# 54 O CTO B E R
L U X E M B O U R G
E N G L I S H
THE EXPAT OF THE FUTURE E U L D B E IN ST O R O C S E G N A H C W H AT CE R G ’S W O R K FO R U O B M E X LU R FO
C U RRE NT AFFAIR BU S IN E SS LIFE STYLE
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
POOR J U DG E M E N SPARK T BACKLA S SH O
Wit Luxem h just over a y bo ea the CS urg votes in n r to go until V party ational ’s he ele have ha d nega adline hitting ctions, tive rep ercussi antics ons.
ne of the first lessons foreign journalists The furore over Engel’s statement has at arriving in the grand duchy in the least died down, though may be reprised early 1990s were given was that making any the closer we get to the October 2018 allusion to the Nazi occupation of Luxem- elections. But over at the Luxemburger Wort, bourg during WWII should be careful, the ramifications of the resignation of considered and meticulous. CSV MEP Frank editor-in-chief Jean-Lou Siweck over a Engel apparently ignored this sage advice disagreement with the newspaper’s board, when criticising prime minister Xavier Bettel presided by former CSV cabinet minister for appointing his friend Laurent Loschetter Luc Frieden, is likely to linger longer. Frieden to preside over state radio and the Catholic church, 100,7. Engel said the govwhich owns the Saint-Paul ernment was undertaking publishers of the Wort, want “LUC FRIEDEN the newspaper to revert to the greatest purge of the civil SEEMS TO BE service since the Zivilverwalits traditional right of centre tung--the administration that editorial policy--a position OUT OF TOUCH was imposed during the from which it had noticeably WITH PUBLIC occupation. Engel even said shifted under Siweck’s stewSENTIMENT.” he had “weighed his words”. ardship. Luxembourg’s daily However, it seems to have newspapers have traditionally been an uncharacteristic been linked to particular misjudgement. To use the term “Zivilver- political parties, but a younger generation waltung” and then claim that anyone “who of journalists are trying to provide more immediately draws comparisons with the balance and integrity to their reporting. To Nazi regime in this context has no arguments jeopardise that is a risky move and proves left”, as Engel did, is spurious at the very once again that, though he possesses a least. The original statement was issued on brilliant intellect, Frieden seems to be out Facebook, a medium that is awash with users of touch with public sentiment. He has eager to prove Godwin’s law (“As an online badly underestimated the esteem in which discussion grows longer, the probability of Siweck was held by his journalists and a comparison involving Hitler approaches readers, and it could come back to bite the 1”). Perhaps, if he had been speaking in fortunes of the paper and the CSV party. parliament instead of posting on social media during the summer recess, Engel would have DUNCAN ROBERTS Editor-in-chief chosen his words more wisely.
ON MY MIND Wondering will the local elections on 8 October provide any upsets--Preparing for the second Delano Live evening on 9 November--Staying fit during the corporate event season--Deciding whether to go to Gorillaz or not. October 2017
DJtiser n; diː’dʒeitaizər (m); Digital transformation Beatmatching business models
#letsgolux © 2017 PricewaterhouseCoopers, Société coopérative. All rights reserved.
Write to PO Box 728 L-2017 Luxembourg Offices 10 rue des Gaulois, Luxembourg-Bonnevoie ISSN 2220-5535 Web www.maisonmoderne.com Founder and chairman Mike Koedinger CEO Richard Karacian Administrative and financial director Etienne Velasti Phone (+352) 20 70 70-150 Fax (+352) 29 66 19 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Editor in chief Duncan Roberts (email@example.com) Desk editor Aaron Grunwald (firstname.lastname@example.org) Journalists Jess Bauldry (email@example.com) Natalie Gerhardstein (firstname.lastname@example.org) Martine Huberty (email@example.com) Contributors Isabella Eastwood, Stephen Evans, Marina Lai, Alix Rassel, Sarita Rao Intern Laurence Schaack Photography Sven Becker, Marion Dessard, Lala La Photo, Mike Zenari Proofreading Pauline Berg, Laura Dubuisson, Sarah Lambolez, Elena Sebastiani DESIGN Phone (+352) 20 70 70-200 Fax (+352) 27 62 12 62-84 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Director, Maison Moderne Studio Guido Kröger Creative director Jeremy Leslie Studio manager Stéphanie Poras-Schwickerath Art director Sascha Timplan Layout Tae Eun Kim (coordination), Ivan Labalestra
DELANO OCTOBER 2017 CURRENT AFFAIRS COVER STORY 24
THE EXPAT OF THE FUTURE Luxembourg’s economy thrives on an immigrant workforce which has evolved in ways that no-one could have predicted 30 years ago. What changes are in store?
OPEN YOUR HOME
Can you offer a refugee a place to live for a year?
ADVERTISING Phone (+352) 20 70 70-300 Fax (+352) 26 29 66 20 E-mail email@example.com Partner-director, advertising sales Francis Gasparotto (firstname.lastname@example.org) Sales manager Luciana Restivo (email@example.com) SUBSCRIPTIONS For subscriptions, please visit www.delano.lu Luxembourg (shipping included) 1 year / 8 issues / 25 euros 2 years / 16 issues / 50 euros Europe (shipping included) 1 year / 8 issues / 31 euros 2 years / 16 issues / 68 euros Printed by Imprimerie Centrale Distribution by Valora Services Luxembourg
HIGH STREET BANKS
Why banks still have outlets in prime locations.
The end of fiscal secrecy and the rise of other wealth management players have forced a rethink. More is needed, as new rules are overturning the business model.
In accordance with article 66 of the law of 08.06.2004 on the freedom of expression in the media: the company that publishes Delano is indirectly held, by a stake exceeding 25%, by Mike Koedinger, an independent editor registered in Luxembourg. Mike Koedinger is chartered with daily management. Delano™ and Maison Moderne™ are trademarks used under licence by MM Publishing and Media S.A. © MM Publishing and Media S.A. (Luxembourg) COVER PHOTO
Joël Machado of the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research and Nicolas Hurlin of The Recruiter posed at the Steinmetzdemeyer architecture firm in Luxembourg-Bonnevoie. NOTE TO OUR READERS
The next print edition of Delano will be published on 10 November. For daily news updates, commentary and our weekly what’s on guide, visit www.delano.lu.
FRUIT OF THEIR LABOURS
Delano’s guide to buying organic food and natural health and household products in Luxembourg.
Before you head out on Halloween, beware of the Kropemann.
WARM WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS
FAIR TRADE GOLDSMITH
LYCÉE MICHEL LUCIUS
DELANO DIGITAL HIGHLIGHTS
The state school has opened a new English-language primary section. 70
CARPE DIEM Delano knows what expats did last summer… and now you will too.
Annick Mersch shows Delano her workshop and some of her recent creations.
DAY OF THE PIÑATA
WILDGEN 4 WOMEN
The International School of Luxembourg is looking for alumni. 80
FROM CARACAS TO LUXEMBOURG
Check our website for the latest developments and analysis. icon_website www.delano.lu/current-affairs Verónica Fink-Gonzalez shares her passion for making papier-mâché creations. 16
These lawyers want to empower women in the financial industry. 48
TOP-UP HEALTH INSURANCE What expats need to know about Luxembourg’s system of caisses and mutuelles. 50
Take a peek inside Marianne Da Silva Cardozo’s suitcase. 82
STRESS FREE WEDDINGS
Delano’s quick guide to planning the big day in the grand duchy. 84
CINEAST TURNS TEN
MOONLIGHT SONATA Get hands-on with a Fussball-laying robot, large Tesla coil and a Faraday cage. 20
The film fest will have more than 100 screenings; here are our picks.
Refugees are getting local work experience at this pop-up restaurant. 22
LUXEMBOURG AIR RESCUE
Who called René Closter’s outfit “the best diplomat for Luxembourg”?
A march in Luxembourg to keep the UK in the EU. icon_website www.delano.lu/snapshots
How Philharmonie musicians unwind with uncommon second jobs. 54
DOMAINE ET TRADITION
WANNA BE STARTIN’ SOMETHING?
5 NEW AMBASSADORS
Entrepreneurs talk about launching an e-commerce startup from Luxembourg. 60
TRUMP AND FUNDS
Some promising perspective from a recent fund industry conference. 62
The group of independent vintners keeps setting the bar high.
Grand Duke Henri formally received their credentials in September. icon_website www.delano.lu/pictures
LUXEMBOURG ART WEEK
BUILDING AN EMBASSY
TAKING THE STING OUT OF WORK
DELANO LIVE off the page… We’ve Delano is jumping
-release par ty started hosting a preition comes out. ed nt pri h eac before es live on-stage Delano Live featur jects we cover in sub the on s iew erv int an afterwork open the magazine, and win free passes? to bar. Want a chance page for details. k Check our Faceboo icon_facebook Delano Magazine
The festival keeps growing; here are three shows not to miss. 98
AUNTIE ELEANOR Frank Stoltz talks about beekeeping in Kirchberg as part of the “Clocking off!” series.
