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October 2011 – Issue 06 – 4€ – www.delano.lu

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Understanding Luxembourg: current affairs, business, lifestyle, Culture

Integrated militant: how Chris Scott went from Eurobrat to political candidate

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editorial

impressum October - Issue 06

Editor in chief: Duncan Roberts (duncan.roberts@maisonmoderne.lu) Journalist: Aaron Grunwald (aaron.grunwald@maisonmoderne.lu) Contributor: Cordula Schnuer Photography: Julien Becker, Charles Caratini, Luc Deflorenne, David Laurent/Wide, Andrés Lejona, Olivier Minaire Proofreading: Cordula Schnuer, Cynthia Schreiber, Cathy Weber

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In accordance with article 66 of the law of 08.06.2004 on the freedom of expression in the media: the company that publishes Delano is indirectly held, by a stake exceeding 25%, by Mike Koedinger, an independent editor registered in Luxembourg. Mike Koedinger is chartered with daily management. Delano™ and Maison Moderne™ are trademarks used under licence by MM Publishing S.A. © MM Publishing S.A. (Luxembourg)

Gentrified capital gains Text: Duncan Roberts — Illustration: Quentin Vijoux

Elections may be taking place in all 106 communes across the Grand Duchy on October 9, but all eyes will be on a few key cities and most especially the capital. Because, unlike in many other countries, local elections in Luxembourg are just that--about local issues--and are never used to voice protest against national government. The fight for control of the capital city is all the more interesting because the last elections, in 2005, brought the Green Party into coalition with the city’s dominant political force, the Democratic Party. Under the leadership of Paul Helminger and François Bausch, the administration has since embarked on a series of initiatives that have modernised the city and made life easier for many of its residents and for those who come to work in the city. But opposition parties, as well as a handful of social and cultural commentators, argue that the capital has been robbed of its soul. They

are opposed to any form of what they call the “gentrification” of the city, and they are not just talking about real estate but the general character of the city. Some 20 years ago the city was still probably what those commentators would prefer it to be, “d’Stad”. The influence of a multicultural, cosmopolitan population had not yet seeped into daily life. But it was culturally bankrupt and social life was, by international standards, provincial. It is now, for better or worse, a city competing for jobs on the international market. And to attract business the capital has to offer a standard of living comparable with the likes of Dublin, Frankfurt and London. It can now do so, albeit on its own terms, by offering residents comfort and security as well as varied social life and exciting cultural programmes. Call it gentrification, if you will, but we will take that over sleepy provincialism any day.

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CONTENTS

50 COVER STORY

CHRIS SCOTT Integration poster girl Political candidate, lawyer, carriage rider, self-described Eurobrat. How did this former Miss Luxembourg and European School student end up as an advocate for foreigner rights, and what does she want to see come out of this month’s local elections?

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66

6 CURRENT AFFAIRS

28 BUSINESS

LOCAL ELECTIONS The expat vote: concern and apathy

WASTE NOT, WANT NOT How eco-tech start-ups are taking off

NETWORKING American Women’s Club of Luxembourg

10 HOME ECONOMICS Is the cost of housing really too high?

32 COMPETITIVENESS Is multilingualism an advantage?

58 GOING NATIVE Activities, people in the news & voting

14 NAMSA’S BIG PLANS Why the NATO base is hiring 16 BEST OF BRITISH TV BBC’s new app for foreign markets

18 ALICE WALPOLE

The new UK ambassador changes gears

56 LIFESTYLE

34 GREEN CUISINE New restaurant label starts to simmer 42 CARGOLUX Will its plans get off the ground?

66 EVENTS TO EXPERIENCE Noir fest, museum nights & dark expos

44 NO CHANCE ENCOUNTER

70 EPICUREANS/NIGHT OWLS

A new app connects total strangers

REGULARS

60 ON SCREEN British, Irish & Central European fi lm

Tips for dining out and relaxing

SNAPSHOTS

46 THINK LOCAL Clara Moraru: the Romanian language trainer explains how she kept coming back to Luxembourg--until she ended up staying.

24 SUMMER SHINDIGS Highlights from warm weather get-togethers, including AMCHAM, British Chamber, Nobelux and Rugby Club Luxembourg events.

74 MY OTHER LIFE

38 OEKO-FOIRE Thousands flocked to Luxexpo for the organic confab, which the Mouvement Ecologique used as an occasion to attack the ruling coalition government.

Steve Karier: the actor talks about how his love for the game led him to become president of the Rugby Club Luxembourg.

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Local elections

The right to vote More non-Luxembourgers than ever are voting in local elections on October 9. But what are the issues that concern “ex-pat” voters? And why didn’t more of them register to vote? Text: Duncan Roberts — Photos: Olivier Minaire

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current affairs

Lisa McLean: integration is a two way street

Evelyn Mchale: feeling of powerlessness if cannot vote

“Complain to the ballot box.” That is Evelyn McHale’s advice to any foreigners who criticise the administration in their commune. Yet, a significant number of those non-Luxembourgers eligible to vote in this October’s local elections have not bothered to take up that option. McHale, a compliance manager at Brown Brothers Harriman and mother of two primary school age boys in Luxembourg City, first registered to vote in time for the last council elections in 2005. “I hate the feeling of powerlessness that I have if I cannot vote,” she explains. While she is surprised that not more than around 20 percent of non-Luxembourgers registered to vote in the elections, Lisa McLean is more disappointed than anything. “I did expect it to be higher...because the politicians made great efforts with numerous information campaigns and town hall meetings to explain policies and voting systems,” says the station manager at Ara City Radio who lives with her family in Bertrange. McLean says she registered to vote because she believes that the privileged existence enjoyed by foreigners in Luxembourg means they owe it to the country to play a part. And, she adds,

“at the risk of sounding too heavy...in many countries women and men are still denied the right to vote, we owe it to them to use our vote.” There are, of course, mitigating circumstances that can explain why many foreigners do not exercise their right to vote. For a start, voting is compulsory for anyone on the electoral list (although postal votes are available for anyone not in the country on election day), and that is anathema to many non-Luxembourgers. Secondly, as foreign-born LSAP candidate Chris Scott suggests, “many people don’t follow politics and the voting system is complicated. It is completely different to most countries.” Then again, Scott claims that even some young Luxembourgers don’t know who to vote for. “They say they don’t have the information they need to make an informed decision.” Young Canadian Cassandra Francis agrees that obtaining infor­ mation about the policies of the different parties is not easy, especially for anyone whose French or German or Luxembourgish is not fluent. “So I can sort of understand why people don’t want to vote if they don’t understand what the parties are selling.”

Francis thinks 20 percent is “not an embarrassing number” and is more a reflection on the voting attitude of westerners in general these days rather than a failing of the I Can Vote campaign. “I think it is very progressive to allow third country residents to vote. In fact, this is the one election I am allowed to vote in, so it’s very exciting.” That will change when she obtains her Luxembourg nationality, a procedure she is currently going through, and will be allowed to vote in national and European Parliament elections. Democratic system Francis does not think that the system is too complicated. Indeed she has nothing but good to say about Luxembourg’s form of proportional representation. “I like the list system; I feel it is more democratic and representative of what people actually want than first past the post, as we have in Canada.” Much has changed in the nine years since Francis arrived as a young school student with her family. “I think the city has become a vibrant, metropolitan capital with art festivals, the Mudam and Philharmonie. Now if I am bored it is my own fault,” she says.

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current affairs

Capital campaign: posters for the main parties in Luxembourg city

Over in the commune of Strassen Luiza Sosna, a Pole who has lived in Luxembourg for four years, is the commune’s officer in charge of integration and equal opportunities. She helped organise numerous registration drive events together with foreigners’ rights lobby group ASTI and the national reception and integration office OLAI. But the commune also reached out to potential foreign voters with a personal letter in three languages. “Personal contact and communicating in a language that foreigners understand really helps,” says Sosna. The result was that close to 700 foreigners registered to vote--around the national average of 20 percent participation. In Bertrange, McLean says that the intro­ duction of a foreigner’s commission and the initiation of a meet and greet evening to welcome new families have improved integration efforts. “We also organize a multi-cultural festival every other year; this is basically a forum for cele­brating our differences. But integration is a two way street, if you want to get involved you can, especially though sports and music clubs.”

Sosna is illegible to vote because she does not yet fulfil the minimum residen­c y requirement of five years, yet she believes the issues that most concern voters in Strassen are the high cost of housing and the incessant traffic flow along the route d’Arlon. “Otherwise we have a high quality of life for families and singles. We are close to the city and have plenty of crèche facilities.” In the capital, Evelyn McHale is generally impressed by the Ville de Luxembourg--“ in a nutshell, I can see where my taxes are going, and that is the highest praise that I can give to the city council”-and by mayor Paul Helminger’s immediate and unconditional support to the campaign to save Luxair’s Luxembourg to Dublin route. “There were no ‘ ifs, buts or maybes’, and I thought that was amazing.” Transport issues McLean is also impressed by Bertrange mayor Frank Colabianchi’s accessi­bility and efficiency. “I recently sent an email to our mayor asking if a bike path to the city was part of the new Shared Living plan and if we would get the Vel’oh! system.

I had an answer by the end of the day; now that is impressive.” However, while McHale is pleased with the city’s bus system--“what’s not to love?”--she is not convinced about one central issue that could play a major part in the election campaign; the plans for the tram through the city. “I’m surprised that such an inflexible mode of transport is being proposed for such a flexible country,” she explains. “A tram track cannot be deviated from when the City is putting on one of its great events--Braderie, Schueberfouer, Marathon, National Day celebrations etc--nor when the roads are being dug up for improvement, which they always are.” As a city centre resident, Cassandra Francis, on the other hand, is thrilled at the prospect of the tram and hopes that it will relieve some of the traffic problems in the centre and that the city will consider extending the network. Lisa McLean, who commutes in to the city from Bertrange, believes the tram project will be worth it in the long run. However, she is concerned about the disruption that will be caused while the network is being built. McLean is also delighted that more and more people cycle. “Although car and bus drivers still have to learn to respect cyclists, I don’t really get the feeling that the roads are shared equally, and that puts me off using my bike in town.” In her own commune of Bertrange, McLean is cautiously optimistic about the introduction of the Shared Space concept which, in theory, gives pedestrians, cyclists, motorists all equal rights on the road. “Many of the roads have been reduced to 30 km/hr to slow traffic down and discourage through traffic. It’s a great idea, if it works,” she says. As a new graduate seeking her first job, Francis is also excited about the city’s proposed car sharing scheme. As mothers with children who have been through the local school system, education and child care facilities are issues close to the hearts of McHale and McLean. The latter says she has seen

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current affairs

Cassandra Francis: progressive of Luxembourg to allow foreigners to vote Luiza Sosna, Betty Welter and Eva-Maria Holz: personal contact is important

great improvements in the primary school’s efforts to meet the needs of children coming in without the necessary language skills. McHale is also generally pleased with the school her boys have visited, but is less happy with the annual shop for stationery and folders and having to cover text books in protective plastic foil. “I will be encouraging any candidates I meet to introduce central purchasing. Imagine the votes that would go to the party who was brave enough to remove the annual hell of the school list purchasing from parents?” She would also like to see a head teacher system introduced to primary schools, although she recognises that this is not part of the local authority’s remit. McHale is also pleased with the provision of top-class sporting and play facilities at amazingly low prices. “I am constantly amazed at, and grateful for, the quality of the facilities my children have access to.” However, the introduction of a new registration system for after-school care--necessitated by the national government’s Cheque service scheme--is a source of frustration for McHale. “Its previous loveliness and flexibility has now been marred...I don’t know before the 15th of

this month whether I will have a meeting before the 15th of next month. This can bewilder my employer.”  Like Cassandra Francis, McHale has also had her frustrations with the Bierger Center. Francis says the queues can sometimes be inordinately long--for instance she had to wait almost an hour when she went to register to vote. McHale’s complaint is more about procedures. “My outstanding example is having had to queue at the Bierger Center to get a piece of paper from the Ville de Luxembourg to give to the Ville de Luxembourg.” While she stresses that the staff at the administrative centre are generally very helpful but hamstrung by bureaucracy, she says she has a “half-serious belief ” that there is a secret agenda to make the bureaucracy so time-consuming that one parent caves in and stays in the home, thus opening up jobs for others. As Chris Scott says, immigrants are now less reticent about criticising their host nation. In the shape of the likes of McHale, McLean and Francis those complaints-as well as praise--will now be legitimately heard at the ballot box come October 9.

Strassen commune

Welcome book

The commune of Strassen has just published its first Welcome Book. Available in German, French and English as a loose-leaf binder to which the user’s own notes can be added, or as a CD-ROM, the book is a guide to everything new residents in the commune might need to know. Eva-Maria Holz, who had the idea to launch the book, says it is an essential guide that gathers information in one place--everything from schools to transport, climate and local customs. It is available from the commune’s Integration and Equal Rights office. www.strassen.lu

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current affairs

Home economics

HoUsing sHoCK Luxembourg’s international community loves to complain about high prices. But is there something to all the gripes about the cost of housing?

DATE LINE August – September 2011

JÉrÔme Krier: working with communes to boost development

Dublin (58) and Brussels (62). Yet Luxembourg still is more costly than many German cities, such as Frankfurt (73), Berlin (84) and Hamburg (88). “iT’s noT possiBLE” Nevertheless, in Luxembourg “not more than one-third of salary is spent on aver-

BRUSSELS CHECKS A leaked report said AUG the European Commission wants countries that seek to re-impose border controls within the Schengen area for more than five days to get permission. Various member states have proposed checks in response to an influx of migrants.

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age for housing,” says Jérôme Krier, special advisor at the housing ministry. “It’s not more than in most other countries” in Europe. He points to the Grand Duchy’s small geographic size, “exceptional” rate of immigration, high wages, and social changes--leading to smaller average household sizes--as

25 •

AUG

Lucien Thiel, journalist and political leader, 1943-2011.

David Laurent/Wide (archives)

New arrivals to Luxembourg are often shocked at the cost of housing. Even considering the high quality of life, prices are without question high. Yet the calculation is more complex than the top-line figures show. The average apartment--which was an average of 80 square meters--sold for 297,285 euro in 2010, compared to 286,240 euro in 2007, reports Luxembourg’s statistics agency. Costs continue to climb: apartment sale prices rose two percent and house prices were up four percent between the second quarter of 2011 and the second quarter of 2010, according to Luxembourg’s housing ministry. The cost of renting a house went up nearly four percent and apartment rents jumped 4.5% during the same period. According to consulting firm Mercer’s 2011 international rental accommodation costs comparisons survey, Luxembourg is the 72nd most expensive city in the world, cheaper than Moscow (ranked number four globally), Geneva (5), Zurich (7), London (18), Paris (27),

Olivier Minaire

Text: Aaron Grunwald & Cordula Schnuer

TRAMS AWAY Construction of the AUG Luxembourg City tram should begin in 2014, the infrastructure minister said. The initial phase of the network will run from the congested central station area east to Kirchberg plateau and south to the Gasperich district.

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current affairs

Emilie Seban-Jeantet: housing budget is about the same as Paris

Olivier Minaire

Charles Caratini

GILLES HEMPEL: housing costs hit the poor hardest

all having “an impact on the housing sector.” Indeed, many international newcomers are surprised when they begin to search for new digs, reports Sylvie Jacques, owner of the real estate agency Remax Luxembourg. Her clients sometimes are forced to trade down from a larger house to smaller apartment. “They say ‘I don’t understand why prices are so high’ or ‘it’s not possible’ and I had a customer say ‘Luxembourg is not Paris!’” Krier notes the price of land, not necessarily construction, is a big part of what fuels housing costs. The ministry is experimenting with granting 99 year leases on public land to open up space for development. Since 2009 it also has been engaging with communes to find more suitable plots and speed up the approval process. Yet local councils still

NEW REP. The European Comsep mission’s new head of representation in the Grand Duchy, Luxembourger Georges Bingen, took up his post. The 54 year old economist is responsible for communicating with local leaders and the media, and providing Brussels with feedback.

