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April 2013

understanding Luxembourg

Current affairs  •  Business  •  Lifestyle

A change is gonna come Eurovision

A comeback waiting to happen

Hope, hype or hybrid? Issue 19 - 4€

Cyrille Arnould Green energy fund manager

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Electoral registration

Give the majority a vote Text by Duncan Roberts


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Cover photo Julien Becker shot Cyrille Arnould in the atrium of the European Investment Bank. Many thanks to Eva Ferranti for use of the green tie.


ess than three months after an online interview with the Luxemburger Wort, Étienne Schneider’s call to grant non-Luxembourg residents a vote in general elections has achieved what he intended. The minister for the economy and foreign trade said in January that the time was ripe for discussions on the matter. The debate has, if not exactly raged, then simmered nicely ever since. It features as a cover story splash in paperJam (a sister publication of Delano), with 50 high-profile Luxembourgers and non-nationals declaring that “we are in favour” of the integration of foreigners in the democratic process in Luxembourg. Schneider has admitted that it is too late to change legislation to allow non-nationals to vote in the next parliamentary elections in 2014, but is targeting the 2019 elections as a realistic time for the change to be implemented. There has so far been no indication of what criteria non-residents might have to fulfil to be eligible to vote, but it would be unlikely to be far removed from the conditions required to take in Luxembourg nationality --five years residency under the new law. But although there is a great clamour by some politicians, business leaders and

foreigners’ rights associations to permit non-nationals to vote at a national level, is there strong enough grassroots enthusiasm for the idea among those who would be eligible? Voter registration among eligible non-nationals at the local elections in 2011 showed too few foreigners either care or feel well-informed enough about Luxembourg politics to give a damn about who runs the show. Many are more interested in politics in their native country, or they feel that their vote won’t make a difference--after all, with the exception of five years in the 1970s, Luxembourg has been run by the CSV as the senior party in coalition ever since the war. Surveys have also indicated that the inclusion of non-nationals on the electoral role would not make much of a change to overall voting patterns. But, and this is a big but, the opening up of elections to the majority of the population would force political parties to address far wider concerns that truly matter to Luxembourg’s future. No longer could they merely pander to the interests of public sector employees who make up an influential proportion of the current electorate and are, in many cases, a hindrance to progress. So, Delano joins the cry--Mir sinn dofir. .

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current affairs



April 2013 Comeback waiting to happen Why has Luxembourg still not re-joined Eurovision?

A change is gonna come


Can the ambitious project really spark change in Luxembourg?



Get fit for spring

Burn off that winter weight 58


Fashion attitude

How to make a good first impression

On stage

18 essential live events

Strictly ballroom

St. George’s has the moves 16

Shakespeare & Co.


Japan’s ambassador on Europe 18

Migration festival

The world comes to Luxexpo



40 Think Local Kingsley Ogwara How the Nigerian artist made a colourful splash

Fight back

Delano’s online security guide 30

Dual impact

Microfinance luncheon 32

Not just networking

When business meets research 38

Real estate bounce

Optimism returns to the market

66 my other life


Yves de Naurois The risk consultant is always ready to fly

Hope, hype or hybrid: Over the past decade, “responsible investing” has been touted as a way to solve the world’s problems, from climate change to poverty. Many in Luxembourg’s fund industry think they have the way around some of the obstacles blocking the way.

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Jean-Claude Juncker

David Laurent/Wili (archives)

Robbery shootout

Park & buy Luxembourg city mayor Xavier Bettel has announced that a Park & Buy scheme could be introduced in time for the summer sales, which start on June 29. The scheme will allow shoppers or anyone running a quick errand to park their car in designated


Park & Buy spaces for a limited time for free. The finer details of the scheme have yet to be unveiled, but the Park & Buy spaces will be limited to the city centre and Gare districts and the time limit will be less than an hour.

Armed robbers opened fire on police officers during a failed attempt to grab cash from a money transport company in Gasperich in the early hours of the morning of April 3. The robbers used explosives to break into the building, then shot at police officers who arrived to investigate. The robbers fled in a getaway car, and in Windhof they opened fire again on another patrol car, which overturned as it swerved to avoid the bullets. One getaway car was later found burned out, but the robbers have not been apprehended.

Eight branches of Hooters in Germany have closed after it was revealed they did not operate under a proper franchise license. Media reports say the restaurants were run by Flying Wings based in Luxembourg and headed by ADR deputy Roy Reding.

Croix-Rouge luxembourgeoise

"Reshuffle when nobody expects it"

With a little over one year before the next parliamentary elections, prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker has been on the defensive to dismiss rumours of a cabinet reshuffle. Rumours had been circulating within some circles for a couple of weeks before RTL broke the silence and reported that speculation over a reshuffle was mounting following the resignation of Jean-Jacques Kasel as Luxembourg’s judge at the European Court of Justice. RTL suggested that justice and communications minister François Biltgen might succeed Kasel, thus opening up the possibility of a reshuffle with CSV parliamentarian Gilles Roth or the party’s general secretary Laurent Zeimet joining the government. The RTL report also hinted that minister for the interior Jean-Marie Halsdorf would be replaced by CSV faction head Marc Spautz and that culture minister Octavie Modert and family minister Marie-Josée Jacobs might also be on their way out. But Juncker reacted with a protracted no comment. “One doesn’t talk about cabinet reshuffles,” he was quoted as saying in the Luxemburger Wort. “You make a reshuffle when nobody expects it, for the good of the country and its people.”

False Hooters

Red Cross collects The annual donation month by the Luxembourg Red Cross runs throughout April, raising 40 percent of the organisation’s funds through door-to-door and online donations. Funds are used for domestic social and health projects and for overseas aid.

Council of the European Union (archives)

Juncker dismisses cabinet reshuffle rumours

Bem Devassa (Creative Commons)


Threat thwarted Increased security for prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker and deputy prime minister Jean Asselborn was stood down after two weeks in March when a suspect behind threats to the two government leaders was arrested.

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The University of Luxembourg has received good marks from an external evaluation of its faculties and administration. The university, just 10 years old, was awarded an “excellent” mark for specific research projects by the evaluation team of seven international experts. “This young university has achieved much in a short time,” the report stated. “Luxembourg now has an established university with a unique profile of which it can be proud.” Rector Rolf Tarrach said the report indicated the university’s strategy of focusing on excellence in relevant research was the right one. There was some criticism of the administration processes, which the university will address in its next fouryear plan.

Steve Eastwood

Good marks for Uni

“To be accused of something untrue is not a beautiful thing”

Global networking

Tweet from Stefano Gabbana (Dolce & Gabbana) following a €343.4 million fine for tax evasion that involved holding Luxembourg company Gado Sarl.

Luca Nava/Creative Commons

University of Luxembourg/Luc Deflorenne


Tonika Hirdman, head of the Fondation de Luxembourg, and Jakob Silas Lund, founder of Play31, were two of the featured speakers at the eighth Global Issues Network conference, held last month. Organised by the International School of Luxembourg, the event brought together nearly 300 students from more than 30 secondary schools in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the US last month, with the aim of inspiring teenagers “to take a serious interest in global issues”. The GIN conference is “led by students” which gives participants the chance to “hone leadership skills” and hopefully inspires them to take action, the ISL explains; “action that can have a measurable impact and can move civilisation and mankind forward,” says Christopher Bowman, the school’s director. For more on the GIN conference series, see the April 2011 edition of Delano.

Rumours that Radio-Shack-LeopardTrek may lose sponsors and the continued disappointing form of Andy Schleck has left Luxembourg cycling at a low. The Radio-Shack-LeopardTrek rumours stemmed from an article in French sports paper L’Équipe which suggested that Radio-Shack would not renew its deal with the team after this season. But owner Flavio Becca (photo) said that the article was “pure speculation”. Meanwhile, Schleck, at the centre of allegations that he was drunk in a Munich hotel in January, has dampened expectations of winning this year’s Tour de France as he continues his comeback from injury.

Tomasz Sienicki/Creative Commons

Cycling in the dumps

The much-vaunted smoking ban has once again been delayed after the draft legislation was rejected by the council of state. The consultative body said it had several doubts about the legality of exceptions for some small cafés that have been included in the bill. Health minister Mars di Bartolomeo, from the socialist LSAP, and the bill’s champion Nancy Kemp-Arendt from the CSV, have both said that a universal ban is the only way forward. But they face opposition from some parliamentarians who side with the café owners’ lobby and worry that a general ban will lead to some establishments closing down. Legislation is now unlikely to pass before the summer.

Crime stats show rise in violence 40000

crime against property



5186 20000


crime against the person













6695 8138





0 2008

Tomasz Sienicki (Creative Commons)

Luc Deflorenne (archives)

Smoking ban delay, again

Violent crime is on the increase in Luxembourg; police statistics for 2012 have shown. While burglaries were down on previous years in 2012, violent robbery and domestic violence were on the rise. Illegal drug use has stagnated, as has rape--although incidences of indecent assault did increase last year. Vandalism was also higher in 2012 than in previous years, though the vast majority involves defacing property.

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Kerry Tranter and Phillip Charlton

Elaine Watson and Heather Duxbury, primary head teacher (on right)


Strictly ballroom

Fiona Ramage and Paula Skinner

Foxtrot, tango, paso double, quickstep, waltz… about 50 secondary students took to the dance floor with style and grace last month, when St. George’s International School hosted the Comenius International Inclusive Ballroom Dancing Festival. “This event is the culmination of a very successful two year Comenius project that our school has participated in with schools from Germany, Austria, Italy and Hungary,” where ballroom dance was part of sports lessons, according to assistant head teacher Gary Cooper. The soirée brought together students from the five countries “to celebrate their achievements and demonstrate their skills.” A few St. George’s students also were “dance ambassadors,” teaching parents and attendees a few new steps. AG

Gary Cooper, assistant head teacher, and Sue Cooper Beata Goeres and Mark Fleet, acting secondary head teacher (on right)

Photographed by Steve Eastwood


Ellen van Beers and Pam Charlton

From left: Marco Foz, Teresa Lee, Mark Sterton and Kevin Church

Dance ambassadors in action

About 230 attendees participated in the ballroom dance festival


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A change is gonna come The opening salvo by the – Ambition pour le future initiative attracted a diverse audience and unveiled some of the challenges that face Luxembourg over the next 15 years or so. Theme specific workshops follow over the next few months and a report on their findings is due to be published in the autumn. But will politicians take notice and can enthusiasm and fresh ideas spark real change? Text by Duncan Roberts Photography by Olivier Minaire


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Nico Steinmetz Densification is an opportunity


f attendance alone is any guideline, then the first public event of the – Ambition pour le future initiative can be judged a success. Some 450 people were at the inaugural debate at the Forum Geesseknäppchen to hear five guest speakers present their views on the challenges that Luxembourg must meet if it is to change and thrive. The debate was hosted by presenter Gabriel Boisanté and the director of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, one of the initiators, Pierre Gramegna, gave an introductory speech. In addition, a panel of young students from the Youth Parliament of Luxembourg and the Association of Luxembourg Student Circles (ACEL) helped spark discussions. One of the speakers, architect Nico Steinmetz left the event impressed. “I found it excellent; all of the presentations were very pertinent and clear. It was lively and I had the feeling that the audience was paying attention and the panel of young people asked interesting questions,” he says speaking a few days later at the offices of SteinmetzDemyer in Clausen. But he had one proviso. “There were not enough politicians, I only saw François Bausch [deputy mayor of Luxembourg and a parliamentarian for the Green Party]. That was a pity, because politicians and the people from administrations should be listening… they need to get out of their everyday business and open their minds.” This is a crucial factor in the initiative’s goals. The idea is to be a catalyst for public debate but also to present the findings of a number of theme specific public workshops to the government at the end of the exercise in the info

autumn. But will politicians really sit up and take notice of those findings just nine months away from the next general election in May 2014? Natalie Oberweis, a political scientist, freelance journalist and activist who was also one of the speakers at the event is unsure. “Normally I am quite reserved. But this is quite a broad initiative and the Chamber of Commerce is quite a big social and economic player with a big network. So I suppose the government should really listen--it’s not just one NGO doing a project,” she says. “Everybody feels that something has to happen. Even conservative Luxembourgers, and there are many conservative forces in Luxembourg, feel that it cannot continue, that change must come. This should be a push for politicians to have the courage to change strategy, because I think they also know this is necessary.” But both Steinmetz and Oberweis, young professional Luxembourgers who have studied abroad, find that the Grand Duchy is still at

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Two public events remain on the calendar. Entrance is free but registration in advance is required. Saturday, May 11 A territory designed to meet future generations’ needs Workshop addressing energy, environment, green economy, infrastructure and housing. Saturday, June 15 A sustainable economy serving the country and its inhabitants Workshop addressing financial independence, productivity and wealth creation. Contact, tel.: 8002 2323 (green number, free)

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Natalie Oberweis Foreigners create wealth but have no political voice

the mercy of conservative forces and are urging the authorities and individuals to look to other countries for solutions and a change in mentality.