Delano’s advice columnist answers reader questions on hunting nutria, meeting singles and tram prangs.
Find a complete line-up of community, culture and networking events. icon_website www.delano.lu/agenda WANT MORE? Sign up for Delano’s “Noon briefing” email newsletter. Go to the bottom of our home page.
Maison Moderne Cour Grand-Ducale LaLa La Photo
Luxembourg’s first ambassador in Latin America talks about his mission.
GETTING YOUR “YES” Discover how one company is combining behavioural science and performing arts to help clients get the most from their critical meetings.
na S. is a senior director of an international cultural agency based in the UK. She believed she was generally a good communicator, but as she was preparing for board presentations she wanted to “ensure I was using the right body language and engaging with senior executives to get my message across”. She decided to take part in a oneday workshop with Rehearse it!, and her agency supported the endeavour as part of her continuous development--just the thing she says she needed to get a “boost of confidence”. Rehearse it! was created in 2016 by Robin Roberts, who spent most of his career as a partner of Egon Zehnder, a leading board-level executive search firm, where he saw many senior, board-level men and women fail to get hired, despite being highly qualified. “That stimulated me to do a lot of research about what happens when we meet people in critical business meetings, when we need a ‘yes’ from them, and they have the power of judgement over us,” he says. Those “critical meetings” include job or promotion interviews, sales proposals, negotiations--any meeting where a “yes” response is needed. There’s something about a critical meeting that “can change our behaviour because there is some jeopardy in it which causes us to be less of ourselves, or not our best,” Roberts says.
POLISHING PERFORMANCE Rehearse it! was Roberts’ solution to the problem: a marriage of behavioural science and the performing arts. Roberts says he can talk about the October 2017
ROBIN ROBERTS founder of “Rehearse it !” and his team follow up with clients and say that 90% of their clients get a “yes” in those critical meetings.
science until he’s “blue in the face” but clients’ behaviour won’t change. That’s where his colleagues--leaders in the performing arts with backgrounds in film, TV and theatre--come in. “There’s a lot of parallel between an audition and a critical meeting but, believe it or not, it’s actually easier for actors in an audition. They only have to be someone else for ten minutes. When they have to be themselves for an hour, like a business person, they find it really hard,” Roberts says. He adds, laughing: “A casting director only needs ten minutes because they are just more honest.” One such colleague is former Royal National Theatre casting director Michele Leach who says she has “an objective, dispassionate eye after years
of watching endless, sometimes terrible, productions.” Leach emphasises the importance of getting a performance “lodged in muscle memory”, adding: “Actors spend hours rehearsing and can repeat perfectly what they did the night before. We give people dot-to-dot instructions, prescriptive tools to help them.” Her colleague, actress and writer Olivia Nixon, agrees on the importance of rehearsal to prepare for a critical meeting. “Your interview is basically an audition. You’re going into a place outside your comfort zone,” she says. Nixon developed, co-wrote and starred in the multi-award nominated BBC four-part series Guilt Trip and is a regular on Radio 4’s award-winning
sitcom Reluctant Persuaders. Nevertheless, she is the first to admit she can be thrown off guard at an audition if she enters a room that doesn’t appear the way she anticipated it. “If you think about the geography of the room before you go into an audition, you are open, calming yourself,” she says. “And those prethoughts help you enormously when those nerves come into play.”
MEASURING SUCCESS Roberts and his team of successful casting directors, actors, film director and theatre director follow up with clients and say that 90% of their clients get a “yes” in those critical meetings. Ana S. also received her “yes”. Her meeting “went very well,” she says, and what surprised her was that from the very first moment when she met representatives from Rehearse it!, she was already in training and didn’t know it. After practicing presenting, she says, “You notice how you didn’t do what you did before naturally. In a certain context, you lose that. But they build up on what you do naturally.” Roberts and his team say it is rewarding to see the transformative power of their approach. Leach, for example, recalls a woman who hid behind her presentation slides which served as “her armour” but was eventually convinced the slides were her own undoing. Nixon and Leach work with client teams as well as individuals. They recognise where one person in the team might be better suited to take charge of one part of the critical meeting --something that might not have been apparent to the team at the outset. They also recall a particularly moving experience working with two paraplegics who were “very senior executives, but they felt at a disadvantage because they weren’t able to stand up and shake hands,” Roberts says.
“Because they were wheelchair-bound, they were forced to be still. But stillness is an amazingly powerful tool to project gravitas.” Leach helped the pair gain confidence in that stillness and said the transformation was “extraordinary” as they learned how “to hold the moment, hold the gaze”.
A RANGE OF CLIENTS Roberts and his team have helped a wide range of clients prepare for critical meetings, and their client list is impressive: members of the Big 4 and “Magic Circle” law firms, JP Morgan, Coca-Cola, the European Commission, and Orange, to name just a few.
Roberts says around 60% of their clients are corporate; when it comes to private clients, approximately 70% are senior level, including partners at private equity firms and FTSE 100 executives, while 30% are junior/ middle management. The only prerequisite is that the individuals be qualified to succeed, which Roberts and his team vet in advance. They have worked with participants from the US, Europe, even as far as Australia, and clients can either travel to London (or use it as a stopover) to use the purpose-built Rehearse it! studio, or Rehearse it! representatives can travel to Luxembourg for workshops on a client’s premises.
“ THERE IS SOME JEOPARDY IN [A CRITICAL MEETING] WHICH CAUSES US TO BE LESS OF OURSELVES...”
BOOKING A WORKSHOP Delano’s sister outfit, Paperjam Club, is growing its service line to offer on-demand, third-party training, meaning that customised Rehearse it! services can be organised on your premises through the Paperjam Club. One-day workshops can be booked for groups of up to eight individuals, or for individuals or smaller teams. Participants will cover the behavioural science and performing arts techniques that underpin the Rehearse it! approach, followed by exercises and rehearsals or every stage of the pending critical meeting. All workshops are customised to meet clients’ needs. firstname.lastname@example.org October 2017
Photography by MARION DESSARD, LALA LA PHOTO, MAISON MODERNE and MIKE ZENARI
ince our last print edition, Luxem bourg’s international community took advantage of the warmer weather to celebrate, network and raise money for worthy causes. Here are just a few of the highlights from events held in July, August and September. More on the Delano website. icon_website www.delano.lu/snapshots
Reported by Jess Bauldry, Isabella
Eastwood, Stephen Evans, Aaron Grunwald, Marina Lai, Louise Rasmussen and Laurence Schaack
CHILDREN’S CHARITIES Over just one day, 160 players--on three teams from the UK, three from Belgium, two from the Netherlands and one from France--hit the pitch for Luxembourg’s 7th Field Hockey Tournament on 8 July, organised by the Luxembourg Hockey Club. icon_website www.hockey.lu A. Rob Reckers, a field hockey player from the Netherlands, signs an autograph for a young fan B. Margot Pels C. Yves Boland and Stephan Bormann D. James Urquhart E. and F. Members of the Luxembourg Elephants team
GIVING KIDS A SPORTING CHANCE Around 65 youngsters discovered new activities at a multi-sports camp organised by Rugby Club Luxembourg. icon_facebook Rugby Club Luxembourg
A. Kids practice rugby on 21 July 2017 B. Danny Ligairi-Badham, one of the camp’s coaches, high-fives a participant C. Charlie Stone (centre) was awarded a cup for most-improved player
ON THE BALL TO FIGHT CANCER Sporty people helped raise over €2,000 for Fondatioun Kriibskrank Kanner and Omega 90, two Luxembourg cancer charities, on 19 August at the annual Kick Cancer Into Touch tournament. icon_facebook KickCancer IntoTouch
GIVING CANCELLED HOLIDAYS A SPIN Four weeks full of gigs, pop-up stores, exhibitions and live cinema ended on 27 August as the Rotondes’ annual “Congés annulés” programme came to an end. icon_website www.rotondes.lu A. Vincent B. Amin with the secondhand bicycle that he just purchased at the pop-up bike fair C. Alison and Alberto D. Sandra and Gonzalo E. Frederic
A. Steve, Patrick and Christopher B. John, Murielle and Julian C. Hugo and Olivier D. Brown Brothers Harriman team E. and F. Walferdange rugby club entered a strong mixed team
SCHOOL FESTIVAL HELPS FAMILIES FIND BEARINGS Newcomers to the grand duchy had a chance to find out about Luxembourg’s English-speaking clubs and businesses on 3 September at the orientation fair organised by the International School of Luxembourg. icon_website www.islux.lu A. Tomo, Hiro, Ryo Takano, Hiro and Kota Yamada B. Elisabeth Thomine at the French club stand C. Mei Henderson (left) and Lynn Frank (centre) staffing Passage parent group’s stand D. Kate, Julia, Landon and Wes Davis E. The Marcus seven
LET’S TASTE CAVIAR ET VODKA East-West United Bank hosted members of the Paperjam Club (part of the same outfit as Delano) on 19 September for a tasting of Russian delicacies. icon_website w ww.paperjam. club
A. Sergey Pchelintsev, Victor Sorokin, Anna Radishevskaia and Evgeniya Sorokina B. A sampling of Boutary caviar C. Antti Kunnas and Monika Michalak B
DIVERSE BUSINESSES Amcham and The Network hosted a workplace diversity conference on 20 September. icon_website www.amcham.lu icon_facebook The Network Luxembourg A. Corinne Cahen, the DP integration minister, shortly before speaking B. Kary Bheemaiah C. Irina Men and Pierre-Adrien Grange D. Christian Muhire & Ilse van Heerden E. Juan Pablo Olaya, Karthik Palaniappan & Mary McIvor F. Martine Neyen & Mohamad Alaajeb
CHARITY QUIZ Sunflower Montessori Crèche’s annual fundraiser on 23 September raised €4,250 to support the Ilula Orphan Programme, which is building a primary school in Tanzania, and Kanner Jugend Telefon, a helpline for children in Luxembourg. icon_facebook Sunflower Montessori A
A. Maria & Evie B. “The Wise Quackers”, the quiz night winning team, with Sunflower’s Sam O’Dea, Tom O’Dea and Helen Clarke C. Looks like The Grinners team got the right answer
DAY OF THE PIÑATA With Día de los Muertos around the corner, Ecuadorean piñata creator Verónica Fink-Gonzalez spills the jelly beans on her passion for these must-have papiermâché party paraphernalia.