1•

have the final say over planning, despite the ministry’s ongoing pressure. The ministry also is in the midst of rolling out a number of ecological rebate initiatives to bring down the total longterm costs of owning a home. CAREFUL comparison In fact, compared with other European capital cities, Jacques says, “there is still room for prices to increase.” However, contrasted with non-capital cities of similar size, Luxembourg “is expensive.” She adds: “Compared to nearby cities in France and Germany, it’s still quite difficult for people on an average salary to buy.” Before moving to a neighbouring country, Jacques counsels home-seekers to “compare very carefully. When you look at prices, you have to also compare the related

REFUGEE PROTEST Thirty Iraqi asylum sep seekers launched a hunger strike at the place Clairefontaine to protest delays in their applications being addressed. The action netted a meeting with the immigration minister, who expressed concern, and later, acce­­lerated hearings.

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expenses.” For example, property and council taxes which together could cost 100 euro per year in Luxembourg might well be more than 3,500 euro in France, she states. In addition, Luxembourg’s first time homeowners tax abatement--20,000 euro per person or 40,000 euro for a couple --does not exist in France. For Emilie Seban-Jeantet and her family, moving to Luxembourg from Greater Paris, was an effort in organisation. Travelling back and forth, managing the move with three children already at school, Seban-Jeantet says they were lucky to find the right house quite quickly, after a marathon viewing of six properties in one day. She says that “the choices in a central location were few and the demand seemingly quite big.” Looking for a house in the city, she says that the

sep

SHORT The government unsep veiled plans for a new train station to be served by regional lines from Belgium, France and Germany. “Red Bridge” station will connect via cable car to avenue JFK, allowing Kirchbergbound commuters to bypass the central station.

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53%

University of Luxembourg students from abroad this year.

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current affairs

Olivier Minaire

SYLVIE JACQUES: compare total costs carefully

family took advice from friends in Luxembourg on where to look and how to go about it. Buying a property was out of the question says Seban-Jeantet. “We chose to rent for now, so that we can get to know the local market better before deciding to buy a property.” Even so, Seban-Jeantet found conditions different from her native France, in particular the fixed three-year lease on her house. In regards to pricing she finds that “on average the properties are bigger in Luxembourg than in our region. In return, the price per square meter is lower by around 30 percent. Therefore, the budget to rent for a family is roughly the same.” Unlike many others, Seban-Jeantet and her family did not want to live across the border and commute. “We wanted to live close to my husband’s work and profit

13 • Olivier Minaire

Tennis star Gilles Muller rose to 49 in the ATP rankings.

Hidden housing “There are so many houses in Luxembourg that are empty,” says Gilles Hempel, manager of the social housing agency AIS, which acts as an intermediary between landlords and tenants in financial straits. Quite a few are vacant because owners have moved to retirement homes and their children do not have the time or capacity to rent the spaces out. In exchange for slightly below-market rent, AIS takes on financial and maintenance responsibilities. It is a good bargain for landlords since “they don’t have to do any work or deal with the problems,” and they know the social housing agency is financially backed by the family and housing ministries.

ANTI-NUKE About 300 protestors sep marched in Perl, Germany, calling for the closure of Cattenom nuclear power plant across the border in France. Ecologists say atomic energy is unsafe. Cattenom entered service in 1986 and produces 8% of France’s electricity.

17 •

sep

from the city centre, its activities and shops.”

“We are not a competitor with the private market,” Hempel stresses, as AIS renters are those having difficulties. “Most of the people had a normal life, and then something happened.” This includes divorceemothers, widows, people who were laid off, fell ill or had an accident. All have trouble finding five months rent upfront to move into an apartment. “We see our agency as a social lift,” says Hempel. AIS renters pay a maximum of a third of their income for cold rent, for up to three years, with the government making up the rest. Hempel does believe the cost of housing in the Grand Duchy is a problem. “It’s difficult even for people who have a good job. But especially for people who don’t have much money. For the poorest, it’s a very, very big problem. Because everybody has to live somewhere. You cannot live in the street.”

NEW FOR NEUDORF The former Henri sep Funck brasserie in Neudorf was purchased by the Belgian group Atenor from HF Immobilier. The 13,000 square meter site will be redeveloped and feature apartments, restaurants and shops. Residents could move-in as soon as 2014.

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30 • sep

M

1,000,000  Expected total visitors to the Pompidou-Metz after 16 months.

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current affairs

Antonios Chatzidakis

“ NAMSA wants to fill the gap”

NATO is consolidating, but its Luxembourg-based logistics agency expects to grow. Interview: Aaron Grunwald — Photo: David Laurent/Wide

This summer NATO ministers agreed on a major reform programme, which will see four of the military alliance’s 11 European bases close, civilian staffing reduced from 13,000 to below 9,000, and the number of support agencies cut from 14 to four. One of those agencies, the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA), has been based in Luxembourg since the 1950s and today employs more than 1,200. Despite the overall savings push, NAMSA’s general manager says the logistics agency will actually grow. Antonios Chatzidakis, a retired Greek general, expects to start hiring at the beginning of next year. AG: Will NATO’s efficiency drive have a significant impact on your agency? AC: NAMSA is the biggest, and I would say financially the strongest, organisation in NATO. It will be the core element of the agency reform. Actually, it will give the opportunity to NAMSA to improve its business processes, its business directives, to reconsider and to modernise some management tools. Not because these have not been identified in the past, but now because of the atmosphere, everybody strongly believes that it should happen. Because other programmes will join NAMSA, in general NAMSA will increase; increase in the number of people located in Luxembourg. AG: Will you be hiring from within NATO? AC: The recruitment process is open to everybody; you cannot predict who

Antonios Chatzidakis: embracing reform

will apply. It might be people from other agencies, it might be people from outside, it might be people from anywhere within the NATO nations. AG: What new roles will NAMSA take on? AC: We expect solutions friendly to the environment will have a place in the future. We expect that old weapons systems in the European countries will need to be dismantled and destroyed. AG: What environmental projects are you developing? AC: Today we spend millions of euro on fuel. It is one of the main cost drivers for an operation. Fuel is spent on transportation, of course, but also a big part is dedicated to satisfying power

and heating requirements. The technology now is quite [sufficient] to replace the heating and electrical demands with solar or wind generators. Technology has very much improved for the protection and storage of some very hazardous materials that sometimes are used. All this forms a package, and NAMSA wants to take on the maintenance of this package. AG: Who is in charge of those functions now? AC: Nobody! Officially, everybody is talking about green solutions, everybody is talking about environmental protection, but there is nothing which can guarantee that the maintenance of the systems is well done. So NAMSA wants to fill the gap there.

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current affairs

BBC iPlayer app

Best of British TV In July BBC Worldwide launched a version of its popular iPlayer as an iPad app in Luxembourg and 10 other European markets. Text: Duncan Roberts — Photo: BBC

The BBC iPlayer app, which can be downloaded for free from iTunes, provides users with access to some 1,500 hours of programming, with the promise of a further 100 hours being added every month. Individual shows can be streamed or downloaded for future viewing--the app allows users to build a personal library on their iPad and watch programmes in any country in which the app is available--neighbouring Germany, Belgium and France as well as Austria, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Ireland and Portugal. A subscription costs €6.99 per month or €49.99 per year. This is the first time the BBC has allowed its archive to be accessed by audiences in Western Europe. The iPlayer app is, however, a totally new approach to the free of charge internet viewer already offered to UK audiences, which is more of a catch up service. The iPlayer allows users to select programmes by genre or popularity, but also to browse alphabetical listings of shows and search for specific programmes, actors or presenters. Already available are classic comedies such as Fawlty Towers and Only Fools and Horses, as well as more contemporary fare such as In The Thick Of It and The Mighty Boosh. Documentaries by the likes of David Attenborough, Simon Schama and Bruce Parry sit alongside entertainment programmes such as Top Gear. And the BBC’s much admired drama series, including Pride and Prejudice, Sherlock and classics like Edge of Darkness are also available. Current content also includes music programmes and shows for children.

Fawlty Towers: classic comedy available on the BBC iPlayer in Luxembourg

The pilot project is being rolled out exclusively on iPad, but will be extended to other hardware in future. Jana Bennett, president of BBC Worldwide networks and global iPlayer, says that Western Europeans tend to be early adaptors, and with an estimated two million British nationals living in the eleven markets, she believes there is an appetite for the programmes on offer. Luke Bradley-Jones, managing director of BBC.com, says that the application is a “premium but niche proposition” aimed at what he calls “super fans” of British culture. Speaking to Delano at the launch in London, Bennett said that the desire is to eventually create an application that features the very

best of British TV and maybe even film, depending on rights in different territories. But she was adamant that although the available content will grow, the iPlayer will not become a vast vault of BBC archive material. “It is an editorialised product, not a shop,” she says. Indeed, the app is aimed at allowing users to discover programmes they may have missed out on by living abroad. The intuitive and easy-to-use app in­c lu­des a “similar shows” feature and also provides additional information on BBC stars such as David Walliams and David Tennant. “We want to maintain the serendipity of discovery”, says Bennett. www.itunes.com/appstore/

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current affairs

Alice Walpole

Diplomatic privilege The new British ambassador to Luxembourg was used to being in the media spotlight during her last posting in Basra. Now she is looking forward to a different challenge. Text: Duncan Roberts — Photos: Olivier Minaire

Sitting in Alice Walpole’s office at the British embassy on a sunny September morning, it is difficult to imagine the world she was in just a few months ago. The ambassador’s residence, with its designer gardens overlooking the Petrusse and its well-appointed high-ceilinged reception rooms, is far removed from the Ikea bed in a shipping container encased in a concrete bunker that was home during her almost two-year stint as Consul General in southern Iraq. The full body armour that was required dress whenever she left Basra air station has been replaced with an elegant blue suit, in which the ambassador is the picture of business-like diplomatic charm. Walpole joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1985, right in the middle of the Cold War, as she puts it, because she felt that Britain had a contribution to make in the international community; to make the world a better place. “I genuinely believe, not in a jingoistic way, that there are things about the UK, about the sort of people we are--our intellectual history and our achievements-that make us an important world player; a country with experiences that are worth sharing,” she explains.

However, there was another, perhaps more personal motivation. Walpole had not travelled much outside Britain as a child (she came from a large family and her parents could not afford foreign holidays), but once she did she caught the bug. The ambassador says she discovered a whole huge fascinating world and really enjoyed the interaction with people from other cultures. “I thought, this is the sort of backdrop I want to my working life.” That way of life has seen Walpole have what she calls “the privilege” to represent the UK. But in her capacity at some of the UK’s representations to international organisations, Walpole has also represented the European Union. “During our presidency in 2005 you stood up in the UN and you said ‘I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.’ That is a fantastic privilege, because what you are saying is the concerted view of the governments of Europe, so it is something worth listening to.” Admiration for Luxembourg Reading through some of the press interviews she conducted while in Basra, it is clear that Walpole’s default personality setting is optimistic. She admits that the beginning of the 21st century

has been tough in terms of international relations, but says she spent the 1990s being extraordinarily optimistic after the Berlin Wall came down. “The end of the Cold War had such a marvellous beneficial effect on relations and access to countries around the world. When countries that haven’t worked together before started doing so, it moved things forward; I hope we can pull things round again.” Indeed, Walpole’s recent experiences in the UN, where she worked on climate change, and in Basra, where she arrived as the British troops were pulling out of southern Iraq, seem to have served to underline that optimism. “It is not something that comes out in the news in Europe, but actually southern Iraq is really making something of itself. The oil fields are moving to much better, cleaner exploitation, money is coming in and people are getting jobs. It was a fantastic time to be there. Being a diplomat, if you are in the right place at the right time, is to be a witness to world-changing events. We play a small part, we are the mouthpiece rather than the message, but I find it fascinating.” Walpole is not unfamiliar with Luxembourg, having visited for meetings during her stint as third secretary to the British representation to the EU in

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current affairs

Alice Walpole: the UK is a country with experiences worth sharing

Brussels in the late 1980s. She was instantly attracted to the Luxembourg post, even though it might be considered unglamorous compared to Basra or New York--although she says that anyone looking through her appointments diary for the next few months could hardly call it a quiet posting. She worked very closely with Luxembourg diplomats on the EU position at the UN in 2005, when the Grand Duchy held the presidency in the first half of the year and the UK in the second half. “I had tremendous admiration for what a small country can achieve with very good civil servants.” EU framework The ambassador says that although Luxembourg and Britain may have different views on individual issues in the EU spectrum, actually they share quite a lot. “We both have a commitment to the EU and we both follow through on what we say we’re going to do. We are both thoughtful and engaged on the EU and I think there is room for us to work closely on all sorts of issues.” For instance, she says that even though London and Luxembourg may be in competition in the financial services sector, both have a vested interest in

Being a diplomat... is to be a witness to worldchanging events” British ambassador Alice Walpole

ensuring that rules and regulations are the right ones, and that it is managed well. “As member states we conduct our bilateral relations within the framework of the EU, it is difficult to separate out.” Walpole says that on a personal level she is hoping Luxembourg gets the UN Security Council seat it is vying for, and she is also looking forward to the European Council meetings in Luxembourg in April, June and October. “It’s obviously an important forum for EU business, but I hope that in the margins of that we can do some good bilateral business with Luxembourgers and other EU colleagues.”

She is very interested in business and what she can achieve here. Indeed, somewhat to her surprise, much of her work in Basra was about getting British business into the oilfields. “I went from knowing nothing about the hydrocar­bon sector to…well, I could have passed for a BP employee in a room full of oil men. It was fascinating.” Encouraging more in­ward investment in the UK is part of the job, but she is also keen to help British companies get into the market here. “We’ve got some world beating companies in the financial services sector, so I am starting with a royal flush.” The ambassador has already made some informal contact with members of the local British community--she only presented her credentials in mid-September--and was thrilled to be asked to be patron of the British scouts. “And, entirely selfishly, it is a delightful city to live in and for my children to visit. And everyone here has been so welcoming.” Also, having learned Swahili and Arabic, Walpole, who has French and some German, is looking forward to learning Luxembourgish “Everywhere I have been I have focused on the language, I haven’t wanted to be anywhere without speaking the language.”

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current affairs

Walpole has six children, including two sets of twins, and much was made of the fact in the UK media that this divorcee was serving in a potentially dangerous place such as Basra. But she says she would never have taken up that post if any of her children had asked her not to go to Iraq. Nevertheless, it was not easy at times being away from the family. She recalls being on the phone to one of her eldest daughters during a sudden rocket attack and having to reassure her that everything was fine. Media savvy The attention Walpole received while serving in Basra is evidence that she is genuinely media savvy. She appeared on BBC radio programmes like Woman’s Hour or wrote for columns such as The Sunday Times’ ‘A Life in the Day’ to draw attention to the situation in southern Iraq, using the media’s love of a good human interest story to spread the positive news about the improving situation that she says they would otherwise have little interest in broadcasting or publishing. “There was an extremely important message to get out there. That thanks to the engagement of the British military in southern Iraq it has completely changed and is going in the right directions--the elections went well and stuff was happening.” Indeed, she had been moved by television programmes in which relatives of soldiers who had been killed in Iraq said they did not know why their husband, son or father had died. “I wanted to speak to that demographic and tell them that this is a beacon of democracy,” she explains. The media was more interested in soundbites about the difficulties of knitting in body armour, her camouflage gardening gloves (given as a gift from an American pilot concerned that her pink ones made her a snipers’ target), or the fact that Walpole, as consul general and a mother of six, slept in an Ikea bed in a shipping container immersed in concrete. “We were a little bit shameless about that. They would

Alice Walpole: the UK and Luxembourg are both thoughtful and engaged on the EU

ask ‘How do you manage your children?’ and I would reply ‘There are great business opportunities in Basra’.” The strategy clearly paid off, as Walpole received an enormous postbag from bereaved relatives, military personnel who had been in Basra and also from young women who were thrilled to hear the FCO offered opportunities of an exciting and rewarding career. But Walpole never saw herself as a role model for single mothers with careers. “Every parent who has a job worries about how to juggle the two. When you’re a parent and not with your children, it doesn’t matter how far away you are to some extent.” Indeed, she says that working in the foreign office as a parent has many advantages over working in the private sector. After all the FCO, and in its previous guises as the Colonial Office or the India Office, has been in the business of sending families overseas for hundreds of years. Nevertheless, the ambassador is clearly well-grounded. “It is about knowing your personal circumstances and making that fit. My job is important to me, but it is the backdrop and the enabler to my family life. The family life isn’t the backdrop.”

