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April 2014

understanding Luxembourg Current affairs  •  Business  •  Lifestyle


Stadium progress


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Jean-Claude Juncker Aiming for high office

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European elections

Juncker makes his play


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Cover photo Julien Becker shot Sacred Heart University MBA students Gonzalo de la Cuadra, Annabelle Giorgana, André Vale and Jacques Venter. Thanks to the Luxembourg Stock Exchange for its kind assistance. Note to our readers The next print edition of Delano will be published on April 23. For daily news updates and our weekly what’s on guide, visit

Text by Duncan Roberts


here is life in the old dog, yet. Jean-Claude Juncker is in the running to become the next president of the European Commission, and hopes to be the first to hold that post via a wider democratic process. The decision by the European People’s Party to make the former prime minister and Eurogroup chairman its head of ticket in the upcoming European Parliament elections was something of a no-brainer. Receiving over 60 percent of the votes at the EPP conference, well ahead of only rival Michel Barnier, Juncker displayed all of the old confidence that has made him one of the most formidable and respected politicians on the European scene. This is a man whose mantlepiece must be groaning under the weight of countless awards he has received for his services to Europe, whose opinion is regularly sought by the most serious of political chat shows on German television, who has joined an elite cast of engaging personalities on the roster of the London Speakers Bureau. Unfortunately for Juncker, his future now lies in the hands of the electorate--just as it did last October in Luxembourg after the hastily-called general election that he appeared to have won in the popular vote

but then lost to back stage political ­machinations. A similar scenario may yet come to haunt Juncker. Because even if the EPP gains the majority in Strasbourg, his appointment would still be subject to approval by the E ­ uropean council of government leaders and the former prime minister has some formidable opponents in that particular cabal, including David Cameron. And some politicians, if not the electorate, still have in mind the last time a Luxembourger headed the European Commission; the reign of Jacques Santer (Juncker’s predecessor as premier) ended in ignominy over accusations of his Commission being run as a “closed culture”, which has a familiar ring to some of the allegations levelled at Juncker’s government in Luxembourg that led to the snap election last year. Juncker may be highly regarded as a skilled political negotiator--surely a prized asset for a Commission president--but he must shake off the impression he sometimes gives of being untouchable and unaccountable, that hint of slightly smug arrogance that is unbecoming of a man of Juncker’s intelligence and humanity, of a man who has a deep-rooted and genuine love of Europe and its ideals..

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Outlook – Brightening, with opportunities for growth Deloitte Luxembourg’s app is Deloitte Luxembourg’s app is

© 2014. For information, contact Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

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current affairs


april 2014 Fifty ways to meet your lover (or at least make friends)

Stadium plans

The capital’s new sports pitch 06

Delano’s guide for international singles

Spiced it up

Delano turns three 10



Glamorous gala

ISL turns 50 16

Social policy

Queen of the ball

Niamh is new Luxembourg Rose 56

Spring fashion

Orange is the new black

New government commits to NGOs 18




Indoors & out

Feisty forties

Nordic women get together

Regulars Business


42 Think Local Constantina Kakoulli The auditor explains why she is helping start a new Rotary chapter

Luxembourg changes focus How the Grand Duchy became a data centre 22

Global problem

Indian chamber’s terrorism talk 30

111 companies

Are 24 hours start-ups coming soon? 32

Industrial dynamics


Meet designer Sacha Lakic 36

Media Awards

Mikado’s sweet night

my other life


Nicola Ross A school nurse is expecting a house full of puppies and a couple of lambs this spring

Meet the interns: Inside Sacred Heart University’s international MBA programme

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Stephanie Dietze and Christiane Frisch Indrani Subaiya Roloff (centre) and Karsten Roloff of Mélange – Inspired by India (right); Delano reader Emmanuel Bégat won a €150 voucher from the shop Tom and Sam O’Dea


Spiced it up Following the “Wild wild west” bash to launch the magazine in 2011, the “London calling” celebration of its first anniversary and last year’s “Everything’s gone green” night, Delano turned to the south Asia subcontinent to mark its third anniversary. The “Spice it up” soirée, held at the Cat Club in Hollerich, featured food, music and entertainment from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, with fabulously fun vibes provided by DJ Nickie Nicole. Several lucky readers were rewarded with prizes drawn by Delano sponsors (see photo legends). Spice it up was organised by the paperJam Business Club in cooperation with the Indian Business Chamber of Luxembourg. DR & AG

Rebeckah Siddall, Claire Jordan and Nivedita Velamati

DJ Nickie Nicole

More Delano birthday pics online at: Photographed by Christophe Olinger

Natalie Gerhardstein and Denis Lecanu Dilek Ayaydin-Batal and Roy Suhash

Vijay and Smriti Goyal

Neirouz Lahmadi at the stand run by Sephora, whose makeup artists applied bindi dots to partygoers


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SNAPSHOTS Luxair’s Benoît Berger (second from left) and Éric Anselin (second from right) announcing that Agnieszka Zuber won a pair of round trip tickets good for any destination in the airline’s network

Özlem Goksu (centre) and Fazli Sancar (right)

Julie Buchler and Arne Langner

Chris Vigar and Sarah Pitt

Indian Business Chamber of Luxembourg’s Sudhir Kohli (left), the Indian ­Association Luxembourg’s Selva Alagumalai (centre)

Maria Comsa, Sinead O’Donnell, Nathalie Delebois and Aoife Lynch

Thérèse Collins and Laura Droog

Tanya Hildebrandt drawing the Berlitz winner: Patrick Brown, who received a pers­onal language course worth €780

Delano’s Aaron Grunwald, Luciana Restivo and Duncan Roberts

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Asselborn gets involved

Gramegna’s first budget Finance minister Pierre Gramegna presented his first budget on March 5. The draft forecast a deficit of 545 million euros, or 1.1% of GDP --on expenditure of 14.76 billion euros. Cuts will be made in direct investment and on expenditure on the civil service --the government plans to reduce recruitment to 150 new employees a year from the current rate of between 200 and 300.

Student grant review The results of a review of the financial aid provided by the state to students entering higher education was outlined recently by minister Claude Meisch. Under the proposals, students could take out a loan of 6,500 euros and could then receive up to 3,500 euros in aid towards tuition fees plus additional grants of up to 8,000 euros for living and mobility expenses.

Viviane Reding

Rainer Klump

Astrid Lulling

The vice-president of Goethe University in Frankfurt has been nominated by the University of Luxembourg to succeed Rolf Tarrach as its next president. A German native, Klump is a fluent French and English speaker and has studied and taught in Germany and France.

The veteran CSV MEP has been awarded a medal of honour by the city of Strasbourg in recognition of her support to retain the French city as the seat of the European Parliament. Lulling was an MEP between 1965 and 1974 (for the LSAP) and again since 1989.

Steve Eastwood

European Parliament

University of Luxembourg

Olivier Minaire


Never one to shy from a conflict, foreign minister Jean Asselborn has been heavily involved in European Union meetings to try to resolve the crisis in the Ukraine and Crimea. Along with premier Xavier Bettel, Asselborn was in Brussels for an EU summit on March 6 and he has also been active in direct discussions with both the Ukrainian and Russian governments. On a trip to Moscow at the end of February the foreign minister criticised the new Ukrainian government’s ­decision to repeal a law allowing regional rights for minority languages. “Languages used by the people must be respected,” Asselborn said after a meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. Asselborn also flew to Ukraine in the second week of March with his colleagues from Belgium and the Netherlands, Didier Reynders and Frans Timmermans, to meet with interim president ­Oleksandr Turchynov and foreign minister Andrii ­Deschystsia. Asselborn is pictured here in Maidan Square, where he and his Benelux colleagues paid respects to those who died during the violent protests in February. A statement from the ministry of foreign affairs said that the Benelux delegation had stressed the need for dialogue to solve the crisis in a way that would take into account the diversity of the Ukrainian society, the ­aspirations and the rights of all Ukrainians.

The Luxembourg vice-president of the European Commission was the victim of a theft while speaking in a debate at the Royal Institution in London in February. Reding seemed particularly perturbed by the loss of a cottage pie she had bought at a farmer’s market.


Christophe Olinger


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Red Lions face Spain Luxembourg’s national football team has been drawn against reigning World and European champions Spain, currently the world no.1 ranked team in its qualifying group for the Euro 2016 championships in France. Luxembourg, now ranked 120 by international football federation FIFA, also faces Ukraine, Macedonia, Belarus and Slovakia following the draw. National coach Luc Holtz said he was excited about the games against Spain, but also noted that his team had collected points against some of their other opponents in the past. He said he was not setting any points target, but that it was more important that his team continued to develop.

Former Luxembourg prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker is formally in the race to head the European Commission. He was nominated as the “head of ticket” during a pan-European convention held by the European People’s Party, of which Juncker’s CSV is a member. The EPP is currently the largest political bloc in the European Parliament. At the summit, which was held in Dublin, Juncker received 382 of 627 votes cast, the EPP said in a news release. Michel Barnier (pictured with Juncker), the French European commissioner in charge of financial services, received 245 votes. Former Latvian prime minister Valdis Dombrovskis withdrew his candidacy before the poll took place. During the May 22-25 elections, Juncker will--among others--face Martin Schulz, the German president of the European Parliament, who is the nominee of Socialists and Democrats, of which Étienne Schneider’s LSAP is a member; and former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt, the candidate of the Liberals and Democrats, of which Xavier Bettel’s DP is a member.

European People’s Party


Juncker heads for polls

Politicians’ earnings (monthly gross salary) €24,000





Source: press reports

A comparative list of how much politicians in Luxembourg earn. Prime minister 201 1 Xavier Bettel apparently earns less than Barack Obama, but more than Angela Merkel.

Juncker for hire and ex Formula One pilot David Coulthard. Juncker explained that he had also been offered numerous boardroom positions from companies abroad, but felt he could not accept those offers so soon after leaving government. He added that how many speaking engagements he accepts in the future depends on how his own career pans out.

Luc Deflorenne

Jean-Claude Juncker has been engaged as a speaker for private events by the London Speaker Bureau Germany. The former prime minister has already had two engagements and has declared his new role to the chamber of deputies. The ­London Speaker Bureau has a high profile list of speakers including politician David Milliband, former astronaut Buzz Aldrin

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Parliamentary faction leaders


Cabinet ministers

Looking more like a meeting between M and James Bond, this shot of Angela Merkel and Luxembourg prime minister Xavier Bettel on the roof of the German ­chancellor’s ­official office was taken ­during a meeting between the two government leaders in February. The meeting had been postponed from January following Markel’s skiing ­accident--she is still sporting crutches in the photo. On the agenda were Jean-Claude Juncker’s candidacy for European Commission president, the savings tax directive and investment in the rail links between the two countries --Merkel said “the rail connection between Luxembourg and Germany was of great importance for cross-border commuters.” During his stay in Berlin, Bettel also met president of the German parliament ­Norbert Lammert and foreign minister ­Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Foreign minister

Some 2,000 members of the European Commission workforce will finally be moved from the Jean Monnet ­building in Kirchberg by December. The European Commission has said it is unwilling to renew its lease that expires in December 2014 and the search for a new location, or locations, is well underway. The building was only meant to be occupied until 2005 and talks about the move have been ongoing for over a decade. But although some departments have been relocated, a significant number of staff still work in the building despite claims of deteriorating ­conditions that could affect health, such as asbestos and bad air quality. With the building exhibiting signs of age, the cost of repair was deemed prohibitive.