ast October, Verónica Fink- Gonzalez completed her most challenging but rewarding piñata project--the creation of Catrina for Luxembourg’s Día de los Muertos celebrations. “Catrina is an iconic figure from Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebrations. Originally she was created to satirise the Mexican aristocracy in the pre-revolutionary era, and she didn’t wear any clothes, only a French hat with ostrich feathers,” she explains. “Today, Catrina can be found wearing the most elegant clothing, and there
are even contests to find her most original representation.” Fink-Gonzalez launched her piñata business in autumn 2015 with a distinctive proposition. She wanted to create something special and unique and therefore no design challenge was too hard to craft. She lovingly creates bespoke piñatas for adults and children, and her repertoire includes everything from Frozen’s Elsa to Donald Trump, Darth Vader to Lord Voldemort, and countless yellow minions, unicorns, dinosaurs and disco balls.
Verónica Fink-Gonzalez poses with some of her recent creations in a portrait by Mike Zenari
THRILLED AND TERRIFIED Piñatas are generally associated with Latin America, but Fink-Gonzalez explains that some historians point to China for their origins. It is thought that the famous traveller Marco Polo saw the Chinese creating colourful paper animal figures for their New Year celebrations. He took the idea to Europe, specifically Italy and Spain, where it attained a religious association with Lent. It later travelled from Spain to Latin America, although there is also evidence to suggest clay pot “piñatas” filled with treasure were offered to idols in Mayan and Aztec traditions. “Mexico adopted a star-shaped piñata with seven axes, each representing a sin. The blindfolded participants struck the piñata in an effort to combat demonic forces and the club they hit it with symbolised virtue. The prize inside was for being faithful to their faith,” explains Fink-Gonzalez. Today piñatas have all but lost their religious association and the clay has been replaced by papier-mâché. INSPIRED BY LATIN ROOTS Fink-Gonzalez, who moved to Luxem bourg 20 years ago, has fond memories of the piñatas that formed part of her family’s celebrations, and it is this which inspired her business in Luxembourg. “From an early age I was always interested in creating things, so I guess it’s no surprise I have combined this love with something I hold dear from my own cultural background,” she admits. She offers bespoke piñatas, piggy banks and mini-piñatas for Halloween and Christmas or as individual gifts. Depending on the specific order it can take her between five and 15 working days to imagine the outcome, decide how to construct it, build it
and then put the finishing touches to her creations. It’s as much science as art, Fink- Gonzalez explains: “First there is the complexity of the model, but I also have to consider the weather forecast to ensure a piñata dries in the right way. Too much of a change in temperature, and the papier-mâché can deflate.” icon_website www.creapinata.eu
6,688 The crime rate per 100,000 residents in 2016 was at its lowest level recorded since 2010.
Reported by SARITA RAO
COMMUNITY PROJECTS DESPERATELY SEEKING NEW HOME Several NGOs need to relocate next spring, and need your help finding space in Luxembourg City.
Marianne Donven was photographed earlier this year by Mike Zenari
All crime figures from “Les chiffres de la délinquance en 2016” released by the police grand-ducale in April 2017
Each piñata provides a new challenge, although she admits to having some sleepless nights working out the underlying engineering for a specific design. “When I receive an order part of me is thrilled by the challenge and terrified at the same time--but I thrive on the adrenalin,” she says.
handful of community projects may soon find themselves homeless after the owners of the building they currently occupy has found a buyer. Among the initiatives affected by the sale of 1 Dernier Sol is Red Cross art initiative Hariko, a collaborative project in which resident artists give workshops to young people in exchange for a low-cost studio. It has had temporary use of the former factory building since 2015 and is now urgently seeking a new home. “For now we’re in the negotiation stages with potential partners,” Chloé Kolb, Red Cross communications officer, told Delano in September, adding: “The Red Cross is convinced that this is a worthwhile mission. While we don’t know what will happen, we’re optimistic.” Project creator Marianne Donven told Delano for its June 2017 print edition that since the project launched in September 2015, they always knew it would be a temporary home. “I think we have the potential to maybe continue in a different way,” she told
Delano at the time. “I cannot imagine Hariko will disappear.” Another project which will be affected is Digital Inclusion, a groundbreaking NGO that aims to offer access to digital technology for people on low incomes, namely refugees, by refurbishing second-hand computers and laptops. Since being founded, the group has distributed over 800 computers to people who could not other wise have afforded one. They also offer training for refugees and employ refugees among their team of three. Digital Inclusion has storage space, an office, and a classroom-makerspace
It’s not easy. You can imagine finding cheap rent in the centre of Luxembourg.” PATRICK DE LA HAMETTE
in 1 Dernier Sol, which it uses in partnership with the Red Cross. “We deliver material to a population that doesn’t have a car. It’s essential for us to be by the gare,” meaning the central train station, founder Patrick De La Hamette said in September. “It’s not easy. You can imagine finding cheap rent in the centre of Luxembourg.” De La Hamette says without a space, they would not be able to exist. He hopes that the organisation will be able to stay at its current address until March 2018. After that, however, it is not clear what will happen. A third organisation, Passerell, will also be affected by the building sale. This NGO fosters social connections between locals and displaced people in Luxembourg through information sharing and activities. Anyone with a space that may be appropriate for these organisations in Luxembourg City is urged to contact the Luxembourg Red Cross.
MAKING SCIENCE HANDS-ON On 5 October, the Luxembourg Science Center opens its doors in Differdange. The current 5,000m2 space, which has already welcomed over 5,000 students, is only phase one of the centre, a place which president Nicolas Didier hopes will “entice students and give them opportunities when it comes to professional vocations.” A second phase is being planned for 2022-2023 in adjacent gas and thermal power plants--what Didier calls an “architectural marvel” and shows Luxembourg’s industrial heritage. Whether playing Fussball against a robot, seeing a large Tesla coil, or smelling roasted cacao beans in the kitchen lab, visitors will be at the heart of the learning experience. NG
DISCOVERY ZONE A. Approximately 50% of the surface area of the centre is workshop space B. President Nicolas Didier (right) demonstrates robot Fussball C. Visitors can manipulate a jet engine through a touchscreen D. Scientific director Guillaume Trap demonstrates how a Faraday cage works E. Nadia Battello animates a kitchen workshop to show how crystals impact flavours F. That heavenly roasted cacao smell? It’s the Maillard reaction at work G. The projected future space includes a historical combustion engine icon_website www.science-center.lu
icon_phone 2755 icon_mail email@example.com
Reported by JESS BAULDRY
106 October 2017
Lala La Photo
The number of rapes reported in Luxembourg in 2016 was the highest recorded in reports available via Statec and over twice the number ten years ago.