Global vision Steinmetz, for instance, decries the complication of laws and regulations that he says has put the brake on urban development and helped create a housing problem. He feels that politicians and those in charge of bureaucracy at national and local level sometimes don’t share a global vision or take a pro-active enough role in urban development. On the other hand, he points to the way things are done in the Netherlands, where ministries and local administrations, developers and other actors, work together and bring their knowledge to push towards a common goal. “In Luxembourg the administrations don’t push at all. There is a lack working together.” But Steinmetz says there also has to be a rethink of how we live in urban spaces. During the debate, he responded to one young student on the panel who had asked whether she should give up her dream of a detached house with a garden… the sort of property her parents have. Steinmetz responded that her dream was fine, but that he had a dream of a city that allowed this. “A dream of collective housing with great quality that has outside spaces where families can meet and play. But that requires us to think of social housing with all these qualities that is even more attractive than a house in a green space with four façades.” He says it is a question of responsible and collective thinking. The cost of individual housing in terms of infrastructure and the environment is too great, he argues. It makes a huge difference if 50 families rather than two share the costs of building new roads and laying down utility pipes and cables, never mind their subsequent maintenance. Ecologically, collective housing uses far less energy, both to build and to heat. Furthermore, public trans-


port is not viable for low density neighbourhoods. “So people rely on their car and become prisoners of the car again,” says Steinmetz. The spread of low density housing projects also takes away from the countryside. “And we need to maintain enough green spaces that we can use for leisure.” “Densification is an opportunity to improve things,” Steinmetz argues. He approves of the plans by the city of Luxembourg to have a primary school every 500 or 800 metres or so. “In villages the kids have to be collected by bus, so they become used to mechanical transportation from an early age. In the city, children learn the way to school, can spot the dangers or traffic and so forth, and eventually develop their own territory and can then walk to see friends in the neighbourhood.” Oberweis was invited to the debate to talk about immigration and integration, a subject that she feels is always looked at superficially. “We always look at the tip of the iceberg. When we discuss immigration we discuss security issues

and national sovereignty, but I suggest we should take a more human approach and be more individualised, focus on the migrant rather than just us as Luxembourgers.” And she warns of the danger of an “us” and “them” mentality, especially during economic crises when it would be easy to fall into xenophobia. She also believes there are exclusion strategies in some areas, such as the public service sector that is a closed shop for Luxembourgers only, as well as voting rights. “Foreigners create wealth and pay tax, but don’t have a political voice. We need more inclusion, for everyone to have the same rights.”

Content not language As for language, which remains another barrier to inclusion for many, Oberweis is also quite clear. She finds it rather sad that during the first days after the launch of the website one of the main discussions on its online forum was about that fact that the site was in French and English, and Luxembourgish

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Julien Becker (archives)

Youth participation A panel of young people helped spark debate

was not included. “Really the debate should be about content rather than language,” she says with a hint of exasperation. “We want to talk about the future. In the end language is a tool for communication, which is the most important aspect. I understand that people are worried about their language, but we have to be more open and not focus on that if we really want to take advantage of the international finance sector. We wouldn’t be where we are without foreigners.” Oberweis has lived in Niger and also visited Palestine for work, and says she learned that people who live in extreme poverty are often more social. “I don’t want to romanticise poverty, but often they are happier than we are. I think I learned not to judge so quickly, because we are quick to judge those who are different without trying to understand what they have experienced, where they come from.” She says she has never encountered so much tolerance and openmindedness as when she lived in a Muslim community for two years in Niger. “We need to

be aware that what we see on the surface never reveals the whole truth about a person.” She admires the way people managed to live in circumstances that she believes would be impossible for many in Luxembourg. “In Niger, one of the poorest countries on earth, and in Palestine, which is under occupation, the people still manage to live with courage and humour and patience. I am so inspired by these people. We are so spoiled here.” She says that a real change in mentality is required and may not just develop naturally because future generations are a product of the conservative education system. “The school system here is not geared towards developing critical facilities.” This was echoed by University of Luxembourg rector Rolf Tarrach during the debate. He wants the authorities to encourage more young people to have the courage to think outside the box and to leave their comfort zone. “I also feel that a problem is precisely that many young Luxembourgers have never encountered real difficulties in their lives,” he said..

“many young Luxembourgers have never encountered real difficulties” Rolf Tarrach

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Nationality law

Despite calls to make drastic changes to the nationality law, minister François Biltgen’s draft legislation retains the basic principles of language knowledge and residency requirement.

Article B 2

Brandon Connelly/Creative Commons

Plus ça change… Text by Duncan Roberts Photo by Luc Deflorenne (archives)


hile many foreigners’ rights groups and unions such as the LCGB have welcomed some aspects of the new nationality legislation proposals, many feel that the proposed changes to the current law do not go far enough. The new law, if adopted by parliament, will make becoming a Luxembourger easier for many foreigners. For instance, the residency requirements will be cut from seven years back to the five year minimum that existed before the last legislation--which finally allowed dual nationality-was introduced in 2008. Furthermore, the five years of required residency can be accumulative and do not have to be consecutive. The language test remains in place, but has also been relaxed in certain circumstances. For instance residents who have lived in Luxembourg for more than

20 years or who have attended a school in the Luxembourg education system for at least seven years will not be required to take the language test. Several foreigners’ rights groups want the language test abolished completely, but the LCGB union says that learning the language is the best way to encourage foreigners to integrate, although it has called for language courses to be more accessible. Birth right remains a thorny issue, however. The LCGB would like to see everyone born in Luxembourg, even if both parents are non-nationals, granted the right to become Luxembourgish automatically. Under the new law, those children would continue to have to apply to become Luxembourgish when they reached 18. But children adopted by at least one Luxembourg parent would automatically be eligible for nationality. And non-Luxembourg spouses could become nationals after living in the Grand Duchy for three years, or if they are the parent of a Luxembourg child..

New Luxembourgers Still have to pass language test



Fall in number of foreign children

The number of children being adopted from abroad is falling. Just 14 children found new families in the Grand Duchy in 2012.

Family minister Marie-Josée Jacobs unveiled the latest adoption statistics in answer to parliamentary questions at the beginning of April. The 14 foreign children came from South Korea, Columbia, Haiti and Nepal. In 2010, some 21 children from abroad were adopted and in 2011 the figure stood at 18. A total of 222 adoption requests were registered by the ministry, but just 40 children were adopted-two Luxembourg children found new homes, while the other 24 children were formally adopted by families in which they were already being fostered..

Sven Clement faces charges Sven Clement, president of the Piratepartei Lëtzebuerg and a speaker at last month’s TEDxLuxembourgCity on courage, faces prosecution over the alleged theft of some 50,000 medical records from the national sports medicine centre. The data was “stolen” after someone allegedly copied a password written on a sticky note attached to a computer.

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International relations

Links new and old Japan’s ambassador talks to Delano about the influence of Shakespeare, Luxembourg’s cabinet ministers, and why Europe remains important to his country. Text by Aaron Grunwald Photography by Olivier Minaire

Wataru Nishigahiro Enchanted with Luxembourg’s Little Switzerland


hile the Ardennes are typically associated with world wars, “in Shakespeare’s works the forests of the Ardennes have a very important role,” in the view of Wataru Nishigahiro, Japan’s ambassador to the Grand Duchy. “It typically appears in Shakespeare’s play, As You Like It. In summer, if I go to the falls of Müllerthal, it is very much that mood, that atmosphere,” says the Oxford University graduate. The ambassador took Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito to visit the falls last year and “he enjoyed it tremendously”. The Bard of Avon may have also indirectly influenced kabuki theatre, after a sailor shipwrecked in 1600 ended up as a senior advisor to Shogun Tokugawa. “My theory is that there was a high chance that William Adams brought some of Shakespeare’s work to Japan,” reckons Nishigahiro. These days the ambassador sees other links. While the policy priorities outlined by Shinzo Abe--who became Japan’s prime minister for the second time last December--have a decidedly Pacific-orientation, Nishigahiro says his country’s connections with the EU remain vital. “The importance of Europe is that it creates the trend of international public opinion, it provides the basis of the rule of law and justice, and so from that point of view, our relationship with Europe is very important [even when] we are dealing with the US, the neighbouring countries or with revitalising the economy.” During the annual EU-Japan summit on March 25, negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement officially launched, and Nishigahiro hopes talks will be concluded before new terms for European commissioners begin in the autumn of 2014. The summit also covered political and security issues, such as cooperation in Afghanistan and off the coast of Somalia, and in Japan’s own region. “A lot of things are happening in the east Asian area. Like a certain country becoming strong economically and expanding to the south and to the east in the Pacific. So there’s a change


in the security situation in general in East Asia, and we are trying to gain more understanding among Europeans about what’s been happening in East Asia.” The ambassador has likewise launched a cultural programme, which includes a concert by Takashi Sato (see box). The pianist was originally scheduled to perform two years ago in Tripoli, where Nishigahiro was ambassador at the time, but the show was cancelled at the last minute because “we had to escape”, the diplomat explains. The embassy evacuated Japanese nationals and then shuttered for about eight months. Sato “agreed to come to Luxembourg because he was unable to come to Libya last time.” When he arrived in the Grand Duchy last June, Nishigahiro thought “this is a country with a lot of green”. Since then he has been surprised by the number of times, while walking in the city centre, he has come across cabinet members--such as culture minister Octavie Modert and even prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker-“walking with files” between meetings. “Normally that doesn’t happen in Japan.”.

Japanese cultural calendar

Two free events not to miss: The Dolls of Japan April 18 to May 9 Seventy traditional puppets, including marionettes from classic bunraku plays, are presented from the Japan Foundation’s collection. Galerie Konschthaus beim Engel, Luxembourg-City Centre

Classical concert May 12 Beethoven is on the programme at a solo show by pianist Takashi Sato, the youngest recipient ever of the Frederic Chopin Society of Japan Award. Conservatoire de la Ville de Luxembourg, Luxembourg-Merl

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CLAE’s Patricia Lopes, Marion Hambitzer, Claudine Scherrer, Sadikou Adebayo, Lucia Coelho, Sandrine Diebold and Valérie Mahé

Atif Romdedovic, Elvin Muhovic and Ismet Muhovic


We are the world

Gaby Muller, Nils Sauerland, Fernanda Fey, Lidice Mendizabal, Ivonne Hernandez and Patrizia Rosero

Thousands of people from Luxembourg travelled to Mali, Brazil, Nigeria, Cuba and other countries in mid-March, taking the express route to the sites, sounds and tastes of these places by attending the 30th Festival of Migration, Culture and Citizenship. The crowds wove through some 400 stands, many clutching a mojito or a savoury bite to enjoy on their tour around the Luxexpo halls. Many stands were run by groups serving specific needs of a community within Luxembourg or serving them all, like multicultural radio stations and political parties. The accompanying book and art salons were seamlessly located at each end of the main event--a bit like the foreign communities within Luxembourg. The festival is organised by CLAE. WW

From left: Blanche Hilbert, Jacky Debout, Yvette Ze and Patricia Heinem

Nancy Zhingri Photographed by Steve Eastwood


Carlos Louzes and Francis da Silva

Wayne Codd and Paula Correia

Big smiles made visitors feel welcome at the 30th Festival of Migration, Culture and Citizenship

Thierno Seydou Nourou Tall, Isabelle Ndiaye and Cherif Sy


  april 2013

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er n t s i g Re

e n i l on

itei l i b o m

Change your habits – Bike to work! Verkéiersverbond, the national transport community of Luxembourg isproud to announce the 6th edition of the national event “Mam Vëlo opd’Schaff... oder an d’Schoul” (Bike to work...or school). Taking part is very simple: Anyone working in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and all pupils and students attending a college or university in Luxembourg can participate.Two, three or four people form a team of cyclists, regardless of their employer, their school, their home and their individual routes and schedules. Each member of a team can drive a different route. The group appoints a coordinator who ensures that each team member fills out his/her timetable and in case of offline participation, sends the timetables to the Verkéiersverbond. Since 2012 you can also take part in the “Bike to work-Trophy”. To be eligible, all riders of a team must be part of the same company/school. The company and the school with the most participants can win this trophy.

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The challenge: each team must try to use the bike as often as possible to get to work or school, but at least during 15 days between May 15th and July 31st 2013. Of course it is possible to combine cycling and public transport to reduce long journeys. Each team, which achieves this goal will participate in the prize draw organised during the European Mobility Week 2013 in September. The first 300 registered participants have the opportunity to receive a year-long free subscription for Luxembourg City’s rent-a-bicycle scheme vel’oh!

10/04/13 08.04.13 11:50 15:19

Council of the European Union

business Jessica Theis/ (archives)

Bank secrecy

Bonus cap to face vote

European Commission

David Laurent/Wili (archives)

Magharebia/Creative Commons

est of their investors,” says Luxembourg LSAP MEP Robert Goebbels (photo). While the committee “voted in favour of a compromise limiting bonuses, a majority of EPP members, amongst them Astrid Lulling, voted against” the measure, notes a spokesman for the Luxembourg MEP (the CSV is part of the EPP bloc). Trade group Alfi hopes for “some consistency” on compensation rules, as the “issue of remuneration” is already covered by several different EU regimes, says Anouk Agnes. The bill now faces a plenary vote, which could be held as soon as this month, and then must be approved by the European Commission and the Council of European finance ministers.