Deputy prime minister

Jean Monnet move


Berlin summit

Prime minister

Zinneke/Creative Commons


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Pierre Gramegna, Martine Georgetti, Sylvie Gramegna, Gigja Birgisdottir, Jerome Wigny, and Elin and Eggert Hilmarsson

Beppe and Betty Giusto, Cristina Cendola, Monica Sarteour, Beppe Scibona, Giancarlo Palmisano, Edmondo Sarteour, Francesca Marzi, Lucio Gomiero and Margot Parra


Glamorous gala

Stefan Glober, Julie Hornsby, Lisa McLean, Carole Pace-Bonello and Sandro Pace-Bonello

The International School of Luxembourg’s sold-out 50th anniversary gala netted €40,000, which was €5,000 more than its fundraising goal. Proceeds from the “Lights, camera, action” themed auction will be used to refurbish the Upper School auditorium’s light and sound systems, says ISL’s Margot Parra. “A lot of the items auctioned were donated by alumni and that was a nice way for them to participate” in the milestone event. Those items included--among others--a weekend winemaking tour in Burgundy, hosted by ISL alumni and vintners Nicholas and Colleen Harbour; a cooking class and dinner for eight with top chef Lea Linster; and a flight simulator session at Cargolux. The evening also featured a performance by magician David Goldrake, and a speech by finance minister Pierre Gramegna. Two hundred and sixty guests attended the soirée, the maximum capacity at the Cercle Cité. AG

Henri Steinmetz, Robert Schol, Sharyn Bowman and ISL director Chris Bowman

Henning and Siobain zur Hausen, and Kerstin and Nils Jaeger

More ISL gala photos online at: Photographed by Steve Eastwood Arnita Hallerstrom and David Goldrake

Jorrit and Angela van der Meulen, Halldor Stefanson, Elisabet Sigurdadottir, Alessandra Brescia, Charles Kronbach, Frank Jacobs, Line Becher, Kenneth Nielsen, and Arkady and Jessica Vitrouk

Jeannie and John Fisher

Martine Georgopoulos and Kim Khan


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11/03/14 16:58

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11/03/14 09:15 14:29 13/03/14

current affairs

Sports facilities

Grass, grass everywhere but still nowhere to play Luxembourg finally looks set to get a new national stadium after years of controversy, rumours of favouritism and pleas from sports federations. The national football, and importantly, rugby teams will have a new home in Gasperich. But is the planned site a suitable compromise? And where does this leave Rugby Club Luxembourg, which has been lobbying for new facilities for years? Text by Duncan Roberts Photography by Olivier Minaire


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current affairs


n the end, things moved quickly--too quickly for the liking of one local opposition city councillor--in the quest to find a solution for Luxembourg’s national stadium. Just days after deflecting questions from the media about plans to refurbish, or completely rebuild, the decaying Josy Barthel stadium as well as the proposal of an entrepreneur to build a national sports complex in Kockelscheuer, Luxembourg City mayor Lydie Polfer (DP) sat side by side with sports minister Romain ­Schneider (LSAP) and sustainable development minister François Bausch (Déi Gréng) and announced plans to site a brand new ­football and rugby stadium on a vacant plot in Gasperich. “We are doing everything possible to have a modern national stadium in the near future,” said Polfer at a hastily called press conference on February 14. “We are working hand-in-hand with the ministries on a project at Gasperich.” That came as a surprise not only to some media, but also to ADR city councillor Marceline Goergen who seemed to accuse the college of aldermen of a lack of transparency in its dealings with the two ministries. “I am surprised at how quickly cooperation was achieved with the government,” she said. “Thank you for the compliment,” answered Polfer with her tongue planted firmly in cheek.

Steve Karier Rugby club training conditions beyond acceptable

UEFA criticism Little more concrete was revealed on Valentine’s Day--the Ville de Luxembourg and the government appear to have simply reached agreement on a site which remains on city territory but is also accessible via the future tram and with enough space to accommodate a car park. The site has several clear advantages. Like a previously proposed site at Livange (which was subsequently scrapped), it is close to motorway access. Importantly, unlike the alternative project of modernising the Josy Barthel stadium on the route d’Arlon, it is far removed from housing.

The search for a new national stadium has been an epic one. It started years ago as the Fédération Luxembourgeoise de Football (FLF) came to realise that the Josy Barthel stadium was starting to age badly. Originally constructed in 1931 and completely renovated in 1990, the stadium had been used for national team home matches and the annual cup final, as well as by local league clubs for European competition matches that attracted teams with a large support. The poor state of the stadium was confirmed during a visit of the facility in September last year by UEFA

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current affairs

Sports associations

CSCE Rugby

Luxembourg Football Federation (FLF)

Rugby Club Luxembourg

Prime location The new national stadium site in Gasperich

president Michel Platini. He said it was one of the worst stadia he had seen for a long time. “It is bad for the image of Luxembourg,” Platini said, hinting that if something were not done quickly Luxembourg may not be able to play international football matches at home. The renovation of the existing stadium was long seen as the only option after a project to build a brand new stadium, with a huge shopping centre attached, in Livange was dropped following accusations of corruption and blackmail over its development and planning permission. The Ville de Luxembourg had been upset by plans to move the stadium out of the capital city, and after the Livange stadium plans were abandoned it commissioned a preliminary architectural project from Arlette Schneiders for what would have been a completely new stadium on the route d’Arlon. The cost was estimated at between 30 and 40 million euro, though the upper end of that bracket would have been more realistic. The new project, located between the Cloche d’Or and Kockelscheuer, near the headquarters of the Post, will carry around the same budget, with the state and city splitting the costs on a 70-30 percent share. The stadium, which will have a capacity of 9,000, will host around 25 official football matches per year, says the sports minister. International rugby matches will also be played at the stadium, but in keeping with


modern football stadia it will not include a running track--new light athletics facilities are being planned for the national sports institute (INS) grounds in Cents. The proposal by a group of entrepreneurs for a sports complex at Kockelscheuer, which they claim could also have been used to host a national velodrome, was deemed unviable in terms of national territorial planning.

Rugby mud pit Although the national rugby federation will be pleased that it is being included in the plans, how many players will be left to make up a team by the time the first match kicks off in the new stadium remains to be seen. Because the main supplier of talent for the national team, Rugby Club Luxembourg, is now having its own battle to find decent match day and training facilities. It has long used a pitch at the Stade Boy Konen in Cessange, which belongs to the Ville de Luxembourg. But the growth of rugby as a sport in ­Luxembourg over the past few years has meant that the pitch is being used for training almost every day and then for matches at the weekends, leaving the grass little time to recover so that it is, in the words of outgoing RCL president Steve Karier, “a mud pit”. That has affected not only training but even RCL’s ability to host league matches--its senior team has had to play matches in Trier and train in Longwy.

After years of lobbying the local authorities to provide them with an alternative facility RCL, together with CSCE, the European community’s rugby club, launched a petition in January to add more pressure on the Ville de Luxembourg and the sports ministry. Schneider has acknowledged the problem and says his ministry is looking into finding a solution, even if that means locating the clubs to a neighbouring commune. That is hardly ideal--as Karier points out, many players, especially in the younger age groups, go to schools located in Luxembourg City and many senior players work in town. “It is crucial that they can attend training by using public transport.” So far the petition has attracted close to 2,800 signatures. “We definitely expect the petition to make a difference,” says Karier. “Right now, it has already raised awareness of the problem and led to a number of political interventions and media coverage. Improvement of the Cessange grounds, replacement of the current mud pit by an astroturf would not ruin Ville de Luxembourg’s budget.” In the meantime, however, the clubs are struggling to maintain the positive momentum the sport has gained over the last decade or so. “Both clubs are unable to welcome new players from state school rugby initiatives,” Karier explains. “Indeed, for the first time ever they are losing players. This is absolutely alarming.”.

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Social services

Common ground for progress The new minister of equal opportunities Lydia Mutsch met with contracted associations to discuss future social projects and reforms while assuring that cooperation between the two sides remains as strong as ever. Text by Neel Chrillesen


Plan of Action regarding emotional and sexual ­education, and the interdepartmental working group on mental disorders within the structures of the different associations.” One of the organisations present at the meeting was the Luxembourg Red Cross. Though its biggest activity today is caring for the elderly and dependants--half of the Luxembourg Red Cross’ 1,900 employees work in that sector--the association is also present in many other social areas. “We’re extremely happy about the interest the ministry showed in our equal opportunities activities,” confides Gilles Dhamen, Luxembourg Red Cross director for national solidarity. “It helps us stay committed and continue coming up with concrete solutions through our Riicht Lydia Mutsch Eraus and DropIn services.” Partnerships still Riicht Eraus provides counselling and going strong ­assistance to perpetrators of domestic ­violence and DropIn is a clinic for sex workers. “I want to stress how important it is for the ministry and the contracted sector to continue collaborating closely, also in the light of certain reforms planned in the governmental program, like that of the ASFT law,” Mutsch tells Delano. The ASFT law of 1998 regulates the relations between the state and the organisations ­operating in the areas of social services, Lydia Mutsch met with nine of them earlier family and therapeutic support. It also helps this year, her first such summit as minister, preserve the role of the private organisations, but points out that though the country’s government has recently changed, cooperation leaving the state the job of general coordination and possible financial support. between the state and the organisations The ASFT law is thus based on Luxembourg’s remains as strong as ever. “Our ministry and the contracted associations singular organisation of the social services who help the women and men in need in Luxem- sector: the state can only take on a function when no other non-governmental organisabourg have worked together for many years,” tion is doing it. she says. “The meeting therefore took place “The cooperation we have today is necessary in a spirit of cooperation and mutual trust. also to keep track of how our social structures We discussed topics related to the new governwork and which new ones are needed,” states ment’s social politics and also went over the projects underway like the CRP Santé scientific Mutsch. “The experience and know-how of the associations are also crucial to us if study about the reasons behind domestic we want to reach our reform objectives.”. ­violence, the implementation of the National Julien Becker (archives)

ne of Luxembourg’s distinctive traits when it comes to the social sector is the large use of outsourcing. From the early 1800s, private organisations have been the main motor behind creating and developing public assistance in the country and they remain one of the pillars of the welfare state today. The ministry of equal opportunities is amongst those who meet each year with these partners to settle or renew agreements.

Social services summit

The associations that attended the meeting with Lydia Mutsch were: Femmes en détresse, Fondation Maison de la Porte ouverte, Fondation ProFamilia, Conseil National des Femmes du Luxembourg, Act Together, Croix-Rouge luxembourgeoise, Initiativ Rëm Schaffen, Initiativ Liewensufank and Noemi. More information on the ministry of equal opportunities’ website.


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Photo: Christof Weber



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13/03/14 09:16


Marit Bach Christensen and Alice Bang

Annette Steenberg and NWC chair Inge Gerd Mormino

Lone Holm (left), Helle Kohl (centre), Madeleine Underwood (right)


Nordic women’s feisty forties

Bodil Franssen

Helle Gaardbo

Anne Perä speaking with Mari Nordgren (on right)

To mark its 40th anniversary, the Nordic Women’s Club gathered for a night of dining, wining and dancing, while Elvis tribute artist Steven Pitman entertained. The attendees, including five former club presidents, also painted a collective piece of art during the event, which was later auctioned off (proceeds are going to a Luxembourg charity). Truth be told, women from “up north” living in Luxembourg started gathering far earlier than 40 years ago, but the club didn’t become an official association until 1974. Today it has 256 members from Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Iceland. There are even a few non-Nordic members with knowledge of one of the languages. “The need for national-based clubs probably isn’t as big today as when ours was founded,” says NWC chair Inge Gerd Mormino. “We’re all European now and distances have become shorter. But the Nordic countries still have a lot of things in common that bring them together in a special way and we enjoy our various activities together. What we’re trying to develop currently is our involvement in Luxembourgish society--and we also need more younger members!” NC

A collective painting in-progress, later auctioned for charity

More photos at:

Inger Jensen Thye

Photographed by Jessica Theis

The Nordic Women’s Club 40th anniversary soirée


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IMPROVE ipants c i t r a p All red* to e t n e are f these o e n o win prizes s u o l u fab

One of two free 45-minute Tender Touch massages from Yoaké Ultimate Spa (valid until September 23, 2014) A pair of passes to Rock-A-Field, Luxembourg’s premiere outdoor music festival (on June 27-29, courtesy of den Atelier)

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12/03/14 09:21 17:02 13/03/14

Luc Deflorenne (archives)

business AIFM license

Olivier Minaire

Funds service provider Crestbridge says “it is one of the first to be granted AIFM licensing by the CSSF to become a provider of management company services to alternative investment funds”, which country chief Daniela Klasén-Martin notes fall under stricter rules starting in July. The firm has been authorised to work on Ucits mutual funds since 2010.

Exponential growth

and obtainable diplomas before filling out the paperwork at the admissions office. Despite international schools being a relatively recent phenomenon, he pointed out that there are today over 5,000 of them worldwide and that the majority are English speaking. Barkei acknowledged that while good relations with the Luxembourg government ensured that schools like ISL and St. George’s were able to expand their premises regularly, increasing demand remains a challenge. “This is also due to the fact that the student population is more stable here than elsewhere and turnover is relatively low. People always seem to stay longer in Luxembourg than they first intended…”

Help wanted


The number of job adverts in Luxembourg dropped 15% between the third and fourth quarters of 2014, reports recruiter Robert Walters. However demand for fluent French speakers in financial services “remains strong,” says the firm’s Bastiaan Fontein.

Sales of online advertising firms are likely to pick up this year, a group of M&A advisors forecasts. “We see the exit of [private equity] funds as an opportunity for future deals,” says Daniel Schneider of Tenzing Partners (he sits on Delano’s board).

Mr.TinDC/Creative Commons

Appointed Royal Bank of Scotland named Revel Wood as CEO of its Luxembourg funds services operations. He previously was COO of RBS’ Luxembourg management company, ­having joined the firm in 2012 from Northern Trust.