SLEEPLESS IN LUXEMBOURG
Founder and president of advocacy and awareness-raising group Time for Equality, Rosa Brignone, and vice president Karen J Wauters say it is time to stop looking away from human exploitation.
he mosquito buzzing in the room is so tiny, so why is it so hard to fall asleep? Perhaps it is not time to sleep. The fact that as a society we have millions of women, men and children trafficked, exploited and trapped in slavery around the world is intolerable and unacceptable. New research released at the UN General Assembly on 19 September revealed the shocking scale of modern slavery worldwide: 40m victims in 2016, among them about 25m in forced labour, 15m in forced marriage. 152m children, between 5 and 17 years old, were subject to child labour. Data shows clearly that women and girls are the most affected, they represent 29m people, 71% of the total. Women represent 99% of the victims of forced labour in the commercial sex industry and 84% of forced marriages. With $150bn in illegal profits, human trafficking is the most lucrative and fastest growing criminal activity after weapons and drugs. Current migrant patterns represent an increasing risk for trafficking, exploitation and abuse of people in vulnerable situations, in particular children, “unaccompanied minors”. We are all concerned. Although illegal in nearly every country, modern slavery persists in every corner of the world, including the most advanced democracies. It also happens in Luxembourg, as
disclosed in the recent report by the Commission Consultative des Droits de l’Homme, the national rapporteur on human trafficking. Behind reports, statistics and data there are real people, like you and us, individual lives that deserve to be lived in dignity and freedom, stories to be shared. We cannot look away. What can you do? Join Luxembourg for Freedom, a community-based campaign launched by Time for Equality. We support 50 for Freedom, an international movement to persuade countries to ratify the International Labour Organization’s protocol on forced labour by 2018. The protocol is a legally binding treaty that will require governments to take new and more effective measures tackling modern slavery in all its forms. Sign up now to show your support for the Luxembourg government to ratify. Slavery and exploitation of human beings have no place in the 21st century. We all have a role to play to end this--business, government, civil society, every one of us. Our actions will make a difference, and if you think the problem is too big for us to have an impact just remember how hard it is to fall asleep with a mosquito in your room. It is time for equality, we must not let society sleep. icon_website www.timeforequality.org icon_website www.50forfreedom.org
10,043 The overall number of thefts in Luxembourg stabilised in 2016, while car thefts decreased to 242, down from 302.
A LEADER ON AID? Luxembourg can be proud of exceeding the United Nations’ goal for development-aid spending in recent years. However, the country is far behind regarding investment in peace-making and peacekeeping forces. A 50% increase in defence spending has been promised, but is this enough?
evoting 1% of national income to development aid puts Luxem bourg in an elite group of six countries that meet or exceed the UN’s target of 0.7%. But for defence, Luxembourg has the lowest rate in Nato, at just 0.4% of national income. This is a fifth of the alliance’s mutually agreed 2% target. The government has just promised to raise spending to 0.6% of GDP by 2020, but this would still put the country at rock bottom. Both aid and defence relate to expenditure largely designed to provide assistance to those in need around the world. Whether it’s keeping the peace, delivering supplies or building infrastructure, armed forces are October 2017
needed. Luxembourg is far from being alone in failing to meet the 2% Nato target: fewer than a third of the alliance’s members do so. Yet so low is Luxembourg’s contribution, that the cumulative total of spending on foreign policy-related projects is amongst the lowest in the developed world. Ireland, a non-Nato member, is one of the few comparable countries to have a lower total. Moreover, the grand duchy also benefits from having 900 staff working at the HQ of the Nato Support and Procurement Agency in Capellen. The government appeared to recognise there was a problem when in July it announced plans to increase the annual defence budget from the current €291m to over €400m by 2020. The government is planning to leverage the country’s existing expertise, including in logistics, and information and communication technologies. For example, a new IT data centre has been built in Betzdorf for use by Nato, there are plans to help Estonia build a cyber defence training centre, satellite communication capacity is to be provided to the alliance by Luxembourg-based satellite firm SES, and there will be additional public research spending into military surveillance technology. As for logistics, the army is expected to take delivery
of its first A400M transport plane in 2019, hardware which will be used in conjunction with the Belgian military. These countries are also planning to work together for the purchase of helicopters. Of course, countries also contribute to doing good in the wider world in other ways than state spending. For example, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided $4.3bn last year, mostly helping in the developing world. This is about as much as the Spanish and Italian states each give in annual development aid. Similarly, the EU won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012, and Luxembourg makes an above average contribution to this success. Nato countries spend over $900bn on defence annually, thus an extra couple of hundred million from Luxembourg won’t be decisive. But should the country be doing more?
SPIKE IN BIKE THEFTS Luxembourg police are warning cyclists to lock their bikes securely after a wave of thefts were reported nationwide during the summer. The full scale of the crime wave is not yet clear as police will not issue a report until the end of the year. However, one can gain a snapshot based on individual reports published on the Police Grand-Ducale press board, which showed that from 9 to 14 August, there were 11 thefts and 1 attempted theft. “We don’t know who the thief is or why they are doing this--whether they are selling them to Eastern Europe and are organised,” police spokesman Serge Arendt told Delano. In some cases, the thefts appear opportunistic. In other cases, they entered private underground garage spaces where owners had often left their bikes unsecured. Bike thefts reached a peak in 2016 when 186 bikes were reported stolen, up from 124 the year before. JB
Reported by STEPHEN EVANS
TARGET SPENDING Share of national income spent on defence and development aid, selected countries Defence
2.7% combined Nato/UN target
3,205 The number of burglaries committed in Luxembourg (excluding failed attempts) continued a three-year downward trend in 2016.
Sources: OECD, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
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STUDENTS IN WINEMAKING
hat is just what economics teacher Marc Pundel, from the Lycée Athénée de Luxembourg, did. He set up an optional course in which final year students learned how to make a white wine which has less alcohol and sugar. In March 2016, they sold their first batch; supermarket chain Cactus immediately bought 1,500 bottles, and the students have already sold another 1,500 via their website. The project could not have been done without the active help of Marc’s brother, who owns a vineyard and makes his own wines. They developed a technique so that the wines were lighter, and had only 9% alcohol. Most modern wines have a much higher percentage of alcohol, of around 13%-14%, which automatically makes them higher in calories. They are “heavier” and cannot be drunk as nonchalantly. Pundel tells Delano that the grapes are not left as long in barrels and the fermentation process has to be stopped earlier. There is also a special yeast which produces less alcohol. “You can measure when the alcohol degree is at 9%, and then you stop the fermentation.” It is then immediately bottled. Their wine is a blend of pinot gris, elbling, riesling and auxerrois. The vinification was handled by his brother. They called it Folie à 9°, because it was a “crazy project,” according to Pundel. He had 16 students to pull this off, not just the process of making wine, but finding the right bottle, brand, setting up the website and marketing. Pundel called the project “Fit for Youth Entrepreneurship,” but had no fixed plan when he started the course. He developed the idea together October 2017
with the students--but having a brother who is a winemaker certainly helped. They never thought they would sell all their bottles so quickly. The students are all members of the cooperative and shareholders, which gives them first-hand experience in setting up and managing a business, from developing the concept, through to producing and marketing, to selling. The design of the wine logo was, however, done by a professional, with the input of the students. They helped as much as they could with the harvest, but naturally they also had to prepare for their final year exams. The aim was to produce a summer wine which spoke to new customers, and less to typical wine drinkers. Pundel says: “We did try the wine in class, but we didn’t drink it, just spit it out.” The project has been so successful with the students that out of the 16, 14 still want to be involved this year--even though they have now gone off to
university. Most of them are studying economics or management, so they can gain some experience from continuing the project. This year, they started the harvest much earlier--in the first week of September. The economics teacher was surprised by the success, as it was only an optional course. He intends to start another project with the new batch of students, but as they will decide on the concept together, he cannot yet give further details; but if it’s anything like last year’s project, we’re watching that space. icon_website www.thewinemakers.lu
Reported by MARTINE HUBERTY
SYRIOUSLY: WHERE CULTURES CONNECT OVER DINNER At the pop-up restaurant Syriously, Syrian refugees have been serving Middle Eastern delicacies to local residents since May.
he restaurant, in the capital’s Hollerich district, is cosy, small and a vibrant melting pot of customers. From young to old, local to foreigner, urban to rural resident, Syriously has become the culinary hotspot of the grand duchy. Up to 50 reservations a day are racked up on Facebook. Apart from the food, however, it is an opportunity for local residents to
support the 80% of the staff working at Syriously who are refugees. Only two years after he fled the war in Syria, Mahmoud opened the social enterprise in partnership with two local residents, Pitt Pirrotte and Marianne Donven. Pirrotte, a real estate agent, temporarily offered the empty premises in Hollerich to Mahmoud; the site is due to be torn down by the end of 2018. The communication manager of the pop-up restaurant, Frédérique Buck, told Delano how Mahmoud, who often goes by the nickname Moudie, is integrating: “Moudie is
Lycée Athénée de Luxembourg
How do you get teenagers to start a company which makes a profit? By making it all about wine… with a new concept and the guiding hands of a few adults.
quite clever: he used to cook for private people in Luxembourg, which helped him to meet many local residents.”