The British Embassy

5, Boulevard Joseph II, Luxembourg city Tel:  22 98 64 Email: britemb@internet.lu Open: Mon-Fri: 09:30-12:00 Afternoons, by appointment only, 14:00-17:00 Ambassador: Alice Walpole (PAs: Claire Jordan: Claire.Jordan@ fco.gov.uk & Rebecca Kellagher: Rebecca.Kellagher@fco.gov.uk) Consular and general enquiries: Penny Steffen Penny.Steffen@fco.gov.uk Tel: 22 98 64 2210  Trade and Investment Assistant: Thomas Flammant Thomas.Flammant@fco.gov.uk Tel: 22 98 64 2216  Press and Public Affairs: Petra Kiefer Petra.Kiefer@fco.gov.uk Tel: 22 98 64 2221  The embassy does not issue passports or visas, but can provide forms and the address to which they should be sent. www.ukinluxembourg.fco.gov.uk

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23.09.2011 11:58:48 Uhr


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02/09/11 17:16


CURRENT AFFAIRS

IT’S BEEN A GOOD OR BAD MONTH FOR:

DELANO-READING IPAD AND IPHONE OWNERS

Publishing

A CONTEMPORARY SNAPSHOT A new book provides a refreshingly unique and often personal insight into modern Luxembourg. And Maison Moderne has also published a beautiful calendar.

We launched our Apple Store application at the beginning of September, allowing downloaders of the free app to access Delano’s successful Ten Things To Do This Week newsletter. By week two of the app going live, it was encroaching into the top five Luxembourg apps. www.delano.lu

JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER

No matter what criticism he faces abroad, the prime minister is untouchable at home. His approval rating is an astonishing 92% (up from 88% in May), according to the latest Politbarometer poll conducted by TNS-Ilres on behalf of the Luxemburger Wort and RTL.

FOOTBALL FANS

Not only did the Red Lions record their first victory in Euro 2012 qualifying Group D, but this season’s BGL Ligue is shaping up to be an interesting and open contest. Luxembourg’s 2-1 win over Albania came courtesy of goals from Gilles Bettmer and Aurelien Joachim. In the domestic league, after six games just three points separate the top seven teams. www.flf.lu

FLAVIO BECCA

Not only did the entrepreneur face criticism from local cycling fans after announcing the merger of Luxembourg’s pro-cycling team with American outfit Radio Shack, he was then told the new name -- Radio-ShackNissan-Trek -- was inadmissible. And to top it off, his home and offices were raided as part of an investigation into “abuse of corporate assets.”

MOIEN: a unique insight into Luxembourg, written with intelligent lightness of touch

Moien is what editor Mike Koedinger calls “a contemporary snapshot of Luxembourg.” The 200-page book covers a broad range of subjects--everything from architecture and fi lm to the financial centre and industry; from gastronomy, wine and culture to politics, tourism and the economy. As well as being a snapshot of the current situation, Moien also includes a glimpse into the future to how the country, and its capital city in particular, might change over the next couple of decades. There is also a chapter dedicated to the “next generation” in which 10 local commentators in different fields chose 10 talents under the age of 30 who should be worth looking out for as their careers develop. But the book also looks into the past, with a brief history of Luxembourg and chapters on Lëtzebuergesch, the country’s sporting achievements and immigration and integration all delving into the development of what is

still a young country. And there is a stunning photo-montage of what the city looked like in its “natural state” before any settlement was built. If that all sounds a bit dry and intellectual, Moien is far from it. The texts are intelligent and refrain from facetiousness, but are written with a lightness of touch. In addition, there are a number of visual chapters, such as Andrés Lejona’s still life portraits of food from the Schueberfouer. Lejona is also the photographer for Maison Moderne’s fi rst venture into calendar publishing. Luxembourg 2 en 1 features his incongruous shots of the city’s tourist sites paired with Eric Chenal’s beautiful photographs of Luxembourg’s buildings by night-from the illuminated Philharmonie to the Kyosk. The large format rectoverso calendar and the Moien book are both available from outlets and DR the Maison Moderne website. www.maisonmoderne.lu

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23.09.2011 10:28:27 Uhr


The Delano Ipad And Iphone Applications Available Now

www.delano.lu

pub_Delanodigital_Delano.indd 1

23.09.2011 10:37:50 Uhr


SNAPSHOTS

Best of…

SUMMER SHINDIGS Photos: Charles Caratini, Luc Deflorenne, David Laurent/Wide, Olivier Minaire

Since our last edition, Luxembourg’s international community took advantage of the warmer weather to get together for business and for pleasure. Here are just a few of the highlights. More photos from all these events are available at www.delano.lu. AG

Mark Gillies at the British Chamber’s annual golf day, July 1

Michel Maquil, Anders Borg and Freddy Bracke at Nobelux’s monthly luncheon, June 20

Mathilde Nankwaya and Anders Borg at Nobelux’s monthly luncheon, June 20

David Kitzinger and Martin Bronner at Nobelux’s monthly luncheon, June 20

Fraser Turnbull, William Gilson and Ayzo van Eysinga at the British Chamber’s annual golf day, July 1

Darren Robinson (in foreground), Andrew Notter and Patrick Hutchines at the British Chamber’s annual golf day, July 1 Antoine Rech and Duncan Roberts at AMCHAM’s 15th anniversary celebration, July 7

Claus Cramon Houmann and Gillian Arcone at the British Chamber’s annual golf day, July 1

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SNAPSHOTS

Luc Scheer at paperJam Business Club’s Bastille Day soirée, July 14

Adrien Baudouin and Line Lesiakowski at paperJam Business Club’s Bastille Day soirée, July 14

Takashi Suetsuna and Paul Schonenberg at AMCHAM’s 15th anniversary celebration, July 7

Pedro Castilho and Corina Neagoe at paperJam Business Club’s Bastille Day soirée, July 14

ankwaya g at thly 20 Sandra and Deandra Williams at the American Independence Day BBQ, July 3

At the American Independence Day BBQ, July 3

At the American Independence Day BBQ, July 3

October 2011 - DELANO - 25

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SNAPSHOTS

Iris Ovadiya at AMCHAM’s 15th anniversary celebration, July 7

Eyup Cicek, Özlem Goksu and Murat Ozorpak at InterNation’s monthly social networking night, Aug 30

Hugues Ait Mokhtar, Alain Feyereisen and Nora Kraemer at InterNation’s monthly social networking night, Aug 30 Guy de Muyser, David R. Fetter and Paul Schonenberg at AMCHAM’s 15th anniversary celebration, July 7

Robert Deed (second from right) at AMCHAM’s 15th anniversary celebration, July 7

Carolyn Linnevers at InterNation’s monthly social networking night, Aug 30

26 - DELANO - October 2011

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02/09/11 16:12


Eco-tech

WASTE NOT, WANT NOT A new set of start-ups are profiting from what used to be considered garbage. Is this key to Luxembourg’s economic diversification? Text: Aaron Grunwald — Photos: Luc Deflorenne

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Business

Jean Schummer: official programmes are the best way to stretch marketing budgets

CHRISTIAN TOCK: eco-tech is as much about economy as ecology

“If we save the world... that’s nice, but the main goal is to help companies to grow and to create jobs and stimulate exports,” says Christian Tock, manager of the Luxembourg Eco-Innovation Cluster. He is talking about the Luxembourg economy ministry's identification of ecological tech­nology as a growing field where the Grand Duchy can stake out a compe­ titive position. Indeed, a clutch of innovative enterprises are emerging in the space. The objective is not merely about environmental friendliness, but to deliver bottom-line results. His programme is part of the Luxin­ novation agency, supported by the economy ministry as part of its drive to diversify the Grand Duchy’s economy. One of the cluster’s main prongs is sti­ mu­lating bio-waste energy and recovery projects. “We have in Luxembourg at CRP Lippmann, CRP Tudor and the University, very competent people in the domain of bio-waste,” reprocessing techniques used to create electricity and heat, and reclaim valuable elements like phos­ phorus and water. There also are a number of Luxembourg companies in the space and Tock

says “now we’re trying to put them together, to come up with pilot projects” that cover “the whole value chain from bio-waste.” The means, for example, taking-in sewage sludge and processing the material to “use all the energy and nutrients that are in this waste, to produce energy and fertilizers.” In the end there will be no waste or toxic materials to dispose of. NEW SUPPLIES One such firm gaining traction in the field is Junglinster-based L.E.E., which designs biogas-run power plants for the agricultural, industrial and municipal waste treatment sectors. Such facilities create energy from kitchen and supermarket leftovers, manure and grass cuttings, among other organic material. The 11-year old company has been active across the Greater Region, as well as in Canada, China, India and Poland. It recently provided the engineering services for a 14 million euro plant that produces two megawatts of electricity, enough to run 80,000 25-watt lightbulbs. L.E.E.’s manager Jean Schummer says participating in official cooperative booths at industry trade fairs has been

vital to stretching his marketing budget, since his competitors are much larger global players. “With a small company like ours... it’s difficult to start working in new countries and being accepted by big international companies.” Nevertheless, he does not feel totally disadvantaged. “The question always asked by clients is, who are your references and when can we visit it?” Being able to invite prospective customers to Luxembourg to visit installed sites makes all the difference, Schummer explains. Another Luxembourg firm, Epuramat, redesigned the entire approach to wastewater treatment. Traditional plants use bacteria and heat to treat water, which generates large amounts of CO2 gas, explains Dirk Martin, sales and marketing director. The Contern-based company uses a low-energy approach to separate solids from liquids early in the treatment process, reducing cost and environmental impact at each step. This year it introduced a miniature wastewater treatment plant that literally fits inside a standardised 20 or 40 foot shipping container. It can treat water in places that are not connected to a

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Business

DIRK MARTIN: “amusement factor” of coming from Luxembourg does not last long

sewage network, such as remote communities, holiday resorts and oil drilling sites. Martin says the water can be used for irrigation or discharged onto to the ground, saving both environmental fees and the amount of new water that needs to be purchased. The water “ has a quality standard of far higher purity than required in Europe and even Canada, one of the most stringent in the world.” GOING GLOBAL In addition to Luxembourg, it has sold into Canada, France, Germany and the UK. “There’s an amusement factor when you say you come from Luxembourg. But once customers see the products it’s irrelevant where you come from.” Sweden is where Boson Energy’s technology comes from, but the biomass concern set up shop in the Grand Duchy last year. Initially the company planned to only have its legal headquarters in Luxembourg and not actual operations, explains co-founder and chair Jan Grimbrandt. “Then we met with the minister of economy and Luxinnovation, and hmmm, something really switched on.” The firm decided to “dig

where we stand” which rather fits in with its value proposition. “The basic fundamental of our product is to go IMBY: in my backyard.” Boson specialises in relatively small-scale cogeneration biomass plants, which typically produce less than one megawatt of electricity plus slightly more than that in equivalent heat. This makes it well suited to take advantage of government guarantees for selling renewable energy to the power grid, makes it possible to grow and transport the grasses that fuel the plants within a localised area, and means the biomass generators can more easily fit into existing industrial sites. Today Boson is developing a demonstration site with a very well known Luxembourg company and is currently negotiating plans with another well known local industrial player. Customers in Germany, Italy and Poland are also in its sights. KEY SUPPORT Epuramat also received patronage from Luxembourg institutions. It was one of the very first startups to win the 1,2,3,GO business plan competition, which pro-

vides financial backing to encouraging young start-ups. Martin says 1,2,3,GO “ helped us put a stick in the ground and establish the company.” Now that Epuramat is selling products “we have strong support from the government taking us on state visits and trade missions.” For his part Schummer stresses all the government-led initiatives available today are key for opening doors, especially internationally, but ultimately companies still have to have better products and services to succeed, no matter what the Grand Duchy’s leaders do. When “it comes to contract negotiations… it’s only the quality and know-how which is important.” At the same time, “I wouldn’t have had a chance” of signing Boson’s major deals without the support of the economy ministry and Luxinnovation, says Grimbrandt. “They opened a few doors and arranged meetings.” The institutions were not only helpful at introducing potential customers, but local partners as well. “I asked them questions about which companies might have these types of capabilities. Then, bam, bam, bam... now we have a complete supply chain.”

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Innovating together in... | Materials technologies | Environmental technologies | Health care technologies | Information and communication technologies | Business organisation and management

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Business

Linguistic prowess

HELP OR HINDER? A research study and symposium ask what multilingualism contributes to Luxembourg’s competitiveness. Text: Aaron Grunwald — Photo: David Laurent/Wide

Is Luxembourg’s multilingualism a com­ petitive advantage or drag on efficiency in today’s global economy? That is the question Berlitz, Luxembourg for Busi­ ness and Quest tackled in a research study begun last spring. At press time, the results were due to be presented during a symposium on September 27. Speaking to conference presenters before­ hand, it is clear that multilingualism adds operational complexity, brings tan­gible benefits, and relies heavily on English serving as the linguistic cor­ nerstone. At the University of Luxembourg, offi­ cial use of three languages--English, French and German--“creates all kinds of organisational problems,” says its rector, Rolf Tarrach. “For instance, when I write a [memorandum] to personnel, on one hand I’d like to use all three languages. On the other hand, lately I’m just writing everything in English. Because if I write it in English, I know everybody is going to understand. If I write it partially in French, or partially in German, then I know there will be lot of people who will not understand it. Then of course my messages don’t get through.” The official language at KPMG in Luxembourg is English, states Petra Buderus, head of HR. That includes its labour contracts, internal trainings and employee communications. She says the firm is only occasionally una­ ble to recruit a candidate because they would not be able to, for example, fol­ low a staff presentation or respond to a colleague’s question in English. Buderus also points out the special challenge of a diverse international team

PETRA BUDERUS: multilingualism enriches intellectual and business life

“ Does this create confusion?” Petra Buderus

mostly working in their second lan­ guage. “Does this create confusion? Yeah, we might have questions. People might ask, ‘what does that mean?’” She adds: “At the same time, it’s the richness of the place in which we are, because I think it opens the mind of the people, to ask twice sometimes: ‘I understand this, is this what you mean?’ That perhaps permits us to be more efficient in our relationships.” At the same time, language is often the key

to cultural insight, Buderus notes. Speaking French or German is helpful in under­standing the French sense of humour or German conceptions of time. That is not only helpful in developing client relationships, but also in know­ ing what products and services would be of interest in the first place. Tarrach reckons the university uses “arguably the three most important languages in Europe,” considering the 100 million native German and 75 million native French speakers on the continent. This helps recruit more candidates from heavy­ weight countries such as China, Ger­ many, India, the UK and the US, he says. In turn, that opens up enough doors for students, so that trilingual­ ism “is more important than the inconveniences.”