New owner, new name: after buying Dexia Asset Management for €380 million, New York Life Investments (known for its iconic Manhattan HQ) has rebranded the Luxembourg-based business as “Candriam”. The acronym stands for “Conviction and responsibility in asset management”. Candriam has €73 billion, and New York Life more than $500 billion in assets under management. Luc Deflorenne (archives)

Robert Walters


In a country like Luxembourg, the topic of international education is always a crowd pleaser and newly appointed principal of St. George’s International School, Christian Barkei, had no trouble getting the attention of the many attendees at a British Chamber of Commerce for Luxembourg luncheon last month. “When your company relocates you across borders and continents, finding the right school for your children is an important issue and often the first to pop up. And rightly so: with a wrong choice, there’s little chance the family will settle in.” To no surprise, Barkei suggested visiting the schools, talking to parents there and checking the accreditations, programmes followed

Former Dexia unit rebrands

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Mercer’s 2014 “Quality of Living” survey 1   Vienna, Austria 2   Zurich, Switzerland 3 4

TV drives SES gains Revenue and net income were both up more than 2% in constant euros last year at Luxembourg’s satellite giant, largely driven by gains in pay TV. SES announced 2013 revenue of €1.9 billion, with Ebitda, or pre-charge net income, of €1.4 billion. The firm saw a “12% increase in the number of TV channels carried” says CEO Romain Bausch (photo, right). Looking ahead, SES reports €7.5 billion in ­“fully-protected” contracts in the pipeline, “an all-time high at constant FX, reflecting new business and renewals signed during the year.” Bausch will resign as company chief--a post he has held for 19 years--at the shareholders meeting this April. Former management consultant Karim Michel Sabbagh (left) will take over.

After studying in the UK, Luxembourger Rupert Hoogewerf moved to Shanghai to work as an accountant before founding the Hurun Report in 1999. The magazine’s “China Rich List” is now a household name in the Middle Kingdom (the 1,000 people on the 2013 list had personal fortunes of at least $330 million). Hoogewerf was back in the Grand Duchy to speak at February’s “China Chopsticks” luncheon (and is pictured here with Mikkel Stroerup of the China-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, on left, with Rupert’s parents--Francis, former chair of the Chinese chamber, and Angela, a tax advisor). Londonbased China Chopsticks hosts forums on Chinese business and culture around the world. At the Hotel Parc Alvisse in Dommeldange, the younger Hoogewerf spoke about the preferences of China’s wealthy when it comes to travel (Australia and France top the tables) and overseas education (UK for secondary school, US for university).

7 15 19 25 69 76 93

  Vancouver, Canada   Frankfurt, Germany   Toronto, Canada   Luxembourg City   Singapore   Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe   Dubai, UAE   Santiago, Chile

  Mexico City, Mexico 222 Bangui, Central African Republic   112


  Bagdad, Iraq

Luxembourg banks less risky: S&P The Grand Duchy’s banking system is one of the least risky in the world, a global credit bureau said last month. The Grand Duchy ranked in the top quintile in both “economic risk” and “industry risk” out of 83 jurisdictions studied by ratings agency Standard & Poor’s. Only Germany and Switzerland were seen as economically less risky.

Prudent government policies and a conservative banking culture were plusses, while its fickle higher-end client base and regulatory complexity were minuses for Luxembourg. The agency said it did not expect any radical policy changes by the new coalition government, which took office in December.

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Source: Mercer

Jessica Theis (archives)

Talk on China’s wealthy


  Auckland, New Zealand   Munich, Germany

SIP/Nicolas Bouvy

Despite overall lower revenue, RTL Group reported its highest ever Ebita, or pre-tax earnings: €1.2 billion last year, up 7% from 2012. The Luxembourgbased media firm was buoyed in large part by improved performance at its German, French and Dutch TV channels. “We have succeeded in growing all profit indicators--Ebita, profit margin and net result,” co-CEOs Anke Schäferkordt (photo, right) and Guillaume de Posch (not pictured) told investors. “Our shareholders will also again profit from this excellent set of results with a total dividend of €7.00 per share.” The company continues to invest in digital channels and in Asian markets, and expects 2014 revenue to be “stable”.

Erik Daniel Drost/Creative Commons

RTL revenue record

After months of negotiations, the Grand Duchy and the US “have agreed on the substance of the future” pact on America’s Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, Luxembourg’s finance ministry said on February 27. FATCA requires nearly every financial institution in the world to provide client data to US tax authorities. The intergovernmental agreement would allow banks and investment funds to file the information through Luxembourg’s tax office instead of directly, which would breach the Grand Duchy’s privacy rules. The US has reached ­similar accords with more than 20 jurisdictions, including the Cayman Islands, France, Germany, Guernsey, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Malta, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK. Luxembourg’s finance ministry says it supports the OECD effort to create global tax exchange standards “to ensure a level playing field among all major financial centres in the world.” Once the final agreement is signed, Luxembourg’s parliament still needs to approve the deal. More about FATCA on Delano’s website:

Steve Eastwood

Schröder+Schömbs PR/Creative Commons

FATCA deal initialled

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business Vincent Vaitty, Camille Georges and Prem Kiran

Georges Bingen

Sriram Ramanathan, Manuel Brühl, Angela Simon and Mauro Armesto


“It’s a global problem” Terrorism has an international economic impact regardless of where attackers strike, speakers told a summit organised by the Indian Business Chamber of Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce. While attacks are concentrated in certain countries, terrorism is “not a local problem, it’s a global problem”, said Jagtar Basra, a UK-based counter-terrorism consultant who previously was a security chief at BAA, the company that operates London’s Heathrow airport. The 2002 Bali bombing damaged Indonesia’s tourist industry, but also Australian food exporters, which had been major suppliers to the sector, Basra observed. Other attacks lead to declines in the financial markets, which hits pension fund performance, and depresses property values, which then dampens tax revenues, harming government budgets and infrastructure investment. The meeting took place on 131st day of court hearings in the Bommeleeër case, a series of bomb attacks that hit the Grand Duchy in the 1980s, noted Georges Bingen, the European Commission’s representative in Luxembourg. That “shows terrorism is all over”, not only in far-off places. AG

Aditya Sharma and Thomas Javor

From left: Sudhir Kohli, Georges Bingen, Jagtar Basra, Mario Cortolezzis and Pedro Castilho

Jagtar Basra

More photos online at: Photographed by Steve Eastwood

Karol Kuska, Maxime Rohe, Melanie de Oliveira and Gian Kharaud

Marie-Amandine Coydon and Gerry Heller

The terrorism conference organised by the Indian and Luxembourg chambers of commerce


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paperJam.Index 436 pages | 10 €

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20/02/14 09:23 09:37 13/03/14


Meet the interns

Inside Sacred Heart University’s international MBA programme

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The Luxembourg branch of an American university has been offering MBA degrees for more than two decades. But two years ago SHU, somewhat discreetly, launched a new track with distinctly international appeal. These students are combining coursework and real work experience at major firms. Delano uncovers the programme’s secret to success. Text by Aaron Grunwald Photography by Julien Becker

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nitially it was just a project to see how many responsible investment funds domiciled in Luxembourg were available, and whether we could create an index out of these funds to give a better idea of what this segment of the market was doing,” MBA student Jacques Venter says of his internship that ended last summer. After nine months with the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and LuxFLAG, an organisa­ tion that certifies socially responsible funds, Venter witnessed the launch of the Lux RI Fund Index. For a former NGO project manager who had studied theology, it marked a major departure.

Luxembourg Stock Exchange The bourse moved into new headquarters on the corner of boulevard Joseph II and avenue Émile Reuter earlier this year, and officially inaugurated the building on March 14. The structure was conceived by Architecture & Urbanisme 21 Worré & Schiltz, and the interior was designed by Atelier d’Architecture et de Design Jim Clemes. The energy efficient building received the Valideo sustainable construction certificate. But as a souvenir, the stock exchange moved its golden doors--which had famously graced the entrance of its former HQ on avenue de la Porte Neuve since the 1960s--to the new building, and installed them inside a ground floor conference room. AG & CC

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“Before going there I had no idea how funds worked. So it was a very big learning curve, but something very interesting and quite fulfilling in the end.” The native of Cape Town, South Africa, landed the assignment as part of his MBA at the Luxembourg campus of Sacred Heart University. The American institution started offering an executive MBA--for “mid career” students with full-time jobs--in the Grand Duchy 22 years ago, explains professor Alfred Stein­ herr, the university’s academic director in Luxembourg. But two years ago, it quietly launched an international MBA to attract students from abroad. “The idea was to bring people from all over the world to Luxembourg. Since our courses are in the evening,

I thought, let’s find them meaning ful work” during the day. “In order to make the internship attractive for people from far away, we limit the internship to internationally known firms,” Stein­ herr says. “This combination of work during the day and study during the evening is very demanding, obviously, but it gives you the full benefit of two types of experiences.”

Real work experience After matching up students and employers, and coaching sessions for the interns, the work assignments typically start November 1 and run through the end of July. However, “it’s not the kind of internship where you just hang around,” Steinherr stresses. “We call it an internship but it’s different from a one month or two month internship… here they have to do a job.” Indeed, that was the attraction for Chilean student Gonzalo de la Cuadra. “I almost went to Belgium or Scotland where they offered internships,” but changed his mind after con­ necting with an SHU alumnus on an inter­ net forum. “Seeing what the companies were and that [the internship] was for a long time, grabbed my attention a lot more than any other programme,” adding, “For me a two month internship is not work experience.” In Santiago, the IT entrepreneur’s firm sold access control and time attendance systems to mining companies, but de la Cuadra “knew that I wanted to do an MBA since I graduated from university.” So now he’s working in Arcelor­ Mittal’s corporate IT department helping eval­ uate vendors. “It’s been an incredible experience.” Lack of experience, in a manner of speak­ ing, is what drew Annabelle Giorgana to the SHU programme, although like many of the students currently in the course, she already lived in the Grand Duchy. After working for big international financial institutions like Citigroup and Rabobank in her native Mexico City and in Madrid, Giorgana moved to Luxembourg with her husband last year. But her background was in corporate bank­ ing and “I didn’t have experience in the fund industry” so she ran into roadblocks looking for a new job. “So I decided that I had to do something different. One, to integrate into professional life here in Luxembourg, and two, to integrate in social life here in Luxembourg,” she says. For her internship, Giorgana is working in the sales department at fund services firm Brown Brothers Harriman.

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" I decided that I had to do something different " Annabelle Giorgana

After five years in Macedonia, freelance writer André Vale moved to Luxembourg in 2011, when his wife, a lawyer at Arcelor­ Mittal, received a transfer. But “I found out working freelance all the time was not really what I wanted to do, as much as I love writing.” Wanting to enhance his skills, “I felt an MBA would be a good way to further my knowledge in marketing and at the same time to learn more about other areas of business management.” These days the native of Portugal is helping on “a couple projects connected to digital marketing”, that are currently “secret”, at telecom provider Orange. While these four students have found happy internships, and so far all the programme’s students have been placed with an employer, Steinherr concedes there are no guarantees. “Some have been extremely happy, and some have been less happy,” he says. “Expectations are very high on both sides. Sometimes the firms are not very happy; sometimes the students are not very happy.” At the same time, work placements are only half the question. Students do the exact same coursework in the exact same classrooms as SHU’s other 60-odd MBA students in the Grand Duchy. The course itself is recognised by authori­ ties in Luxembourg and in SHU’s home state of Connecticut, as well as by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, a Florida-based body that certifies MBA pro­ grammes worldwide. Steinherr says getting the AACSB seal of approval “is very tough; only some 5% of MBAs get that accreditation.” An EU and US validated MBA means gradu­ ates have worldwide mobility, giving the course more international appeal. Likewise, Luxembourg’s special mix is a huge positive, says Giorgana. “I have been in classes of eight people, for example, [with] each

MBA students at the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, one of the organisations participating in Sacred Heart University’s internship programme

one of us representing a different nationality, including the professor. For me that’s kind of impressive.” “Now that I’ve been in the programme, I’ve made very good friends as well, and not only from the similar Mediterranean or Latin cultures. I’ve made friends with people that you might never think that you could be friends with,” she says.

Multicultural environment “The best thing about this programme is the absolutely incredible multicultural experience that it is,” concurs Vale. Meeting people from all over the world “enriches the programme much beyond the courses themselves.” He says sharing “so many different experiences, cultural, educational and otherwise, we get to learn a lot from each other as well.” “I’m trying to be like a sponge, absorbing everything, all the differences,” adds de la Cuadra,

who previously lived in the US. “I’m curious culturally. Getting to do that in this environment--working, studying--makes it all more complementary to my purpose of being here not just for the sake of being here, but doing something that’s actually useful.” He also praises the instructors--“you get real relationship with the faculty”--and staff --“those guys work incredibly hard… being a small university probably helps, but for the amount of people, they do an incredible job.” “For me personally it’s the fact that it’s local here in Luxembourg,” says Venter, who moved to the Grand Duchy with his Dutch wife in 2011. “I’ d just arrived and I didn’t want to leave to study elsewhere. So the fact there’s an English university offering an MBA in Luxembourg was very, very big for me. Also the fact that I didn’t have to do anything online; everything was in-class and I really wanted that in-class connection, which is also very important for your network to develop.”