“The goal of this project was to get a maximum of people to work and to show them the way towards independence.”
Illustration by Maison Moderne
A direct exchange between local re sidents and refugees has led to the success story of Syriously, according to Buck. Even before the site had been transformed into a restaurant, local residents could get actively involved. The founders opened a call on Facebook and invited volunteers to donate tables and cutlery, and therefore, to become a part of the history of Syriously. It is through successful projects that stories like Moudie’s reach the wider public, explained Buck: “Through narrative discourse you no longer stir a reaction; in terms of the refugee situation, people are asking for ‘yes, we can’ stories.” Mahmoud and his team have been preparing to live an independent life in the grand duchy, and thus the project is on the verge of coaching the next team by the beginning of next year. In that way, the founders stay true to their initial goal, as Pirrotte told Delano: “The goal of this project was to get a maximum of people to work and to show them the way towards indepen dence. And now, they are ready; their cooking skills are amazing. Their administrative knowledge can be improved but is sufficient to make it without support.” Syriously provides work to refugees, but at the same time fosters a cultural rapprochement between locals and foreigners--along with a wide range of Syrian cuisine. At the end of the day, Pirrotte added, “food is a universal language.” The restaurant is open every day from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. icon_facebook Syriously - oriental pop-up restaurant
Reported by LAURENCE SCHAACK
“If you want to understand a border, you need to cross it.” Express bio Born 22 February 1938, grew up in Wilwerwiltz and Esch-sur-Sûre Education and professional career Studied at the Cours Supérieurs in Luxembourg, and later studied history at the University of Trier. From 1960 to 2003, he was archivist and conservationist at the national archives in Luxembourg. He is a historian, linguist, literary historian and author. He has a radio feature in which he explains the etymology of Luxembourgish words. Career highlights In 1994, working on his own, he researched, wrote and produced an open-air performance called Klëppelkréichs spill, an epic theatre play on the “revolt of the year 7” in the Oesling. Over 200 actors from Luxembourg and neighbouring regions took part in his event in Weiswampach.
Alain Atten probably knows more about the Luxembourgish language than anyone else in the grand duchy. Known as “De Sproochmates”, he has a regular feature on RTL Radio Lëtzebuerg in which he explains the origins of Luxembourgish words and expressions, and how they have evolved. He delves into the regional, and even village, dialects and peculiarities, and there is surprising diversity. There are at least five variations on saying “good night” in Luxembourgish, depending on where you grew up (gudd Nuecht, Nöscht, Naascht, Näit, Noocht). No wonder Atten still finds new material for his features. “De Sproochmates” can boast his own archive of over 5,000 radio broadcasts over almost 40 years. Atten has long become an institution in Luxembourg’s pop culture and his voice is instantly recognised by RTL listeners. At almost 80 years old, he has three shows a week and has vowed to continue as long as he can. An expert on local and religious customs, he has written several articles entitled De Sproochmates as well as theatre plays. He has also translated literary works into Luxembourgish and still gives occasional lectures in Trier and Metz. His work is characterised by the use of ancient expressions, which are no longer used in everyday language. Atten even ventures beyond the confines of the grand duchy and has published essays on the dialects of the neighbouring Walloon and French regions. Even though he was loath to reveal his favourite word in Luxembourgish, he came up with the cuss “Hackerfisek!”-literally translated as “damned gun!”. This was closely followed by “Krénonzengpiers!” which he translates as “sacré nom de Pierre!” October 2017
Interview by JESS BAULDRY
“ I’M JUST THE FLAG CARRIER”
on their education, they ask where Luxembourg is. You just go to the wing and say, there it is. On our helicopters we also have the Made in Luxembourg crown, which we carry with a lot of pride. The Grand Duke said during a meeting that Lar is the best diplomat for Luxembourg. What makes you feel proud of Luxembourg? My father was a concentration camp prisoner and my family had nothing. Their house was bombed out and my father came back from the camp and didn’t tell us children much about the experience. I heard about it later. Since then, I felt extremely proud of the country of Luxembourg. This tiny country that was a bit forgotten before the war. If you see the country at that time and today, I feel quite proud about what’s been established over the years and this typical Luxembourg spirit of sticking together. What would you say if someone told you that you were a shining example of a good ambassador for Luxembourg? I would accept that. What’s important for me to mention is Lar is not René Closter. René Closter is the guy who carries the flag and gets the hit. Lar is a group of fantastic people who on a regular basis risk their health and sometimes even their lives for saving others. I think it’s very impor tant and I’m proud to say our people make the difference. What are your plans for the future? I’m going to die in the saddle. I feel too young in the head to quit. I’ve quite a lot of ideas. It was a dream when it started, then it became a vision and after that, we made it a reality. But not me, all of us together. The whole team. I’m just the flag carrier.
LUXEMBOURG AIR RESCUE It operates of seven McDonnell Douglas MD-902 helicopters, of which one is for police use and two are permanently based at hospitals in Luxembourg City and Ettelbruck. Its subsidiary, Luxembourg Air Ambulance, has five LearJet 45XRs. Together, they perform over 3,000 missions around the world every year, including repatriations of the sick and injured or emergency. icon_website www.lar.lu RENÉ CLOSTER An electrotechnician by profession, Closter worked for the City of Luxembourg fire brigade from 1973. He helped co-found the Samu and then, in 1988, Lar. He is a licenced paramedic and until his 65th birthday, a licenced helicopter pilot. CELEBRATING LUXEMBOURG In 2017 Maison Moderne and Nvision celebrate Luxembourg by profiling 100 people who contribute positively to the country’s international reputation and brand image. The series will culminate in a gala evening on 13 December at Luxembourg Congrès. icon_website w ww. maisonmoderne. com/en/ celebrating luxembourg
Mike Zenari (archives)
servants, all over the place I heard “no”. So, I remortgaged my house, started Lar and rented a helicopter. I got an offer at Clearstream to become their logistics manager. I became a senior vice president for worldwide logistics safety. I managed this little helicopter here by phone from hotel rooms and by fax. We tried to find a director, but didn’t have enough money #CELEBRATING to pay them. In 1994, my board told me, “it’s your LUXEMBOURG baby, why don’t you take it over?” So, I took over as CEO [in 1996]. You were the first helicopter Luxembourger René Closter pilot for Lar? Had you flown before remortgaged his house to and do you still fly? co-found Luxembourg Air No. At the age of 45 I decided to Rescue (Lar), a not-for-profit take my pilot’s licence. For two years which has flown around 40,000 I did a French helicopter licence. I’m missions since 1988. turning 65, so I cannot fly any more. How well known is Lar today Jess Bauldry: What was the water- globally and to what do you attribute shed moment for setting up Lar? this renown? René Closter: While working for the We’re proud to have been selected Samu [ambulance service], I had a last year out of 800 participants as young school boy who, while leaving air ambulance provider of the year, the school bus, got hit by a truck and worldwide. We’re getting asked for lost his foot. We tried to bring him more and more. We’ve a very high to France to a specialist centre for level of quality that very few organi retransplantation. There were no sations worldwide are prepared to helicopters available in France, deliver. For example, we can transport Germany or Belgium. I had to take two heavily ventilated patients in one him by ambulance. He was 6 years aircraft. We’re the only ones who can old, the same age as my son. I had transport newborn babies in an in his foot in a cool box next to me. cubator. In one day, we had three of Because the holiday period had them. We recently had a mission started it took more than four hours bringing a baby who was seven days to go to France. It was too late for old from India to Hong Kong to get his foot. Coming back, I said to surgery. myself it can’t be like this. Luxem When you talk about Luxembourg bourg cannot continue with such to people abroad for your job, medical infrastructure. what do they say? You struggled to find support to They do ask about Luxembourg, set up Lar. Tell us more about this. especially because on our aircraft I started to visit all of the politicians, you’ve a map of the world and a red doctors, government ministers, civil dot where Luxembourg is. Depending
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THE EXPAT OF THE FUTURE
Luxembourg’s economy thrives on an immigrant workforce, which has evolved in ways that no-one could have predicted over the past 30 years. Delano examines how the Third Industrial Revolution and other factors will continue to shape the make-up of the grand duchy’s international community.