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23.09.2011 10:33:09 Uhr


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Business

Green cuisine

GOOD eAtiNG The Mouvement Ecologique is launching “couvert”, a new label for restaurants serving organic and vegetarian dishes. Text: Cordula Schnuer — Photos: Olivier Minaire

This year’s Oeko-Foire saw the launch of couvert, a label created by the Mouvement Ecologique and its affi liate, the OekoZenter. The label marks out restaurants that cook at least partly with organic products and feature a regularly changing variety of vegetarian dishes on their menu. Mouvement Ecologique president Blanche Weber says there is dual motivation behind the launch of couvert; both political and functional. While the Mouvement Ecologique works as a so cio-political lobbying group, the OekoZenter, with Myriam Schiltz acting as consultant, offers practical advice and support. Together they hope to reward restaurants already working to couvert standards, but also to act as a catalyst for change in the restaurant trade, as well as with suppliers and in agriculture. Couvert is the result of a consultation between the Mouvement Ecologique, the OekoZenter and a number of restaurateurs. As a first batch of restaurants are already on their

DATE LINE August - September 2011

way to receiving their certification, there are high hopes for the new label. QUALitY For Carlo Speltz, chef and owner of the Brasserie Speltz and À la Soupe, the benefit of cooking with organic products lies clearly in the quality of the food. Talking about the rise in demand for organic produce he says, “ for me, this is not a trend or a fashionable fad.” Food, for Speltz, is about health. “Food is something that we literally put inside our bodies. With certain products I would be very hesitant to do that.” Using food grown organically and regionally is also connected to identity, says Speltz. “When you go to the supermarket you can buy food from across the globe. Many consumers don’t consider what is in season, because they don’t have to. There’s no connection to the food.” Despite his belief in the superior quality of organic food, Speltz sees it as a benefit for the couvert label that restaurants are not bound to cook solely with

UBS CUTS STAFF A Swiss bank anAUG nounced the loss of 3,500 staff. UBS said 35% of redundancies would come from its wealth management business, which employed 410 in Luxembourg. The bank posted lower-than-expected second quarter earnings in July.

23 •

organic products. Cooking organically is more expensive and “we live in times where the cost of things has become incredibly important,” says Speltz. It also offers restaurateurs the chance to gradually develop their commitment to organic food. In this context, Myriam Schiltz highlights that the OekoZenter “is there to give support, especially in regards to suppliers of organic produce,” acknowledging that restaurants often have longstanding working relationships with trusted suppliers. re-tHiNKiNG Fabiana Bartolozzi, owner of the Casa Fabiana, has already gone the extra mile, with her restaurant serving a wholly organic menu. Like Carlo Speltz she says, “organic food is good food and quality food.” But she also highlights the importance of a creative cuisine, as vegetarian dishes and seasonal cooking make some ingredients simply unavailable. The distinction between organic and vegetarian food, for her, is an important

FAKE FIRM? Luxembourg and UK AUG regulators warned an entity called “AC-Alternative” was providing financial advice illegally. On their website the alleged fraudsters use the real address of legitimate fund manager Alceda, which is not implicated in the affair.

25 •

DOWN UNDER Clearstream signed AUG on with the Australian Stock Exchange, extending its Asia-Pacific reach. The companies will develop a collateral management service for the $2.4 trillion Australian market. More than 20% of Clearstream’s revenue comes from Asia.

29 •

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Business

MOre PeOPLe eAt OrGANicALLY”

BlanCHe WeBer and MYriaM sCHiltz: motivate restaurants to change

one. “People used to think that organic food was for muesli freaks, but attitudes have changed.” Whereas Bartolozzi expected the demand for vegetarian dishes to be higher, her first year in business has shown an equal interest in quality meat and fish products. It is this change of attitudes, say Weber and Schiltz, that makes a label like couvert necessary. “More and more people eat organically, for reasons of health and the environment. You need to make the industry aware that there are new trends and give them a little push to join in,” says Weber. In one thing they all agree: customers, too, need to re-think their attitudes about food. Weber is particularly passionate about this issue. “If you want a good and healthy agriculture, where farmers contribute to the protection of the environment, with no mass-animal farming, then you have to be willing to pay a right and fair price.” But, adds Bartolozzi, it is important to explain to customers why the products are more expensive and where the benefits lie. “I’ve had

FINDEL FIRST A Swiss firm will inAUG vest € 30 million in the Findel free trade zone, created by the Luxembourg government this year to boost investment and diversify the economy. The artwork handler NLC expects to hire 100 employees when its facility opens by 2014.

31 •

2•

sep

€0.024 Increase in official petrol price per litre.

SAFE BANKS Banque et Caisse sep d’Epargne de l’Etat is one of the top 10 “safest banks” in the world, according to Global Finance. The magazine’s 20th annual ranking--due out in October--places BCEE in 8th safest spot, based on credit ranking and total assets.

6•

RUSSIA RISING SES partnered with sep Gazprom Space Systems, adding satellite capacity to the burgeoning Russian market. SES already repositioned one satellite and will launch another to cover Russia in 2013. SES linked up with Russian telecom firm Vimpelcom last year.

7•

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Business

Fabiana Bartolozzi: organic products are quality products Carlo Speltz: “Couvert” is a contemporary label

people look at the price and then leave again,” she says, “but I have also spoken to customers who say they understand the difference in price. It is a choice.” An initiative like couvert is also a way to sensitise customers and to raise the visibility of organic products, says Speltz. He adds, “going to the restaurant, guests do not want to be reminded of their own bad conscience,” but says that couvert is a way to point people in the right direction. “The label is a guarantee for consumers that can reinforce their choice of restaurant.” Perspectives In the long-term, the label might also promote organic farming and show a demand for the product. “We need to show farmers that it is worth it to make the

COLLATERAL DEAL Clearstream partnered sep with US financial tech firm DTCC. The American giant will integrate Clearstream’s collateral management system. Earlier this year, Clearstream signed similar deals in Australia and Brazil, as part of its global growth plan.

15 •

9•

Charles Cratini/SIP

sep

The prime minister supported Turkey’s entry into the euro zone.

transition to organic farming,” says Weber. According to Statec, in 2009 only 2.5% of agricultural land was being farmed organically. For Bartolozzi, this is not nearly enough. She says organic farming “should replace conventional farming in the long term, even though that is hardly likely to happen.” Within the restaurant industry, Speltz and Bartolozzi both say that couvert could lead to an interesting exchange of ideas and experiences, while Weber and Schiltz hope that a successful launch could bring more ministerial support. Currently, the ministry of sustainability will help the first wave of restaurants to carry the initial cost of organic certification with the agriculture ministry as an additional partner.

“Our charter for the label corresponds with the guidelines the state has set in that area, and we do think there is room for more support in the future,” says Weber. Indeed, the label is about more than organic and vegetarian food. The participating restaurants commit to regional and seasonal cooking, trying to minimise the environmental impact of food transport. Fresh products, less waste, no GM foods, responsibly sourced meat and fish products, and fair trade goods are on the menu. At the heart of the label stands a varied, balanced and creative selection of dishes, with a variety of vegetarian options. “And if people have prejudices against organic cooking,” says Bartolozzi, “they should just come and see for themselves.” www.couvert.lu

THANKS TIM At a finance minis­ters sep meeting, the American treasury secretary criticised the lack of EU action on the sovereign debt crisis. Following the critique, Luxembourg’s prime minister said Europe would not discuss its plans with a noneuro state.

16 •

NO HAMMER The Soviet coat of sep arms cannot receive the common EU trademark, the European Court of Justice ruled. Trademarks must conform with all member state rules, it said, and the symbol is considered “offensive” under Czech, Hungarian and Latvian law.

20 •

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Business

Fabiana Bartolozzi: organic products are quality products Carlo Speltz: “Couvert” is a contemporary label

people look at the price and then leave again,” she says, “but I have also spoken to customers who say they understand the difference in price. It is a choice.” An initiative like couvert is also a way to sensitise customers and to raise the visibility of organic products, says Speltz. He adds, “going to the restaurant, guests do not want to be reminded of their own bad conscience,” but says that couvert is a way to point people in the right direction. “The label is a guarantee for consumers that can reinforce their choice of restaurant.” Perspectives In the long-term, the label might also promote organic farming and show a demand for the product. “We need to show farmers that it is worth it to make the

COLLATERAL DEAL Clearstream partnered sep with US financial tech firm DTCC. The American giant will integrate Clearstream’s collateral management system. Earlier this year, Clearstream signed similar deals in Australia and Brazil, as part of its global growth plan.

15 •

9•

Charles Cratini/SIP

sep

The prime minister supported Turkey’s entry into the euro zone.

transition to organic farming,” says Weber. According to Statec, in 2009 only 2.5% of agricultural land was being farmed organically. For Bartolozzi, this is not nearly enough. She says organic farming “should replace conventional farming in the long term, even though that is hardly likely to happen.” Within the restaurant industry, Speltz and Bartolozzi both say that couvert could lead to an interesting exchange of ideas and experiences, while Weber and Schiltz hope that a successful launch could bring more ministerial support. Currently, the ministry of sustainability will help the first wave of restaurants to carry the initial cost of organic certification with the agriculture ministry as an additional partner.

“Our charter for the label corresponds with the guidelines the state has set in that area, and we do think there is room for more support in the future,” says Weber. Indeed, the label is about more than organic and vegetarian food. The participating restaurants commit to regional and seasonal cooking, trying to minimise the environmental impact of food transport. Fresh products, less waste, no GM foods, responsibly sourced meat and fish products, and fair trade goods are on the menu. At the heart of the label stands a varied, balanced and creative selection of dishes, with a variety of vegetarian options. “And if people have prejudices against organic cooking,” says Bartolozzi, “they should just come and see for themselves.” www.couvert.lu

THANKS TIM At a finance minis­ters sep meeting, the American treasury secretary criticised the lack of EU action on the sovereign debt crisis. Following the critique, Luxembourg’s prime minister said Europe would not discuss its plans with a noneuro state.

16 •

NO HAMMER The Soviet coat of sep arms cannot receive the common EU trademark, the European Court of Justice ruled. Trademarks must conform with all member state rules, it said, and the symbol is considered “offensive” under Czech, Hungarian and Latvian law.

20 •

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21/09/11 13:29


SNAPSHOTS

Oeko-Foire

ATTACK THE BLOCK

Photos: Luc Deflorenne

Mouvement Ecologique president Blanche Weber used her opening address at this year’s Oeko-Foire (September 16-18) to launch what is now a traditional attack on the coalition CSV-LSAP government. With minister for sustainable development and infrastructure Claude Wiseler and his deputy Marco Schank sitting in the front row, Weber’s attack was aimed more at the CSV block than the LSAP. She even had a go at prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker for what she called his “cheap populism” in trying to insist that the Agrazentrum--the collection site for harvested grain--be sited in Luxembourg at all costs. Indeed, Weber said that the government and society were doing their best to avoid the challenge of creating sustainable development. The fair itself was another success with an estimated 14,000 visitors young and old f locking to Luxexpo to obtain information, buy organic products and DR be entertained.

Books were a popular item at the fair

Organic retailer Naturata staged its customary colourful display of fruit and vegetables Children got to bake using organic products

Green party MEP Claude Turmes

Illustrator Marc Angel and authors Thorunn and Thomas Schoos signed copies of children’s book Pelle Svensson et la République des animaux

Power assisted bicycles are the next big thing

Vegetarian cooking classes for adults proved very popular

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9/22/11 11:20 AM


Business

Trade and investment

HAND IN HAND

COST OF EURO BREAKUP

An economic mission to China is a chance to show Luxembourg’s strong sense of public-private partnership.

Europe’s sovereign debt crisis has led to speculation the member states may voluntarily or involuntarily quit or be ejected from the common euro currency. The economic toll of such moves would be high, says a large Swiss bank.

Estimated cost per resident of a “weak” euro country that exits the monetary union, during the first year, according to UBS

40 – 50%

Estimated first year hit to a weak country’s GDP

€3,000 – 4,000

Estimated annual cost per person “over subsequent years”

€6,000 – 8,000

The bank’s estimated cost “for every German adult and child in the first year” if Germany were to exit the euro

€3,500 – 4,500

The cost “per person per year thereafter”

20 – 25%

Equivalent German GDP loss the first year

€1,000

Estimated total cost per person of “bailing out Greece, Ireland and Portugal entirely” in case of default

“Close to zero”

Probability of a euro break-up, says UBS

Charles Caratini

€9,500 – 11,500

DIRK DEWITTE: important to show Chinese that business and government are working in concert

Hoping to build on the momentum gained from Luxembourg’s pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, the Chamber of Commerce is organising its now-annual trade mission to China. Led by the trade minister, Jeannot Krecké, from October 17 to 21 the delegation will visit Beijing and--for the first time--the mainland’s largest inland city, Chongqing. The addition of one of the Middle Kingdom’s fastest-growth cities should play to the Grand Duchy’s strengths, reckons Dirk Dewitte, head of international tax at Deloitte Luxembourg. The region is a major centre for China’s car industry, he explains, a natural fit with Luxembourg’s automotive supply chain sector. At a time when Chinese companies are looking at international expansion, Dewitte says he has successfully been pitching Luxembourg as the ideal hub for Chinese companies’ European activities. Already well known as a financial centre, Chinese managers are increasingly catching on to the idea of “going through Luxembourg and not going to

Luxembourg,” when establishing European operations, he says. That means the country can compete with larger rivals Germany and the Netherlands, which the Chinese have historically gravitated to because of their large seaports. Eco-tech is also high on the agenda. “Lots of Chinese solar panel companies have been setting up in Luxembourg,” observes Alain Lam, managing director of Capita Fiduciary in Luxembourg. “It started with one company, and as is usual in China, once one company does something, the others in the same sector tend to follow,” he states. Lam has recently seen percolating interest in the natural resources sectors, so he hopes the safety-in-numbers trend carries over. “The dimension is totally different when you come as part of a government trade mission,” Dewitte adds. “Doors quickly open, and you meet the right person.” He attributes this to the strong value the Chinese place on seeing businesses work in close partnership with government, as is the norm in China. AG

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Business

Logistics

Cargolux 747-8 DRAMA CONTINUES

Will Boeing’s new superjet fuel the ambitions of Europe’s largest air cargo line? Text: Aaron Grunwald — Photo: Christian Aschman/Cargolux

Boeing’s largest ever plane was certified for cargo service by US authorities in August, and the company wasted no time trying to dispatch the first two off the production line to Luxembourg. At press time, however, launch customer Cargolux had “rejected ” delivery of its new 747-8 jumbo jets, scheduled for the week of September 19. The carrier’s board of directors halted deli­very due to “unresolved contractual issues” with Boeing, according to Cargo­ lux chief Frank Reimen. Neither Boeing nor Cargolux revealed the nature of the dispute. However, the freighter said it will “source alternative capacity” if the issue is not resolved soon. The aircraft maker struck a more optimistic note, telling press the planes were ready and it hopes to deliver them soon. Much more than the two jets are at stake. Cargolux had definitive orders for 13 of the giant freighters and various options to acquire 12 more, a spokeswoman told Delano earlier this year. Acquiring up to 25 of the new jets would be a notable move by the company, and was meant to open a new chapter in Cargolux’s history. Today it operates 16 Boeing 747 freighters that are an average of six years old. Running a young, uniform fleet has helped keep costs down. Yet ever increasing oil prices, coupled with a new corporate alliance, are driving the shift in strategy. In September, Qatar Airways acquired 35 percent of Cargolux and the two en­te­red into commercial cooperation.

