visit, A Semana Online has learned from a reliable source. This is the second time in seven years that the Prime Minister of the European Grand Duchy will have visited Cape Verde. The trip was originally scheduled to take place in 2007, but was postponed until this year due to scheduling conflicts.
In addition to being home to a sizeable Cape Verdean community, Luxembourg became an important partner to Cape Verde in the second half of the 1990s, when it began serving as a donor for development projects on the island of Santo Antão. Today, several of the nation’s islands play host to development projects financed by the Grand Duchy. This aid is channeled mainly into the sectors of education, health and rural development, as well as in the realm of finances. Luxembourg’s central bank has collaborated with the Bank of Cape Verde in setting up a financial market in the archipelago.
Luxembourg, mainly by way of its Prime Minister, was also one of the first European countries to embrace the idea of a special partnership between Cape Verde and the European Union. Although it is a small country, Luxembourg is an important international financial center and its head of government is a man whose voice is respected by his colleagues.
In addition to Juncker, over the course of the coming year Cape Verde is expected to host two other European heads of government: José Sócrates and Romano Prodi, the prime ministers, respectively, of Portugal and Italy. In Prodi’s case, if the visit actually goes forward, it will be the first time an Italian head of government will have visited Cape Verde. It will also be Sócrates’ first visit to Cape Verde as Portugal’s Prime Minister.
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