Luxembourg could blaze a trail in the EU when it votes Sunday on whether to grant full voting rights to foreigners who make up nearly half of the population, as part of an unprecedented triple referendum. The voters in the tiny but wealthy duchy of 565,000 people will also be asked whether the voting age should be lowered to 16 and whether to limit the mandate of members of the government to 10 years. They will be asked to vote “Jo” or “Nee” in Luxembourgish, “Oui” or “Non” in French and “Ja” or “Nein” in German. The most important issue on the ballot would grant the right to vote to foreigners living in Luxembourg for more than 10n years, including the high number of Europeans, led by the Portuguese who account for 16.4 percent of the population.
Prime Minister Xavier Bettel — a 42-year-old liberal who replaced current European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker in 2013 — has campaigned for a “yes” vote as a way to modernise the nation and make it more democratic.
“There is no other European country where only 40 percent of the population elects its representatives,” Bettel told journalists. “At the next elections, four people out of ten will be able to say whether they`re satisfied with my policies or not.”