747-8: ready for takeoff? The $117.5 million stake had previously been held by Swissair Group, but the shares were taken over in a bailout by the Luxembourg state amid financial turbulence in 2009. Cargolux has since retur­ ned to profitability, while the Grand Duchy will still own much of Cargolux through mostly state-owned Luxair’s 43.4% stake in the all-freight carrier. The ninth largest air freight company globally, Qatar already serves more than 100 cities around the globe, compared with Cargolux’s 90. Its fleet is also larger overall, but comprised of mainly passenger jets with cargo capacity. Analysts say the state-owned Middle Eastern carrier is keen to expand its freight business ahead of its rumoured

2012 IPO. Qatar gains a “virtual” EU hub at well-run Findel and can feed new Europe-Asia traffic through its own massive Doha base. As late as June, Cargolux expected its first 747-8F to be delivered “in late summer.” However, Boeing did not announce American government approval until August 19, causing the schedule to slip. Delayed deliveries In fact, the carrier was originally set to receive the first plane in 2009, but design problems pushed back the delivery date by two years. Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner passenger jet is currently three years behind its launch schedule.

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13/09/11

22:40


Business

Interest networking

NO CHANCE ENCOUNTER

A new mobile application, developed by Luxembourg-based ZAP, connects total strangers who have the same interests based on their geographic location. Text: Aaron Grunwald — Photo: Olivier Minaire

Social networking is passé, says one Luxembourg entrepreneur. The next big thing is services that connect people instantly based on their geographic location and exact interests. “Interest networking” is the motivation behind Zapon, a new application available worldwide on Android and Apple devices, explains Patric de Waha, CEO of ZAP. Social networking services focus on existing connections, but do a poor job helping users meet new people, De Waha posits. Interest networking fills the gap between “total strangers that don’t want to talk with each other” and people who become friends on Facebook. Interests can be as narrow or specific as meeting singles, fly-fishing, or university students who just arrived in the autumn and will live in the same residence hall or take the same course. Users type in keywords and the system matches up people with the same interests, who are located in the same area, be it neighbourhood, city or state. A runner looking for tonight’s hotspot will get suggestions in about ten minutes, and only from other runners, de Waha says. It is fast and, “You don’t want your friends on Facebook to know everything you’re doing.”

Patric De Waha: how to meet the right people

“ We started developing one year ago, so we’re ahead”

Market opportunity Interest networking “will be the next gold mine,” de Waha believes. “It’s the right time to go to the market, because people are getting tired of social networking,” he says. “You see in the US, for instance, people don’t use Facebook as often as before.” Zapon faces competition from a small number of rivals, which also use geo-

Patric de Waha

graphic location to connect people, but tend to focus on more specific interests. These include the UK-based dating apps Blendr and Grindr, and India’s GeoSocials, which is game-oriented. “We started developing one year ago, so we’re ahead,” states de Waha. He co-founded Zap.lu, originally launched as a “side project,” in 2000. De Waha and his partners founded ZAP SA in 2007 to commer-

cialise the social networking site, which he says now has 80 percent marketshare in Luxembourg. Development of Zapon has been funded by Zap.lu’s profits and an additional round of investment by shareholders. Zapon will eventually feature “targeted” advertising. “The thing about social networks is they’re hard to monetise. But on the interest network that we have here, it is way easier. People are coming to your application and they are telling you what they’re interested in. Usually interests [involve] products or services too.” De Waha plans to approach investors for another round of fundraising “ before the end of the year” in order to accelerate the firm’s growth. He then aims to have three to four million users within three years’ time. “These are numbers that have been reached by successful mobile projects.”

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THINK LOCAL: CLARA MORARU

Romanian

“ IT WAS QUITE NATURAL”

Resident in Luxembourg for 13 years, Clara Moraru gives her insight into living and working in the Grand Duchy.

CLARA MORARU: the associations scene is much improved

Interview: Aaron Grunwald — Photo: David Laurent/Wide

Clara Moraru owns training and translation firm Languages.lu. She grew up in Sibiu, in the Transylvania region of Romania, which is also known by its German name Hermannstadt. While working on her master’s degree, she took a series of progressively longer assignments from Luxembourg’s ministry of culture. After tastes of Brussels and Rome, she settled permanently in the Grand Duchy.

AG: What was the most surprising thing you discovered? CM: There were not a lot of things going on here in terms of non-profit associations. If we talk about women, there were really no major organisations. When I was 12, I started my first club, a book friends’ club, and I’ve very much been involved in associations all my life. When I graduated and started my company, it was the time AMCHAM started to be active. It was also the time, in 2004, that I was a founding member of Fédération des Femmes Cheffes d’Entreprises de Luxembourg, for women who own their own companies. In 2007, I was founding member of another one, Femmes Leaders du Luxembourg, [because] it was surprising there were not so many activities going on. AG: Did studying locally help with your integration? CM: It was a really fantastic way of meeting people and getting to know them better. They’re still very good friends and most of them are Luxembourgers. Most of them have an executive position, so it’s good when you need some advice or you need some help. Actually, some of my first contracts were from friends, and it’s still the case now. For business, it’s very good when people know who you are, the values you share. Then they trust and give you business as well.

AG: How did you become connected with Luxembourg? CM: I was working on different projects for the “House of Luxembourg” in my city. In that area, there was a [mass] immigration of people from what is now Luxembourg in 1143. My team recorded different people in the area of Siebenbürger, who speak something like Luxembourgish, called Saxon. There are very many similarities. Actually you can speak to each other, even today. There are not a lot of people who still speak Saxon, because they got older and younger people rather speak German. AG: Why did you end up staying in the Grand Duchy? CM: I started an MBA at Sacred Heart University. When I finished in 2003, it already had been quite a long time since I’d come to Luxembourg. I had most of my friends here. So it was quite natural. I started my company here when I graduated.

AG: Do you have to be fluent in Luxembourgish to be well integrated? CM: I think it’s quite difficult to be fluent, but conversational? Definitely, it’s very helpful. Of course the reason why you’d learn is only if you have a long term commitment to living in the country, otherwise maybe there’s not enough motivation. Personally I didn’t start to learn Luxembourgish until I knew that I was going to stay here for a longer period of time. This was after about six years, because I didn’t know at the beginning! AG: What’s a good way to learn Luxembourgish? CM: Get a Luxembourgish boyfriend or girlfriend! That’s a perfect way, really. If you have the possibility, if you meet the right person, it’s the best! If you’re already committed, what I personally recommend is individual tuition. People go to group courses, and that’s great. In the beginning, it’s also one of the possibilities to make friends. AG: Any pet peeves about the international community? CM: I think it’s very annoying when you hear people complain continuously about Luxembourg: we don’t have a lot of night life. If you’re here for three months or ten years, just try to get the best out of this experience of living in Luxembourg.

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12/09/11 14:21


business

The events planner

ON THE HORIZON

Delano presents a guide to the coming months’ business, social and informational events for Luxembourg’s international community. Events are listed by organiser. Advance registration or fees may be required, so consult the website indicated for full details. All events are held in English unless otherwise noted.

AMCHAM www.amcham.lu

BRAZILIAN NETWORK kelly.larsen@internet.lu

12

CHARITY SOIREE

The Brazilian Professional Network’s black tie formal fundraiser features dinner and dancing to live Brazilian entertainment, all for a good cause. Open to non-members.

• nov

4

JEANNOT KRECKE

AMCHAM’s annual “fall welcome back event” features the minister of economy and foreign trade. By invitation only.

Alvisse Parc Hotel, LuxembourgDommeldange, 18:30

27 •

LUC FRIEDEN

The finance minister presents his take on “Luxembourg’s Future oct in the European Monetary Union,” followed by a cocktail reception.

Autotopolis, Bertrange, 18:30

10 •

PHILANTHROPY

This panel discussion--moderated by RTL’s Guy Weber--focuses on Luxembourg as a centre of excellence and innovation in philanthropy.

nov

BRITISH CARS www.bscoc.org

7•

oct

4•

nov

2•

dec

COOL WHEELS

Luxembourg’s only British car club meets the first Friday of the month to cover everything “from Mini to Aston Martin,” both classic and modern. Non-members welcome. 

Conterstuff, Contern, 20:00

British Chamber www.bcc.lu

15

A networking evening with the labour and immigration minister, which AMCHAM promises will be “one of the highlight events of the year.”

• DEC

Hotel Meliá, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, 18:30

17 •

FIRST BIRTHDAY

1•

Members’ assembly and year-end celebration to mark the GermanLuxembourg Economic Initiative’s first year in operation. English friendly.

dec

MB Café, Luxembourg-Hollerich, 19:00

MENTEES DAY

EUMA

The 2nd cycle of the Chamber of Commerce’s programme officially gets underway. Meet the newly selected entrepreneurs.

nov

Chamber of Commerce, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, 18:30-20:15

CANADIAN CLUB www.canadiansinlux.com

20 •

oct

www.euma.lu

BOOK LIKE A PRO

15 •

Travel experts from BCD Travel, Emile Weber and Travel Pro will offer tips and advice on working with professional agencies.

nov

Hôtel Le Royal, Luxembourg-city centre, 18:30

FEMALE BOARD POOL

17 •

www.femaleboardpool.eu / www.amcham.lu

nov

THIRD THURSDAYS

“Attend this very popular event to meet other Canadians for a couple of hours at a local pub in Luxembourg City.” Adults only.

www.democratsabroad.org/group/ Luxembourg

AMCHAM hosts its annual traditional American Thanksgiving NOV dinner on this Tuesday. There will be musical entertainment and tombola prizes.

NICOLAS SCHMIT

www.businessmentoring.lu

Democrats Abroad

TURKEY DAY

Sofitel, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, 19:00

BUSINESS MENTORING

www.dlwi.lu

Oscar Wilde’s Pub, Luxembourg-Grund, 19:30

Banque de Luxembourg, Luxembourg-city centre, 18:00

22 •

nov

This British Chamber lunch features personal income tax advisor Karl Horsburgh of the HT Group.

Venue to be announced, 12:00

Hôtel Royal, Luxembourg-city centre, 20:00-01:30

• oct

DLWI

DEDUCTABLE LUNCH?

25 •

12 •

SOCIAL NETWORKING

Evening Business Forum on social networks and 4th annual Members’ oct Trade Fair. Speakers include new British ambassador Alice Walpole (see article page 18).

BGL BNP Paribas, 27 avenue Monterey, 17:30

11

• oct

8

• nov

13

• dec

17 •

SECOND edition

Connects current and future female board members with companies and NGOs. Equality minister Françoise Hetto-Gaasch closes the summit. Registration handled by AMCHAM.

oct

Alvisse Parc Hotel, Luxembourg-Dommeldange, all day event

SECOND TUESDAYS

The group’s monthly get-together to discuss current political events, and also to meet and get to know new members. “Feel free to join us for an interesting evening.”

Brasserie Bosso, Luxembourg-Grund, 19:00

The next edition of Delano will feature events taking place from November 17 through January 2012. We invite you to submit an event by sending an email no later than October 24 to news@delano.lu.

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business

FEMALE CHIEFS

INT’L BaZAAR

www.ffcel.lu

Nobelux

www.bazar-international.lu

REPUBLICANS ABROAD

www.nobelux.lu

www.republicansabroad.lu

26-27

51ST ANNUAL

Sixty stands sell local products from 53 nations, all for charity. Food, entertainment, holiday shopping make this one of the standout family events of the year.

• nov

25 •

FOUND A FIRM?

The Fédération des Femmes Cheffes d’Entreprise du Luxembourg, oct for women who own their own companies, hosts an event for the general public on Business Creation Day.

Venue and time to be announced

Luxexpo, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, Saturday 11:00-19:00, Sunday 10:00-18:00

18

The Nordic Countries-BelgiumLuxembourg chamber launches its After Work Mingle networking series with a free cocktail. Open to non-members.

• oct

IKANO Fund Management, LuxembourgBelair, 18:30

INTERNATIONS

Venue to be announced, 18:30

www.ial-lux.org

LADIES NIGHT

6•

The expat social networking group celebrates its monthly get-together with a free glass of crémant “for the ladies only.” But the soiree is open to all.

oct

11 •

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

Only 15 to 20 percent of staff are “really committed to the success oct of their organisation.” Nastja Raabe of Coachdynamix helps managers turn this rate around.

Abbaye de Neumünster, Luxembourg-Grund, 08:30-13:00

The IAL celebrates its 20 years of building Luxembourg-India nov friendship with cocktails, food and entertainment.

AMCHAM chief Paul Schonenberg speaks on business and oct political trends in Europe and the US at this Netherlands Commerce Forum luncheon.

Boos K’Fé, near Biergerkraitz in Bridel Forest, 12:00

Centre Culturel, Leudelange, time to be announced

Indian Chamber www.ibcl.lu

5•

GET MOTIVATED

“Awaken the Winner in You,” a motivational session presented by the head of training at Arcelor­ Mittal’s Finance Academy in India. Followed by a networking cocktail.

oct

KPMG, Strassen, 18:00

22 •

ANNUAL DIWALI

Join the Indian Business Chamber of Luxembourg for its annual Bollywood Musical Dance extra­ va­ganza, which also features fine Indian cuisine and a free tombola.

oct

Alvisse Parc Hotel, Luxembourg-Dommeldange, 18:30-02:00

TRANS-ATLANTIC TIES

The Network www.the-network.lu

19 •

NEW LEADERS

Mentoring coach Rita Knott discusses coaching and mentoring oct programmes that contribute to developing of women’s leadership skills.

Sofitel, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, 19:30

16 •

12-13

MAD SCIENTISTS?

Workshops, expositions and an experimental garden bring biology, chemistry and physics to life for the young and young-at-heart. Some presentations in English.

• oct

Abbaye de Neumünster and National Natural History Museum, Luxembourg-Grund, 10:0018:00 both days

www.scottishdancing.lu

NETHERLANDS COMMERCE

13 •

20TH ANNIVERSARY

www.science-festival.lu

SCOTTISH DANCE

www.nhf.lu

12 •

Luxembourg’s Republicans gather one evening the last week of the month for a members cocktail. By invitation only. Email republicans@internet.lu to request an invite.

club.paperjam.lu

Sins City, Luxembourg-Clausen, 18:30

INDIAN ASSOCIATION

GOP CONFAB

SCIENCE FESTIVAL

PITCH PERFECT

The networking club’s “Vintage Edition” gives attendees a chance to practice and perfect their company pitch. Organised with XING Luxembourg and LuxembourgICT.

29

• nov

Venue and time to be announced

www.firsttuesday.lu

4

27

• oct

www.internations.org/luxembourg-expats

FIRST TUESDAY

• oct

NEW EVENING EVENT

11 •

NEW INTELLIGENCE

Relationship Systems Intelligence is reshaping the field of organisaoct tional development. Yvonne O’Reilly of Avanteam Consult helps managers make sense of it.

26 •

nov

INNOVATION GAP

The Luxembourg Scottish Country Dance Club will hold a dance in honour of Scotland’s patron saint, followed by a buffet reception.

Steinmetz restaurant, Bech, 19:00

Telstar

Abbaye de Neumünster, Luxembourg-Grund, 08:30-13:00

26 •

ST. ANDREW’S

www.telstar.lu

12 •

BONFIRE NIGHT

Why does today’s service sector apply 100 year-old innovation modoct els? Attend Prof. John Bessant’s breakfast conference to find out. In cooperation with Luxinnovation.

Get to know Telstar Scout Group at its popular autumn get-together. Great family outing, featuring food, a bonfire and (pending commune approval) fireworks.

BGL BNP Paribas, Luxembourg-city centre, 08:30-10:30

Venue to be announced, after darkness falls

PWC ACCELERATOR

nov

WOMEN LEADERS www.women-leaders.eu

www.pwcaccelerator.com

16 •

BEYOND FINANCE

INSPIRING WO-MEN

Dinner featuring inspiring women and men from around the Greater Region who help make work places “more responsible, respectful, efficient and harmonious.”

