in 1991, a major financial scandal erupted when the
international commercial bank BCCI cracked. It had its
headquarters in the United Arab Emirates, but its European
headquarters was in Luxembourg. The following year, the
district court ordered the bank liquidated.
On 2 July 1992, the Luxembourg Parliament ratified the
Maastricht Treaty by 51 votes to 6.
At the beginning of 1993, Josée Jacobs became the
country's first female minister - for agriculture. The
election the following year retained the majority of the PSC-POS
alliance, enabling Jacques Santer to continue as prime
In domestic politics, the aggression against foreign
workers in the country began to emerge openly. They make up
about half of the country's workforce.
In 1995, Santer was appointed President of the European
Commission, and the Prime Minister's post was instead
transferred to Jean-Claude Juneker.
In recent years, Luxembourg has become one of the world's
most important financial markets - especially in the
management of social funds as pension funds. Within this
area, the country is home to about $ 356 billion in funds.
In May 1996, the European Commission declared that
Luxembourg and France were the only countries whose economy
was ready to transition to the Euro in 1999.
As in the rest of the Union, unemployment rose at the end
of 1997, although by 3.7% it was the lowest among the 15
Member States. In November, around 30,000 people from
various European countries in Luxembourg demanded a Europe
"for the benefit of employment".
In March 1998, the government declared its willingness to
increase its contribution to the project for the expansion
of high-speed railways - TGV - into Eastern Europe. The aim
should be to increase trade with the eastern part of the
Together with the Netherlands and Belgium, Luxembourg
proposed in November 1999 that the EU may allow some
countries within the Union to go further in integration
without having to wait for the other countries. Both to
avoid putting too much pressure on new members of the Union,
but also to allow closer integration between a number of
existing countries. Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker
stated that it was imperative to enable an EU at "two
Grand Duke Jean declared in December 1999 that he would
abdicate in September 2000 to make room for his son Henri.
Jean had been the country's head of state for 35 years. The
son - aged 45 - assumed power in October. It is expected
that he will shape his own politics and play a more central
role in the state's affairs than the father.
Hundreds of truck drivers blocked Luxembourg's borders
with the requirement of a 48 hour work week. Precisely the
transport sector was left out of the 1993 EU Working Time
Directive, which limits working hours in most sectors to 48
hours per week. The blockade was supported by drivers from
the Netherlands, France and Belgium.