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" It’s not the kind of internship where you just hang around " Professor Alfred Steinherr

However the programme is “tough and you have to be prepared to make sacrifices in your personal life; that is definitely something people need to be prepared for,” Vale warns. When it comes to personal life, “there will be a lot of situations where you’ll have to say ‘I can’t’.” “It gets very intense and you get very tired!” Giorgana agrees. “You have to learn to prioritize and also pace yourself, and to view it as an experience.” De la Cuadra compares the workload to “having two full-time jobs.” While “it’s totally manageable…. it leaves you with no time.” Anyone with a young family “should evaluate if it’s the right moment” before enrolling, he advises. “One of the negatives I would say is the alumni network is not so strong and not so developed in terms of how regularly they would get together, or knowing which SHU alumni are at which companies within Luxembourg,” reckons Venter. “I think they know that’s something that needs to develop. But having said that, I’ve met so many people just through being at the classes.”

Future plans Steinherr says SHU is trying to grow the programme slowly but surely. “As a small university, we have obviously not the resources as bigger institutions to advertise our programme widely.” A partnership with the Indian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce has boosted applications from India, as have recruitment missions to China, but the professor concedes more can be done to market the course abroad. Likewise the campus can only accept ten international MBA students this autumn, to ensure the quality of internships remains high. On the other hand, SHU will “experiment” with an internship that allows an en-

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trepreneur to “prepare the creation of their own firm”, and there remains the option of finishing the final four months of the MBA course at SHU’s parent campus in the US. “It’s definitely not just something on the CV,” remarks Vale, who credits the course for exposing him to the previously mysterious world of finance, even though he will look for a marketing gig in Luxembourg. After graduation, de la Cuadra hopes to work in the Grand Duchy for a couple more years before returning to Chile. Giorgana reckons the experience will help her land a good position in Luxembourg, where she and her husband plan to stay and start a family. “We like the environment here.” “One of my primary goals was to actually get a foot into the job market and get some experience in Luxembourg,” says Venter, who managed to pick up a second internship in the strategy and market intelligence department at satellite firm SES. He says of his SHU experience: “It’s something I’m proud to have on my CV.” The application deadline for EU and US nationals is June 1..

Advanced business degrees in Luxembourg Sacred Heart University

SHU offers an executive MBA and a full-time MBA with professional internship; both last 18 months. Luxembourg School of Finance

LSF has both full-time and part-time master of science in banking and finance and master of wealth management programmes. University of Luxembourg

A one year, full-time master in entrepreneurship and innovation offered in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce.

  April 2014

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An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. Benjamin Franklin MaSter in WeaLth ManageMent

The LSF Master’s in Banking and Finance is a comprehensive programme covering both mainstream and more specialised disciplines in banking and finance. Renowned professors provide a solid academic and professional foundation in these disciplines. The programme is ideally suited to students seeking a career in corporate finance, asset and wealth management, banking and related fields, in Luxembourg or beyond.

The LSF Master in Wealth Management, developed in co-operation with the Private Banking Group in Luxembourg, combines traditional academic finance disciplines with other subjects closely linked to the profession of wealth management. Renowned professors and practitioners will provide a solid theoretical and practical foundation for a career in wealth management, in Luxembourg or beyond.

MSc in banking & Finance

Want to learn more?

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appLy noW Both full-time and part-time study formats will be available starting Autumn 2014. Open to the World +352 46 66 44 6807

For further information, contact or


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28/02/14 13/03/14 11:15 09:24



24 hour business: coming soon? It may be possible to found a company in just one day, if the new coalition government picks up a private sector proposal. Text by Stephen Evans Photography by Annabelle Denham


aking it easy to launch a business start-up would boost the economy and send a strong message that entrepreneurship is thriving here. So believes Vincent Hieff, head of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce’s “Espace Entreprises” start-up centre. “Everything possible must be done to boost entrepreneurial spirit in this country,” Hieff tells Delano.

Vincent HiEff One step at a time

The “simplified Sàrl”

One person would take one day and spend €1 to set up a limited liability firm (Sàrl); hence the name “111 company” coined by Amcham. In this ideal, all formalities would be kept to a minimum and would be completed on line. Currently, potential entrepreneurs must complete several forms, deposit €12,500 in capital in an escrow account and pay for a notary’s deed. The whole process takes at least three weeks as documents are processed at the company registrar.


“Manufacturing industry is in decline and the financial sector is changing. We have to develop home-grown businesses and attract entrepreneurs from around the world,” he adds. Employers’ groups have been advocates of making it easier to start-up for many years. The Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce launched the idea several years ago as the “simplified Sàrl” or “limited company” (see box). It appears to be an idea whose time has come as the new coalition has taken up the idea. The American Chamber of Commerce is also a supporter. The issue was aired at its February 4 seminar entitled “The 111 company: supporting growth in Luxembourg”. Amcham came up with the catchy “one-one-one company” name, which refers to the ideal of one person being able to set up in business in one day with just €1.

Hieff, who spoke at the Amcham event, accepts that nothing will get in the way of a determined entrepreneur, but he wants to energise the less self-assured. “When I talk to young people about going into business many are visibly discouraged when they find out they need €12,500 before they can begin even if they don’t need start up capital,” he explains. “For example, university students might want to start trading in a small way in parallel with their course work. But under the current system this just isn’t practical,” he argues. It is also a matter of image. “Luxembourg must demonstrate clearly that this is a great place in which to do business,” says Hieff. “This is all part of the very important national branding process we talk so much about.” In addition, he sees this as a striking message to the domestic audience. “Business is an unfamiliar, unusual notion for too many of our citizens. This move would send a strong signal that anyone with a bright idea can have a go,” he believes. In the days when business largely meant making things, the need for an initial capital buffer appeared prudent. Hieff thinks this has little relevance in a services-dominated economy. After all, there is nothing to prevent business owners spending the capital as soon as the Sàrl is formed. In a compromise move, the coalition agreement suggests allowing the firm to build up the €12,500 capital over a, say, five year period. So when can we expect legislation? “I believe the coalition wants to act, but they have a lot they want to do,” he comments. “I hope this could be underway by next year.” Passing the law is probably the easy part. The main issue could be making the necessary administrative changes, not to mention resisting the lobbying by notaries fearful of losing business. It is also possible that the economy ministry, which would lead any reform, could decide it is not worth the effort with so much else to do..

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Our clients trust us with the management of their assets down the generations. Naturally, we are by their side when they want to enhance their savings and pass on their assets, and we are with them every step of the way in the financial and human aspects of estate planning.

Investment advisory services Capital preservation, wealth management

Tel. : (+352) 499 24 -1

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and inheritance planning Services for families and entrepreneurs

12/03/14 13/03/14 14:44 09:25



Industrial dynamics Luxembourg-based designer Sacha Lakic says his work is all about giving soul to objects and shaping the future. Text by Duncan Roberts Photography by Sven Becker


hen Sacha Lakic holds court, the world listens. The handsome and charismatic French designer has the ear of select but innovative car, motorbike and furniture brands and is keen on shaping the future with his concepts for modern living. “For me design is creating something special and emotional in a very industrial world that is full of constraints and requires different techniques and imposes radical targets, such as price, material and production processes. It is interesting and exciting to mix poetry and art in this very tough field.” But Lakic, who has made Luxembourg his home base since April 2010, never loses sight of the end user--the consumer. He says that as an industrial designer he is constantly having to compromise, but he has no problem with that. “The job is to find the right balance. If you make something that is super functional and has a normal price, ­people will buy it but it doesn’t touch anyone; it has no soul. On the other hand, if you make a stunning product that loses all its functionality, people won’t buy it.” Working in different fields comes ­naturally to Lakic, and although he makes a conscious effort not to be influenced by other designers or artists, his own work in one area can rub off in another. “When I started designing furniture I was looking to find my own signature, which is not easy


because by its definition furniture is placed somewhere and is not supposed to move. Cars are influenced by aerodynamic constraints, so they are very dynamic even when they are parked. This is what I am trying to do with furniture. If you can provide this feeling of movement to an object, it is like giving soul to it.” This was the springboard for his award-winning Onda bed and bedroom furniture design for Roche Bobois, inspired by the mythology of a flying carpet. But Lakic’s real passion is for vehicles. He has designed high performance sports cars for Venturi, and early 90s carbon fibre bicycles for MBK that remain iconic designs. “They show really what you can do with carbon fibre--the material is light and stiff enough so you can avoid the classical triangle of a bicycle.” He is currently fine-tuning his Wattman design for motorcycle marque Voxan. First unveiled at the Paris motor show last December, the Wattman is billed as the world’s most powerful electric motorbike. It boasts 200 horsepower and 147.5 pound-feet of torque, which allows it to reach 100 km/h in just 3.4 seconds. “It was not an easy job to imagine a motorcycle where the engine isn’t shown and that doesn’t make noise,” says Lakic, himself a keen biker. “But people are reacting in a very positive way.”.

Sacha Lakic Objects must have emotional appeal

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Photography Michel Gibert. With thanks to: Auditori Teulada Moraira, TASCHEN,

l’art de vivre by roche bobois

European manufacture.

Scenario modular leather corner sofa, designed by Sacha Lakic. Ovni coffee table, designed by Vincenzo Maiolino. BERTRANGE

126A, rue de Mamer, Luxembourg Tél. : 31 95 57-1

Our shop will be open on Sundays 16 and 23 March from 14.00 to 18.00.

YEARS OF L’ART DE VIVRE IN LUXEMBURG See for collections, catalogues and news.


13/03/14 09:26



For those coming from outside the Continental legal tradition: a notaire is a type of civil lawyer vested with certain administrative powers by the state. These include transferring real estate titles, drafting marriage and civil union contracts and testaments, and the formation of companies. Notary fees are fixed by law. There are 36 members of the Chambre des Notaires du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg (website in French):

Search by languages spoken (in Luxembourg and 21 other countries) on the website run by the European notaries federation:

Legal aid

The ministry of justice offers general legal information for free. The Service d’accueil et d’information juridique is available by appointment in three cities: Luxembourg: +352 22 18 46 Diekirch: +352 80 23 15 Esch-sur-Alzette: +352 54 15 52 Based on the applicant’s income and type of case, the Luxembourg Bar can appoint a lawyer to any defendant in the Grand Duchy legally or to those making an asylum application here. Most matters are considered, including criminal charges and divorce, but not cases involving motor vehicles and most professional and commercial disputes (website in French):

Victims of crime may be eligible for financial compensation. Contact the victims assistance agency (Service d’aide aux victimes), which is part of Luxembourg’s justice ministry: indemnisation/en_faq.html

Legal translators and interpreters

Translation of documents for official Luxembourg matters need to be made by a professional accredited by the ministry of justice (website in French, click on “Liste des traducteurs et interprètes assermentés”):

The British embassy publishes a short list of Luxembourg translators:

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How to find

Legal help


The Centre de Médiation Civile et Commerciale aims to resolve any number of disputes and is backed by the Luxembourg Bar Association, Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Trades and the Collège Médical, the body for the Grand Duchy’s physicians, dentists and pharmacists (website in French):

Multilingual and multicultural ­Luxembourg can present difficulties for international ­residents when legal problems arise.

The Luxembourg Consumers Union (ULC) has specialised panels to handle disputes regarding travel, insurance and dry cleaners (website in French and German):

Luxembourg’s Ombudsman is a statutory body that can review any decision (or lack of decision) made by any branch of the Grand Duchy’s national or local government. While it cannot reverse rulings, it can make recommendations to the authorities and provide applicants with clear explanations of the rules.


or those coming from outside the Continental legal system and who are not fluent in French, the lingua franca of the law in Luxembourg, disputes can be doubly stressful. Legal matters are always a worry, but understanding and communicating complicated legal concepts in another tongue and in another cultural context only adds to the headache. For example: the last “notary” that Delano visited in the US was a clerk at a parcel delivery service, and when discussing property just how does one translate viager* into English? While every legal situation is different, here is a handy address book of people who can help. Websites are available in English unless otherwise noted. .AG


More than 2,000 avocats have been called to the Luxembourg Bar, which can refer you to an attorney and help resolve disagreements with your counsel (website in French):

The Martindale-Hubbell Directory is a 146 year old American legal guide that is well regarded within legal circles. Its website lists profiles of more than 300 attorneys in Luxembourg, including 94 that practice in English:

The UK and US embassies publish lists of English-speaking lawyers in Luxembourg on their websites:

*In real estate, a viager is a “life lease” or a real estate transaction that is only completed after the occupant’s death. It can also refer to life annuity payments.