Luxembourg for Business secretary general Carole Tompers nov speaks about the Grand Duchy’s image abroad and the country’s international business promotion programme.

nov

Cercle Munster, Luxembourg-Grund, 18:30

Sofitel, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, 19:30

21 •

VC SHOWCASE

Screened start-ups present their business cases to US and European venture capitalists. Hosted by PwC’s Jean-François Kroonen and Laurent Probst (photo).

oct

PwC, Luxembourg-Cloche d’Or, all day event

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Charles Caratini

cover story

Leading candidate: Chris Scott with Marc Angel, who is top of the LSAP list in the capital city

but I wouldn’t say it was degrading or anything.” She is still in touch with many of the Miss World contestants via Facebook. “Most of them have done something with their lives.” Her passion now is carriage driving, a sport with which she also travels to meetings all over Europe with colleagues who together keep four Cleveland Bay horses --the only team of that breed on the European continent. Languages Through their parents, Scott and her sisters were naturally fluent in French and English. So they learned German at the European School--“our parents said if the other kids were having to make the effort to learn a foreign language, so should we.” Back in her school days there was, she says, little mixing between the European community and the “ordinary” Luxembourgish people. But her parents remedied that by encouraging their offspring to befriend local children on their street and to take up activities such as horse riding and ice skating. “That way we got used to hearing Luxembourgish, although they spoke to us in French or German. I actually only

learned Luxembourgish when I started working.” Actually, although it is now obligatory, when Scott joined the bar there was no requirement to learn Luxembourgish. But most of her clients in her first job, at a large law practice that specialised in litigation, were Luxembourgers. Her subsequent work with the OGB-L trade union as a lawyer also meant that Scott picked up Portuguese as many of her clients were immigrants. Despite the fact that she had wanted to practice business law, Scott soon became fascinated by her work with the union. “We were offering consultations, giving free advice, to a trade union and actually helping people. At university everything was so theoretical, yet here I was meeting people I didn’t know who had a serious problem and I had the expertise and faculty to help them. It was just so wonderful, and I realised this is what I needed to be doing rather than translating boring articles on statutes of companies; copy paste work.” In 1995 she formed a partnership with her boss, Jean-Jacques Schonckert. Two years later she struck out on her own. “The problem with having a partnership

with your old boss is that there is always a senior and junior partner. We still get on well.” She became, by her own admittance, “a militant left-winger”, working exclusively for the union and joining the LSAP. “In the 15 years since I qualified I have been practically one of the few lawyers in Luxembourg to publicly say what I stand for, that I am on this side of the bar when it comes to labour law.” Supporting victims Indeed, Scott has a record of standing up for victims. She was vice-president of the road traffic victims association (AVR) and she also supported victims of work accidents. That brought her to the European Court of Human Rights, where she won a case against Luxembourg based on article 2--the right to life--of the European Convention on Human Rights after she fought to win damages and an investigation into the death of a Portuguese father of two had been killed when a wall collapsed on him while he was working on the boulevard Royal. At a local level, Scott is also concerned about the safety of pedestrians and cyclists in the city. In particular, she is opposed to road cross-

I call myself a eurobrat” Chris Scott

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09_p50-54_cover story.indd 50

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cover story

Chris Scott

“I always thought… I could help on a bigger scale” Chris Scott could be a poster girl for integration. A lawyer and holder of four nationalities, she has gone from European School student to political candidate via Miss Luxembourg. Text: Duncan Roberts — Cover and opener photos: David Laurent/Wide — shot with analogic Mju camera

Chris Scott: grew roots in Luxembourg

It is difficult to get away from Chris Scott at the moment. Her photo is plastered all over the capital city, on the top row of candidates on the city’s LSAP party election posters. The socialist’s publicity machine is well oiled and Scott has also been appearing at events ranging from town hall style meetings to a satirical review put on by SPIC (Socialistes Pour l’Intégration de la Citoyenneté) at the Abbaye de Neumünster. Not that Scott is complaining if her profile is raised--after all in an election, and particularly a local election in tiny Luxembourg, recognition is half the battle in trying to winning votes. “If you are in a village and own the café or the local garage you have a better chance of being elected than if you are sit-

ting at home studying for a diploma,” she says. But Scott herself has been accustomed to being in the spotlight in the past. As winner of the Miss Luxembourg title in 1989, she became something of a local celebrity. Scott moved to Luxembourg with her family in 1974, the year after the UK and Ireland joined the EC. Her father, a professor of law, had taken a sabbatical year in 1973 to study European law in Nancy, and then was offered a job at the European Court of Justice. “Initially it was a temporary move, and then we grew roots,” she explains. Indeed, although her father passed away in 1983, Scott’s French mother still lives in Luxembourg. Her two sisters both moved abroad, but Scott stayed in Luxem-

bourg, because, like many former European School students, she feels at home here. “When we went back to England we were told we had a funny continental accent, or when we visited my mother’s family in France we were told our accent was Luxembourgish. Here, even in the 1970s, it was normal to speak several languages and be a foreigner. I call myself a Eurobrat.” She entered the Miss Luxembourg contest while still a student because the first prize was a Ford Fiesta. She ended up winning and having great fun. As a result she was entered for both Miss World and the much more commercial Miss Universe contest. It was, she says, a great experience, travelling the world and meeting the other girls. “I am a feminist,

October 2011 - delano - 51

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Charles Caratini

cover story

Leading candidate: Chris Scott with Marc Angel, who is top of the LSAP list in the capital city

but I wouldn’t say it was degrading or anything.” She is still in touch with many of the Miss World contestants via Facebook. “Most of them have done something with their lives.” Her passion now is carriage driving, a sport with which she also travels to meetings all over Europe with colleagues who together keep four Cleveland Bay horses --the only team of that breed on the European continent. Languages Through their parents, Scott and her sisters were naturally fluent in French and English. So they learned German at the European School--“our parents said if the other kids were having to make the effort to learn a foreign language, so should we.” Back in her school days there was, she says, little mixing between the European community and the “ordinary” Luxembourgish people. But her parents remedied that by encouraging their offspring to befriend local children on their street and to take up activities such as horse riding and ice skating. “That way we got used to hearing Luxembourgish, although they spoke to us in French or German. I actually only

learned Luxembourgish when I started working.” Actually, although it is now obligatory, when Scott joined the bar there was no requirement to learn Luxembourgish. But most of her clients in her first job, at a large law practice that specialised in litigation, were Luxembourgers. Her subsequent work with the OGB-L trade union as a lawyer also meant that Scott picked up Portuguese as many of her clients were immigrants. Despite the fact that she had wanted to practice business law, Scott soon became fascinated by her work with the union. “We were offering consultations, giving free advice, to a trade union and actually helping people. At university everything was so theoretical, yet here I was meeting people I didn’t know who had a serious problem and I had the expertise and faculty to help them. It was just so wonderful, and I realised this is what I needed to be doing rather than translating boring articles on statutes of companies; copy paste work.” In 1995 she formed a partnership with her boss, Jean-Jacques Schonckert. Two years later she struck out on her own. “The problem with having a partnership

with your old boss is that there is always a senior and junior partner. We still get on well.” She became, by her own admittance, “a militant left-winger”, working exclusively for the union and joining the LSAP. “In the 15 years since I qualified I have been practically one of the few lawyers in Luxembourg to publicly say what I stand for, that I am on this side of the bar when it comes to labour law.” Supporting victims Indeed, Scott has a record of standing up for victims. She was vice-president of the road traffic victims association (AVR) and she also supported victims of work accidents. That brought her to the European Court of Human Rights, where she won a case against Luxembourg based on article 2--the right to life--of the European Convention on Human Rights after she fought to win damages and an investigation into the death of a Portuguese father of two had been killed when a wall collapsed on him while he was working on the boulevard Royal. At a local level, Scott is also concerned about the safety of pedestrians and cyclists in the city. In particular, she is opposed to road cross-

I call myself a eurobrat” Chris Scott

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cover story

Horse play: Chris Scott now has a passion for the sport of carriage driving, here in competition at the “Cuts” in May where she won the “most elegant lady” prize

ings at which traffic lights are green for both cars turning right and pedestrians at the adjacent crossing, and also to the contraflow cycle lanes that have been introduced in some neighbourhoods. She also served as the British representative on the Conseil National pour Etrangers for five years and was president of its committee against racial discrimination. That involved some very tough cases assisting immigrants from non-EU countries. Scott recalls arguing on behalf of a Polish family that was refused permission to stay in Luxembourg even though Poland was due to become a member of the EU the following year. “We kept meeting people in dramatic situations, very human stories. It is

very difficult because the texts are so closed. But it is very unfair. Personally, all you can do is sit down and cry in those cases.” Scott is also a member of EUSONET-the Network of European Social-democratic Lawyers--which has been working on a number of topics that interest her personally, including women’s rights, abortion and divorce law. And she worked as an in-house legal expert for the national data protection authority on the right to privacy. “It was very fulfilling to have been part of that team, working with one foot in and one foot outside an institution like that.” Indeed, over the past seven years whenever an interesting job came up Scott would apply for it systematically. “On the one hand to improve my CV

and measure myself against others--I didn’t want to fall into the trap of saying I’ve got my own law firm and don’t need anybody. But also because I always thought, with my expertise, I could help on a bigger scale.” Scott readily admits that taking one individual case all the way through the courts is very difficult. In addition, being her own boss, doing everything from ordering printer toner to writing bills, was not allowing her time to pursue her other interests. “I was a victim of my own success.” So she eventually quit her law firm; a decision that she says “was quite something.” She now works for Robert Goebbels, MEP and a former heavyweight in the LSAP who served as minister for the economy, transport and

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Charles Caratini

cover story

Lady in red: posing in front of the LSAP city section’s election poster

public works during successive coalition governments in the 1990s. Integrating Scott has since become a driving force of SPIC, a group that allows foreign members of the party to meet among themselves in addition to their local party meetings. “It really has brought something new to the party,” she says. Speaking about issues in their own language gives SPIC members more confidence to voice their opinion and to reach out to other social and cultural organizations in Luxembourg. “By showing an interest in them, SPIC is trying to be more intercultural rather than multicultural.” Another problem faced by many third country foreigners is that they feel marginalised, says Scott, because in Luxembourg they are unable to carry out the profession they practised back

home. They are working as cleaners or on building sites and are treated as second-class people who have no political ideas. “We are not only showing them how Luxembourg politics works, but also taking an interest in them.” SPIC now has some 800 members, but each is acting as a multiplicator. Indeed, as part of the effort to get more foreigners to register to vote the group held “Spic parties” hosted by members and reaching out to potential voters. The political landscape is slowly changing, says Scott, as more foreigners become involved and are prepared to play an active role; people who will go out and ring on doorbells. “And we are going out and speaking in various languages. It is new and important and a success--it is very refreshing for the party.” Scott admits that one barrier with reaching out to foreigners has been the problem with the word “socialist” in the

party’s name. “We have to explain that we are actually a progressive democratic party,” she says. “If you say you are a socialist party, it frightens them. So we have to explain our basic principles and values.” Nevertheless, the LSAP is the party with the largest number of foreigners in Luxembourg. It is also traditionally the party that does best at local elections, with more of its candidates gaining seats on councils than any other. Nevertheless, in Luxembourg City, where Scott is a candidate, the socialists have not traditionally performed well. She was a candidate in 2005, though without much success. “My mission is to do better than last time, which isn’t very difficult,” she says with a smile. The LSAP list, headed by Marc Angel, is very diverse and Scott says that most lists in the city election are interesting. “And I think the number of foreign voters can make a difference.”

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Build, renovate, decorate! this autumn, make your projects come to life

OpEnIng hOurs: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 2 p.M. - 7 p.M., Tuesday and Friday 2 p.M. - 9 p.M., saTurdays 10 a.M. - 6 p.M., sundays 10 a.M. - 7 p.M. – mOTOrway a1, ExIT 8 www.auTOmnE.Lu

FEEL IT LIVE!

LEXPO_FILA11_AD_Delano_210x265_GB.indd 1

9/20/11 10:52 AM


NETWORKING

American Women’s Club of Luxembourg

MAKING THINGS MORE ACCESSIBLE Luxembourg’s oldest expat club is still one of the best support networks for moms new to the Grand Duchy, but has been expanding the past two years to better suit the needs of working women.

Back in March 1959, a handful of American women in the Grand Duchy--here because of their husbands’ jobs--got together to found an official organisation. Fifty-two years later, it is reckoned to be Luxembourg’s longest standing expat association. Today members still need to be women, but no longer need to be from the US, notes Lisa Williams, president of the American Women’s Club of Luxembourg. In fact, the club’s 412 current members come from 23 countries. Williams says most women join the AWCL “because when they move over, they’re lost. For husbands, it’s the same thing.

PRACTICAL INFO

American Women’s Club of Luxembourg 51, rue Marie-Adelaide, 2nd Floor L-2128 Luxembourg Tel.: +352 44 84 77 www.awcluxembourg.com

They work with different people, but it’s basically the same job. For women, you have to find the grocery store. You find what milk” to buy your family. “You’ll wake up one day, and look at your husband, and think, ‘what did you do to me?!’ But that’s normal.” “We give them a place, a safe haven, so they don’t go crazy,” she says. “You get a quick group of friends.” The club’s activities are equally designed for longer term expats. “Since a lot of women leave jobs, they come here and they don’t have a purpose,” says Williams. So the AWCL offers a way to get involved. “Being a non-American, I joined because it’s the place you can find people to talk to

BOARD

President: Lisa Williams 1st Vice President: Connie Gomez 2nd Vice President: Pamela Paul 3rd Vice President: Beth DeLuca Treasurer: Shar Helfgott Secretary: To-Nu Nguyen-Welsh FAWCO Representative: Kathleen Bouchard

when you’re raising your kids,” says one member, Dorota Orlander. “I knew my way around already. But I needed the female companionship. That is why all the German, French, Italians, all the other nationalities join. We can gather here and we can be among ourselves. Because we’re almost always in the same position. We are mothers, at home raising the kids, and not interacting outside of the house. This is the place where you can do that.” There is a mix of “strictly social activities” and activities that benefit charities, notes third vice president Beth DeLuca. The club supports--among others--two booths at Luxembourg’s International

REGULAR MEETINGS

Monthly Brunch: AWCL’s official standing meeting, where club business takes place over brunch. Ladies Night: A casual evening at the AWCL’s clubhouse in Merl, one weeknight per month from 7 p.m. “until late.”

Moms & tots sing-a-long: Special get-together for moms and their 0-4 year olds, Mondays at 10am. TGIF: Spouses welcome but not required for this informal night out, two Fridays per month starting at 7 p.m.

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Olivier Minaire

NETWORKING

OCTOBER EVENTS BOOK LAUNCH The 16th edition of Living OCT in Luxembourg, the club’s comprehensive guide for newcomers, is officially unveiled at this cocktail party. Clearstream, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, 19:30

12 •

LISA WILLIAMS: wants you to know club members are “fun and friendly”

supplies of Betty Crocker, Quaker Oats, or mac ’n’ cheese, Williams notes, “You have to be, per Luxembourg law, a member of our club.” Times have changed and the AWCL is no longer exclusively set up for fulltime mothers. The club “ is trying to make it more accessible for our members, whether they work during the day or not,” she says. That means putting on more evening activities. Earlier this year it launched TGIF, a chance to get-together twice a month, with or without your significant other, at a new bar, club or restaurant. “It’s really fun.” The AWCL also started a monthly “Ladies Night” at the Clubhouse, so members can meet up after work when their errands are done, DeLuca adds. In addition, Williams says there is potential for an equivalent, but separate, men’s club to be started. “We’re getting women who are working and the husbands are the trailing spouse. So we have some husbands that have looked into starting a men’s AG group.”