FS999/Creative Commons

The European Parliament’s economic and monetary affairs committee voted last month in favour of compensation limits for managers of UCITS, the EU cross-border retail investment funds. Bonuses would be capped at 100% of annual salary under the draft bill. Half of bonuses would have to be paid in shares of the UCITS run by the manager. UCITS control nearly €6.3 trillion in funds, according to the parliament, of which more than 30% is domiciled in Luxembourg, according to trade group Efama. “I support such measures as these do not only curb remunerations that can be excessive and sometimes unjustified, but also incentivises fund managers to act in the long-term inter-

The Grand Duchy would “no longer strictly reject” the automatic exchange of tax information, Luxembourg’s finance minister, Luc Frieden, said in an interview with one of Germany’s ­largest newspapers. “We want to enhance cooperation with foreign tax ­authorities,” Frieden told the ­Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung on April 7. Currently only Austria and Luxembourg do not participate in the EU tax cooperation scheme, which began in 2003. These days, however, Luxembourg is not looking for clients who are only seeking bank secrecy or “who want to save on taxes”, he reports. “Today they appreciate the good advice, international asset ­management products, and the sound policy environment” found in the country. Frieden does not believe that Luxembourg’s financial institutions are dangerously outsized (see page 36), but concedes the sector will continue to represent about a third of the economy for the foreseeable future.

Inflation steadies

Best for women

Shariah fund first

RTL shares

In March consumer prices in the Grand Duchy were “stable”, rising by only 0.01% compared to the previous month, Statec reports. “For the first time since mid-2010 inflation in Luxembourg fell below the 2% mark,” says the statistics bureau.

The Sofitel Luxembourg Le Grand Ducal has been named one of the world’s most “female friendly hotels” by businesswomen’s travel website, saying “female guests are pampered and safe”. It was one of 23 hotels in 8 countries the site named.

Franklin Templeton launched three ­Luxembourg-domiciled Shariah funds on March 25, including its Global Sukuk Fund, focused on Islamic bonds, which the firm says is the first ever Shariah-compliant UCITS fund for international investors.

Germany’s Bertelsmann will reduce its stake in Luxembourg-based RTL Group from 92.3% to 75% through the listing of new shares. Despite the secondary offering, Bertelsmann “will continue to support the strategic development of our business”, RTL says.


  april 2013

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SES nabs BT contract

Council of the European Union

Luxembourg satellite giant SES has signed a deal with telecoms firm BT as part of the European satellite navigation system Galileo. The contract calls for SES to provide satellite communications equipment and services to connect Galileo’s ground stations with the system’s two control centres in Germany and Italy. The first Galileo satellites were launched by the European Space Agency in 2011. The agency is building a “smart satellite navigation system” of 30 satellites that will compete with America’s Global Positioning System starting in 2014. SES did not disclose the value of its deal, which was announced in March. “The contract signed today is an illustration that the capabilities developed in the frame of ESA programmes lead to new opportunities for the Luxembourg space industry,” says François Biltgen, communications and research minister (photo, right, with European commissioner Viviane Reding during a summit in Brussels). “Successes like the present one justify the continuous support of the government to the development of this sector in Luxembourg.” The Grand Duchy joined the ESA in 2005.

Luxembourg offers families the highest level of tax relief among 34 wealthier countries, according to the economic think tank OECD. The Grand Duchy had the 20th highest rate tax burden, including social charges, for single workers with no children earning the national average wage last year: 36% (also the OECD average). For comparison, the rates are 56% in Belgium and 50% in France and Germany. However, Luxembourg has the largest tax difference for a one-income married couple with two children and the national average salary. The tax burden drops 23%, from 39% to 13% of total labour costs. In Germany, the rates go down 16%, while in Belgium the tax burden decreases 15% and in France by 7%. The OECD’s report, Taxing Wages 2013, will be published on May 10.

David Laurent/Wili (archives)

Intelsat IPO to lift off Intelsat, a privately held satellite firm based in the Grand Duchy, has launched an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The firm plans to list 21.7 million common shares and to raise up to $542.5 million, which will be used to pay down its debt, according to government filings. That would value the firm at up to $2.7 billion. The company aborted an IPO last May that it had hoped would raise up to $1.75 billion. Intelsat says it has more than 50 satellites in its fleet, which cover more than 99 percent of the world’s populated areas, with more than 1,100 employees and over 1,500 customers. The company reported revenue of $2.61 billion in 2012, up 1% from 2011. Its major competitors, Paris-based Eutelsat and SES, also based in Luxembourg, are already publically listed. Intelsat, which will trade under the ticker “I”, did not announce the date its IPO would launch.

"A delay… cannot be excluded" European Central Bank executive board member Yves Mersch on the final adaption of rules for a single European banking regulator.


ESA/CNES/Arianespace/Photo Optique vidéo du CSG

Tax wedge drops for families

Funds double

Jobless still rising

Less dependent

Cross-border funds, Luxembourg’s specialty, have more than doubled their market-share over the past decade, Lipper says. In 2012 they accounted for 45% of European assets, up from 21% at the end of 2001.

The Grand Duchy’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.5% in February, reports Eurostat, up from 5.4% in January 2013, 5.3% in November 2012, 5.2% in September and from 4.9% in February 2012.

Luxembourg has the 6th lowest total age dependency--the ratio of younger and older residents compared to working age population--in the EU (45%), Eurostat says. A higher ratio requires more social spending. April 2013  

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FTT warning The planned European financial transactions tax will have a major impact on Luxembourg’s fund sector, industry executives say.

Olivier Minaire (archives)


he financial transaction tax is “the single most important threat to the financial sector in general and to the fund industry in particular,” one panellist at the 25th spring conference organised by the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry warned. It “will be imposed on financial transactions and that’s the core business of an investment fund,” ING’s Nenad Ilic said. “It will not be imposed only once on investment funds, it will be imposed ­multiple times.” The FTT is currently in the ­process of being adapted by 11 European countries, not including the Grand Duchy, with the aim of dampening risky financial engineering and providing a safety reserve for the financial sector and struggling ­government budgets. Despite not joining the group of 11, the tax will touch Luxembourg. During a panel discussion on regulations, Ilic noted that “whenever there is at least one party or intermediary to any given transaction that is resident in the

FTT zone, the transaction becomes taxable and all parties to that transaction have to pay the tax.” The tax is also due “on securities issued by a resident of the FTT zone”, which includes Belgium, France and Germany. “Investors need to be aware that [they will be] the one who’s going to pay it,” argued Manfred Bauer of DWS Investment. Duties will rapidly mount for fund-of-funds, master-feeders and electronically traded funds, the Alfi panellists agreed, because each step in processing a client’s operation is considered a separate transaction. “If you manage a money market fund, what is going to be the return for the i­ nvestor?” Axa’s Gilles Dauphiné r­ hetorically asked. In the end “it’s not possible to not be part of the FTT [zone] to a certain extent”, in the view of panel moderator Georges Bock of KPMG. The FTT could come into effect as soon as January 1, although the final agreement has not yet been reached. .

GEORGES BOCK (RIGHT) Luxembourg can’t escape the FTT

Etienne Delorme (archives)

Text by Aaron Grunwald


FATCA worries Alfi attendees

Luxembourg’s fund sector faces a race against the clock, with the Grand Duchy’s government expected to strike a deal less than three months before strict new American tax rules take effect. US tax-avoidance scheme FATCA takes effect in January 2014 “but this year we’re already up against an important deadline,” DWS Investment’s Manfred Bauer said during an Alfi spring conference panel discussion. “We have to register with the IRS” in October in order to be placed on a “white list” of financial instructions that are “deemed compliant” with the rules. Non-compliance could result in a 30% withholding tax being levied on client transactions. Despite the short timeframe, “the big players certainly will be ready on time,” said ING’s Nenad Ilic, but “I see a risk at the level of certain smaller distributors.” Luxembourg’s government aims to sign an accord with Washington on how to ­implement the rules during the third quarter of this year..

Daniela Klasén-Martin of services provider DCG, on the EU’s new “alternative investment fund” rules, which she reckons is a chance for the Grand Duchy to create a brand for savvy investors just as Luxembourg made a name for itself with retail UCITS funds.


Luc Deflorenne (archives)

“It is a great opportunity for Luxembourg”

  april 2013

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10/04/13 09:50

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08/04/13 14:46


Good investments

Hope, hype or hybrid?

Claude Hirtzig A good investment is when interests align


  APRIL 2013

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09/04/13 17:38


Over the past decade, responsible investing has been touted as a way to solve the world’s problems, from climate change to poverty. It is meant to marry capitalism with social progress. Yet a pair of divides has long stood in the way. Are the chasms finally ready to be bridged? Many in Luxembourg’s fund industry think they have the blueprints. Text by Aaron Grunwald Photography by Julien Becker

F Funds by category

704 321



160 51 Social


Of the 1,236 responsible investment funds in Europe, more than half screen securities against criteria such as the UN Principles for Responsible Investment.

or a sector that only represents about 1.6% of total European assets under management-according to KPMG and Alfi’s European Responsible Investing Fund Survey 2012--experts tell Delano that “responsible investments” are pretty important for Luxembourg. The space continues to grow, the Grand Duchy needs to maintain its reputation as the EU’s key investment funds hub, and Luxembourg may have answers to some of the segment’s major challenges, they posit. Broadly speaking, the phrase “responsible investing” covers two different fields, explains Anne Contreras of law firm Arendt & Medernach. First there is “impact investing” which has a social purpose, such as offering microfinance credit to help alleviate poverty. Such funds have traditionally been the realm of governmental development organisations and NGOs. Then there is “socially responsible investing” in which fund managers use environmental,

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25 09/04/13 17:38


129 billion

Total assets under management at responsible investment funds in Europe, according to KPMG and Alfi’s European Responsible Investing Fund Survey 2012.

Assets under management

33% 23% 9%








The Grand Duchy and France together account for more than half of assets under management at responsible investment funds in Europe.

Assets by category*

89.73 30.49 6.71 2.55





* in billion euro The largest amount of assets went to “cross-sectoral” funds, meaning managers exclude shares using several international standards, KPMG and Alfi report.


social and governance (ESG) criteria to screen out companies that engage in undesirable behaviour, such as having exploitative working conditions in factories, or trade in an undesirable sector, such as armaments. At the moment, “these are niche products”, says Contreras, who sits on the responsible investing committee at the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry (Alfi) and is an observer on the board of LuxFlag, a Luxembourg-based agency that checks funds’ responsible investing claims. Indeed, those seeking to make responsible investments run the risk of encountering “greenwashing” where firms make environmental assertions that are not totally backed up by reality, observes Claude Hirtzig, director of BCEE Asset Management, a subsidiary of the state savings bank. “Some companies even change the colour of their logo to green” for marketing reasons. Hirtzig’s firm runs the Lux-Equity Eco Global fund, an ESG vehicle for retail investors which focuses on energy efficiency technologies and improving water infrastructure. “We didn’t want to create a fund that would invest in a company that is building solar panels in China and dumping the waste in the nearby river.” His fund does not take stakes in green energy providers, but rather those “wanting to optimise the way they are using resources”. Such projects “are green” because “you’re spending less money using less electricity or energy. So the interests of investors and of the community are in line actually,” says Hirtzig. “Are those companies doing that because they want to feel good or are they especially environmentally friendly businesses? I don’t know.” Greenwashing is not the only ethical hazard that is difficult to navigate. Under all ESG standards, “you cannot invest in companies that would employ children, that’s for certain,” notes Contreras. “You can simply remove that investment from your portfolio scope, but you can also try to get in contact with the company and try to understand why they are employing kids.” The firm hiring children may be taking “them out from a difficult or from a worse situation, so you see things are not easy.”

For retail investors “the difficult thing” is the lack of a “common definition” of responsible investing criteria, Contreras reckons. “In practice ESG screening can be very, very different from one manager to another. Frankly I think it’s a little bit messy out there” and “there are no controls out there which would reassure investors that things are done effectively”. Which is one reason why LuxFlag is moving to expand its certification beyond its current two--environmental and microfinance--labels, she adds.

Retail vs. institutional “Impact takes more time”, observes Valérie Arnold of consultancy PwC. “If you want [retail investors] to be patient, then you have to prove the impact.” Defining, measuring and reporting impact “is very key, and we need to be better in that respect.” Today pension funds are by far the largest investors in Luxembourg’s responsible funds, because they have a longer term outlook, she notes. “And more and more require that investments have, or take into account, ESG criteria at different levels” concurs Contreras. Hirtzig is speaking with an increasing number of institutional clients about using “ethical and environmental standards as the starting point, so there’s, in my view, a clear sense that it’s going in that direction. They will have a certain level of criteria that have to be met. Will they have to be met with [stand-alone] ethical or green funds? I’m not sure. In our case it will be more” a hybrid case of applying more ethical screens to all the funds. Asked if using responsible investing criteria will simply become mainstream for all funds in the next few years, Contreras responds: “That would be a great future, wouldn’t it?” In addition to the institutional-retail split, another divide serving as a stumbling block has been, generally speaking, the very division between “impact” and “responsible” investing. At the moment it is nearly impossible for a single project to be jointly funded both by official development aid (ODA) sources and NGOs, which cannot seek a profit, and by commer-

  APRIL 2013

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Market leaders cially-minded investors, who are looking for a financial return. In Luxembourg, at least, that could soon change. A draft bill would allow a hybrid of “two types of investors in one single legal vehicle,” says Marc Elvinger of the law firm Elvinger, Hoss &  Prussen, which is a member of the “European Impact Investing Luxembourg” initiative that is pushing the measure. Under the proposed law a “société d’ impact” or “impact company” could take the form of any “type of commercial companies that exist under Luxembourg law” but with certain additional requirements, according to Elvinger, who was speaking at the March edition of the “Midi de la microfinance” conference series, organised by the Luxembourg-based microfinance support group ADA (see report on page 30). “The idea is two groups of investors. The impact investors, who get no return but the possibility to recoup their investment at the end of the project. And then on the other hand, financial investors, who are allowed to get a return, but only if the social objectives of the project have been achieved.” “This is a structure that does not exist in Luxembourg law or anywhere else in Europe as far as I know,” says Contreras, who also helped draft the bill. “We’re very eager to see this pass parliament. Obviously parliament has to do its job, so it’s not here yet.”