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Talking your language How advertisers use humour to reach the Grand Duchy’s diverse audiences. Text by Stephen Evans Photography by Luc Deflorenne



t’s tough trying to communicate in a multilingual, multicultural country. The recent Media Awards ceremony was a celebration of those who have taken up this challenge, and with three gold awards and a bronze, Mikado Publicis made a big impression. Delano spoke with the agency’s Aurélie Bertrand and Xavier Delvaux about the art of getting your message across in the Grand Duchy. “The most effective advertising tells a story and this is playing an increased role in Luxembourg,” explains Delvaux. Universally understandable, slightly irreverent humour was at the heart of their award-winning campaigns for telecom firm Orange and the “Tunnel campaign” for the infrastructure ministry and Sécurité Routière. “For both these clients we were able to use humour to add to the brand and to make the messages accessible to a wide audience,” says Bertrand. This method was used for both these clients, despite their differing sizes and images. Orange is a brand known across Europe, but the client needed a local touch to increase their local connection. “We had a degree of flexibility to introduce our own creativity, using the cheeky humour that is part of their brand,” notes Bertrand. Mikado won three of their awards related to campaigns for Orange in the press, on radio and for TV/cinema advertising. There is quite a contrast with the way they approached the “Tunnel” project. Here the ­ client’s original idea was to use the radio to advertise their highway-tunnel driving-safety campaign. They persuaded the client to go for a series of amusing 10 to 15 second mimed YouTube clips. Thus the important warnings against U-turns in highway tunnels, the 90 km/h speed limit and so on are fun to watch and easy to understand, thus making them memorable (see “It is important to keep the human element in communication,” insists Delvaux. By presenting the message in an accessible fashion it is more liable to be accepted and understood.

Aurélie Bertrand and Xavier Delvaux Humour translates well

The ideal is for advertising to be circulated via email and social media, as people are very open to accepting friends’ recommendations. That goal is made more complicated in this country with the diffuse nature of the population. Immigrants and non-resident commuters are often more engaged with their own communities than with Luxembourg as a whole. Cinema and bus shelter display ads remain the central way to reach the entire population. Here French remains the main communication language, as it is still the most widely understood by most communities. This is despite original version English language movies dominating our cinema screens. It is generally the case that advertising spending exaggerates the business cycle: booming strongly in the good years and being stripped back during the downturns. So how are things looking now? For Mikado, a strong upswing has been in evidence recently, with Delvaux reporting that “the first few weeks of this year have been very promising.”.

Media Awards 2014

Nearly 850 guests attended this year’s Media Awards at the Rockhal in Esch-Belval on­ ­February 12. A total of 22 gold, silver and bronze prizes for advertising creativity were given in six categories: Press, B2B Press, Internet, Radio, TV/Cinema and Cross-Media. A total of 140 projects, for more than 60 clients, were ­considered by a six-person jury presided by Gregory ­Ginterdaele of the C ­ reative Club Belgium and Air Brussels. The event was ­co-organised by the publisher ­Maison ­Moderne (Delano’s ­proprietor) and the broadcaster RTL.

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Villa Lotti 45a, avenue Monterey L-2163 Luxembourg T. +352 40 39 910

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Nathalie Goergen and jury member Christiane Wagner

Luxembourg prime minister Xavier Bettel and Media Awards co-host Nathalie Reuter

Christophe Bargellini and Sophie Schinker


Something to phone home about

Sylvia Camarda and Stina Fisch

Vincent Genco-Russo, Virginie Huvelle and Christophe Peiffer

It was a sweet night for advertising agency Mikado Publicis, which claimed four prizes at the Media Awards 2014, including three for its work on behalf of telecom firm Orange Luxembourg. The prizes--presented by Maison Moderne, Delano’s publisher, and broadcaster RTL--honour the best Luxembourg-­produced advertisements. More than 140 entries were submitted last autumn, which were then ­narrowed down to 53 campaigns on behalf of 42 organisations. Finalists in each category were selected by an industry jury, and then voted on by the general public for a separate set of people’s choice awards. While Mikado Publicis took the cake with four trophies (see interview on page 36), agencies Apart, Concept Factory, Dechmann Communication and Vous each received two prizes. Binsfeld, Comed, Graphisterie générale, Interact, IP(!)Productions and Moskito were also ­recognised. More than 800 people attended the ceremony, which was held at the Rockhal. AG

“Les marches” for Orange Luxembourg by Mikado Publicis won gold in the TV/cinema category

More photos online: Photographed by Steve Eastwood

Deputy prime minister Étienne Schneider turns the tables on an RTL cameraman The Media Awards 2014 ceremony at the Rockhal

“Code du Tunnel” for CITA by Mikado Publicis won gold in the internet category


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StoP. What are you doing???

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04/12/13 09:28 15:10 13/03/14


Data centres

Luxembourg changes its focus The Grand Duchy’s efforts to make Luxembourg a European ICT hub are paying off. Text by Tonya Stoneman Photography by Olivier Minaire


hen most people think of Luxembourg, the financial industry is the first thing that comes to mind. But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll discover a burgeoning ICT industry, too. A few years ago, the government embarked on a mission to make the Grand Duchy’s ICT capabilities renowned throughout the world, and by all accounts the country is on track to reach that goal. Consequently, Luxembourg boasts one of the most modern data centre parks in Europe. In fact, there are some 20 data centres in operation, totalling a net floor space of over 40,000 square meters. With a surface area of less than 1,000 square miles and only half a million inhabitants, Luxembourg has one of the highest data centre densities in Europe, and perhaps the world. “The government invested €200 million to develop new business activities, plus the data centres,” recalls Gilles Saint-Guillain of service provider Telindus. “This was huge. It opened new opportunities for Luxembourg. We’re a small centre that never could have made this kind of investment. It’s impossible for us. But after the government got involved, there’s connectivity, value and services.” He’s audibly thrilled with the impact of the country’s new landscape and prattles off a list of companies, who he contends have chosen to settle in here because of its central location and commitment to the ICT industry: “PayPal, Amazon, Skype, Netflix, Vodafone, iTunes, RealNetworks; lots of companies use the data centres to offer added value.” Innova, an on-demand video gaming company, decided to set up shop in Luxembourg


for several reasons. “Among the deciding factors were the number of big bandwidth companies present, the ITC infrastructure, the quality of life conditions and benefits on the revenue side,” says its CEO, Gevork Sarkisyan. “We discovered Luxembourg has the best infrastructure. It’s amazing.” The impact of Luxembourg’s laser focus on data centre development is already making waves. There’s a buzz around town about new companies, new jobs and everything that goes along with that. “The data centres generate new business everywhere,” says Saint-Guillain. “Even American companies are choosing Luxembourg because of its technical capabilities. Our biggest competitors are Ireland and the Netherlands, but Luxembourg is centrally located with direct access to Frankfurt, Paris and Brussels.” Business is booming for Telindus, but one of the biggest problems Saint-Guillain faces is finding people with the requisite competencies to work for him. Most of the time, he has to look outside of Luxembourg to find them, and has hired the majority of his staff from France and Belgium.

"we managed to get it on the radar" Alexander Duwaerts

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Gilles Saint-Guillain Government investment has been key

ICT intensive sectors

Automotive: Key businesses can be streamlined and operations can be conducted online. Computer aided design tools are used to design and test parts and products. Biotechnology and health: The ability to manage and process critical data, from individual DNA to broader sciences, is vital to this industry.

That said, the need for human capital to staff these new data centres has not been lost on the government. “Luxembourg is also investing heavily in ICT research in order to build scientific excellence,” reports Luxembourg ICT Cluster, an official promotion agency. “The new Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust at the University of Luxembourg aims to put the country on the worldwide map in terms of high-quality research in secure, reliable and trustworthy ICT systems and services.” The university also offers digital communications, information processing, algorithmic number theory and a host of other related competencies. Luxembourg has positioned itself as a leading data centre marketplace in Europe, but Alexander Duwaerts of EBRC, also a service provider, remembers when the country didn’t have so much going for it technologically speaking. “People thought Luxembourg was a city in Germany,” he recalls. “But we managed to get it on the radar.” His company opened its doors in 2000 and began investing heavily in order to offer high

E-commerce: Consumption habits and digital behaviours will drive this market.

quality ICT services and infrastructure. By 2008, the company had secured the prestigious “Best Data Centre Operator in Europe” award. “It’s very important to be able to have proof of your quality,” he says. “We have received three certifications of Tier IV, the highest rating from the Uptime Institute in Seattle.” There are roughly 50 Tier IV certified data centres in the world, and five of them are in Luxembourg; the other two are run by European Data Hub and LuxConnect. Not so long ago, Luxembourg pulled itself out of obscurity and even poverty with forward-looking ingenuity and sheer dedication. Now, as the world moves into an era of globalization, the government is not riding on the ­laurels of its phenomenal success in the financial industry, but is developing state-ofthe-art infrastructure to provide the full range of data storage, management and processing service while incorporating the latest “green” ICT engineering. “The development will continue,” says Saint-Guillain, “and in 10 to 20 years time, we won’t be known for banking anymore, but for ICT.”

Entertainment and media: Digital technologies will become increasingly pervasive across all segments of this industry. Financial services: Data security and reliability are essential in digital banking. Logistics: Supply chain management and distribution are increasingly carried out in a digital space. Research & development: Storage of heavy volumes of research and information sharing are a mainstay in this arena.

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International experience Auditor Constantina Kakoulli explains why she is helping start a new Rotary chapter and why it is important to make friends with people from other countries in the 26 th instalment of Delano’s “Think Local” interview series. Interview by Aaron Grunwald Photography by Steve Eastwood

Originally from Nicosia, Constantina Kakoulli studied in the UK and then returned to Cyprus to completeher auditor’s qualifications. After joining a major financial consultancy, she transferred to the Grand Duchy in 2012. This year she is helping launch the English-speaking voluntary group Rotary Club Luxembourg Hearts.

AG: What brought you to L ­ uxembourg? CK: I always wanted to have international experience, to work abroad. I wanted to see how people work in other countries, so I decided to do an exchange programme with my firm. I didn’t really choose Luxembourg; it kind of chose me. There was availability in Luxembourg. Truth be told, I didn’t know a lot about Luxembourg, but I think that in the end it was the best choice for me, because it’s so international and that’s what I wanted to experience. AG: Were you involved in Rotary in Cyprus? CK: I was involved in a Rotaract club, which is for 18 to 30 [year olds]. When I was in Rotaract, we had an international project called ‘Rotaract Hearts to South Africa’. Through that I met the president of our current Rotary club here, Marc Dubois. AG: What do you like about being involved in the Rotary Club? CK: A lot of people have the idea that Rotary is just sitting around and giving money away. What we want to do is do things. We want to put action into what we say we do. For example, the project ‘Rotaract Hearts to South Africa’ was people from all over the world who met in South Africa and helped build an orphanage. AG: Why are you setting up a new Rotary chapter? CK: We wanted to be the first international, English speaking club, because most Rotary clubs in Luxembourg are either Luxembourgish Constantina Kakoulli Make as many international or French speaking. For example, friends as possible I don’t speak French, so it would be really hard for me to join one of these clubs. Since we know there are a lot of young and international people

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in Luxembourg, we thought, why not set up a club that all of the international people can join? I think there are a lot of people who want to help, but they don’t really know how. And the five of us [starting the club] have Rotary or Rotaract experience and now we want to pass this on to other members. AG: What types of voluntary ­activities are you organising? CK: The Red Cross offers food every Saturday lunchtime for homeless people. We will go there and help them serve food [several times a month during colder weather; ­chapter members also plan, with the Luxembourg Red Cross, to help build a playground at a children’s home in Esch-sur-Alzette this spring]. AG: What’s the best way to connect with your group? CK: We meet at the Meliá [hotel in Kirchberg] every second Wednesday of the month. AG: What if you don’t know anything about the Rotary Club? CK: There’s no need to have prior experience. AG: You’ve been here for a year and a half now. What’s your advice for newcomers to the Grand Duchy? CK: I know a lot of people who come here and their friends all come from the same country that they come from. But, for me, this way you lose the Luxem­bourg experience. So the important thing is to try to make as many friends from all over the world. And also take the chance to travel a lot, because Luxembourg offers the chance to travel to not only countries around Luxembourg but also other European countries and even the US. What I like here is that I have the chance to travel a lot. Even if it’s for a weekend, I can do it..

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12/03/14 12:15

In April, Roberto raises money for the Red Cross. Thanks to the donations he collects, my family and many others can build a house in Burundi. Thank you!

Donation month from April 1st to 30th 2014

Advertising space donated by Maison Moderne.


Give a little bit of your time and raise funds in your neighbourhood or at work.

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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.

British chamber

Indian chamber

Startup Grind

Sacred Heart Univ.