HALLOWEEN DINNER This costume/fancy dress dinner dance is a fundraiser for the American Stand at the International Bazaar. Adults only. Côté Brasserie restaurant in Utopolis, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, 19:30

15

• OCT

TRICK OR TREAT

22

• OCT

Olivier Minaire

Bazaar, local women’s shelters, the Fischer House Foundation, Handi’Chiens, Fondation Cancer, Red Cross, SOS Femmes en Detresse and UNICEF. The AWCL was the largest contributor to Clean Water for Cambodia in the campaign run by the Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas, the Luxembourg club’s umbrella organisation. “We’re number one, yeah! ” Williams playfully proclaims, half in jest, although she is clearly proud that the Grand Duchy punched above its geographic weight. On the social side, the club has dozens of interest groups. Long standing activities including fitness, tennis, bridge, three different book clubs, French, quilting, scrapbooking, and hiking (“it’s not for sissies,” notes DeLuca). It also maintains a list of recommended baby-sitters. Another benefit of membership: American groceries not usually found on the Grand Duchy’s store shelves are imported by the AWCL via a distributor in Germany. But to buy those special

The children’s event, a fund raiser for the Fisher House and UNICEF, takes place for the fourth year in Sandweiler. “We had over 400 kids last year trick or treat,” says Lisa Williams. “And the neighbourhood was nice enough to say yes again. So I guess it wasn’t too bad!” Sandweiler neighbourhood to be announced, 18:00-20:00

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LIFESTYLE GOING NATIVE

Three events

Luxexpo

David Laurent/Wide

Cayambe

AUTUMN TRADITIONS

AUTUMN FAIR

All good Luxembourgers head up to Luxexpo every spring and autumn for the biannual trade fairs. Many spend their time simply wandering around the exhibit halls collecting as many freebies--pens, mouse pads, memory sticks--as they can, but those who take the fair seriously can get advice on building and renovating, pick up decorating ideas and even order the latest home technologies equipment. The fair enjoys royal patronage and is used by the minister of the economy to make a keynote speech on the state of the nation’s economy.

MANTELSONNDEN

October 15-23, Luxexpo, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, www.luxexpo.lu

October 23, Luxembourg City and other towns and shopping centres, www.cityshopping.lu

Shops in Luxembourg traditionally open for business on the Sunday in the week before All Saints’ Day. It is one of eight Sundays on which most shops are allowed to do business. Mantelsonnden, as it is called in Luxembourg, is purportedly a special opening to allow those planning to visit the graves of their loved ones on All Saints’ Day to buy a new coat--the first of November is, after all, an important day in the social calendar and many Luxembourgers wouldn’t be seen dead at the cemetery wearing last year’s fashion.

Luxembourg is...

“ NICELY DIVERSIFIED. IT’S A PLACE YOU CAN REALLY MIX IT UP. IT’S ALSO A GOOD PLACE TO REACH OUT TO BUSINESS AND TO THE GOVERNMENT.”

ALL SAINTS’ DAY

As an official Holy Day of Obligation in the calendar of the Catholic Church, it is little surprise that November 1, All Saints ’ Day, is a public holiday in Luxembourg. Tradition has it that Luxembourgers spend the day thinking about their loved ones who have died--the cemeteries are packed with families paying their respects. Several theories can be used to explain how the first of November came to mark such an important day in the church calendar. Some trace the date back to Celtic tradition and in particular the harvest festival of Samhain, while there are also records that suggest the festival of all the saints was already widely celebrated on November 1 in the days of Charlemagne. By 835, in any case, it was being widely celebrated in the Catholic Church and has retained its status ever since. Those souls that have ascended to heaven are remembered on November 1, while those that are not yet purified and have not reached heaven are honoured the following day, All Souls’ Day. November 1 & 2, churches throughout the country

SUDHIR KOHLI: Indian Business Chamber of Luxembourg

CLUB LIFE

Highlights from the directory of local associations found on Delano.lu

SCHOOLS

SUPPORT GROUP

The Luxembourgish Schools Support Group is a group of volunteer parents who provide information in English on the state education system. www.lssg.lu

SCOUTING

TELSTAR

The Telstar International Scout Group provides an exciting programme of activities for young people from 6-18 years of age. www.telstar.lu

58 - DELANO - October 2011

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GOING NATIVE LIFESTYLE

People in the news

THE CRUCIAL THREE JEAN-CLAUDE HOLLERICH

PAUL KIRPS

The Luxembourg artist has two works on show at the Museum of Modern Art-MOMA--in New York. Terminal--a stylized cash point machine originally made for the Casino Luxembourg’s Ceci n’est pas un casino exhibition--is part of MOMA’s Talk To Me group exhibit alongside autoreverse--a video in which five stop-motion sequences depict electric and electronic appliances deconstructing and then rebuilding themselves. Two years ago autoreverse was installed in MOMA as part of the Rough Cut: Design Takes a Sharp Edge show. Kirps’s work can be seen in Luxembourg--his acrylic diamonds grace the entrance to the Cité building on rue Genistre.

THORUNN EGILSDOTTIR

The singer/songwriter-presenter-model has added another bow to her string, that of children’s author. Together with husband Thomas Schoos she has written Pelle Svensson und die Republik der Tiere, an illustrated book about a young boy who lives on an island on which animals rule the roost. He sets off on an adventure to find his sweetheart. The book is illustrated by Marc Angel and published by his Insitu house. Thorunn, of Icelandic parentage, recently became a mother to daughter Filippa.

VOLUNTEERING

ROTARACT

The Rotaract Club of Luxembourg is for 18 to 35 year olds, promoting international friendship and fun, whilst aiming to benefit society. www.rotaract.lu

THE KNOWLEDGE HOW TO... VOTE ON ELECTION DAY

David Laurent/Wide

The Jesuit priest will be officially inaugurated as the new Archbishop of Luxembourg on October 16. Incumbent Archbishop Fernand Franck unveiled Hollerich as his successor in July. The 52-year old Hollerich has spent the last 16 years in Tokyo, where he worked at the university and, after perfecting his Japanese, rose to become a vice rector. Born in Differdange, Hollerich grew up in Vianden and studied in Frankfurt and Munich. He spent three years in a seminary in Rome, where he was taken into the Jesuit order. Franck had announced two years ago (when he turned 75) that he would retire. Hollerich represents something of a generational change at the head of the Luxembourg church, and, considering the time he has spent in Japan, perhaps a new openness to the world and other cultures.

Elections for control of communes across the country take place on October 9: 1 Registered voters will receive a card telling them the location and opening times of their polling station. 2 Take the card and proof of identity to your polling station on October 9. 3 Voters are handed a ballot paper and asked to enter a screened off booth. 4 The ballot paper details how many votes can be distributed among the candidates. 5 Voters can cast one vote for each candidate from a single party by marking the circle above a list. 6 Or they can vote for individual candidates (max. 2 votes each) across the ballot paper, until all votes are used up. 7 Or combine the two options if one party list has fewer candidates than the voter has votes.

SPEAKING

NETWORKING

Casemates Communicators Toastmasters Club helps members become more confident speakers and leaders.

The Bangladesh Business Chamber of Commerce Luxembourg is the forum for Bangladesh-Luxembourg business relations and contacts.

CASEMATES COMMS.

BANGLA CHAMBER

www.district59.eu

www.banglachamber.org

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LIFSTYLE

British and Irish Film Season

ECLECTIC FARE The Utopia Groups’ British & Irish Film Season provides audiences with a chance to catch new films from the isles on the big screen. Text: Duncan Roberts — Photos: Reprisal Films

The occasional success of British fi lms at the Academy Awards, such as this year’s triumph of The King’s Speech, paints a false picture of the state of the fi lm industry across the channel. For every Oscar winner there is a truly awful comedy made by the current TV star du jour--exhibit no. 1, James Corden’s Lesbian Vampire Killers--or a stinker of a post-modernist crime caper still trying to cash in on the success of Guy Ritchie’s early output. The current government’s decision to close down the UK Film Council will not have helped matters, but luckily funding from television, via BBC Films and Film4, continues to contribute to the more intelligent output of the industry. Indeed, two Film4 features (acclaimed coming of age drama Submarine and urban sci-fi thriller Attack the Block) and two BBC fi lms (Michael Winterbotom’s semi-fake travelogue documentary The Trip and the fi lm of Nigel Slater’s autobiography Toast) are among the selection made for this year’s British and Irish Film Season. Ironically, one of the Irish contributions--hit comedy The Guard --actually received UK Film Council funding. The programme provides a snapshot of the state of the fi lm industry in both countries--or at least of the better fi lms currently being made in Britain and Ireland. These are small features made by people with a passion for telling a

SUBMARINE: “indebted to the Wes Anderson template of filmmaking”

story rather than exploiting their fame admittedly, The Trip is little more than a vehicle for Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, but with Winterbottom directing and the two stars in good form as they banter about food, life and love, it is eminently watchable (or at least it was in episode form when first screened on the BBC). Also among the selection are historical comedy Burke and Hare, directed by John Landis and starring Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis as the infamous Edinburgh grave robbers, romantic drama

Patagonia about a Welsh couple travelling to Argentina, and Irish comedy drama My Brothers about a trio of siblings trying to replace their dying father’s watch. Three films in particular seem to be not only outstanding, but also cover the eclectic nature of the season pretty well. There is the coarse comedy of unlikely cop-buddy movie The Guard, worth seeing merely because Brendan Gleeson proves once again that he is a joy to watch in anything and Don Cheadle plays his foil to perfection.

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LIFESTYLE

THE GUARD: flawless local colour

Witten and directed by Michael McDonagh--brother of Martin, who directed Gleeson in In Bruges--The Guard sees Gleeson’s roguish Irish guarda teamed up with Cheadle’s ambitious FBI agent as they try to arrest the men behind a big drug deal. But the film is much more than a knockabout buddy-buddy comedy-thriller. As the great Roger Ebert writes in his Chicago Sun-Times column, “McDonagh’s dialogue, sly and delightful, allows the guarda and the FBI agent to begin to trust each other while evading cloying cliches. The local color is flawless.” Then there is the poignantly quirky comic drama of Submarine, the story of a slightly pretentious 15-year old outsider in 1980s Swansea who is trying to lose his virginity and simultaneously save his parents’ marriage. Directed by comic actor Richard Ayoade--star of TV series The IT Crowd--the film features what Isabel Stevens, writing in Sight and Sound, calls an “off-kilter stance, split-screen antics and musical interludes.” Indeed, she goes on to suggest that “Submarine feels very indebted to the Wes Anderson template of filmmaking.” But Ayoade also litters his fi lm with cinematic references and clearly has enjoyed making a feature debut that defies the expectations of a fi lm from a TV comic. Craig Roberts has won plaudits for his central role as the eccentric yet nerdy

THE GUARD IS A PLEASURE” Roger Ebert

Oliver, while Sally Hawkins as his mother, Noah Taylor as his socially awkward father and Paddy Considine as the ex-boyfriend who threatens the parent’s relationship have also been critically acclaimed. The final film in our selected trio is the contemporary--almost prescient, given the inner city riots of this summer--and exhilarating sci-fi thriller Attack The Block, in which a gang of South London hoodies do battle with alien invaders. It is a film that promises to deliver action, comedy and social commentary--which is a difficult balance to get right. But director Joe Cornish has, by all accounts managed to take the best of the alien invasion genre as well as siege dramas such as John Carpenter’s classic Assault on Precinct 13 and give them a contemporary twist by creating believable characters for his inner city setting. Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian even compares it to Mathieu Kassowitz’s brilliant banlieu drama La Haine and very British Ealing comedy Hue and Cry. Now that is some compliment.

1

2

3

FILMS ON SHOW 1

2

3

The Guard Toast Submarine Burke and Hare The Trip My Brothers Attack the Block Patagonia From September 30 to October 13, www.utopolis.lu

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LIFESTYLE

Four events

CINEAST

not just fi lm screenings but concerts, gastronomy and photo exhibitions. The focus is still on cinema from eastern and central Europe, with Bulgaria added to the list of countries as a “special guest” this year. The festival screenings take place at various locations around the country including the Utopia, Cinémathèque and Ciné Ariston in Esch. This year’s themes are On the Margin of Society and East Goes West, which honours directors Roman Polanski and Milos Forman among others. There is also an official competition and special youth screenings. Concerts take place at the Philharmonie and den Atelier, and a live music event featuring silent film Erotikon (photo) at the Cinémathèque with the Icon Orchestra is bound to be a highlight.

MUCH MORE THAN JUST FILM The annual CinEast festival has grown amazingly quickly and now includes

Costa Films

ON SCREEN

BRAZIL FILM FESTIVAL

NEW FROM SOUTH AMERICA The Brazil Film Festival arrives in Luxembourg with a programme of critically acclaimed and prize-winning films made over the past two years. They include Lula, o filho do Brasil (photo), a biopic about the former president and Tamboro, a documentary about deforestation in the Amazon, at which producer Rosa Bernardes will be present to talk with the audience. October 24 to 27, Utopia cinema (Limpertsberg), www.utopolis.lu

October 5 to 23, various locations, www.cineast.lu

CINÉMA DU SUD

This year’s Cinéma du Sud festival focuses on the theme of exploitation. The October programme features three documentaries which look at our throwaway society, the agricultural crisis and overfishing, as well as feature film Vers le Sud (photo) starring Charlotte Rampling as one of three female tourists who have their eyes opened during a “sex tourism” trip to Haiti in the 1970s October 6 to December, Utopia (Limpertsberg), http://cinemadusud.wordpress.com/

HOT HOT HOT Patrick Muller:samsa film-artémis productions-amour fou filmproduktion

Studio Canal

EXPLOITATION

HUMAN WARMTH

Luxembourg director Beryl Koltz’s fi rst full-length feature fi lm is a charming tale of human frailty, romance and intrigue. The director’s vivid imagination allows her to create fi lms that blur the boundaries of perceived reality and delightfully colourful fantasy. Hot Hot Hot is set in a spa in which her socially awkward hero Ferdinand (played by Rob Stanley, star of her successful short fi lm Starfly) must come to terms with the heat and his shyness regarding naked human bodies. Even if slightly surreal, it is a warm and very human fi lm and a fascinating debut from Beryl--just as we would expect.

Released September 21, Utopia & Caramba cinemas, in English (st Fr.), www.samsa.lu

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in collaboration with

media partners

under the patronage of

supported by

Schedule & infos www.utopolis.lu

www.utopolis.lu

B'HODQRB%ULWLVKLQGG

30

16 NOVEMBER 2011 À l’Atelier Concert

ELBOW

Send an email mentioning “den Atelier/ELBOW” to contest@delano.lu Deadline for entries is 4 november 2011 Winners will be notified by email

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Courtesy Jack Shainman Gallery, NY and the artist

LIFESTYLE

MONDES INVENTÉS, MONDES HABITÉS

DYNAMIC THINKERS

FOUND IN TRANSLATION

WORD UP

Invented Worlds, Inhabited Worlds showcases the works of artists who are in turn thinkers, engineers and architects. The likes of Conrad Shawcross, Miguel Palma and Chris Burden investigate the forces and dynamics at work in our universe and through their works tackle questions of a scientific and metaphysical nature. Despite the intellectual profundity, many of the works on show here are quite playful. October 8 to January 15, 2012, Mudam, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, www.mudam.lu

Four exhibitions to see

VISUAL ARTS NIGHT OF THE MUSEUMS

Casino Luxembourg has commissioned Emmanuel Lambion, an independent Belgian curator, to organise an exhibition titled Found in Translation. He has invited a number of internationally renowned artists to use metaphor, quotations, everyday signs and sensory impulses to explore new fields of aesthetics and art.

NOCTURNAL FANCIES

From October 1 to January 15, 2012, Casino Luxembourg--Forum d’art contemporain, Luxembourg-city centre, www.casino-luxembourg.lu

Since the concept was launched in Berlin in 1997, the Night of the Museums has been exported to some 120 cities throughout Europe and beyond. Luxembourg celebrates its 11th edition of the annual event with a programme of activities organised by the d’staater muséeën group, which comprises seven museums in the capital city--Mudam, Casino, natural history museum, city history museum, national art and history museum, fortress museum and the Villa Vauban. Entertainment, workshops, food and drink and meetings with artists are all part of the event, with free entrance to the museums between 6 p.m. and midnight. Free shuttle buses will operate between the museums.