France had the most assets under management in European cross-sectoral responsible investment funds, KPMG and Alfi estimated last year. Luxembourg was home to the largest amount of assets in funds dedicated to environmental objectives, such as renewable energy, water and forestry. The Grand Duchy also led in the social category, which includes microfinance and social entrepreneurship funds. The UK was the largest domicile of ethical fund assets, largely due to its success in marketing Sharia-compliant funds.

Cross sectoral assets under management 11%









54% UK

netherlands Germany belgium luxembourg












Social assets under management 43% 16% 5%

two percent fall in 2011” and that only “Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden” had met UN targets.) “What is new and what is important is that we [use impact investing] for the development space,” states Hummels. “Impact investing is very important, but it cannot do the job on its own. At the same time, indeed, I agree with [the Dutch minister] that development aid as such, money being spent from public sources to development aid, also has its limitations. There is simply too little money available. And if we want to actually further the interests of the poor, for instance, we definitely have to come up with [something] that is sustainable, that has impact and is coming from private resources.”








Ethical assets under management 22% 1%



61% 14%

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Environmental assets under management

Going private “There is too little money available for all kinds of social purposes,” reports Dr. Harry Hummels, an ethics professor at Maastricht University and managing director of Utrecht-based SNS Impact Investing, which he says manages “some 400 million euro in microfinance coming all from institutional investors.” Hummels, who was also speaking at the ADA conference, observes that “governments are basically withdrawing money. My own minister, in the Netherlands, for development aid basically declared it dead two weeks ago. She said development aid was something of the past.” (On April 3 rich world economic think tank OECD reported that “development aid fell by four percent in real terms in 2012, following a


APRIL 2013  



27 09/04/13 17:38


“Let’s not be too cynical” Valérie Arnold (PwC)

In fact, exactly such a hybrid project has already been operating--at the EU’s development bank in Kirchberg--for years. “International investors know how to finance big projects basically anywhere in the world, but what they don’t know is how to finance small and medium sized projects,” says Cyrille Arnould, head of the Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund (Geeref) at the European Investment Bank. The fund provides co-financing to renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in emerging markets that require less than 10 million euro in total equity, he explains, but at least half of the project’s financing needs to be raised privately.

Working hybrid

He adds: “At the end of the day if we want to have an impact on small and medium sized renewable energy projects, it will take more than public money to get it done. What we need to do is crowd in private investors.” Despite the positive prospects for such hybrid funds, people should still take a “whatever works” approach to doing good, argues PwC’s Arnold. “Look at the problems in the world, poverty, disease; microfinance is very strong, but let’s not be too cynical. People dying from Aids don’t need microfinance or microcredit, they need medicine and healthcare. Both [responsible and impact investors] need to work together. We’re not talking about the same help for the same people.” Neither is better than the other, she says. “Both are necessary and both need to work together.”.

A Luxembourg Sicav, “Geeref is a new type of activity for the EIB” in which the bank advises third party investors. “It’s totally off-balance sheet from the EIB, and EIB manages it. We get paid for it by the investors.” In 2008, the European Commission, Germany and Norway together invested 112 million euro in Geeref, which were technically ODA grants, Arnould reports. “My major task this year is to raise another 112 million from private investors. We want to double the size of Geeref.” Two share classes ensure that private investors will garner the majority of any returns, and public investors’ profits will be kept in the Sicav or another Geeref fund. “The end game for us is to prove the sector”, Alfi and LuxFlag host a responsible investing says Arnould, “to demonstrate that these projects conference May 15 at the Luxembourg are bankable.” Chamber of Commerce.


Number of funds

28% 17% 13% 8% 4%






The Grand Duchy is home to the largest number of the 1,236 responsible investment funds in Europe tracked by the KPMG-Alfi study.

  APRIL 2013

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10/04/13 05/03/13 14:21 17:50 3/1/13 10:31 AM


Marc Elvinger

Corinne Molitor

Dr. Harry Hummels

Responsible investing

Dual impact

Claude Hirtzig (on left)

The aid world is increasingly partnering with private players, speakers noted during the March edition of the “Midi de la microfinance” conference series, which is organised by Luxembourg-based ADA. “Impact investing” aims to “create a better world while making a decent financial return” explained Prof. Harry Hummels of Maastricht University and SNS Impact Investing. “In current times where public institutions and governments are cutting back on their budgets to funds social advancement, indeed it’s time for private capital to come in, and the private capital luckily enough is coming in,” observed Ernst & Young’s Dr. Carmen von Nell-Breuning. Elvinger, Hoss & Prussen’s Marc Elvinger outlined the proposed “impact company” law, which would boost such hybrid projects (see cover story for details). AG

Dr. Carmen von Nell-Breuning

Jason Rae and Alinda Gomes

Photographed by Luc Deflorenne

Laura Foschi and Dr. Harry Hummels

Around 150 people attended the ADA conference, which was held at the Banque de Luxembourg


april 2013

30_picreport_ADA microfinance_AG.indd 30

09/04/13 11:58

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No chance encounter Next month’s “Business meets research” summit brings together entrepreneurs and scientists with purpose. Text by Aaron Grunwald


t is not always easy for small and midsized companies to find partners. In investment-intensive industries such as bio-health, materials science and ecological and space technologies, the challenge is doubly difficult. Which is why Luxembourg’s national agency for innovation and research promotion, Luxinnovation, created the “Business meets research” event, according to Pierre Gramegna, head of the Chamber of commerce. The sixth annual edition--to be held May 7 and 8 at the chamber’s conference centre in Kirchberg--features talks, workshops, networking and matchmaking that aims to bring together entrepreneurs and scientists from Luxembourg and its three neighbouring countries. Dr. Georges Thielen, manager of external science and technology programmes at Goodyear and president of the Luxembourg Materials Cluster, calls “Business meets research” a “must go to” event in the Grand Duchy, and reckons the conference is the single best event of the year for connecting “public research, industry and business”. “Last year’s brokerage facilities were really of great value for Goodyear and we could connect with new R&D partners in high priority, technologically challenging areas.” That is one reason why these days deeper “integration with national public research is a true priority” for Goodyear, notes Thielen, who will participate in the roundtable discussion “Luxembourg cluster initiative – turning innovation into business”. The conference “is a very interesting opportunity to get to know the key players in public research in Luxembourg, a sort of who’s-who,” says three-time attendee Dr. João A. S. Bomfim, a materials scientist at public research institute CRP Henri Tudor. Equally it is “an important way for these actors--us--from the public research centres or the university, to showcase our work to an interested public of R&D managers and technologists from industries located in Luxembourg and the Greater Region. Indeed, this international aspect was enhanced in the

David Laurent/Wili (archvies)


JOÃO A. S. BOMFIM Event is a “who’s-who” in R&D

Top talks

Here are three “can’t miss” speeches during the “Business meets research” conference:

last edition with a large number of invited speakers coming from the neighbouring region of Saarland. And this year many invited speakers from Wallonia will be present.” In addition to the “innovation matchmaking” sessions, Bomfim will present in the “Sustainable, green and recyclable materials” workshop, presenting “some recent develops in CRP Henri Tudor projects carried out with industrial partners” including Textilcord Steinfort and Cardolite. At a wider level, “research must seek to have a positive impact on the society supporting it,” in the view of Prof. Lionel Briand, a computer software expert at the University of Luxembourg, who will present during the “How can virtual labs contribute to increasing productivity?” workshop. “In engineering as well as in other applied fields, research should then be informed by practice and the research problems being addressed should ideally be defined in collaboration with industry or public partners.”.

1 Étienne Schneider Economy and trade minister Opening address May 7, 9:45 a.m. 2 J.H.J. Mengelers President of the European Association of Research and Technology Organisations “The power of innovation in Europe – competition with emerging markets” May 7, 10:15 a.m. 3 Jean-Paul Henry Managing director of consultancy Créaction International “European Space Agency Technology Broker Network – opportunities for Luxembourg” May 7, 1:45 p.m.

  April 2013

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09/04/13 17:45

RecheRche et innovation

Mercredi 24 avril 2013

1 soirée, 10 experts, 6 minutes par orateur ÉvÉnement sous le parrainage de : M. BILTgEN, ministre de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche les investissements dans la recherche et l’innovation font partie des investissements stratégiques pour la croissance de l’économie luxembourgeoise dans les prochaines décennies. Rencontrez les acteurs qui préparent les produits et services innovants de demain, ainsi que les acteurs publics qui soutiennent cette démarche.

Restaurant Namur (Luxembourg-Hamm) Programme : 18 : 30 Accueil et cocktail 19 : 00 Mots de bienvenue 19 : 10 Début du 10x6 20 : 15 Cocktail de clôture

Inscription obligatoire : Invitation personnelle et non transmissible

Diego Di Biasio Technoport

Raymond Schadeck Focal Luxinnovation

Yves Elsen Hitec

Marc Solvi Paul Wurth

Jean-Pierre Jeusette Goodyear Innovation Center Luxembourg

Catherine Larue IBBL

Rolf Tarrach Université de Luxembourg

Pierre Thein Fours Hein

55 € (non-membres)

Fernand Reinig CRP Gabriel Lippmann

Événement organisé par :

En partenariat avec :

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10/04/13 11:41 09:49


Deter identity theft

Careful what you click

Log-in safely To help prevent online accounts from being hacked or hijacked, sites such as Facebook, Google and many banks offer two-step verification, meaning a one-time code is sent to you via SMS whenever someone logs-in from a new device. Look for the “safety” or “security” section of each website that you use. Also check the strength of your password with free services such as and


Attachments and links can always lead to “malicious documents”, warns Luxembourg cyber-security agency CIRCL. “The success rate” of so-called “social engineering” attacks “is quite high” and often leads to cyber-espionage or the hijacking of your computer. Read pop-up windows carefully and only download and run files and programmes that you know and trust.

Use tools Social media and financial sites typically have various reporting and blocking tools to flag abuse and harassment, and most “people feel they can manage any issues with the tools that they have”, Global Market Insite’s Ralph Risk tells Delano. Taking time to report illegal or questionable activity helps protect other members of your community, notes PayPal.

Stop and ask Younger web users in particular need to be frequently reminded to think before posting or sending personal details, and be encouraged to tell someone they trust in the offline world if something seems strange or upsetting, stresses the European Commission’s “Safer Internet” campaign.

Photo : Maison Moderne

“Never state your date of birth and where you were born [on social networking profiles], otherwise you are saying ‘come and steal my identity’,” Frank Abagnale told The Guardian in a recent online video interview. He also recommends against using passport-style photographs as a profile picture, suggesting group photos instead.

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Online safety

Fight back

Abusive behaviour and cyber-crime continue to plague internet users. Delano presents five tips you, your colleagues and family members can use every day to make electronic life more secure.


plaints in the 18 month period ending April 2012. A study by research firm Global Market Insite found one in ten Facebook users-and one quarter of those aged 18 to 24--“had someone posting insulting or abusive messages on their wall, or insulting, abusive or threatening private messages.” While online service providers and corporate IT departments continue to fight such cruel and criminal behaviour, internet users--you and I--remain the first line of defence, experts say. While he does not personally use social media sites such as Facebook, Frank Abagnale--the FBI consultant and former conman who was portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the film Catch Me If You Can--said at the Advertising Week Europe conference in London last month: “I have three sons on it. I totally understand why people like it. But like every technology you have to teach children; it is an obligation of society to teach them how to use it carefully.” Here are five simple ways to stay safe online, both at the office and at home. AG

ullying, cyber-espionage, fraud and worse… internet users are constantly being reminded of the dangers that lurk online. Indeed, Luxembourg cyber-security agency CIRCL tracked more than 10,000 cyber-attack incidents in the Grand Duchy last year. “Financial fraud involving information systems” and “breaches of information” were two of the top three “threats” cited by banks and insurers in the 2012 Global Financial Services Industry Security Survey, published by consultancy Deloitte. The government’s “BEE Secure” initiative--which aims to educate and aid younger internet users-received more than 1,000 com-

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Euro zone

Frieden fights back The Grand Duchy’s finance minister has rebutted comments that Luxembourg’s financial sector is too big for the country.



uxembourg’s finance minister has fired back at accusations that the Grand Duchy’s financial sector is dangerously oversized, saying it operates at a European level. “Luxembourg is convinced of the importance of the smooth and unhampered functioning of the single market, including for financial services” and “will therefore not adhere to policies that intend to renationalize elements of the single market,” Luc Frieden has said. Politicians in several fellow euro area countries have long been disapproving of Luxembourg’s large financial sector, but criticism increased last month in the wake of the financial crisis in Cyprus. While Cyprus’s banking sector is estimated to be eight times larger than its domestic economy, the figure for Luxembourg is reckoned to be about 20. In a joint interview with the Financial Times and Reuters published on March 25, Jeroen Dijsselbloem--the Dutch finance minister who recently took over from Luxembourg prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker as head of the Eurogroup--was asked what the bank bailout in Cyprus said about “other countries in the euro zone that have very highly-leveraged banking sectors, Luxembourg, Malta even?” Dijsselbloem replied: “It means: deal with it before you get in trouble. Strengthen your banks, fix your balance sheets, and realise that if a bank gets in trouble, the response will no longer automatically be we’ll come and take away your problems. We’re going to push them back. That’s the first response that we need. Push them back. You deal with them.” In a separate interview with Reuters, Joachim Poss, deputy leader of the opposition Social Democrats in Germany’s lower house of parliament, said of the Grand Duchy’s financial sector: “In the long term no business model can be tolerated in a market economy that circumvents fair competition. Of course Luxembourg belongs to the group of problem countries.” “The business model of the financial sector in Luxembourg [is] quintessentially an international

Council of the European Union

Text by Aaron Grunwald

Jeroen Dijsselbloem and Luc Frieden Disagree about Luxembourg’s business model

one within the euro area, acting as an important gateway for the euro area by attracting investments and thus contributing to the general competitiveness of all member states,” Frieden said in a memo distributed to press less than 48 hours after the criticism erupted. “The proportionality of a financial sector cannot be determined by relating the size of a financial sector to the GDP of a country.” The Grand Duchy’s financial sector should be evaluated in proportion to the entire euro area and single European market, he argued. Frieden added that: “It is precisely also in this spirit that Luxembourg has agreed to establishing a fully fletched banking union in the euro area, starting with common supervision, but inevitably leading to guarantee deposits and a common resolution mechanism.” The Grand Duchy is one of just four euro zone countries--with Finland, Germany and the Netherlands--that has kept its top-notch AAA rating from all three major global credit ratings agencies, Fitch, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s..