Fri 18 April

Entrepreneurial networking

Wed 26 March

Thu 27 March

“Opportunity 2020”

Indian finance

Forum on realising both the new Grand Duchy government’s data centre and electronic payments development plan and the EU’s “digital agenda”. Speakers include DATA4 Luxembourg’s Gary Kneip. PwC, Luxembourg-Gasperich, 18:00


The chamber presents a seminar on “India’s financial sector--challenges & opportunities for Luxembourg”. Speakers include the Luxembourg Stock Exchange’s Hubert Grignon Dumoulin. Banque Degroof, Luxembourg-Gasperich, 18:00

The Luxembourg chapter of the global group--backed by Google and active in more than 50 cities--launches with a speech by serial entrepreneur Xavier Buck. Advance registration required. The Impactory, Luxembourg-Merl, 18:30

The Network

4 - 9 - 14 April

Speech support

Thu 27 March

Northern flights

The guest speaker at this Nordic chamber luncheon (rescheduled from January) is Adrien Ney, president and CEO of Luxair, the Grand Duchy’s national passenger airline (which is launching service to Stockholm). Hotel Parc Belair, Luxembourg-Belair, 12:00

Public speaking groups Bossuet Gaveliers, Casemates Communicators and Greenheart Toastmasters Club each meet two evenings per month. No requirement to be a native Anglophone. Check website for venues and times

Wed 23 April

Presentation skills

The women’s networking group hosts a forum on putting your best foot forward while speaking in public. Panelists include the Toastmasters Club’s Jill Saville. Sofitel, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, 19:30

Mon 28 April



Thu 24 April

Wed 9 - Fri 11 April

Rulebook summit

Medical advancement

Luxembourg hosts the 12th edition of one of the world’s premiere health technology conferences, with experts from more than 50 countries expected to attend the seminars and expositions. bande Vinoteca_Delano 1.0.pdf 1 Luxembourg-Kirchberg, 3/6/14 6:13 PM LuxExpo, all day event

As part of its spring seminar series, the university presents “The US-Europe Free Trade Zone. What is the potential?”. Speakers include Amcham chief Paul Schonenberg. International School of Luxembourg, Luxembourg-Merl, 18:30

Indian chamber


Thu 24 April

Transatlantic talks

Five candles

The Indian Business Chamber of Luxembourg celebrates its fifth anniversary during this informative and festive event. Venue to be announced, 18:00

Luxembourg’s investment fund industry association hosts a one day conference on “regulations that impact global fund distribution” featuring informative seminars and networking sessions. RBC, Esch-Belval, all day event

shop & tastings

Have a suggestion?

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

(in the commercial area Troc / Catclub / Surfin / Dété)

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11/03/14 13:37

TUESday, 3 JUnE 2014 From 8.00 a.m to 1.15 p.m.

Looking into the future of financial services

Philharmonie luxembourg

With PIERRE GRAMEGNA, the luxembourg minister of Finance, as guest speaker FoR MoRE INFoRMAtIoN

Organised by


Media partner

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Monoprix France’s Monoprix chain of city supermarkets has opened its first store in Luxembourg in the former premises of Alima on rue du Fort Bourbon in the Gare neighbourhood. The 1,300 m2 store sells brand and own label food, personal care products and clothing for all the family. The store is aimed at being a neighbourhood supermarket for the Gare area’s international clientele.


Bo.Optic New opticians Bo.Optic has opened in a renovated block on the côte d’Eich. Qualified optician Anne Berthol says she takes time to get to know her customers and find the right pair of spectacles to suit their face (she is also a visagiste). The store, in a discreet and warm setting, offering a range of brands by designers such as Marni, Vera Wang, Clayton Franklin, John Varvatos and Caroline Abram.

Olivier Minaire

Alongside the Schueberfouer fun fair and the Octave pilgrimage, the Emaischen market on Easter Monday is one of luxembourg’s longest lasting traditions. Markets take place in the capital city and in Nospelt and date back at least two centuries. In Luxembourg City Emaischen is organised by the Comité Alstad, which was formed in 1937 with a view to revitalising the market. In Nospelt the market takes up a whole weekend of festivities. The unique element of the Easter markets is the Péckvillercher--ceramic whistles in the shape of a bird--but other pottery is also on sale as are those find traditions of crémant, beer and grilled sausages. . Monday April 21, Luxembourg old town and Saturday April 19-Monday April 21, Nospelt, and

Olivier Minaire

Luc Deflorenne

Getting the bird at Emaischen

Palais des thés French chain Palais des thés, which first opened in France some 30 years ago, has opened an outlet in the centre of the capital city, providing tea lovers with a choice of teas including its own signature blends and a selection of rare “grands crus” teas available for limited periods only. The tea palace also sells teaware accessories and gifts including Japanese porcelain and books on tea.

Maria Bonita Brazilian restaurant Maria Bonita has had a successful opening in Clausen thanks for its unique take on lunch and dinner. Lunch is a buffet based on the very Brazilian “akilo” principle of paying for the weight of food on your plate. Evenings are dedicated to the rodizio grill, featuring a starter and then a choice of 18 different types of meat and followed by ­dessert. It also has a traiteur service.

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Niamh and Joe Huggard and Fiona Mulhern

Jury president Yvonne O’Reilly with Bernard Biggar

Rose of Tralee

Niamh is queen of the ball

New Rose Niamh Bergin (second left) is congratulated by 2011 Rose Aisling Micallef and friends

At the annual Luxembourg Rose Ball, Kilkenny born Niamh Bergin was chosen to represent Luxembourg at the regional finals of the Rose of Tralee in Portlaoise in May. Niamh says she will be proud to represent the Grand Duchy. Indeed, the 24-year old enjoyed her time in Luxembourg as a student intern with SES so much that she returned to find work here after graduating and is currently employed at the Bank of New York Mellon. Guests at the gala dinnerdance, hosted by Jim Kent, were treated to an evening celebrating the very best of Irish, including a dance exhibition by young members of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. Ambassador Diarmuid O’Leary delivered a poignant and witty speech in which he praised the Luxembourg Rose Committee for its efforts in promoting Ireland in the “best possible light”. Niamh was chosen by a jury headed by Yvonne O’Reilly ahead of fellow Roses Aishling Mulhern, Bridget Connolly, Fiona Fage and Orla Murray. DR

Helen Barker, Annabel Blaine, Clemmie McCallum and Carole Miltgen

Geraldine Cassells, Paul Evans, Grainne Corr and Thérèse Collins

More photos from the event at: Julie Whelen, Cynthia Albrecht and Mimmi Oedman Photographed by Steve Eastwood

Lolita Schoepler, MC Jim Kent and Clementine Fun

Niamh Huggard in ‘Helga’ guise and Tom Leick-Burns

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann dancers


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12/03/14 11:28





play share vibrate dream read




ANTONIA 27.03.2014









MARGIE KINSKY 04.04.2014

MEIKE GARDEN 26.04.2014




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International singles

Fifty ways to meet your lover (or at least make friends) Lonely in Luxembourg? Take some initiative to make new friends or meet that someone special: social networks, countless clubs and other activities provide plenty of opportunities. Text by Wendy Winn Photography by Annabelle Denham


ometimes life is too hard to be alone, and sometimes life is too good to be alone.” Author ­Elizabeth Gilbert put it perfectly in her book, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage. While it’s all well and good to like your own company and know how to savour your solitude, there’s so much in life that’s better shared. Tables for two. Jokes. Thunderstorms. Taxis. Movies. Weekends. Bed. But what if you don’t have anyone to share those things with? No friends to cook for, no one to kiss goodnight? Well apparently, it doesn’t have to stay that way--with a little effort you can find just about any kind of relationship you’d like in Luxembourg, from friends for meeting after work to a committed long-term partner or a no-commitment one-night stand. It wasn’t always that easy, which is one reason entrepreneur Jim Kent started up the first speed-dating company in Luxembourg back in 2003 with Rachel Treece. “Remember that this was before Facebook, before internet dating,” he explains. “Now you can find all kinds of social networks and everything online,


Adelina Schatz, Peter Deutschen and Nelly Nasibullova Mixing it up at InterNations

even phone apps for… well, anything, but back then there was really a need for this sort of thing.” Even though they sold the company after 18 months and it soon lost all its speed and puttered out, Kent still sees an advantage to the concept. “No one felt singled out, to make a pun. No one felt like a secondclass citizen coming into the room because they were all singles. The great thing was that we brought ­people together who would never ever have met otherwise, not through work or anything. For example, there was the head of a bank’s legal department who was in her 40s who ended up being in a long-term relationship with a Portuguese train driver in his 20s. And we had about three weddings as a result of our adventure. There’s something about meeting in person, you can actually feel if there’s any chemistry there in a way you just can’t on the internet.” Nearly a decade on, singles--and those “in a relationship” who are just looking for friends--are spoiled for choice in Luxembourg, yet two of the most obvious choices to turn to are InterNations and Meetup, international social groups that

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Café Des Langues Speed talking

are really proving popular locally. When Peter Deutschen moved here from Frankfurt a few years ago, he “knew nobody”, he says. But he had heard of InterNations, and so “basically, as soon as I got internet, about two months after I arrived, I joined. Their subtitle ‘connecting global minds’ caught my attention.” That’s indeed what InterNations strives to do, and what it succeeds at--it has over one million members worldwide and is active in 390 cities, and appeals to people who are working and living abroad and to locals who are closely involved with the international community. InterNations host regular social events, usually drinks at popular bars, like the upcoming March 26 gettogether at Bypass and April 15 mixer at Gloss Bar & Club. “I found it easy to meet people at InterNations; there’s an openness and a friendliness there,” Deutschen says. “I’m now in a group of friends I met there, and we do things outside the group too; we get together on ­Sundays, go to the cinema, but we originally met through InterNations and of course we still go there too,” Deutschen says. Back when he joined,

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Jim Kent Don’t limit yourself to the internet

meetings were monthly and even at a rather small bar, all the attendees easily fit in. Now there are more than 300 people and events are usually by reservation and book up quickly. One of the other 300 local regulars is Uta Michels, a successful, social woman who’s neither lonely nor new to town. “I can really recommend it; it’s super for networking. Even if you have been in Luxembourg for a long time like I have. And for people who are new to Luxembourg, it’s even ­better.” In fact, helping newcomers adjust to expat life is a big part of what they do--they provide free resources and guides on their site as well. Another social group that caters to expats is Meetup. Unlike InterNations, Meetup is a platform for other groups to set up, rather than a single identity (did we say single?). Just clicking onto the site from a local address reveals that there are 98 Meetups within about 150 kilometers of Luxembourg City, and here at home there are plenty of groups and plenty of variety--from the Dances with Fools Philosophy Club and the Single Parents Living in Luxembourg group to Club Photo Luxembourg, Yoga Luxembourg and Lux Meet Greet Discover, which involves locals sharing their love and knowledge of Luxembourg culture and traditions. Other activities recently posted by the Luxembourg Expat and Repat Meetup group include poetry slams, volleyball games, laser tag nights, bowling and football matches, an outing to a comedy club and a ski trip. Of course, you can find individual activities all on your lonesome (don’t take that the wrong way), because there are scores of clubs, groups, classes, networking and national groups here. Just pursue something that interests you, and you’re bound to meet someone else


who at least shares that in common, whether it be beekeeping or learning Mandarin Chinese. We know for a fact that people have fallen in love through Voices International and the New World Theatre Club, but don’t ask us to name names (they’d make such a song and dance about it and get all dramatic). And the Café des Langues is a fine example of really getting people to communicate--they do a spin on speed dating that is all about speed talking--in ­different languages. “There’s so much to do here. People who say there’s nothing to do in ­Luxembourg are completely wrong,” says long term resident Enid Isaac, who has been active in everything from theatre and Toastmasters to the British Ladies’ Club. We caught up with her (barely) as she was heading off for a charity lunch, ironing out details for the annual BLC carboot sale, and organising a club night out for the weekend. “There is every opportunity in the world to meet people here, but these things are not going to come looking for you, you have to go to them. You can’t just sit at home waiting for something to happen.” Ah, there’s the rub. If you want to be with other people, you have to do something all by yourself. You have to find the courage to get out there and go for it..

Get out there American Women’s Club of Luxembourg British Ladies’ Club Café des Langues Club Polyglotte Luxembourg Grand Duchy Hash House Harriers InterNations Irish Club Luxembourg Accueil Meetup natur&ëmwelt New World Theatre Club Serve the City Luxembourg The Second Degree Toastmasters Club Voices International

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Olivier Minaire


Annabelle Denham

Junior squash open The fourth edition of the Luxembourg Junior Squash Open takes place at Top Squash in Sandweiler over the weekend of April 25 to 27. The tournament attracts some hugely talented junior squash players and is a great chance for local youngsters to measure ­themselves against some of the best players in Europe. Supporters can enjoy Top Squash’s new catering facilities by chef Anas Chelei Bentbib.

Transport design Design Friends has invited Paul ­Priestman to give its next public talk at Mudam on April 23. A designer and co-founding director of Priestmangoode, leaders in global travel and transport design, Priestman is described as an inspirational speaker. He believes that design is not just about styling, but about making things better. His lecture on transport design is apt as preparations get underway for Luxembourg’s new tram system.

Launched in January, Avocado is a new online food delivery service that takes a fresh approach to healthy eating. Founder Kristina ­Rasmussen is basically putting into practice what she preaches by ­creating recipes based on fresh, seasonal and organic produce and then delivering to her customers the ingredients they require to make the recipes at home. She enjoys the creative process of putting together menus and testing them. “My target audience is anyone who has a kitchen,” explains the relaxed entrepreneur. “We all want to eat healthily, but often don’t have the time or knowledge required.” Clients can choose a variety of weekly food boxes depending on how many people they are cooking for, the number of meals they want to cook and their dietary requirements--produce is sourced locally as much as possible. Customers can also take a break from their delivery schedule. But above all, Avocado makes eating healthy fun and ­accessible. “Who wants to be lectured?” Kristina asks. “I am a positive person and I really want to convey my knowledge and know how, and people will be open to new ideas if it is delivered in a fun way. The whole concept is supposed to fit around people’s lives, and not the other way around.”