ALINE BOUVY & JOHN GILLIS

LIGHT AND DARK

The Bouvy and Gillis duo has taken over the gallery with two series of works that are somewhere between painting, sculpture and installation art and veer between light and dark, both in terms of the artists’ technical and iconographic approach and the meaning of the works themselves. October 8, seven museums in Luxembourg City, www.nuit-des-musees.lu

Until November 5, Galerie Nosbaum & Reding art contemporain, Luxembourgold city, www.nosbaumreding.lu

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Inspired Performance

TM

13.09.2011 15:31:58 Uhr


LIFESTYLE

Eleven live performances to watch

ON STAGE BALÉ DA CIDADE DE SÃO PAULO

Silvia Machado

SPICE OF LIFE

Exciting Brazilian dance troupe Balé da Cidade de São Paulo arrives for a performance of four pieces, including Canela Fina (Fine Cinnamon) by Cayetano Soto, who uses the metaphor of the spice to create a sensual work. A linha curva by Itzik Galili, on the other hand, is an energetic choreographed work in which the dancers are accompanied by live percussionists from the band Percossa.

TORI AMOS

CONVICTION, CATHARSIS AND VISION

From the moment she arrived on the scene with Little Earthquakes (we can forget the anomaly that was her first group, the excruciating 80s style victims Y Kant Tori Read), Tori Amos has set the standard for female singersongwriters. That 1990 debut solo album was a personal tour de force, featuring songs packed with what appeared to be biographical revelation topped by memorable melodies. Amos’s subsequent career has continued in a similar vein, even though she has varied her approach to production and made a series of diverse albums

that carry an unmistakeable signature but never sound the same. Indeed, her no-holds barred attitude to songwriting has garnered mixed reviews and risked alienating some listeners. But the likes of Alex Macpherson, writing in The Guardian, have acknowledged that Amos’s “combination of conviction, catharsis and vision” have been a huge influence on a gaggle of female artists. She comes to den Atelier on the back of the release of new album Night of Hunters. October 4, den Atelier, Luxembourg-Hollerich, www.atelier.lu

Stéphane de Bourgies, Virgin Classics

October 19 & 20, Grand Théâtre, Luxembourg-Limpertsberg, www.theatres.lu

THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA/ TRULS MØRK

FROM THE FOREST CITY

Under the leadership of Franz Welser-Möst, Cleveland Orchestra, which was founded in 1918 by a group of local citizens, has become one of the most sought-after performing ensembles in the world. The orchestra plays two evenings at the Philharmonie. The second concert, with Norwegian cellist Truls Mørk (photo), features Weber’s Overture to Euryanthe, Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No.1 and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.4 October 28, Philharmonie, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, www.philharmonie.lu

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HAUSCHKA-GHOST PIANO

Mareika Froecking

HAUNTING KEYS Hauschka is the alias of Düsseldorf-based Volker Bertelmann, who plays what he calls the “prepared piano”. He modifies the instrument by placing within it an assortment of material--gaffer tape, tin foil, felt wedges, bottle tops, ping pong balls… The resulting sounds have been described by MOJO magazine as “nothing short of astonishing... a triumph.” The haunting quality of Bertelmann’s compositions are enhanced in this performance by ghost-like films projected onto the piano and pianist by Luxembourg film maker Jeff Desom, who has made two promo videos for Hauschka including the award-winning Morgenrot. Ghost Piano has been performed only a few times, and this is its Luxembourg debut.

BOB DYLAN/MARK KNOPFLER

REAL DEAL DOUBLE-BILL

Having worked together in the studio (most notably on Slow Train Coming), Mark Knopfler and Bob Dylan have now embarked on a double-bill tour. The show opens with Knopfler, making his third appearance at the Rockhal, performing a slew of songs from his solo output and some familiar hits. Dylan and his band will follow for what promises to be a memorable night packed with old favourites. October 21, Rockhal, Esch-Belval, www.rockhal.lu

October 29, Philharmonie, LuxembourgKirchberg, www.philharmonie.lu

DIGITALISM

DIRTY ELECTRO LOVE

The German electro-punk duo got everyone dancing at their last two Rockhal shows, and this latest appearance in the venue’s Club promises no different. New album, Love You, Dude may be more polished and commercial than the dirty electro of 2007’s Idealism, but nevertheless the duo makes truly infectious dance music. As one wag puts it on YouTube, “Digitalism are what Daft Punk should have turned into.” October 25, Rockhal, Esch-Belval, www.rockhal.lu

TOUCH OF NOIR

BACK IN BLACK Now in its fourth edition, the Touch of Noir festival sees noir as a state of mind, rather than a culturally defined genre. This year’s programme includes a series of film screenings including Paul Verhoeven’s early-career De Vierde Man and 1969 classic The Honeymoon Killer s as well as a screening with live music of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger (photo). Concerts during the festival include My Little Cheap Dictaphone performing its Faustian album The Tragic Tale Of A Genius, big band ensemble Flat Earth Society and jazz from the Erik Truffaz Quartet. A festival pass costs just 40 euro. October 19 to 28, opderschmelz, Dudelange, www.opderschmelz.lu Continues on page 68

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LIFESTYLE ROUND AND ROUND THE GARDEN

AYCKBOURN MAYHEM

Michel Jamrozik

Popular though he is, Alan Ayckbourn divides opinion between those who find his middle-class farces ingeniously funny and those who find them dated and peopled with the sort of characters who would be first up against the wall come the revolution. Round and Round the Garden is part of his acclaimed and, at the time, groundUpside Down Productions breaking trilogy, The Norman Conquests. It focuses on three couples whose lives are intertwined in more ways than one. All of the action takes place over a summer weekend in an English garden and the story unfolds with numerous twists and turns that lead to mayhem. It is performed here by Upside Down Productions, a local company that has already won over audiences with two productions and also raises money for charity. Many of the actors will be familiar to local English-language theatre audiences as Wendy Dunning-Baker directs Adrian Diffey, Emma Farrell, Gav Guilfoyle, Niamh Huggard, Darrell Perry and Fran Potasnik. Tickets can be booked by email (tickets@ sarumlux.net) or by phone on tel: 35 63 39.

OPERA COMIQUE

BIZET FARCE Following the great success of Jane Eyre in 2010, the BGT (Berliner Grundtheater) returns with Nagle Jackson’s 1984 Opera Comique, a hilarious comedy set at the premiere of Bizet’s Carmen in 1875. Directed by Tony Kingston, with Phoebe Smith in the lead, the show plays in Mersch in October and comes to Abbaye de Neumünster in November. More in next month’s edition.

October 15-20, Château de Bettembourg

FOOL’S GOLD

UNDER THE INFLUENCE

An indie-dance band from LA that is unashamed of subsuming world music influences into its sound, Fool’s Gold is just the sort of act we have come to expect on the bill at Exit07--and we mean that in a positive sense. The group has received critical acclaim for its two albums--the first defiantly African in sound, the latest, Leave No Trace with a more jangly sound that, according to Pitchfork, recalls “a souped-up Smiths or Orange Juice.“ October 27, Exit07, LuxembourgHollerich, www.rotondes.lu

October 5 to 8, Kulturhaus Mersch, www.luxembourgticket.lu

ARCHIVE ORCHESTRAL TOUR

WITH STRINGS ATTACHED English collective Archive--a band that seems to be bigger in France than its native UK--comes to the Rockhal with the orchestra L' Autunno from Poznan. The move is perfectly logical, given the symphonic sound Archive creates in the studio. Indeed, Archive member Darius Keeler says; “this is a great opportunity to enjoy our tracks performed live, exactly as they should be heard.” November 9, Rockhal, Esch-Belval, www.rockhal.lu

From page 67

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LES THéÂTRES DE LA VILLE DE LUXEMBOURG

VENUS ... HAVE YOU HUGGED, KISSED AND RESPECTED YOUR BROWN VENUS TODAY? A PROJECT BY ROBYN ORLIN COLLAGE ROBYN ORLIN

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LIFESTYLE

THE COSY ALTERNATIVE

Paul Killeen

Konrad on the rue du Nord reopens on October 1 with a fresh lease of life as a café-bar-venue. With furniture and fi xtures carefully selected in collaboration with Ben and Pepper, including retro couches and some rather funky Tolix bar stools, the overall effect is, says owner Ture Hedberg, to provide a cosy alternative venue where customers can relax, read or work or even play board games. The bar downstairs will host live music concerts by local artists, quizzes on Sunday and the return to Luxembourg of regular stand-up comedy. On hand will be Konrad’s excellent organic fare and Simon beer on draught.

Jardins de Senningen

KONRAD

LES JARDINS DE SENNINGEN

AROUND THE WORLD

Pascal Belnou has opened Les Jardins de Senningen with a menu inspired by his travels around the world over the last two years. Influences of the cuisine of Italy, Spain, China and the Caribbean can be found in dishes using fresh, seasonal products. The wine list is affordable and a special Menu les Jardins is available both lunchtime and evening. www.lesjardinsdesenningen.lu

www.konradcafe.com

News and recommendations for

EPICUREANS AND NIGHT OWLS BRAUEREI

Luc Deflorenne

BEER IN AN HISTORICAL SETTING

A new venue in the Rives de Clausen, the Brauerei-Big Beer Company is housed in the historical setting of the kettle room of the former Mousel brewery. The menu offers diners rustic fare and bistro style food (as well as a kids menu) in what it describes as a “Bavarian” setting with beer served in litre “stein” glasses. www.bigbeercompany.lu

EXPLORATOR

THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE The latest edition of Explorator, the dining and nightlife guide to Luxembourg City and the Grand Duchy, now includes English language summaries of the French comments on some 350 restaurants. The restaurant section, structured by district in the capital city and by region for the rest of the country, includes useful information and a wellinformed commentary on the restaurants as well as detailed maps and high quality photos. In addition, local writers have written special chapters providing

advice on where to find the best terraces, child-friendly eateries, gay venues, nightlife, cooking workshops, and on organising a family celebration. A new section on “at home” dining includes advice and information on food-related shops and services, from chocolatiers and butchers to table décor and hiring venues. Explorator, which also has its own website and iPhone app, is available from newsagents and bookstores or online at Maison Moderne. www.maisonmoderne.lu Continues on page 72

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01.10.– 30.11.2011 www.luxembourgfestival.lu

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LIFESTYLE

WORLD CUISINE

50 GREAT RECIPES

PARK INN HOTEL

99 ROOMS AND YOU CHOOSE WHICH ONE The new Park Inn by Radisson opened on avenue de la Gare at the end of July. The hotel has 99 guest rooms as well as three meeting rooms with the latest state-ofthe-art audiovisual technologies, a 24-hour fitness room and a private parking. Its LoungeBAR features a “Blue & Cool” ambiance in which guests and local office workers, residents and shoppers can enjoy a drink or local and international cuisine. The hotel is run by the returning Xavier Damster, formally head of the InterContinental (now Hilton in Dommeldange) who went to Brussels to run the luxury Hotel Metropole. www.parkinn.com/hotel-luxembourg

A new publication from Maison Moderne, La cuisine du monde à votre table features original recipes from 50 international chefs at Luxembourg restaurants. The recipes range from the Kamakura’s tempura to Sieweburen’s Judd mat Gaardebounen (smoked ham with broad beans) via Favaro’s tortellini with ricotta and white Alba truffles. With stunning photos by Olivier Minaire and text by Jacques Demarque (in French and German), the book is available from bookstores and the Maisone Moderne e-shop. www.maisonmoderne.lu

BIO@HOME

ORGANIC ONLINE DELIVERY Leading organic retailer Naturata has expanded its network by introducing an online ordering service to complement its seven shops. Bio@Home allows customers to choose from some 1,600 organic products, which can be delivered to addresses--private or office--within a 25 km radius of Naturata’s Munsbach location. www.bio-at-home.lu

LOW-FI BRUSSELS CHIC

David Laurent/Wide

Naturata

À ½ MESURE

New brasserie À ½ mesure is a breath of fresh air in the upper city; a cool and relaxed bar-restaurant venue serving Belgian-style bistro food in a low-fi atmosphere. The décor is the work of architect Mauro Doro and graffiti artist Sumo and features trompe-l’oeil and simple lines, elegant graphics and original fi xtures. The menu in the upstairs dining room (the ground floor features a bar area) includes a number of Belgian classics such as Waterzooi or Carbonnades flamandes and, of course, plenty of frites all made fresh on the premises. Follow À ½ mesure on Facebook

From page 70

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23.09.2011 10:54:25 Uhr


LUXEMBOURG TODAY A wide-angle contemporary snapshot of Luxembourg covering a broad range of subjects, including a quick look into the past and a long-term view of the future. A portrait comprising new texts and photographic contributions on: architecture – film – the financial centre gastronomy and wine – industry culture – Lëtzebuergesh – fashion the next generation – politics – sport – tourism the economy – contemporary art.

Out now in the stores 200 pages with over 400 photos 39 € www.moien.maisonmoderne.lu

* Moien is available in French, German and English languages.

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21.09.2011 10:10:35 Uhr


MY OTHER LIFE: STEVE KARIER

Rugby

THE RIGHT PITCH

With the Rugby World Cup in full swing, actor and RCL president Steve Karier talks about his love of the sport.

Bohumil Khostoryz

Text: Duncan Roberts

Steve Karier

RCL

RUGBY CLUB LUXEMBOURG

Luxembourg’s oldest and biggest rugby club was founded in 1973 and now runs teams from Under 7s to senior level. The Junior teams play in the Belgian leagues, while RCL’s first team is now in the German Bundesliga. RCL says its goal is to actively nurture the development of rugby in the Grand Duchy and to contribute to the success of the national team by developing talented and committed players. www.rcl.lu

Actor and theatre director Steve Karier rediscovered his love of rugby in Basel of all places. It was the 2007 World Cup in neighbouring France that really reignited his passion for rugby. He had played full back or on the wing-“I used to be a lightweight,” he jokes-and then took coaching exams and trained juniors and beginners for RFC Basel, where he was living at the time. “I never imagined myself as an administrator,” he says. “I am not a paperwork person, and I am not orderly.” But back in his native Luxembourg he has since become president of Rugby Club Luxembourg, as successor to Dave Evans, because he felt he can be more useful to the club as a local who has the local language, contacts and knows how things work. “Dave had put in a tremendous effort and created momentum for the club,” says Karier with obvious admiration for Evans. He is now working closely with Graham Goodhew and other committee members to take the club to the next level. In particular, he wants to find a location where RCL can have its own clubhouse and pitch(es). The current situation is, says Karier “almost impossible to organise” with the club’s only pitch in Cessange being used by all its teams for training and competitive matches. “Every year by spring the pitch is almost illegal--it is like concrete.” It is, he says

the biggest issue of his presidency and he is now busy lobbying the city of Luxembourg authorities to see if they have the political will to find a solution--otherwise, reluctantly, RCL will be forced to look for facilities outside of the city. Asked whether he has learned anything from sport that he can use in his acting career, and vice-versa, he explains that team sports and especially rugby, have helped him think about bodies in space and collective movement. “A movement on the pitch requires a reaction...you have to redefine yourself in space and should constantly be aware of where you are and anticipate what might be required next.” On the other hand, as an actor for whom voice and pitch are key, he is proud of a lecture he gave place kickers about focus on breathing. “To concentrate on what you are doing you need to focus on the core of yourself and that is done by breathing out deeply and getting rid of your old air.” He thought nobody had understood, but recently received affirmation that one of the club’s players had never forgotten that lesson and has since become a very good kicker. Meanwhile, Karier is determined to enjoy watching the World Cup and although he is hard pressed to pick a winner of the tournament, he will be supporting France as usual.

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22.09.2011 15:38:26 Uhr


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Delano October 2011