Safe bank

Luxembourg’s state savings bank, Banque et Caisse d’Épargne de l’État, is named the ninth “safest bank” in the world in the April 2013 edition of Global Finance, a magazine read by banking and financial executives in 163 countries. BCEE has figured in the publication’s top 10 safe bank rankings for several years running.

  april 2013

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A c q u i s i t i o n s I s A l e s I r e n t A l s I e v A l u At i o n s I i n s u r A n c e I r e A l e s t At e c o n s u lt i n g

we set stAndArds in residentiAl reAl estAte. because we love what we do and we know how to do It the rIght way. “and so do our clIents – promoters And developers, privAte sellers And buyers, lAndlords And tenAnts – who we thAnk for their continued trust in the wAy we represent their best interests.” let us meet to dIscuss your specIfIc needs and challenges. paul fabeck m A n A g i n g pA rt n e r

e x c e l l e n c e I n r e a l e s tat e

2, place de nancy I l-2212 luxembourg I t : + 352 26 44 11 61 I I


09/04/13 11:32



The Return of Optimism Luxembourg’s commercial real estate market  is staging a comeback. Text by Tonya Stoneman Photography by Olivier Minaire


ast year, the Luxembourg commercial real estate market was flat. What is the prediction for this year? Consultancy PwC recently released its annual research survey recording trends for the European real estate market. “The main thing that came out of it is that optimism has returned for European real estate,” says the firm’s global real estate leader, Kees Hage. “Luxembourg has provided that for the EU markets. The sentiment among industry professionals is more positive now than it has been at any time since 2008.” While availability of debt is still scarce and other European countries are struggling to come back, Luxembourg has remained relatively insulated from the crisis. For many, local prospects are as viable as ever. The real estate opportunities for Luxembourg right now lie in the fact that it is a more stable market and continues to attract business. “Luxembourg is an international financial centre that influences international investment financial structures. You have to look at where the money is flowing in Europe,” says Hage. “Where are the debt funds? There is a lot of refinancing and there are new opportunities for real estate managers to come in with new sources.” The whole thing works together like spokes on a wheel with Luxembourg situated in the best possible place. In fact, the Grand Duchy directly impacts the financial sector, says Amaury Evrard, Luxembourg real estate leader at PwC. “If you add the relocation of those managers--where they are going to put their offices and their staff--that means offices and residential spaces. This is all linked to the importance of the growing financial centre… Luxembourg is first place in Europe in that field.”


Kees Hage, Philip Mauel and Amaury Evrard Finance still main market driver

Jean-Pierre Lequeux, managing director of DTZ, concurs with that assessment, but sees a downside to the high demand for local commercial properties. “The price of rental properties is increasing because of the lack of space in the central business district,” he says. “Businesses want to be in the centre and will pay more to be there. Consequently, there is no life in the city at night-time because families can’t afford to live downtown anymore. Companies are occupying buildings that were designed to provide housing.” With local rental prices currently on par with space in London, he says the challenge is to provide companies with the correct space at the correct price while enticing them to conduct their operations outside of the city centre. That said, it’s hard to complain about too much optimism from investors. Véronique Koch, research and marketing consultant at CBRE, sees stability in the local market reflected in low vacancy rates, currently six percent, she says. “When a building is not rented, it’s really hard to sell it. And in Luxem-

˝The sentiment among industry professionals is more positive now than it has been at any time since 2008˝  Kees Hage

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jean-Pierre Lequeux Offices displacing housing

bourg the market is quite transparent. As the country is small, all actors can more easily adapt to changing conditions. For example, developers were well aware that finding tenants would be a challenge after the economic downturn, so they kept their projects on hold and did not develop new buildings, which would have been empty.” The Luxembourg real estate market continues to be attractive for outside investors because the price level of rents is stable and the economy is doing well. The purchase power of people here is also high and remuneration is kept at a minimum. “For the moment, there is a high level of investments in the local real estate market,” Koch says, “and there will be more sales this year than in recent years.” A contrasting trend in prime yields has been observed in the real estate market. Luxembourg, like Germany and the United Kingdom, is considered economically robust and it is expected to continue providing stable or compressing yields. “The current shortage of core

Best Bets for 2013

According to PwC’s Emerging Trends in Real Estate Survey: Retail in turmoil: Prime shopping centres and luxury retail destinations will thrive, as will small local convenience parades. Secondary high streets and non-destination town centres will decline. Tenant expectations and demand for retail property will continue  to change rapidly as online ­shopping grows. Tomorrow’s world: The conversion of redundant commercial buildings into residential accommodation in town and city centres will gather pace. Shape offices around a new kind of occupier--one who is looking for buildings that accommodate new ways of urban living, such as bike parks and access to green spaces. Sustainable credit: Lenders increasingly see “green buildings” as a way of reducing refinancing risk. Seek sustainability in real estate to maximize finance, ­mitigate obsolescence and underpin security of income.

investment opportunities and the expected steady investor appetite for exposure to the Luxembourg real estate market should naturally pave the way for good non-prime asset investment opportunities,” says Philip Mauel, director of real estate advisory at PwC in Luxembourg. “With a total transaction volume of 600 million euro in 2012, transaction volume for 2013 is expected to be in-line with 2012. The last two years, prime yields have remained very stable around 5.5% and the vacancy rate has been kept around six percent.” “Also, today, a selective strategic approach to investment is extremely important not only in terms of location, but also with respect to the ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ aspects of the property. After a long period of doubt, investors have now identified and understood the benefits of environmental certification for buildings. As of today, 16 percent of the buildings are green certified in Luxembourg, but only one percent within the European market.” There is no doubt that adequate opportunities are available in the local market. .

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Nine year resident Kingsley Ogwara gives his insight into living and working in the Grand Duchy. Interview by Aaron Grunwald Photography by Steve Eastwood

Originally from Delta State in southern Nigeria, Kingsley Ogwara earned a bachelor’s in fine and applied arts, before working in the fashion industry. He came to Luxembourg in 2004 as a political refugee following the outbreak of political violence in the Nigerian delta region. Today the painter and sculptor has a studio at 58 Grand-Rue in Differdange.

Kingsley Ogwara Don’t let others’ negativity get you down

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AG: Do you mind the label “refugee”? KO: I didn’t come with an empty suitcase; I came with something in my head. AG: What was the biggest shock after you arrived? KO: What really surprised me most in Luxembourg is where to start from. Because you think it’s a very small country, but if you don’t know where to start from you are lost and it is very big. AG: How did you get started here? KO: When I came to this country, I was in an ‘international protection’ centre and it was not easy to break through. Then I had an exhibition when I was still in the ‘foyer’ and I was ‘discovered’ there. Still I had different types of jobs. I washed plates in a restaurant. I was loading trucks. In 2009 I had the homologation [official recognition] of my diploma by the Luxembourg ministry of culture, and I had the possibility to become an independent artist. I started giving workshops in schools, primary and secondary, and with adults. I really want to thank the ministry of culture--they were so, so helpful-and all those who supported me. AG: Was it hard to make a name for yourself ? KO: The first time I went to a gallery, I was thrown out. We had an appointment, but she said I had to leave. She just was narrow minded. As an African you have to be five times better because there’s this prejudgement. Now people come to [my studio]. I don’t know the people that collect my work. They collect it because of the quality of the work.

AG: Is there a lot of discrimination in Luxembourg? KO: It happens everywhere in the world. Even with Africans, there is discrimination among us. I don’t care. When I see it, I feel that I am more than that person. What is inside me is important. AG: Do you think you were discovered by chance? KO: I believe in god, I just believe anywhere I go I must prosper. When I come to a place, it will grow. My art is healing, a blessing to people. That is why people acquire my art: not just because of the art; they acquire it because there’s something in the art. AG: Would you ever move back to Nigeria? KO: I don’t know if I would. I have a daughter here. AG: Are you happy with the school system? KO: It’s a good crèche. The people working there are a good team and I see the development of my daughter. Every time she comes back, there’s always new input. AG: What is your advice for newcomers? KO: Dream. Don’t let other people’s negatively discourage them from their goals. Most importantly they should believe in themselves. We are the best gifts to ourselves. And never let discrimination be an excuse for not being ‘into it’ or successful. If you do it right, nobody can stop you. Also just try to learn the language. If you know some basics, you feel welcome. Luxembourg people feel you when you talk the language, so I think it’s really important. It works for me because I meet Luxembourg people every day. Just try to look for a strategy that will work for you. .

  APRIL 2013

09/04/13 16:23

Mosel building land



Sundays, 2 - 6 pm. Luxemburger Allee 22, D-54457 Wincheringen See all prices: Anz. 41_PUB Delano _ FAMILY 210 x 265engl.indd PARK.indd 41 1


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ten events

Delano presents a selection of upcoming business and networking events for Luxembourg’s international community. Advance registration or fees may be required, so consult the website indicated for full details. All events are held in English unless otherwise noted.



Business Lunch

tue 14 may

Get connected

Tue 23 April

Mon 6 May

Analyse this

British ABAL

The “business analytics experience” workshop by IBM’s Peter Tegenbosch provides “a taste” of how to turn mass data into assets. Suitable for a wide range of roles, from marketing to operations. Abbaye de Neumünster, Luxembourg-Grund, 08:30


The chamber’s IT committee hosts its always anticipated networking event with special guest François Biltgen, the communications and media minister. Broadcasting Center Europe, ­Luxembourg-Kirchberg, 18:30


Guest speaker at the May ABAL luncheon is Alice Walpole, the UK’s ambassador to the Grand Duchy, who will discuss “Britain, a major player in Europe”. Sofitel, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, 12:00

Irish Chamber The Irish Labour Party

Good practise

Tue 23 april

Double taxation

Update on the amendments to the Luxembourg-Poland Double Tax Treaty, followed by a networking cocktail. Special guest Poland’s ambassador Bartosz Jalowiecki. Sign-up via email: Loyens & Loeff, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, 18:30

Special Olympics Luxembourg’s Marc Feltgen shares “the abilities, the achievements, the passion and the joy of the athletes with ­intellectual disabilities” and how attendees can get involved. Novotel, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, 12:00

Wed 15 May

Tue 23 april + mon 6 may

Polish Chamber

Special networking

The Network

Public speaking group Casemates Communicators Toastmasters Club meets two Tuesday evenings, and Greenheart Toastmasters Club meets two Monday evenings per month. No requirement to be a native Anglophone. Check website for venues and times

fri 17 may

Wed 8 May

Cabinet talk

The chamber is hosting a high-level lunchtime event with Brendan Howlin, the Irish public expenditure and reform minister and former deputy chair of the Irish parliament. Venue to be announced, 12:00

Good funds

Organised with LuxFLAG, the “responsible investing conference” covers topics from microfinance to ethical funds. Speakers include Grand Duchess Maria Teresa. See cover story (page 24) for more. Chamber of Commerce, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, all day event

Sacred Heart Univ.

Tue 16 may

A question of values

wed 22 may

Dream business

What does it take to be a “creative genius”? Create and Connect’s Miranda van den Heuvel addresses “the three components of creativity” and “how to rewire your brain to think creatively”. Sofitel, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, 19:00

SHU theology professor Father Jean Ehret asks “Can traditional Luxembourg values withstand the onslaught of wealth?”, while mediArt’s Paul Bertemes examines the Grand Duchy’s recent cultural history. Palais épiscopal, Luxembourg-Centre, 18:00

HAVE A SUGGESTION? If your organisation is holding an event of interest to the international community, send details to:

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responsible investing conference

From niche to mainstream:


mission structure distribution transparency

in association with

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The Steiler The multi-level bar-restaurant in rue de la Loge, housed in an historical building, is under new management. It has undergone a facelift featuring new iconography and also hosts events with live DJs. The restaurant serves a mix of burgers, platters, sandwiches and typical Luxembourg dishes, with a new weekly menu featuring a choice of three dishes for starters, main courses and desserts. Ennert de Steiler is on Facebook


La Cave des Halles Housed in the lobby of wholesaler La Provençale, La Cave des Halles by­ Bernard-Massard has undergone a transformation. Sommelier Thomas Cléry is in charge of the new-look vinothèque which stocks some 600 different wines. The idea behind the renovation, says Bernard-Massard managing director Hubert Clasen, is to better serve private customers as well as the cash and carry business clients who frequent La Provençale.