Melusina statue Artist Serge Ecker will see his ­sculpture of mythical mermaid Melusina installed in the Grund next summer after his design won a ­competition launched by the Ville de Luxembourg. The city wants a statue placed near the river Alzette, below the legendary Bock rock, to serve as an iconic symbol of the capital, which last year celebrated its 1,050th anniversary.

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Loft sales A new season of vide-grenier second hand sales on the place Guillaume II, the Knuedler, starts on April 6. Held on the first Sunday of each month from April to October, the sales allow private individuals to rent a stand and sell unwanted items--anything from DVDs to clothes to bicycles and winter tyres. Stands can be booked via email: or by phone: 47 96 42 99.

Olivier Minaire


Avocado’s healthy eats

Olivier Minaire

Schools support The Luxembourgish Schools Support Group (LSSG) is hosting an information evening on Lycée education on ­Saturday March 22 at the Forum ­Campus Geesseknäppchen. The event will allow parents and potential students of Luxembourg state schools to hear a series of presentations and to talk to teachers and students. The programme begins at 9 a.m., admission is free and no prior registration is required.

Hrefna Einarsdóttir

Happ evenings Hugely popular at lunchtimes, Happ in Limpertsberg is now open on weekday evenings until 9 p.m. This makes it a perfect place to take in a healthy dinner before a visit to the Utopia ­cinema down the road. Or take ­advantage of its take-out service to order a delicious meal packed with fresh ingredients. Menus include ­vegetarian options and healthy curries as well as Happ’s famous pizza.

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Photo : Angelo Mazzoncini Photo : Angelo Mazzoncini

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Sabrina Deisges, Sarah Van de Weg and Kirsten Conran Bringing local and international communities together


Embracing Luxembourg Born out of a desire to do something for the international community, the Lux Meet Greet Discover group is making a valuable contribution to integration. Text by Duncan Roberts Photography by Steve Eastwood


uxembourger Sabrina Deisges did not have much contact with English-speaking expats before her son Noah started attending the International School of Luxembourg. Nevertheless, she was surprised to learn how little many parents from the international community knew about local traditions and the pastimes. “I had the idea they were stuck in their own community. However, many Luxembourgers also do not know many people in the international community.” Thus was born the idea of bringing the communities together by introducing international families to local daily life, and Sabrina launched Lux Meet Greet Discover. Sabrina soon met Sarah van de Weg and Kirsten Conran and they have now become an indomitable team that offers an alternative to what many other English-speaking social groups provide. “When you go to an American Women’s Club event, it feels like little America,” says Sarah. “It’s a nice safe haven


to have something you can identify with,” concurs Kirsten. “But to not expand beyond that seems to be a waste. If you are only here for a limited time, why not immerse yourself and take away as much knowledge of Luxembourg as possible? I mean, it is an amazing country.” By introducing expats to local customs, the group feels it is also actively keeping those traditions alive. For instance, a Liichtmessdag art and craft afternoon in which children made their own lanterns and then walked as a group around the capital singing the traditional Liichtmessdag song was appreciated as much by locals in the city as by the kids and their parents. “It is easy to see how traditions might get lost when there are 69 percent foreigners living in the city,” says Sarah. A similar workshop at the Casino for kids to make their own Peckvillercher bird is being held just before Easter. Events for adults have included brewery tours, skittles evenings, cooking classes in Luxembourg

cuisine and dinners at local restaurants. Sabrina explains that institutions and companies have also been extremely accommodating, and Sarah is keen to laud artist Ben Carter for his contributed artwork to the website. The group, which has also launched a corporate tours service, sends out a newsletter of upcoming events to anyone who signs up--there is no membership fee--and attracts a diverse audience. “People tell me what they like about our group is not just going out, but also actually discovering something,” says Sabrina. “It can be intimidating going to local events without knowing anyone,” says Kirsten. “But if you are brought in by a local and introduced, it becomes an entirely different thing that allows people to integrate. We have something to offer each other and what we give back is mutually beneficial.”.

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Director Eileen Byrne Best ­co-production winners Baddy Minck and Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu, Film Fund president Guy Daleiden, and Kate O’Toole Actor Hervé Sogne, dancer Sylvia Camarda, former minister Alex Bodry and Martine Kohn

Lëtzebuerger Filmpräis

Doudege Wénkel triumph

Actor Fernand Fox and prime minister Xavier Bettel

Bookies favourite Doudege Wénkel claimed the main award and two others at the 2014 Lëtzebuerger ­Filmpräis at a gala ceremony at Monopol 2 on March 7. Christophe Wagner’s noirish thriller set in Luxembourg City won the best Luxembourg film award and lead actor Jules Werner also picked up the “best artistic contribution” prize while cinematographer Jack Raybout was awarded the “best technical contribution” prize. Amour Fou’s Hannah Arendt won the best coproduction prize, while Oscar nominee Ernest & Célestine was honoured as the best animated coproduction. Oscar winner M. Hublot was unsurprisingly given the best short animated film prize. First time director Julien Becker picked up the best short film prize for his stylish short film fantasy 22:22 while veteran Pol Cruchten won the best documentary for Never Die Young. The 2014 awards were the first in which winners were selected by members of the newly founded D’Filmakademie rather than a jury. DR

Julien Becker won the best short film prize

The “M. Hublot” team picked up their second prize of the week

More photos online at: Photographed by Charles Caratini

Actor Patrick Hastert and Mike Koedinger

Luxembourg City mayor Lydie Polfer, Françoise Nilles and Andy Bausch

Economy minister Étienne Schneider

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Spring/summer fashion

Colour is key and orange is the new black Spring is in the air, the evenings are getting longer and bird song welcomes us to each new day. This may sound like the opening line of a Disney movie, but it is true. After one of the mildest winters in recent history, trees are already in bloom and bulbs are beginning to pop up here and there, ­bringing a splash of much needed colour. Delano talks with fashion ­consultant Wendy Casey. Text by Margaret Ferns Photography by Steve Eastwood


s in nature, fashion is also emerging from the dark tones of winter to embrace light and colour in preparation for spring and summer 2014. According to image and fashion ­consultant Wendy Casey, “now is the time to appreciate what we have; to embrace our body shapes, accentuate our assets, camouflage those liabilities and achieve the very best possible look.” Looking our very best, claims Casey, ­ is not about the dramatic weight loss and surgery often portrayed in makeover programmes, but is simply about making the best of what we have based upon the three essential pillars of fashion--colour, cut and fabric. “Colour is key,” she insists. “Get it wrong and no matter how expensive the ­garment, it will look hideous. Get it right and combine it with a cut and fabric that suits your body shape and you are on to a winner.” It is all change in terms of colour in ­Luxembourg for the new season. Gone are the darks and black of winter to be replaced by a kaleidoscope of colours and patterns that can be mixed and matched to suit tastes, shapes and budgets of course. We are still only at the very start of economic recovery after all and, according to Casey, “high street can look as good as haute ­couture when chosen carefully.”


“Pastels are key; powdery baby blues, dusky pinks as well as pale lemons and minty greens are so on trend,” Casey explains. “These can be worn with black and also white this season while shots of orange and teal provide strength of colour. In fact, you could even say that orange is the new black for spring/­summer 2014.” Anything goes it seems in terms of print too. Casey reports that tropical flora, jungle prints, birds of paradise and Hawaiian patterns will join forces with polka dots, stripes and zig zags this spring to make shop fronts look more like exotic island paradises than places of business. She has a word of caution, however: “Patterns do tend to make us look bigger. So if you are on the larger side go for small motifs on darker backgrounds to achieve a slimming effect.” As for fabric, lace and transparent chiffon are making a welcome comeback, as are denim and leather. “Black chiffon in particular is very flattering on most colourings and matching a pastel lace shirt with a long, full leather or denim skirt creates great contrast and will look fantastic.” However, colour, cut and fabric are not only essential for women. “Colourful checks and ginghams are coming in for men too, which can be matched with the pale bleached denim look that is becoming popular.”

Skinny jeans in colourful printed fabrics and worn rolled or turned-up above the ankle and high-waisted skirts that elongate legs and flatten tummies will be a welcome sight for many women, as well as the classic pencil skirt that Casey says “is back with a vengeance.” That said, the mini-skirt is still around, as are long, A-line and voluminous, tulle ballerina skirts. Paired with the ever popular biker jacket, any of these styles will provide a timeless look for all ages. However, another word of caution from Casey: “If you opt for a biker’s jacket, or even a bomber jacket, which is also becoming popular again, get it fitted properly. Baggy jackets should not be seen and biker jacket sleeves should be bracelet length and no longer.” Be your colours bright and bold, your fabric leather or lace, there is something for everyone’s taste this season. Where can all this be found for the style conscious shopper in Luxembourg? Casey is photographed here with a client in one of her favourite fashion spots, Casting at the Belle Étoile in Bertrange. Her other top tips range from haute couture to high street: local designer Jael Curiel, Hermès, Massimo Dutti, Zara, Bram and even Auchan and the Belle Étoile, where “you can find ­everything under one roof.”.

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Get in touch Wendy Casey

Wendy’s useful addresses Auchan shopping centre Luxembourg-Kircherg

Belle Étoile shopping centre Route d’Arlon, Bertrange

Bram Shopping Centre City Concorde, Bertrange

Casting Belle Étoile shopping centre, Bertrange Tel: +352 26 11 93 30

Hermès 13 rue Philippe II, Luxembourg-Centre

Jael Curiel Galerie Louvigny, LuxembourgCentre

Massimo Dutti 37 Grand-Rue, Luxembourg-Centre

Zara Shops throughout Luxembourg

Wendy Casey On left at Casting

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16 live shows


The first music festivals of the year--Out of the Crowd and Printemps Musical--bring a wave of eclectic optimism to Luxembourg venues this Spring. Classical music stars such as Anne-Sophie Mutter and Yuja Wang grace the ­Philharmonie stage and there is stand-up comedy and vibrant dance as well.

Metronomy Favourites with Luxembourg audiences, Brighton-based electro-pop outfit ­Metronomy returns to the Grand Duchy for a third gig following appearances at Exit07 and the Sonic Visions festival. Latest album Love Letters has received favourable reviews and looks set to win over new fans of the band’s bright and bushy tailed, sunset flavoured pop tinged with distinctly funky rhythms. March 31, Rockhal, Esch-Belval,



Danza Contemporánea

Julien Bourgeois

Exhilarating dance troupe Danza ­ ontemporánea de Cuba’s show C includes George Céspedes’ Mambo 3XXI, which in 2010 was nominated for an Olivier Award and Rafael Bonachela’s ­spectacular Demo-n/Crazy. The T ­ elegraph says the show is “performed in perfect synch with such sexy intensity, you can’t tear your eyes away.” April 22 & 23, Grand Théâtre, Luxembourg-Limpertsberg,

Harald Hoffmann


Out of the Crowd

Eclectic circus The 2014 festival season in Luxembourg kicks off with the Kulturfabrik’s eclectic one-dayer. Founded in 2004, Out of the Crowd has hosted a slew of up and coming bands who have gone on to find critical acclaim and commercial success such as Battles, BRNS, And So I Watch You From Afar, Baths and Minus the Bear. Organised by the Schalltot Collective, which has joined forces once again with Exit07, the festival this year features bands from Ireland, Portugal, France, Austria, Germany, the UK and Luxembourg spanning electro, ambient, math rock, pop-rock, indie and post-rock. Our pick of the line-up would be poetic Manchester quartet Money (photo) fronted by vocalist Jamie Lee who, says The ­Guardian, “can do enigmatically gruff as well as fervid and angelic”. But other acts well worth catching at the festival include Irish math-rock experimentalists Alarmist, London based indie-electro outfit Breton, Austrian electro dance pioneers Elektro Guzzi (who have played in Luxembourg several times before) and Luxembourg’s very own Artaban. The festival also features a free art exhibition, this year consisting of a one-day happening of sound-art installations.. April 19, Kulturfabrik, Esch-sur-Alzette,

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Anne-Sophie Mutter World-renowned violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter is the soloist when the acclaimed City of Birmingham Symphony ­Orchestra gives a concert at the ­Philharmonie at the end of March. ­Mutter will be the star turn when the orchestra, conducted by Andris Nelsons, performs Johannes Brahms’ violin concerto. Also on the ­programme is Igor Stravinsky’s Petrushka. March 31, Philharmonie, ­Luxembourg-Kirchberg,

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Andro誰d tablet Application

An application by Bunker palace

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09 Sandrine Monteiro


John Mayall


There are few challengers to the throne of John Mayall as the godfather of British blues. The guitarist, keyboard player and singer launched the careers of Eric Clapton and Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green among others. Mayall turned 80 last November but is still going strong and is touring with his current band, with whom he has formed a strong bond since 2010. April 17, Rockhal, Esch-Belval,

