RTL Today – Covid, the crashes and the Ducalcoaster: RTL Today’s most read articles in 2021
We look back on a roller coaster year in the news, dominated by the pandemic, but also characterized by devastating flooding, soaring house prices and a children’s TV show that raises eyebrows.
The year started with former Princess Tessy of Nassau who announced her engagement to Swiss businessman Frank Floessel.
From the sublime, we quickly turned to the ridiculous, with the news from Denmark of the premiere of an animated children’s television show that revolved around the life of John Dillermand – the man with “the longest penis in the world. world”.
In the pandemic news, at the end of January, all eyes were on Belgium following its announcement of a ban on non-essential travel to and from the country. The question that most agitates our readers? “Can I go to IKEA? “
At home, however, the news was better, with non-essential stores reopening earlier in the month, although hospitality remained closed.
February began with more heartwarming news from the former princess, with Tessy announcing that a baby was on the way.
Mid-month, a major fire broke out in a building on Place d’Armes in Luxembourg City. About fifty firefighters were mobilized to control the fire, visible from far away. Fortunately, the injuries were limited to two people who inhaled smoke.
In the Covid news, as the demand for hand sanitizers increased, the Luxembourg environment agency found that three quarters of disinfectants on the market did not comply with Luxembourg law.
Confusion over masks also reigned in Luxembourg primary schools, with inconsistent rules for 5 and 6 year olds requiring a clarification from the Ministry of Education.
March was a month of contrasts. On the one hand, many welcomed the publication of a UN report according to which Luxembourg is the eighth happiest country in the world. In contrast, a fatal accident on the N7 highlighted the dangers of driving on the country’s roads.
From a pandemic perspective, there was cause for optimism as the government simultaneously launched phases 5a and 2 of the vaccination campaign, thereby accelerating the rollout of vaccines. But there was also a call for more patience, as Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Health Minister Paulette Lenert delayed the reopening of the hotel sector.
This month it was all about real estate, with news that house prices had climbed 17% in the last year alone, with an average house in the Grand Duchy costing â¬ 1.3m. A vivid example of high prices was provided by this gem, for just 24,000 euros per square meter you could move into a completely renovated and modernized apartment in the heart of Luxembourg City!
As the vaccine rollout continued to expand, we all received good news as the first customers were allowed to return to the terraces of cafes and restaurants in the Grand Duchy.
After learning last month about how high house prices can be, we found out in May that there are still locations in Luxembourg that are more or less affordable. Continuing the theme of learning, we also got the story of Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, finding out that fame runs in his blood – his ancestor is classical music composer Sergei Rachmaninoff.
In pandemic news, the final phase of the vaccination campaign has begun with vaccines becoming available to all residents between the ages of 16 and 54. The reception was also opened more, customers being allowed to enter the premises.
We enthusiastically returned to Tessy’s pregnancy story in June, enjoying the breakout of a gallery of Tessy and Frank’s baby shower photos – featuring papier-mÃ¢chÃ© storks and all. We followed the story with interest throughout the rest of the year, with Tessy getting married in July in Switzerland, then welcoming a baby boy, Theodor, into the world in August.
The onset of summer has seen all manner of creepy creatures and critters wake up from their winter hibernation. Oak processionary caterpillars, mosquitoes and chiggers were back in the Grand Duchy. Our report included some helpful steps to minimize the risk of allergic reactions or skin irritation.
The summer also saw a further easing of Covid restrictions, with the lifting of the curfew and the resumption of nightlife. The arrival of the Delta variant in the UK, however, brought bad news for some, as Luxembourg introduced a quarantine and mandatory testing for arrivals from Britain.
Tragedy and devastation hit this part of the world in mid-July, with flooding raging in Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. We have kept you updated on the rapidly evolving situation with our live coverage.
Meanwhile, tragedy was averted in Bertrange, when a driver got stranded at a level crossing but managed to escape his vehicle before a train crashed into it.