A new film production site has opened in Luxembourg and of course it’s a “land” unto itself. It has over 4,000 square meters of studios, construction workshops, production offices and post-production services including sound and image montage, final mixing and special effects. This land is Filmland Studios, the “onestop-shop” for film production that just opened in Kehlen. The new site groups together Bidibul Productions, Iris Productions, Lucil Film, Paul Thiltges Distributions, Samsa Film and Tarantula, and in addition houses seven production and five post-production companies. Costs for space and services vary based on the budget of the film.

Luc Deflorenne

Charles Caratini

Marie-Anne Theriez

Land ho!

Les Roses The fine dining restaurant at Casino 2000 in Mondorf-les-Bains has introduced its new menu for spring and summer. Chef Alain Pierron has created a number of new seasonal dishes for the à la carte menu and diners can also choose a seven-course or five-course set menu. Seasonal theme weeks focused on asparagus, langoustines, summer truffles, lobster and exotic fish are also available.

Tokio Cult Japanese chef and sushi master Hashimoto opens a new restaurant in Alzingen on April 13. Tokio features Hashimoto’s trademark creative sushi and makis as well as tempura and other Japanese delicacies. The stylish brand new restaurant, with a typical Hashimoto logo, is located at 461 route de Thionville. Tokio is on Facebook

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Alvin & Lyle

Fairtrade’s Lëtz’ Step

Local act Alvin & Lyle has released the Sounds EP, available for download on Bandcamp and via iTunes. It features four tracks by the mystery artist, who prefers to remain anonymous, ranging from the luscious soundscape of ‘Winter’s Tale’ to the live disco feel of ‘Danced All Night’, from the dreamy romance of ‘Lost In Love’ to the gorgeously melodic post-party come down of ‘Living in Sound’.

Steve Eastwood

Fairtrade Luxembourg latest awareness campaign encourages private individuals, associations and businesses to host events between May 1 and 12 in support of fair trade. Organisers can post their events on the Fairtrade Luxembourg website. In addition, the Grand Duchy’s first Fairtrade Maart takes place in Beckerich over the weekend of May 11 and 12.

Car Boot Sale

Record Fair The Rockhal hosts its 6th international record fair on Sunday May 5. Featuring over 40 international exhibitors ­selling close to one million vinyl records, CDs and DVDs from the last 50 years, the fair is a veritable treasure trove for collectors and anyone interested in music. Rare finds can be made, and stalls also sell music paraphernalia including posters, books and t-shirts.

Local artist online

Steve Eastwood

Carter the unstoppable… Local artist Ben Carter is pictured here handing over his offset prints of the Pont Grande-Duchesse Charlotte (the Red Bridge) and the Viaduc (or passerelle) to Delano winners Angela Rouse and Sophie Kerschen respectively. The two winners correctly named the landmarks depicted in the pictures in an online competition. Carter has made a specialty of painting landmarks in the capital city and in Esch-Belval. As well as iconic city landscapes, he has painted on metal plates views of the Philharmonie and the steel works in Esch-Belval. He is now working on three dimensional images of details of the steelworks that will eventually be created in steel. “I have painted on scrap pieces of metal before, giving them a new lease of life. I love the idea of deconstructing the steel industry and reconstructing it again,” he says. For the last three years Carter has been based in the Art Rooms, a project that houses locally based artists in a former apartment and office space on avenue de la Liberté. As well as Carter, Art Rooms currently houses photographer Stephen Roberts, jewellery maker Stine Bulow, lighting designer Lucy Vaughan, fine artists Barbara Lemke and Flora Mar, and interior designer Luca Fiorini.

A new Rose Laura Droog has succeeded Nicola McEvoy as Luxembourg Rose of Tralee. The Irish language proof-reader was chosen by the jury over her fellow ­contestants, Julie Smith, Lisa Crotty and Caoimhe Adams. Laura, whose mother is from Cork and father from Limerick, will now head to Portlaoise at the end of May to compete against other international Roses for a chance to qualify for the final of the Rose of Tralee in August.

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Indian-born artist/writer Sultana Raza is the first Luxembourg-based photographer to have her work selected by Digital Arts California for its Simply The Best 2 online exhibition. Raza’s abstract digital art works explore themes related to time and space, to events unfolding and the questioning of the nature of reality.

Steve Eastwood

The traditional Car Boot Sale organised by the British Ladies Club of Luxembourg comes of age this year. The event celebrates its 21st year and as usual will feature some 120 participants selling everything from books and DVDs to clothing, toys and furniture. The fundraising event on May 25 takes place on the Glacis and will also include stalls selling refreshments. Spots can be reserved via email:

april 2013  

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Win festival passes and a backstage visit Den Atelier’s music festival features a truly eclectic line-up this year, featuring everything from new psychedelia to ska via folk-pop, electro-pop, dub, hip-hop and rock. Text by Duncan Roberts


very June a field just outside the village of Roeser is transformed into a sea of human movement, the ebb and flow of which would make for a fascinating study in crowd dynamics. The annual Rock-A-Field festival organised by den Atelier is a highlight of any summer for Luxembourg music fans. Indeed, attending one’s first RAF is something of a rite of passage for local youngsters and, this being Luxembourg, one that parents can allow their offspring to undertake with little to worry about other than whether they will returns with sunburned skin or mud-encased clothes, depending on the weather. Top billing this year, on June 29 and 30, goes to American rockers Queens of the Stone Age, who played the festival in 2007, and French indie-pop outfit Phoenix, but there are plenty of bands on the programme that will attract huge crowds. Bloc Party, for example, returns to Luxembourg following a show at den Atelier in 2007 (and a solo show by singer Kele in 2010). Also returning to the Grand Duchy are London rapper Example, Kraftklub, Peter Fox with his band Seeed, Volbeat and C2C. A host of local acts, including ska band Toxkäpp, hip-hop faves De Läb and indie-folksters Seed to Tree also play the festival. Delano’s pick of the programme are all making their debut in Luxembourg. Band of Horses has garnered acclaim for its wide-scope Americana and what Dave Simpson in The Guardian calls


their “perfect, dewy pop” topped by the “plaintive yearning” of singer Ben Bridwell. The set by Icelandic indie-folk act Of Monsters and Men is one of the most keenly anticipated, though in a review in The Independent of a recent Shepherd’s Bush Empire concert the band “comes across as a safer version of the Mumfords”, which is damning with faint praise, indeed. Teenage folk hero Jake Bugg is also on the bill. The 18-year old singer-songwriter has undoubted talent, but has also found himself at the centre of a “real music” debate that leaves no doubt as to his immaturity--he has just reached the age when many a young man becomes an unapologetic music snob. Then there is Tame Impala, the Australian psychedelic band that won rave reviews for its Lonerism album, which was acclaimed in The Guardian as “a bubbling, intoxicating opus that blends classic psych-rock with the lush pop, glam stomps and experimental sounds of the 70s and club highs of the 90s.”.

Contest Delano has a pair of

two-day tickets and an invitation to go backstage to give away to one reader. To win, simply answer this question: from which British city does Jake Bugg hail? Send answers by email to, stating “Rock-A-Field pass” as the subject field. Deadline for entries is Friday May 3.

Jake Bugg One lucky reader could bump into the rising star backstage at RAF

  april 2013

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UKW 93,3 und 97,0 Die besten Hits im besten Mix

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Luxembourg and Eurovision

A comeback waiting to happen The Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Malmö on May 18. It is exactly 20 years since Luxembourg last participated and 30 years since it last won. A comeback seems unlikely, even though plenty of fans and even past participants are clamouring for the Grand Duchy to enter the contest again. Text by Neel Chrillesen


Luc Deflorenne (archives)

Alain Berwick Viewers prefer shows like Pop Idol

t is a recurring parliamentary question, the theme of a hit Luxembourgish sitcom and a topic that irritates RTL’s boss this time every year: Luxembourg’s possible return to the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC). When the Grand Duchy pulled out in 1993 after a series of bad results, most people expected the move to be temporary. Twenty years later, it turns out it’s not. So the question remains: why is a multicultural, Eurominded country like Luxembourg still not back in the contest it helped launch in 1956 and has won five times? After all, despite a two decade absence, Luxembourg still has the joint second most wins in the contest, behind Ireland, and


the event is broadcast live in 140 countries and watched by over 125 million viewers. Last year when the issue was raised in parliament yet again, this time by socialist deputy Claudia Dall’Agnol, minister of culture Octavie Modert answered rather curtly that the government remained uninterested in supporting a comeback and had other ways of promoting the country and its music. She then passed the buck to RTL--because only a national broadcaster can in fact enter a country in the competition. For many years, Luxembourg’s refusal to return has been explained by financial reasons and the fact that RTL is no longer a full member of the European Broadcasting Union, another requirement for taking part. This is not quite true. “We have kept our membership card and the cost of participating today is affordable,” says Alain Berwick, CEO of RTL. “The financial problem would be if Luxembourg won and had to host the event.” A legitimate concern: the 2007 ESC--hosted by Finland after its memorable first-time win with Lordi’s ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’--cost around 15 million euro. The sum more than doubled the next year in Moscow with an estimated budget of 33 million euro. But that was nothing compared to what Azerbaijan invested last year: over 100 million euro (including the construction of the new Crystal concert hall). Still, while Portu-

gal and Poland have withdrawn temporarily from the contest this year due to financial issues, it’s worth noting that countries like Italy, Spain, Greece and Cyprus will be there as usual. “The problem is that RTL is a private broadcaster,” says Eric L., president of the Luxembourgish OGAE (Organisation Générale des Amateurs de l’Eurovision--official Eurovision fanclub), that has been rallying for a comeback for many years. “So if the state doesn’t chip in, RTL would have to cover all the costs. Another excuse is that we don’t have a big enough venue to host such an event, but honestly, an arena like d’Coque would do fine. The current trend is downscaling anyway. In Sweden this year there will be fewer spectators than in previous years.” Costs have also been massively reduced to a total budget of 12 million euro. “We’re not against Eurovision as such or immune to the nostalgia factor and we would have nothing against helping promote Luxembourg and artists here by participating,” explains Berwick. “But apart from the fact that it would be too expensive to host, it just doesn’t interest people anymore. They prefer watching shows like Nouvelle Star or Pop Idol.” For Jimmy Martin, the last artist to represent Luxembourg, in 1993, there is no comparison between talent shows where budding artists cover known

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Luxembourg’s Eurovision wins

songs and the ESC. “Eurovision is a contest for composers, not performers; that’s why it’s called a song contest. It’s very different from anything else.” He has fond memories of his participation, despite finishing 20th with the song he composed, sung by Simone Weis and himself. “It’s such a shame that Luxembourg doesn’t take part anymore--even though a lot of people think it’s my fault! I remember when we got home from Ireland, nobody came to pick us up from the airport and afterwards people would shout ‘You suck!’ at me in the streets. During the Eurovision all the other countries held sponsored parties and did the necessary hype, but we had nothing. Not even a phone call from RTL. They just sent us off telling us not to win.” Martin still has a soft spot for the ESC though. The studio he works for produced Germany’s 2010 ESC winner Lena, and he himself would jump in for Luxembourg any time as a composer and producer: “I’ve made the offer several times. Everything is ready!” French singer Anne-Marie David, who won for Luxembourg in 1973 (and placed 3rd for France in 1979), is just as eager. “I would do anything to get Luxembourg back. It’s a huge mistake to stay away. Thanks to Eurovision a country can shine in front of millions of people, participating should be part of the constitution!” David’s winning


Jimmy Martin Would jump at chance to represent Luxembourg

Luc Deflorenne

Many renowned artists have represented Luxembourg in the Eurovision Song Contest, including Nana Mouskouri, Hugues Aufray, Michèle Torr, Baccara, Jeane Manson, Plastic Bertrand and Lara Fabian. These are the ones that took home the trophy: 1961: ‘Nous les amoureux’ --Jean-Claude Pascal 1965: ‘Poupée de cire, poupée de son’--France Gall 1972: ‘Après toi’--Vicky Leandros 1973: ‘Tu te reconnaîtras’ --Anne-Marie David 1983: ‘Si la vie est cadeau’ --Corinne Hermès