M LOOKING AHEAD Joël Machado, Liser labour market researcher, migrant integration & internationalisation, and Nicolas Hurlin, CEO of The Recruiter. Special thanks to the architecture firm Steinmetzdemeyer for use of its office for this photo shoot.
ost people know it as the ‘Rifkin Report’, but Luxembourg’s Third Industrial Revolution strategy, which will be a hot topic this autumn, is about more than one man. It is a collaborative roadmap for Luxembourg society to ensure the country remains competitive and blazes a trail for a sustainable, post-carbon world. US economist and consultant Jeremy Rifkin’s 475-page report sets out for the first time a holistic national strategy, from which Luxembourg is selecting focus areas (see box on page 27). Underlying them is the Rifkin model in which communication technologies, renewable energy and new means of transport converge to create the internet of things, where consumers can be producers and also share goods. When it was published in November 2016, media seized on the visions of autonomous electric cars as a service buzzing around the capital and greater robotisation of industry. But while it will disrupt the way we work, humans will be crucial,
particularly over the next 30-40 years when TIR infrastructure is deployed. Rifkin said in an interview with IMS Luxembourg’s Sustainability magazine: “It requires a lot of labour intensity to lay out the infrastructure for digitalised communication, energy and transport on top of the internet of things platform. That means two more generations of massive employment. But, then it creates an automated space, run by very small workforces, analytics and big data.” Forecasting the kinds of jobs that will evolve is tricky. “Most of the skills required for the future are not yet known,” says David Foy, digital economy cluster head at Luxinnovation, a state-backed promotion agency. This is largely because of the way jobs evolve in relation to disruptive new technology, meaning profiles that never existed before, like app developer, are constantly being created. He adds the only certainty is that digital analyst skills will be highly valued as Luxembourg makes the transition to smart economy. October 2017
“The TIR will lead to an increase of skilled data analysts to deal with the huge volumes of data being generated and highly skilled sales persons to commercialise the ever-increasing complexity of goods and services being proposed,” he says.
JÉRÔME MERKER Economy ministry attaché to the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce
“With the introduction of email, CEOs learned to write their own letters, the secretary’s job changed and now some of them are doing accounting as well.”
Luxembourg, however, is another matter. “We always struggle to fill [IT] roles because Luxembourg isn’t really known outside,” he says, noting that the grand duchy does not have the critical mass of IT jobs you might find somewhere like London or Paris to attract an IT community. A large part of Hurlin’s job involves selling PASSING ON SKILLS Luxembourg to candidates and explaining Like many countries, Luxembourg suffers how it works. He says that currently most from a digital skills gap. A 2016 Eurostat IT hires come from EU countries, because survey 1 found six out of ten companies in in eight out of ten cases the lengthy process Luxembourg reported difficulties hiring and uncertainty of applying for work perfor tech roles, the second highest in the EU. mits for third country nationals is a barrier IT remains among the least popular higher to employers. This could explain why, education subjects chosen by people benefiting from student financial aid in Luxembourg, in 2017, 40.7% of the grand duchy’s total population was from the EU28 and just with just 1,009 students in 2015, up from 4.4% were from non-EU countries 4. The 635 in 2012 2. While there are now digital initiatives in schools, such as the coding only exception, he says, are Russia and the classes organised by Madhumalti Sharma Ukraine, where IT skills are prevalent and and her son and daughter (see box on page candidates come to Luxembourg to join 28), it is not known if it will succeed in rising family members. “The skills we are looking to the daunting task of training the huge for are generally available within the EU digital workforce it will need in future. so we don’t often need to go outside.” But, “To keep up with these evolutions, we need he adds, perhaps in the future this could migrants who already acquired those skills,” change if access to work permits is eased. Jérôme Merker, the economy ministry On the other hand, where Luxembourg attaché at Luxembourg’s Chamber of recruits its future immigrant workers from Commerce, explains. He cites the example of could be impacted by Europe’s ageing popuwhen steel was first produced in Luxembourg: lation. Consistently low birth rates and high“Most Luxembourgers were farmers who er life expectancy have pushed the median had no knowledge about how to age in the EU28 up from 38.3 in 2001 to produce steel. So, we took immigrants, 42.6 in 2016 4, meaning that younger talent mainly German engineers.” Merker says may have to be sought from outside the bloc. that Luxembourg adapted this know-how If the recruitment pool remains Europeinto the education system so the country based, economic factors will likely impact could train its own engineers and steel the countries from which Luxembourg will workers. “The same will happen in the next recruit its future workforce. For example, 10 or 20 years [for IT]. There will be new recently, Hurlin’s IT hires from countries like technology coming from India, China and Poland, Romania and Bulgaria have tailed the US. First of all, we take immigrants off as salaries improve in these countries. who have the knowledge and then Official figures from the Luxembourg we share it and try to train workers.” immigration office 5, though, suggest that the number of immigrant workers from all European countries, except Norway and THE LAW OF ATTRACTION Portugal, grew strongly in the last five years, Given its track record on recruiting talent with some groups like Bulgarians even from abroad, all this may seem feasible, but tripling (183 in 2016). nothing should be taken for granted, espeWho wins the race for IT talent will likely cially in a highly competitive sector like IT. come down to the salary offered. While Though there has been an explosion in miLuxembourg has a high standard of living, it gration since the 2008 economic crisis, last struggles to compete on the high IT salaries year net migration fell by 15.3% compared offered in countries like Switzerland and the to 2015, according to a Statec report 3. UK, suggests Hurlin. And, if it wants to atThanks to professional networking tools like LinkedIn, finding the talent is not so difficult, tract talent from these places in future, it will have to tackle rising living and real estate says Nicolas Hurlin of IT headhunting firm costs. One solution to these issues could be The Recruiter. Convincing them to move to
that the immigrant of the future chooses not to live in Luxembourg but works remotely. “We can see that the way of working is changing, meaning a lot of people are working from home. […] Maybe they are living in Paris and working in Luxembourg,” Hurlin says, explaining he knows of a handful of large corporations hiring in this way.
LANGUAGE SHIFTS Luxembourg has always been a multilingual country and that is unlikely to change in the future, and the TIR even underlines its versatility with languages as a strength. But, it is likely it will see languages other than the official ones taking a more prominent role. “French is the main language used in the private labour market,” states Ludivine Martin, labour market researcher for Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research. The institution gathered data with the social security ministry, in 2013, which showed the language mostly diffused across the private sector was French. However, “for sectors related to international markets, English is needed too,” she adds. Joël Machado, another Liser labour market researcher, adds: “Let’s say, the importance of English in the labour market might improve or increase over time.” This expected shift is already being observed, particularly in IT where English is commonly used, as Hurlin explains: “In the past, if you only spoke English, job opportunities were more limited in Luxembourg to some international companies like Clearstream or English- speaking banks […] Now, in the digital economy, you find people speaking only English and their native language.” The shift is not accidental, but closely linked to concerted efforts to attract international firms from countries like the US, where the economy ministry has made several working visits in recent years. The strategy is supported by the introduction of English education streams in Luxembourg state schools, with most recently an English primary section opening at Lycée Michel Lucius in the capital’s Belair district. Perhaps another language that may be commonly heard in the future as Luxembourg grows ties with Asian market is Chinese, spoken by native speakers and non-natives. Today it is the second-most used language on the internet, after English. From 2010 to 2017, Luxembourg saw its population of Chinese nationals more than
double to reach 3,222, more than the population of US nationals (1,968) 5. And last year, Chinese were the single biggest nationality group to receive resident permits (498) after Syrians (509) 6 . “The economic links between the two countries have been increasing. […] This gives visibility in China. It’s also sometimes a question of information. People become aware there are opportunities in countries they didn’t know before,” Machado explains. A number of lycées already offer Chinese as an option and this year the Athénée will offer Mandarin as an integrated course to students after the first year in secondary. The language’s presence will also likely receive a boost following the planned opening of a Confucius Institute in Luxembourg. “It seems to me that ties between Luxembourg and China are getting closer. I don’t know how that might affect the way the Luxembourg school system sees the Chinese language, but it might happen,” Idea Foundation eco nomist Michel-Edouard Ruben says.
MICHEL-EDOUARD RUBEN Economist at Idea Foundation
“60 to 70% of kids in kindergarten today will have a job that does not yet exist.”