Thinking back to the pandemic to date, a Der Spiegel Comparison of the data revealed that Luxembourg overcame the pandemic second in the world, with only Finland balancing the economy and health more effectively.
If the Prime Minister thought he could relax a bit, however, he was not so lucky. July was also the month Bettel fell seriously ill with Covid – she was admitted to hospital with difficulty breathing. After a few days of treatment, he recovered and was able to leave the hospital and return to work.
August saw no respite in what was turning out to be a particularly hectic year. Earlier this month, a man was shot dead in Ettelbruck after attacking police officers with a knife. He succumbed to his injuries.
At the end of the month, a report of Reporter.lu and the Nepalese time revealed the atrocious conditions of some Nepalese catering workers in the Grand Duchy, with interviewees detailing the allegations of violent abuse and poor living conditions.
If there was one story that continued to dominate, it was Covid vaccinations. A 22-year-old student in Italy became an unexpected internet sensation this month after tattooing his Covid certificate barcode on his arm.
We also revealed how, while helping the world fight the Covid-19 pandemic, pharmaceutical companies have raked in billions from jabs.
Another fatal crash made headlines in September, when a 20-year-old woman died in Esch-Belval after the driver lost control of her SUV, causing it to tip over in a roundabout.
In lighter news, the Prime Minister made headlines again after being spotted with Health Minister Paulette Lenert on a roller coaster ride at Fun Um Glacis.
Vaccines also grabbed the headlines this month. A new Covid law has been passed in the Chamber of Deputies, making the CovidCheck mandatory for anyone over the age of six. During the parliamentary debate on the new law, Bettel denounced a “minority” of the population which “forces the majority” to live with restrictions instead of “participating in the collective effort”.
Showing an odd knack for staying in the headlines, though not necessarily for all the right reasons, Prime Minister Bettel once again made headlines when reports revealed that he may have been committing crime. plagiarism in his university thesis.
Our attention quickly turned to other issues, however, with the announcement that Luxembourg would be the first country in the EU to legalize domestic production and consumption of cannabis.
And of course, it wouldn’t be a month in the Grand Duchy without more housing news. We spoke to a housing market researcher, who said pressure on land and real estate prices is approaching a “tipping point.”
October also saw the start of the fourth wave of coronavirus in Luxembourg, with the government going even further to increase vaccinations with a tightening of the CovidCheck regime to prevent unvaccinated people from using self-tests to enter reception facilities or Recreation.
This month, you finally got to meet us in person! The International Bazaar returned after a pandemic hiatus, and we had quizzes, good discussions, and general silliness galore.
It was also the month where we took the time to make sure our plans for the future were in order, as we learned all about how to get a good retirement in Luxembourg.
There was even more news on the Covid vaccine, as the government recommended booster shots for everyone aged 18 or older. As concerns about the pandemic continued, measures were further reinforced with a 2G diet (vaccinated or recovered) put in place for leisure and hospitality, and a 3G diet (vaccinated, recovered or tested) announced. for an introduction to the workplace from January.
There was no escape from the Covid news as we ended the year with the announcement that from Christmas day, a 2G + diet (boosted or vaccinated plus rapid test) and a curfew at 11 p.m. were to be introduced in the hotel sector.
Earlier this month, the imposition of Covid-19 measures also sparked violent protests in the streets of Luxembourg City, with protesters clashing with police at the Christmas market. Protests continued throughout the month, although the majority of protesters remained peaceful.
Yet despite the continued uproar and restrictions linked to the coronavirus pandemic, figures have revealed that on a per capita basis Luxembourg remains the richest country in the world.
Finally, we looked at what 2022 has in store for the Grand Duchy, by breaking down the next changes in taxes, housing, transport … However, as one speaker noted, we unfortunately cannot predict the time that it will do for the coming year. But for those who follow us on Facebook, we’ll do our best to keep you informed and entertained with our irreverent (some would say witty!) Weather messages.
Wishing you a safe, happy and prosperous year 2022, on behalf of the entire RTL Today team!