Luxembourg-based female jazz trio Kalima plays a selection of songs from last year’s acclaimed Everything Within album. The trio, featuring Sascha Ley on vocals, Laia Genc on piano and Anne Kaftan on soprano sax and bass clarinet, won the audience choice award at the Tremplin Jazz d’Avignon Festival in 2009. They play what they describe as “uninhibited and intimate jazz.” April 3, Théâtre municipal, Esch-sur-Alzette,



Sahara Soul A concert featuring artists from different regions of Mali includes Grammy Award nominated Bassekou Kouyate (photo), whose music is rooted in the Bamana tradition. Also on the bill are Sidi Touré from Gao, whose Songhai folk songs, fuse storytelling with magical-realism and Touareg band Tamikrest playing unique brand of desert blues, hypnotic dub and psychedelic rock. March 29, Philharmonie, Luxembourg-Kirchberg,

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Lucas Allen

Sohn Hailed as a new star of electronica, Sohn is about to release his debut album, Tremors, on 4AD. He has been championed by the likes of Radio One’s Zane Lowe (who made latest single ‘Artifice’ his “Hottest Record in the World”) and Pitchfork is also impressed, hailing last year’s track ‘Bloodflows’ for its “silky vocals and understated, mellow tempos.” April 9, Exit07, Luxembourg-Hollerich (promoted by Rockhal),

Pops at the Phil

Ute is Pops Gast guest German chanteuse Ute Lemper is in the spotlight as the guest performer at this year’s Pops at the Phil concert featuring local ­composer Gast Waltzing ­conducting the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg. Lemper began her singing career as a teenager in a jazzrock outfit before ­graduating from dance school in Cologne and drama school in Vienna. She landed the lead roles in musicals such as Cats in Vienna and Cabaret in Paris, but it was an acclaimed recording of songs by Kurt Weill released in 1987 that brought her to public attention in the English-speaking world. Lemper’s expressive voice, sultry cabaret looks and charismatic stage presence helped propel her into the spotlight and she soon caught the attention of film makers and fashion editors (most famously appearing naked and pregnant in Robert Altman’s Prêt-à-Porter). But more recently Lemper has been focusing again on her singing career and she has also turned her hand to songwriting, and her most recent album was her musical interpretation of 12 poems by Pablo Neruda. But with Gast Waltzing the programme will feature a selection of ­chanson that she has made integral to her repertoire. They include Weill’s ‘Surabaya Johnny’, Edith Piaf’s signature ‘La vie en rose’, and Jacques Brel’s ‘Ne me quitte pas’ and ‘Amsterdam’. April 24, Philharmonie, Luxembourg-Kirchberg,

Daniel Regan/Decca

Christian Pitschl


Brahms concert Renowned Chinese pianist Yuja Wang returns to the Philharmonie for a concert with Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos (photo) featuring Brahms’ three violin sonatas. The musicians played the programme at the Verbier festival last summer and reviews revealed their ­growing confidence and rapport. April 2, Philharmonie, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, 11

Halls Londoner Sam Howard’s music as Halls has been described as “avant-garde, postdubstep ambient soul/pop.” He certainly has widened his scope with new release Love to Give, which is a warmer and more human record, says Howard, than acclaimed but dark debut album Ark. The Line of Best Fit says the album is an “enlightened evolution… grander, more organic…” and gave it 8.5 out of 10. March 28, Exit07, Luxembourg-Hollerich,

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Printemps Musical

Matthieu Zazzo

Global beatbox



Sakiko Nomura

Ennio Morricone Undoubtedly among the most famous film score composers of all time, Ennio Morricone comes to d’Coque as part of his current tour to celebrate his 50 years of music. Morricone shot to fame in the 1960s with his work for the so-called spaghetti westerns such as For A Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. More recently his instantly recognisable work has been used by Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained and Kill Bill. He was awarded an honorary Oscar in 2007--the only film composer to have been granted that honour. April 9, d’Coque, Luxembourg-Kirchberg,


Hiromi Nate Chinen in The New York Times called jazz pianist Hiromi Uehara’s live performances “a whirligig of jazz, ­generating electricity.” Performing at the Philharmonie for the second time, the Japanese artist trained as a classical pianist but nowadays brings to her performances a range of genres and musical style including progressive rock and jazz. April 1, Philharmonie, Luxembourg-Kirchberg,

Toy New psychedelia band Toy was formed in 2010 from the ashes of indie band Joe Lean & the Jing Jang Jong and at the end of last year released its second album Join The Dots. Packed with jangly guitars, clever pop melodies and a whirlwind of trippy sounds, the album received plenty of favourable reviews in the music press. NME said it “maintains Toy’s stance as masters of creativity and control, and expands it,” while even The Guardian was prompted to see that the band “are slowly maturing, working out what they want to do.” April 10, Soulkitchen, Luxembourg-Gare,


Eric Chenal


Emerging world music talent, veteran musicians from the R&B and jazz scene and global superstars form the line-up for the 32nd Printemps Musical festival, organised by the Luxembourg City Tourist Office. The programme in March features Italian vocalist and pianist Raphael Gualazzi, a runner up at the 2011 ­Eurovision Song Contest, playing at den Atelier, which is also the venue for a concert by The James Brown Band--the last troupe that the legendary R&B singer toured with before his death in 2006. Africa is the focus of three of the four concerts on the festival programme in April. Balafon player and singer Mamadou Diabate from Burkina Faso brings his Percussion Mania band to Abbaye de Neumünster, while soulful Nigerian-American songstress and poet Iyeoka Ivie Okoawo (photo) plays den Atelier. Also appearing at the Hollerich venue is Grammy winning Angélique Kidjo. The April programme is completed by French singer Thomas Fersen, who brings his Ginger Accident project to den Atelier. May sees legendary drummer Ginger Baker and his Jazz Confusion band featuring Pee Wee Ellis on tenor sax play at den Atelier while the Juan de Marcos Afro Cuban All Stars play the Philharmonie. The festival is rounded off with more Latin music as Gilberto Santa Rosa performs at den Atelier. Until June 1, den Atelier, Luxembourg-Gare, Abbaye de Neumünster, Luxembourg-Grund, Philharmonie, Luxembourg-Kirchberg,

Passions et Lamentations A mini festival of religious music to coincide with Easter, Passions et ­Lamentations features three ­concerts at Abbaye de Neumünster. The first concert by CantoLX (photo), titled The Lamb, includes works by Thomas Tallis, William Byrd and John Taverner. That is followed by a recital from Russian pianist Alexei Lubimov, while CantoLX returns for the final concert title Meta/ (M)Orpheus. April 17 to 19, Abbaye de Neumünster, Luxembourg-Grund,

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Happy kids: indoors & out

Spring is near and kids are ready to get some fresh air, but the weather isn’t always inviting. We’ve got some great ideas for outdoor fun to shake off the winter doldrums, and a few to put in your pocket for a rainy day. Text by Wendy Winn


Upper Sûre Nature Park

Nature Park Upper Sûre

Horsing around

Holy cow! Right in the heart of Luxlait land, learn how milk goes from a cow to the carton on your breakfast table. There are 45 interactive stations where kids can learn all about dairy production, but there are also areas to learn about the body and health in general. Plus, you can enjoy a meal and try delicious and unusual recipes made with dairy products. There’s a 3D cinema, cooking workshops and on Sundays, an all-you-can-eat buffet. Guided tours by reservation.



Teach the kids about the place they live by taking a visit to the Luxembourg City History Museum, where a mermaid greets you in the entrance and explains the capital’s mythical ­origins. Touch screens, topographical models and more provide a great overview of the city’s more than a thousand years of history, and the setting in the Marché-aux-Herbes is evocative of 17th century life.

Ville d’Esch-sur-Alzette


From Melusina to multimedia


Bowlingcenter Fuussekaul




What better way to explore the beautiful nature of the Esch-sur-Sûre area than by hopping in the ­saddle and taking a leisurely tour? Upper Sûre Nature Park has some 120km of riding routes through the park and even lodging for riders and their horses available at 11 spots along the way. If you don’t have a horse, you can hire horses at two nearby locations, or opt for the bike paths instead. If you don’t have a bike, you can rent one from the Hotel de la Sûre or the “im Aal” campground. And of course, if n­ either of those ideas appeals, you can always hoof it. Speaking of accommodation, you and the family can stay in ­Luxembourg’s very first “hay hotel”--it’s the nearby Toodlermillen inn. Yes, horses are welcome at the Toodlermillen, but they’re not allowed to eat the mattresses. If that’s got you feeling wholesome and healthy, rise early and take a walk along the educational path in the Toodlermillen organic farm. Gosh, but aren’t your cheeks rosy?.

Bowl them over

Day in the park

Less than an hour’s drive from the capital is the kind of place parents dream of on a rainy day. A place where they can take kids of all ages, tiny tots to nearly teens for a day of bowling, bowling’s cousin keelen, air hockey, a huge climbing park and enjoying kid-pleasing snacks like pizza while the menu du jour offers ­delicious more up-scale fare. The All in Family Fun Center has a “play in” and a “bowl in” area, and also hosts birthday parties.

An artificial waterfall, an English garden, a wildlife enclosure, rose gardens, ­contemporary sculpture and walks along the cliffs, overlooking the city of Esch-sur-Alzette… now that’s a municipal park! The Gaalgebierg--just minutes from the city centre--offers numerous walking paths, a natural s­ kating rink, areas to play pétanque and--a kids’ favourite--the animal park. There are also basketball and tennis courts, a f­ootball stadium and a campground.

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Enjoy Spring at Utopolis & Ciné Utopia! Bring your friends & family and enjoy the Easter Holidays with great movies, early screenings, chocolate eggs & more… Special family price* 6,20€/ family member • Children (<12 years) 5,70€ *For more information

Coyote Café, Club 5, Dean & David, Meneghino, McDonald’s, Nemo’s, Q45, Tie Break Café

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 Nicola Ross

Nature at its best A school nurse is expecting a house full of puppies and a couple of lambs this spring. Text by Tonya Stoneman Photo by Olivier Minaire


ntil recently, there were three generations of Golden Retrievers living in Nicola Ross’ house--the grandmother, the mother and the daughter. Now it’s just the latter two. “The mother is named Brontë, as in Emily,” says Nicola. “We call the daughter Chilli. She’s hot stuff.” The family also includes a few sheep, notably an ewe named Buttercup (an orphan she once nursed with a bottle), a cat who thinks the dogs are his mamas and three human children. For a place with so many inhabitants, the home is relatively serene, but that’s about to change. Buttercup is expecting babies. Nicola has always loved animals, in particular dogs. When she was 15, she initiated the breeding of her Boxer named Banker and oversaw the delivery of six pups with the help of a family vet. About 10 years ago, she got back into the puppy business as a hobby breeder delivering only one litter every two or three years. In the meantime, she is a member of the Luxembourg Retriever’s Club and shows her dogs on the local circuit-Brontë placed 3rd in the open class at the Luxem­ bourg International Dog Show 2006. “When my children were young, I wanted to be at home with them. Breeding dogs was a nice thing to do at home,” Nicolas recalls. “We got our first Retriever from Germany and she was such a lovely placid dog that I thought it was a shame not to breed her. It’s a fantastic thing to watch the puppies grow up.” A typical litter is about six puppies, but Nicola has delivered as many as 11 before. The birth of pups is a scene of delightful bedlam. “I sleep with them all on the kitchen floor for the first week,” she says. “They keep me up all night. It’s quite intense.” For the first four weeks, the puppies don’t do much aside from nursing and staying close to their mother. As they get older, they go out into a large garden adjoining the house. “It’s eight weeks of lovely chaos,” says Nicola. The dogs

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are with her all the time, even taking trips in her car. And then it all stops. Finding homes for the pups is the most difficult part of the process. When she can no longer give the puppies what they need, Nicola carefully chooses buyers. Finding interested parties is not the challenge--Golden Retrievers are a popular breed in Luxembourg. They are intelligent and integrate easily into families. But she has to be comfortable with the decision about where the puppies are placed and she likes to stay in contact with the new owners. Nicola is a part-time school nurse and she is really hoping that Chilli will get pregnant soon and deliver during the coming school break. “This will be the first litter for her, but she’s a good dog and I have my kids to help me,” she says. Meanwhile, Buttercup is expecting lambs. Normally, she has two, and she resides in the forest on the Ross’ property, so they won’t be born in the kitchen. Soon things will change in the Ross home, but Nicola is up to the challenge. “I love all of it,” she says. “It’s magic from the beginning. Sometimes it’s quite a lot, but once the dog has given birth and the worry is gone, I love all of it. Its nature at its best.”.

Dog show

All aspects of raising and caring for dogs will be featured during the International Dog Expo, which takes place Saturday March 29 & Sunday March 30 at Luxexpo.

Nicola Ross Loves the magic of dog breeding

  april 2014

12/03/14 10:23


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Delano April 2014  

Delano Magazine April 2014

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