WHAT IS THE THIRD INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION? Economist Jeremy Rifkin’s national strategy, drawn up in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce, IMS Luxembourg and the economy ministry, is a general guideline to help prepare Luxembourg for a post-carbon world in which natural resources are used more sustainably. His trademark revolution was born out of the belief that an economic growth model is no longer sustainable. His solution revolves around the convergence of new communication technologies, new sources of energy and new modes of transportation, to create the internet of things. This, he says, will give rise to a sharing economy, where citizens not only consume but also produce and share goods at almost zero marginal cost. icon_website www.troisiemerevolutionindustrielle.lu October 2017
TIR aside, the opportunities available to immigrant workers will shift in the future. One thing economists widely agree on is labour market polarisation. “[We will need] a lot of high-skilled workers and low-skilled workers so the people who will be most impacted by TIR are people with the middle skills,” Martin says.
but the profiles will evolve and diversify like they have done in the past and workers must adapt. “Back in the days when someone worked as a secretary, they answered the phone and wrote letters. With the introduction of email, CEOs learned to write their own letters, the secretary’s job changed and MADHUMALTI SHARMA now some of them are doing accounting as Founder of coding well,” Merker explains. classes Workshop4Me Ruben adds that timely, ongoing training and Luxembourg A POLARISED LABOUR MARKET ambassador for will be critical to upskill people already in A 2015 labour force forecast from EU trainEuropean Code Week the labour market, particularly since disruping agency Cedefop 7 predicts job creation tive technologies mean no-one knows how across various sectors, with growth in conthese jobs will change. For those not yet out struction, distribution and transport, and of school, much will depend on how quickly business and other services in the grand the education system adapts. “Scientists and duchy over the next eight years. But it also economists say that 60 to 70% of kids in shows that from 2013 to 2025, the proporkindergarten today will have a job that does tion of Luxembourg’s labour force with not yet exist,” he says, citing the role of high-level qualifications will rise from 39% to 49%, while those with medium-level quali- social media manager as a recent example. Immigrant workers in the construction secfications will account for around 38%, down tor will also need to be trained to construct from 40%, and the low-level or no qualificaand deconstruct new places to live, work and tions proportion will fall from 20% to 13%. study following circular economy principles. The jobs done by the middle and lower “You’ve new materials and infrastructure and skills group will not necessarily disappear, regulations to follow. Before, when building, you didn’t have to care much about the environment, now you have to,” adds Ruben. REFERENCES With current forecasts suggesting that 1 Eurostat, immigration will push the population to “Spécialistes des 1 million people by 2061-2062, a pressing TIC”, 114/2017, 18 July 2017; question will be how Luxembourg will ac2 Ministère de MIGRANTS TEACHING commodate and ensure an attractive quality l’Enseignement ICT SKILLS IN LUXEMBOURG of life for the immigrant of the future? supérieur et de Indian national Madhumalti Sharma is a classic la Recherche, Relieving the pressure on housing, schools example of outsiders bringing skills to Luxem“Rentrées acadéand water resources, among other things, miques bilans” bourg. The coder set up Workshop4Me in 2013 will be crucial in ensuring an environment 2012 and 2015; to get her two children into coding. “There are where immigrants wish to build their lives. 3 Statec, a lot of applications being made but very few “Communiqué de But, as the deputy prime minister and econpeople know how to make them. Most of us are presse 15/2017”; omy minister Étienne Schneider commented becoming consumers, not learning how to code. 4 Eurostat, in November 2016: “The presentation of “Population It started from that,” she says. The weekend this study is not the end of a process, but it structure and workshops are offered to young people aged ageing” Statistics is the beginning of a journey to implement from 7 to 16 and cover the basics right through Explained, concrete first steps allowing a more qualitato learning coding languages like Python. June 2017; Within a short time, her children Leo and Avanti tive development of Luxembourg.” 5 Statec, were teaching the workshops. “It’s easier for “Population Rifkin points out in his report that the par nationalités children than having an adult standing there revolution will be a journey. “Luxembourg’s détaillées telling you what you should do.” Sharma explains changeover toward the TIR is an ongoing 2011-2017”; that some pupils have gone on to compete in and long-term process that will stretch over 6 Ministère des contests, for example Game of Code. She hopes Affaires étrangères, the next several decades. The strategy survey that the workshops will encourage young people “Bilan de l’année will serve as a catalyst and centrepiece of a to study tech subjects in future. “Because the 2016 en matière broad public debate on the nation’s social d’asile et world needs more people in tech, more and economic future.” d’immigration”; programmers and more people who can create.” 7 Cedefop, The next stage of the journey begins in But to really make a difference, Sharma says “Luxembourg autumn 2017 with an assessment on how coding must become a compulsory subject skills supply and to implement the TIR and a major debate in schools and it must act soon. demand up to in parliament. 2025”, 2015 edition. icon_facebook Workshop4Me October 2017
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Text by ALIX RASSEL
Photography by MIKE ZENARI
OPEN YOUR HOME TO INTEGRATION In November 2016, three private citizens launched the Facebook page “Oppent Haus – Open Home” to place asylum seekers and refugees with families residing in Luxembourg. As of August, they had found places for 55 refugees. But more matches need to be made.
hen you mention the subject of refugee integration in Luxembourg, the first person who springs to mind is Marianne Donven. Since 2016, she has been responsible for the Red Cross’s Hariko youth programme, which has helped countless asylum seekers. It was at a 2016 meeting organised by Ronnen Dësch, a voluntary group that Donven and Frédérique Buck, founder of Iamnotarefugee.lu, began to discuss the difficulties of housing for international protection applicants in Luxembourg. Unlike Germany and Italy, the authorities in the grand duchy do not financially compensate those housing a refugee or asylum seeker. “Even when an international protection applicant receives his official status as a beneficiary [known as BPI], it is almost impossible for them to find accommodation in Luxembourg,” explains Buck. “Those over the age of 25 are eligible to receive the revenu minimum garanti [a form of public aid now called the revis], but with an oversaturated and expensive housing market it is unlikely that they will find a tenant willing to rent them something.” The situation is worse for those under the age of 25, who are currently not eligible for public aid. “Finding an apartment of their own is unfeasible for these individuals, which was partly the impetus behind starting the Open Home platform.” “Prospective households and refugees or asylum seekers will contact us and then Marianne matches those October 2017
who are most compatible,” explains Buck. “She is quite excellent at it and does it all in her personal time.” Often the prospective host will have some specific criteria in terms of the persons they are willing to host. “On one occasion, we had a gentleman who loved cycling and really wanted someone who would like to cycle with him,” Buck recounts. “He was delighted when we found someone and the relationship benefits both individuals extremely well.” Pascal Clement is the third person behind Open Home; he had already given performances at several shelters, to provide some light relief. “I had a small insight into living conditions through my travelling magic shows when the residents would tell me about their sorrows and needs,” he explains. Donven contacted Clement in October 2016 regarding one particular Afghan refugee who was looking for a more congenial environment to live and study in. Strongly supported by his wife, Clement agreed to provide a room for the refugee and has never looked back since. “We recently took in a 19-year-old boy from Eritrea,” he adds. “Today, caring for the two refugees shows us how complicated life can be when you are not used to European culture. At least there is a home and family for them to come back to each day with both privacy and help when it’s needed. It also helps them learn more about Luxembourg and hone their language skills when you are in daily contact with residents.” Buck is quick to agree with Clement: “Providing a home to a refugee or asylum seeker is a real integration booster. One family offered a room to a Syrian refugee who a year ago didn’t speak a word of French or English despite having been here for many months. Now his written and spoken French are perfect; it’s amazing!” Integrating with a local family is not the only reason that many residents of shelters (called foyers) register for the Open Home scheme. “I have been in several different foyers for over a year now,” one 20-year-old asylum seeker tells Delano. “Often I am sharing
FRÉDÉRIQUE BUCK A. Refugees are often priced out of the housing market PASCAL CLEMENT AND ONE OF HIS HOUSEMATES B. Refugees add a new dynamic to the household
a room with people I don’t know and they can be very loud and noisy. It is difficult to sleep sometimes and there is no privacy. I would like to study more, but it’s just not possible.” Even after receiving their official BPI status, asylum seekers often fail to leave shelters, which are meant to be temporary. “Status is not an end in itself, it is just the beginning of a new journey,” Donven explains. “Many BPIs are afraid and do not know where to start, so they remain where they are. This in turn can lead to “individuals wasting away”, as Buck puts it. “In order to have a job you need an address, so it’s difficult to build a new life. It’s a vicious cycle for those in the system.” At press time, Open Home had 280 outstanding requests and the group is looking for more families to open their homes to refugees and asylum seekers. “Ideally, we are looking for people to host individuals for a
minimum of one year to ensure there is some stability,” explains Buck. Older people living alone may benefit greatly from having some company in their homes. “Many of our older hosts have told us that by living together with a refugee they have found a new goal in their lives. They cook again, which they have not done alone before,” adds Clement. Open Home will be presenting its platform to communes, with a meeting held in Diekirch in September, one planned in Kayl at the end of October and others in the pipeline for Luxembourg City towards the end of the year. Clement says: “Our society needs more committed and supportive citizens to respond to the many societal challenges. Everyone can become an actor of change, in the name of civic responsibility. Just dare!” icon_facebook Oppent Haus – Open Home icon_mail firstname.lastname@example.org icon_phone +352 621 559 562 October 2017
Photography by SVEN BECKER
GOING FOR GOLD D’COQUE, 17 SEPTEMBER, 5:20 P.M. Romania’s Daniela Monteiro Dodean plays in the women’s championship division final at the Liebherr 2017 ITTF European Table Tennis Championships. Romania beat Germany 3-2, its first European gold since 2005. AG icon_website www.ettc2017.lu
BUSINESS FAIR TRADE GOLDSMITH
Annick Mersch is a young jewellery maker and goldsmith who only works with fair trade gold. Her workshop is located in the same space as Pascale Seil, a glass blower who creates art and glassware pieces. They have been working together for 10 years in the picturesque village of Berdorf. Most of her clients want something bespoke. For her, personal relationships with clients are extremely important when creating a piece. Some clients also arrive with old jewellery. She uses the materials again and creates something new. She adds: “It’s important to get on with the client. A piece of jewellery is something you wear on your skin. You need a certain instinct: is it more of a ‘round’ person, do they want organic or mathematical, abstract forms?” She showed Delano how a goldsmith works; over the years, most of their tools have not changed much. MH
CRAFTING A RING A. The silver is melted B. Annick is putting this stone in its setting C. The final product is a beautiful white gold infinity ring with engraving and a sapphire D. Some of her tools look like they should belong to a dentist E. Annick has an exhibition space in the back of the atelier F. Her workbench is located next to the entrance of the shop A
icon_facebook Bijouterie Annick Mersch
2017 5,000 4,000
Noel Fessey will take over the helm of European Fund Administration, at the end of the year, from Thomas Seale, who has led the company since 1997.