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song remains a Eurovision fan favourite: “I get messages about it all the time-even from teenagers who are just discovering Eurovision on YouTube.” She’s also been back to the Grand Duchy on several occasions, last time to perform in the OGAE Luxembourgish Eurovision fan club’s annual gala. “It’s always very moving. I know many people are critical about the fact that Luxembourg has won the Eurovision five times with singers from another country, but I think we all felt proud and very much Luxembourgish when participating.” French singer Corinne Hermès, the last artist to have won for Luxembourg, says: “I owe my career to Luxembourg and Eurovision, it’s one of my best memories. Still after 30 years, I get letters from all over the world because of it. There are a lot of faithful Eurovision fans in Luxembourg too--I come back regularly to meet them and I always feel a lot of nostalgia and sadness.” Popular Luxembourg sitcom Comeback, which was a hit as soon as it started airing last year, seems to confirm this theory. Targeting a young audience, it tells the story of three friends who try to get an old Luxembourg 80s singer, Ronny Riff, to participate in the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest. Even more surprising is that it was broadcast… by RTL. “We expected the Eurovision element to be a problem,” admits producer Bernard Michaux. “We even thought about replacing it with another similar event-but that doesn’t exist. Luckily, it turned out RTL didn’t mind.” The media buildup prior to the airing of Comeback resulted in thousands of websites dedicated to the ESC joyously announcing the return of Luxembourg. “RTL is running a TV ad for a casting show and apparently the winner will go to Malmö 2013! Wouldn’t that be great?”, one of the sites reads. “They could again bring some great songs and big names to the contest.” Disappointment followed; but also hope for the future. “Eurovision worked well with our young target audience because it’s trash. We did however also get a lot of people contacting us and thanking us for talking about that subject,” reveals Michaux. “If RTL had said yes, we would have gone to ­Malmö--but we knew from the start that wouldn’t happen.” “It’s frustrating going to ESC as a Luxembourger and waving some other


Frédéric Vigne


country’s flag, but I’m used to it now,” says Eric L., who has attended every contest since 1998. “I’m not a big fan of the type of music. In fact I prefer heavy metal and grunge. What I like is the concept, the voting, the statistics, the travelling and seeing Europe united once a year. It’s like one big family gathering, without anyone getting into fights based on national pride.” “It’s strange how Luxembourg turned its back on Eurovision and keeps saying it’s too expensive,” says Paul Jordan, also known as “Dr. Eurovision” (he holds a PhD in the subject!). “Even the Moldovians would stage it if they won, but still, the winning nation doesn’t have to. Luxembourg already didn’t in 1974 due to expenses and the UK has won five times, but hosted it eight times! Maybe one day, Luxembourg will return, like Italy did.” It is said that any good comeback needs some true believers and the Grand Duchy has a great deal of them. Luxembourg won’t be represented in Malmö this year, but who knows if we’ll hear a “Luxembourg, 12 points” in 2014… .

Anne-Marie David Eurovision participation should be part of the constitution

Eurovision preview in Bivange

On Saturday April 27, a Eurovision Preview event, organised by OGAE Luxembourg, will take place at the cultural centre in Bivange. The evening starts at 8 p.m. but guests can enter from 7 p.m. on and have a drink. All 39 video clips from participating countries will be shown in a random order (there will be two breaks!) and guests are given a voting sheet to choose their six favourite entries. And if you like dancing, you can stay on after: the DJ will play some ESC related songs! Entry is free.

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Fashion attitude Sure, true beauty is seen in the eyes and elegance is in the mind, but let’s be honest: first impressions count and nailing the right style helps. Those who make and sell fashion today value quality, comfort and uniqueness. Text by Neel Chrillesen

uxembourger Chris Neuman has a bachelor’s in media design and a master’s degree in filmmaking, but took another direction than planned after meeting partner Virginia Ferreira in Argentina. Together they launched the Belle Sauvage label in London, in 2008. It distinguishes itself with original digital prints and modern silhouettes and has achieved quite a bit of media coverage thanks to celebrity endorsement from names like Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Fergie. “Our main line is pretty high-end, so we mainly dress fashionistas who can afford a certain luxury but don’t ‘just’ want to wear the traditional luxury brands.” There is also a diffusion line, Leopard by Belle Sauvage, an opportunity “to wear our philosophy and design approach on a more mid-market level.” A big fan of online shopping--“it’s a great way to find interesting designers, especially in places like Luxembourg” --Neuman is much less enthusiastic about the “fast fashion approach.” “I hate the ‘the cheaper, the better’ trend. In the UK it’s really drastic. The hottest thing right now are supermarkets selling their own fashion lines. It is a disgrace, for the environment, the makers and consumers alike. I do understand that people might have a limited budget for fashion, but still I would recommend buying just the few pieces you really love and wear them to bits.”

Unlike many, the designer duo behind Belle Sauvage doesn’t work much with trend forecasting reports. “Virginia and I do research independent from each other and our inspirations are completely personal for each season. We never--and always--clash. That makes it exciting. To some extent the prints inspire the cuts, as we work a lot with placement prints. It’s actually a very technical matter to get the prints to work on a garment. Once the inspirations are logged, we make design boards that fill with sketches and print artwork. The collection then slowly comes to life. It’s not easy to make a balanced one. What you see on the catwalk is just about 30 percent of it!” The most recent development is the label’s growing success in Japan and China, countries which “have economic growth and are hungry for the luxury market.” “In Europe, markets are slow. This results in fashion buyers taking less risks of introducing a new line or challenging designs.” Luxembourg is no exception. “Contemporary designer labels are missing here, especially for men. Compared to other cities, everyday street style is a bit dull, in part due to people wearing suits that fit the monotone professional landscape.” If this rings a bell, it might be time to change. After all, fashion is all about daring to be different. .

Belle Sauvage Eye-catching patterns

Belle Sauvage


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Darren Campbell for Yileste

City Shoes Comfort is style

Luxembourg style Luxembourg designer Stéphanie Comes launched her contemporary chic Yileste brand a few years ago, using prints designed by young artists and favouring quality materials such as silk and organic cotton. “I strive

Patterns and prototypes are made in the Grand Duchy and Comes’ designs can be found in several stores around the capital. Yileste is also sold online and directly at the showroom, Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Keep Contact/Tomcat

Men only Trendy guys--or those who wish to be--should find everything they need in the 400 square metre Tomcat store in Strassen. It carries brands like Armani, Hilfiger, Boss, Eden Park and Van Gils--to name but a few--with the newest addition being Paul Smith. It offers personalised service and the possibility to tailor make your suit, and you’ll also find a nice selection of stylish shoes and a special “wedding corner” there.

Olivier Minaire

to make wearable clothes, modern and relaxed, yet elegant and feminine.”

Feet first W

hen choosing shoes, you should first listen to your feet, then your head, then your heart--and then you should ask someone else for a second opinion!” says the owner of Chaussures Léon. For Corinne Cahen, style is important but no shoes are worth wearing if they aren’t comfortable: “If your feet hurt, you don’t feel or look good. Luckily today people don’t have to choose between beautiful shoes and snug ones anymore, you can find footwear with both qualities!” The young woman was, as she puts it herself, “born in a shoebox” and though having had a successful career as a journalist, she now heads the family business: the Léon stores in Beggen and next to the central train station, plus the newly opened City Shoes by Léon in Luxembourg’s centre. “I’ve spent most of my life surrounded by shoes and I’ve always been fascinated by the fabrics and the incredible artwork that goes into making good footwear.” While the two original Léon stores carry a large selection of shoes for the whole family, the new City Shoes

concentrates on five brands only: Church’s, Crockett & Jones, Paraboot, Santoni and Cheaney. “High-class quality shoes, classically chic and expensive,” Cahen summarises. First-time customers might be surprised to see all the exposed shoeboxes next to the luxurious shoes but their presence is a deliberate choice. “It adds a retro and vintage touch that I love.” Whereas the new store especially favours English craftsmanship, the other Léon shops offer a wide choice of international collections. However, Cahen prefers taking in brands produced in Europe for ethical reasons. “We also have a growing demand for organic footwear, shoes made from leather that hasn’t been chrome-tanned.” As for what you’ll be wearing this summer, “vibrant” is the keyword. “The 2013 collections are very colourful for men and women alike.” Most importantly however: “It’s always in season to indulge yourself with beautiful shoes that make your feet happy and yourself look good!”

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Eat less, move more


Julien Becker (archives)


Thinking about losing that winter weight? Delano asked five sporty experts for their fun fitness tips. Text by Wendy Winn

Conny Gabellini is a rare breed, a combo coach, nutritionist and personal trainer-and that’s why she’s fully booked. She also runs her famous Bootcamps with running and interval training in the forests and does a series on RTL. What’s her advice? “You have to pay attention to what you eat and drink and you have to get moving. As for exercise, it’s important to have a mix, don’t just go running.”

Find something you like First, find something you like, that way you’ll stick with it, Just Move’s Cecilie Berge Rigneus advises. Secondly, find a qualified instructor. “If they don’t correct you, they aren’t doing their job. I always smile at everyone and let them know they are seen, that I’ve got my eye on them.” Rigneus teaches dance step and body shape for people at all fitness levels and says “it should be fun!” 05

Thai to be Fit If you want to try Thai boxing to get fit, you couldn’t ask for a better teacher than Claire Haigh--she’s a three-time world champ. Her own training routine includes running for 7 to 10 kilometres a day and spending a couple of hours training at the Fight Team Impact gym. In the evening, she coaches. “My students are mostly men and I wasn’t sure they’d want to learn from a woman, but they give me a lot of respect.” As they should--before she was a Muay Thai champ, she was on the Luxembourg national women’s football team. As for springing into shape, she suggests: “Go running. A lot of people want to lose weight as well as get fit, and running helps you to stay lean.” Of course, nothing kicks you into shape like Muay Thai, a sport Haigh got into just for fun, and which took her to Thailand for four years fighting for the famous Tiger Muay Thai Camp in Phuket. “I can’t sit still for long.” Born of English parents, Haigh also teaches English at high school… wonder if those kids dare not to sit still!


Think inside the box

Steinar Thor Olafsson is a “true Crossfitter by heart”; a fervent advocate of the popular fitness philosophy that now has with over 5,000 gyms worldwide. “We blend sports from running, gymnastics and lifting to forge a general fitness. An example of our paradigm shift is that we don’t try to make women skinnier, but stronger. And we don’t promise secret solutions--there is no substitute for hard work.”

Friskis & Svettis

Claire Haigh

Reebok Crossfit Valens

Manu Da Luz/Fight Team Impact


Jerry Bowley/Creative Commons

Get fit for spring

Healthy & sweaty Friskis & Svettis “is inclusive for all ages and fitness levels. It’s fun and affordable”, says Marianne Burgman. The group is entirely run by volunteers who do extensive training. There are all types of classes--even for kids--in different places; outside for free in summer. And it’s as good for the spirit as for the body. “The mood is positive and non-judgmental, people smile and make you welcome.”

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Alcohol abuse is dangerous for your health. Drink with moderation.

A week of wines, tableware, furniture and gardening equipment


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18 essential live events


Like a Jazz Machine

Festival season is well and truly under way in April and May, with the increasingly popular Food For Your Senses celebrated over three days, the new Like A Jazz Machine event bringing top musicians to Dudelange and the Printemps Musical series of concerts still in full swing. Text by Duncan Roberts 01

The second edition of the opderschmelz jazz festival features 15 concerts in four days. The bill includes international jazz stars such as sax players Bill Evans (here with guitarist Mike Stern) and Ravi Coltrane (photo, the son of the legendary John Coltrane) as well as newcomers like Grace Kelly and local artists Pascal Schumacher (with Sylvain Rifflet), Greg Lamy and Ernie Hammes. May 9 to 12, opderschmelz, 03

Villagers Heralded by some as a natural successor to Nick Drake, Conor O’Brien has won acclaim for his first two albums, 2010’s Mercury Prize nominated Becoming a Jackal and new release {Awayland}. O’Brien’s lyrics have been praised for their “dazzling imagery” (Dave Simpson in The Guardian) but the boy also clearly knows how to write a tune, as the wonderful pop melody of ‘Nothing Arrived’ indicates. April 27, Exit07 (CarréRotondes), 04

Food For Your Senses

Organic growth


Proving that organic growth results in healthy and vibrant produce, the annual Food For Your Senses is now a sumptuous three-day feast of music. Featuring international and local acts, the festival has grown steadily since its inception as a party with live music for local youth in the basement of the primary school in Tetange in 2002. That event proved so popular it was repeated until 2006, when the organisers launched the first official Food For Your Senses festival. Now the festival is spread over three days and three stages and also includes a “Sensarea” side-show that includes a garden, theatre and poetry performances, an art exhibition, workshops and massages. The festival’s musical programme is truly eclectic and this year’s line-up of acts includes British indie-folk outfit Dry the River (photo), American home-recording whizzkid XXYYXX, German hip-hop artist Marteria and French hardcore band Shoot The Girl First. Local acts on the bill include folk-pop band Seed to Tree, rock outfit Versus You and hip-hop outfit De Läb. May 17 to 19, venue to be announced,

Some 40 years after being assembled to play on Herbie Hancock’s hugely influential 1973 jazz-fusion album, the reformed The Headhunters are still touring. The group attracted R&B and rock fans and defined the way funk and jazz could work together. Artists such as Snoop Dogg and George Clinton have declared their admiration and contributed to 2011 album Platinum. April 28, den Atelier,


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Jonas Kaufmann


Sir Simon Rattle

Vesselina Kasarova

Goran Bregović

Discover Luxembourg through music Season 2013/14

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Erik Berg/Carte Blanche


Maceo Parker

Black Flag

Live cinema

Carte Blanche

An integral member of James Brown’s band throughout the 1960s, Maceo Parker later recorded with Parliament and Funkadelic and more recently has toured with Prince. He is, in the words of his biography, “the living, breathing pulse which connects the history of Funk in one golden thread.” He comes to the Rockhal with his own band to perform some of the tracks that have become synonymous with the history of funk. May 16, Rockhal,

An iconic hardcore punk band from California, Black Flag has reformed with founder-guitarist Greg Ginn and one-time singer Ron Reyes. The pair was reunited two years ago when Reyes invited Ginn to perform with him for the singer’s 50th birthday party. Black Flag was hugely influential throughout its first incarnation, which included a spell with Henry Rollins as singer, and according to early reports Ginn and Reyes recapture that early energy. May 14, Rockhal,

The Cinémathèque each year invites conductor-composer Carl Davis to lead the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg in a live score to a classic silent film. This year’s choice is Rex Ingram’s melodrama The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from 1921, for which Davis composed a score in 1993. The film is famous for being the first film to gross more than one million dollars and for giving Rudolph Valentino his first starring role. May 4 and 5, Philharmonie,

Norwegian dance troupe Carte Blanche’s new work, created by Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar, features 12 dancers, in flesh-coloured body suits. Corps de Walk sets a system of walks to an original score by DJ Ori Lichtik, who uses music as diverse as Debussy and Aphex Twin. It is a beguilingly beautiful and aggressive, mathematically precise work that one critic described as “55 minutes of pure eye-candy”. May 22 and 23, Grand Théâtre, 09


Colin Hay

Esther Haase/Deutsche Grammophon

Former lead singer of Men at Work, Scottish-born Colin Hay has been working as a solo artist for the last 26 years. Championed by American actordirector Zach Braff, who has used Hay in Scrubs and his feature film Garden State, Hay has produced some fine work over 11 albums, the latest of which, Gathering Mercury, showcases his talent as an instrumentalist and contains songs about the death of his father. May 23, opderschmelz,

Yuja Wang

Blistering charmer


Hailed as one of the most exciting classical talents on the concert circuit-The Telegraph writes that she combines “blistering technique” with “insouciant charm”--Yuja Wang began playing the piano at the age of six. She went on to study at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and then graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia in 2008. A year later she made her first recording, Sonatas & Etudes, which won critical acclaim from the likes of Gramo-

phone magazine, which said Wang’s playing “suggests a combination of blazing technique and a rare instinct for poetry.” Her latest recording, Fantasia, is a collection of encore pieces by Albéniz, Bach, Chopin, Rachmaninov, SaintSaëns, Scriabin and others. It is with much of that programme that she arrives at the Philharmonie for a much anticipated Luxembourg debut. April 29, Philharmonie, LuxembourgKirchberg,


Gast Waltzing & Largo Local composer, producer and trumpeter Gast Waltzing unleashes his Largo jazz project for a new tour featuring brass band The Soul Rebels from its fourth album Jazzed Up In New Orleans. Waltzing is joined in Largo by David Laborier on guitar, Rom A. Heck on bass and Rainer Kind on drums. The new album, recorded in New Orleans, delivers a funky and soulful sound. May 8, den Atelier,

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Family Guide: tips, advice and the best spots for parents and kids

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Bernd Uhlig


Mark Knopfler

Sasha Waltz

A regular performer at the Rockhal--he was last at the venue on a double bill with Bob Dylan--Mark Knopfler returns for a fourth show in support of his seventh solo album, Privateering. A double album packed with what Helen Brown in The Telegraph calls the “rootsy AngloAmerican sounds in which Knopfler is now (mostly) so comfortable”, Privateering has received positive reviews for its soulful authenticity and warmth. May 15, Rockhal, Esch-Belval,

Sasha Waltz is familiar to audiences at the Grand Théâtre having produced choreographic opera Dido & Aeneas and the stunning choreography in 2011 for Toshio Hosokawa’s Matsukaze. New work Gefaltet (folded) sees her experimenting with French composer Mark Andre to explore “the notion of interstices… the ‘gaps’ within music, the ‘space’ within tones.” May 3 and 4, Grand Théâtre, 17

Mat Hennek


Blithe Spirit

A supremely talented pianist, Hélène Grimaud performs sonatas by Mozart, Berg, Liszt and Bartók in a programme that mirrors her Resonances album. Described by Tim Ashley in The Guardian as a “risk taker” Grimaud has a reputation for a “willingness to take a piece of music apart,” says Brian Levine, the executive director of the Glenn Gould Foundation. May 23, Philharmonie,

Alive and kicking

Jon Bergmann


Junip Junip is the band formed by Swedish singer and guitarist José González before his beautiful acoustic rendition of ‘Heartbeats’ was used for a Sony Bravia ad. Junip has now released a debut album, Fields. It is, says Caroline Sullivan in The Guardian, “an album to savour when autumn leaves are falling--and through the rest of the year.” May 9, Exit07 (CarréRotondes),



Berlin Grund Theatre’s (BGT) production of Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit comes to Abbaye de Neumünster following an acclaimed run at the Mierscher Kulturhaus in late February. In a nutshell, the play is a comedy about a man, Charles Condomin, haunted by the ghost of his first wife, Elvira, who has evil designs on her former husband and his second wife, Ruth. That Charles is an arrogant writer and that his uptight new wife cannot see the ghost of Elvira and thus supposes her husband is going insane serves to heighten the comic element of the story. Written in 1941, the play was a huge success and enjoyed a terrific run in the West End and later on Broadway. It was made into a successful film directed by David Lean from a script adapted by Coward himself and starring Rex Harrison and Margaret Rutherford as the medium who summons the ghost. A recent 2009 production starred Rupert Everett and Angela Lansbury (for which she won a Tony). Directed by BGT founder Tony Kingston, the current production stars Bjørn Clasen as Charles, Lindsay Wegleitner as Elvira, June Lowery as Ruth and Barbara Hall as the medium, Madame Arcati. Support comes from Patrick Schomaker, Jessica Whiteley and Clea du Toit. May 14 to 18, Abbaye de Neumünster, rue Münster, Luxembourg-Grund,

Compared by some critics to early era New Order, Eraas makes eerie, atmospheric synth pop. The Brooklyn quartet conjures up mystery with song titles such as ‘Skinning’, ‘Briar Path’ and ‘Ghost’. The drum patterns are quite tribal and laid over with swoon-inducing textures of synth and guitar to create what one reviewer calls an “unsettling world.” May 11, Exit07 (CarréRotondes), 18

Nick White

Hélène Grimaud

Jazz on the horizon The final concert in the Aventure+ season sees its curator, pianist Joanna MacGregor, join forces with fellow Brit Django Bates (photo) and his Human Chain jazz band and the OPL. Conducted by Clark Rundell, the concert programme features works by Bates, Darius Milhaud and Leonard Bernstein. Later in the foyer, MacGregor and saxophonist Andy Sheppard play gospel and blues from the Deep South. May 10, Philharmonie,

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WITH 6 DANCERS 20 & 21 JUNE 2013 AT 8PM AT THE GRAND THÉÂTRE » … Clark is now beyond doubt one of Britain’s most important living creators of dance. The Daily Telegraph



T. +352/47 08 95-1

10/04/13 12:24


Happy Kids: move and groove time

Spring is here--so forget indoor sessions in front of the TV or computer. It’s time to get the kids out and about, and experiencing new things. Text by Neel Chrillesen


Make some noise


Visit a musical aquarium


Neel Chrillesen



M. Mentnik


Casino Luxembourg


How about letting the kids make as much noise--sorry, music--as they like without even worrying about the neighbours? For the third year running, the Aquarium at the Rockhal in Esch-Belval will be transformed into a giant musical laboratory for children during “24 Heures Electro for Kids” from April 27 to May 25. There are eight interactive installations from Michael Bradke’s Mobiles Musik Museum to try out: the drumming table, the voice transformer table, the sensor table, the picture sound table, the give-it-a-listen table, mini-musical marvels, the solo table and the reloop DJ table. Children from 4 years old and up get to create a large array of different effects, make monster sounds, mountain echoes and play elaborate electronic music. In other words, they get to explore music and sounds in the best way possible: the fun way. The exhibition is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.--and entrance is free! Rockhal, avenue du Rock’n’Roll, Esch-Belval,

Fun art workshops

Family sports day

Touching theatre

Picnic and play

The Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain often organises workshops for kids, and two take place in English on April 20. “Art-Geographers” teaches 5 to 8 year olds about cartography and allows them to create their very special art world map. “Art Wide Words”, for 8 to 12 year olds is inspired by artist Andrea van der Straeten’s work and lets them play with words and create paper cut-outs. Both events: 3-5 p.m., €6, reservations:

Every year, Luxembourg’s Olympic Committee hosts a “Spillfest” to present sports in a fun way. It’s a family oriented festive event that takes place next to the skating rink and pond in Kockelscheuer. Sport federations and clubs set-up an array of stalls and kids in every age group get the chance to try out a lot of activities. There’s also a tombola. Free buses from Hamilius, P&R Bouillon and P&R Lux-Sud. May 9, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Kockelscheuer,

For children over 8, Adios at CarréRotondes on May 4 is a must see. The story --­­an old woman looking after her sick husband--is that of love, separation and sorrow but it’s told tactfully with humour and ingenuity. No words are spoken; everything is done with music, masks and shadows by a bunch of talented Dutch actors and musicians. May 4 at 7 p.m., information:, reservations: CarréRotondes, Hollerich,

If the weather is bright and you’re looking for the perfect place to picnic, let the kids run loose, all whilst being able to provide them with some cultural input and fun activities, head to Echternach and its enormous natural park. Not only does it provide acres of greenery where you can sit and eat (you can even bring your own barbecue--many people do), a lake, playgrounds and a mini golf, but also an amazing Roman Villa museum!


 April 2013

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SERIOUS FUN HOLIDAY CAMPS ! During the school holidays, rain or shine, The Little Gym® camps provide children with a fabulous variety of fun, activity, learning and creativity. Themed sessions that change every week stimulate physical and motor-skill development with games and gymnastics, all in the care of our qualified and dedicated team of instructors.

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Parent/Child Classes


Preschool/Kindergarten Gymnastics

Primary School Gymnastics

Holiday Camps

Birthday Parties

10/04/13 12:38


Yves de Naurois

Always ready to fly Meet a man who embraces risk management in professional and personal life. Text by Tonya Stoneman Photography by Olivier Minaire


choose my hobbies not on the basis of the risk they represent but because they are fun and offer a fast release from the tensions of work,” says Yves de Naurois, managing director of consultancy IRML and former CEO of Citibank Luxembourg. “The levels of risk in my hobbies are actually quite contained. However, if not addressed properly they can turn into unpleasant outcomes.” When he’s not monitoring risks in clients’ portfolios, Yves flies an ultralight aircraft. He visits friends in the south of France, sees his parents in Bordeaux, or goes to a favourite spot in the Alps near Chamonix. There are plenty of places to see and when the weather is good, and traveling this way is an adventure. The whole ordeal amounts to a lot of fun--charting the course, preparing the plane, chatting with everyone on the tarmac, and finally taking off. “There is magic in flying when you’re the pilot,” he says. “From the moment they thought they could do it, flying captured man’s imagination.” As a boy, Yves flew planes with his father and later ventured into gliders, hang gliders, and paragliders. He began piloting ultralights about 15 years ago. “The Sinus brought a new concept,” he recalls. “They managed to make a glider out of an ultralight. You could take off in less than 100 meters. It was fantastic.” Last year, he and a friend bought a Virus Short Wing. The fastest high-wing aeroplane in its category, it cruises at a speed of 250 kilometres without consuming very much fuel. The cost in terms of maintenance is comparable to a small sports car. Shortly after making his investment, Yves began reaping the dividends. He estimates that between May and December, he spent about 40 hours in the cockpit. Flying, for him, is not goal oriented. He just tries to relax and be happy in the air. Sometimes he takes his ultralight into the Alps, spends the day paragliding, then flies back home to Luxembourg. But there is a serious side to this avocation.

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Pilots and paragliders have to be extremely attentive to the weather. “These activities are great if you’re not pushed by time,” he says. “I have gone to the top of the mountain on foot or on cable car and had to turn and walk back down because of bad weather. If the conditions are not right, you shouldn’t go. You need to be able to say no.” It may not be coincidence that Yves has found his stride in risk management--the job requires him to think, strategise and act. He admits to a correlation between his professional and private lives. “When you paraglide, you go to the top of the mountain and analyse. Then you need to jump and execute. If you don’t take the risk, nothing happens. But it’s an acceptable risk. You understand the odds and then you act.” Assessing risk is something Yves does every day. But he does not subscribe to the traditional classification that groups individuals into “risk prone versus risk adverse” categories. “I view risk not as something you seek or reject but as something you identify, mitigate, accept and manage,” he says. “It is as true for crossing the street or the Atlantic--what changes is the intensity of the identification and mitigation process.” When done successfully in a winged aircraft, that calculated risk will lift you into the air and make you soar. .

Recreational flying in Luxembourg

Aeroplume Luxembourg Founded in 1984, this is the only “ultralight motorised” club in the Grand Duchy. +352 87 94 66 Aero-Sport asbl Luxembourg A non-profit organisation and the largest, most active aviation club in Luxembourg. More than 600 members and a fleet of 11 aircraft. +352 432 920 Aviasport Aviation club and flying school with a mission to offer members a selection of aircraft at economical rates in order to enjoy a wide range of general aviation activities. +352 479 829 506

Yves de Naurois Charting a course

 April 2013

09/04/13 17:20

Getting the right structure calls for expert analysis Deloitte Luxembourg’s app is

© 2013. For information, contact Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

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Banque et Caisse d’Epargne de l’Etat, Luxembourg, établissement public autonome, 1, Place de Metz, L-2954 Luxembourg, R.C.S. Luxembourg B 30775


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Delano April 2013  

Delano Magazine April 2013