The number of people employed in Luxembourg at the end of the second quarter of 2017, according to figures published by Statec.
08 09 10 11 12 01 02 03 04 05 06 07
NEW CAR REGISTRATIONS
The number of new vehicles on Luxembourg roads increased by 3% during the first eight months of the year, and up by 2% compared to August 2016, reported SNCA.
Maison Moderne > Luc Deflorenne (archives)
NANCY THOMAS The director of sustainability CATCHING UP WITH…
Michael Filtz (Creative Commons)
InBev said it would build a new ecologically efficient brewery next to its existing site in Diekirch. >>> Cargolux has started service to Douala, Cameroon, and Lubum bashi, Congo, bringing to 35 the number of destinations it serves on the African continent. >>> China’s Legend Holdings Corporation acquired 90% of Banque internationale à Luxembourg’s shares off Qatar’s Precision Capital. >>> Luxembourger Philippe Schaus was appointed CEO of Moët Hennessy, the wines and spirits division of the French luxury group LVMH. >>> Luxembourg was ranked third out of 75 economies in the International Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 open markets index. >>> China Everbright Bank held its official inauguration in Luxembourg, bringing the number of major Chinese banks with EU hubs in the grand duchy to 7. >>> Luxem bourg, France and Germany will start a cross-border test-bed to develop autonomous and con nected driving technologies, starting in 2018. >>> The government approved plans for Luxembourg for Shopping, a shared e-commerce platform for the country’s small retailers. >>> The Spanish res taurant La Boqueria, in Kirchberg, shut down after declaring bank ruptcy for the second time. >>> DBRS and Standard & Poor’s, two credit rating agencies, reaf firmed their top notch AAA score on Luxembourg bonds.
at IMS Luxembourg talks about steering Luxembourg into the Third Industrial Revolution.
You will be hard-pressed to find an address online for IMS Luxembourg. That’s because every year its nomadic team of ten moves in with one of its members to keep overheads low. Delano met Nancy Thomas at Creos, in Strassen, where the NGO has been based since July. “We don’t need a big office with someone on reception. We need heating, though,” she says, explaining that the arrangement frees up enough cash to pay a staff member’s salary. It is appropriate given that the group is promoting the shared economy, among other things, as part of the Third Industrial Revolution strategy (see cover story). The NGO was a catalyst for adapting the strategy in Luxembourg, having independently reached out to the model’s creator, Jeremy Rifkin, around the same time the government did. “That’s why we became partners,” Thomas says. IMS Luxembourg was on the steering committee for the report, along with the Economy Ministry and Chamber of Commerce. Thomas and a colleague oversaw two of the stakeholder working groups, which were adapted by Rifkin’s experts for the final report, published in 2016. “Rifkin was really happy because Luxembourg is the first country to adopt it. It’s important for him as an economist to show what he has written can happen.” The outfit is now working to encourage companies to adopt and implement the new strategy. To incen tivise them, it has launched a contest where the public votes on their favourite existing TIR prac tices within the domains of construction, food, mobility, energy, finance and industry. The most popular practices will be announced at their sustainability forum on 21 November. “We know our members are active and many companies are working on TIR practices, even if it’s not very well known at the moment.” Initial signs look promising. Less than one year after the report was first published, she cites a bank which is rework ing its entire country strategy to incorporate TIR. In the future, the NGO plans to organise work shops for members to help them implement the TIR strategy through concrete projects. icon_website www.imslux.lu Interview by JESS BAULDRY Photography by LALA LA PHOTO October 2017
“ I REALLY BELIEVE IN THE NOTION OF THE CLIENT EXPERIENCE” Richard Karacian has taken over as CEO of Maison Moderne, succeeding Mike Koedinger on 4 September. After holding positions at international media groups including Altice and Axel Springer, Karacian now has two main challenges before him: continue to grow Luxembourg’s leading independent media firm, and push the company into new directions.
RICHARD KARACIAN Recently named CEO of Maison Moderne (the firm that publishes Delano)
people, otherwise I wouldn’t have worked so long in HR. That said, we cannot do business without clients. It’s clear that we sometimes forget that on a day-to-day basis. I really believe in the notion of ‘client experience’; it has to be thought out in a professional manner. So the company, as a content and service provider, has to manage good margins and constantly ensure client satisfaction. This is essential for me and vital to the business. Even more so in a media landscape where competition has increased with the arrival of digital? Absolutely. The volatility that readers and clients can demonstrate in digital does not exist anywhere else. If the
product is not perfect, we can lose the reader or the client with disconcerting speed. It is necessary to capture their attention and retain them with products that are excellent, both in terms of graphics and technically, while maintaining a launch timeline that’s ahead of the competition. We can’t ignore the notion of ‘time to market’. What are your international ambitions? Maison Moderne’s model can be exported, because, despite its small size, Luxembourg is a magnificent multicultural and multilingual laboratory that is ideal to experiment with consumer behaviour. Read the complete interview online: icon_website www.delano.lu
Adapted from an interview first published in Paperjam > Portrait by Eric Chenal
Mr Karacian, how do you see your new role as CEO of Maison Moderne? Richard Karacian: I will not be a CEO who’s only a figurehead. One of my missions is, obviously, to be an ambassador of the company externally, but I generally get involved in day-to-day issues, to be sure that I’m at the heart of the organisation. I rely on my experience to move from one subject to another, and I enjoy such intellectual gymnastics. Is this type of management characteristic of your leadership approach? A CEO must place themselves at a strategic level without neglecting any operational aspects. They should also keep a continual lookout [across the company], and develop short- and medium-term visions. I don’t pretend to have a long-term vision for our sector, because the current period is marked by a technological tsunami. This is putting traditional media under heavy pressure and forcing companies to continually experiment when they make long-term plans. How will you manage Maison Moderne given the “technological tsunami”? My approach to work and the company is structured along two lines. First of all, I place a great deal of importance on respecting employees and on their development. I like
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MORE FEMALE POWER IN FUND SECTOR The five female partners at the Wildgen law firm are about to launch the “Wildgen 4 Women” initiative to empower women in the fund and finance industry.
ven though gender equality is the natural state of affairs at the Wildgen law firm, effective measures for supporting women in the business had been missing, according to Mevlüde-Aysun Tokbag, who has been with the law office for about 14 years. “The idea for the event has been simmering in my head for over two years, ” says Tokbag, the main catalyst behind Wildgen 4 Women. After having found four global partners, the initiative will kick off in late October. Learning, leveraging and leading are the three keywords of the initiative. Tokbag describes the project as a circular scheme, in which “it is important to start at the learning process and then to continue with leveraging through networking and knowledge sharing events, and finally to come to a position where women can lead because once we’ve reached this point, they can go back to help with the learning process”. Partnerships help to put the three prongs into play. Besides the firm’s long-standing co-operation with the Luxembourg Diversity Charter, the programme has developed links with the Asian University for Women, in Bangladesh, which represents the learning component of the initiative. At the same time, Tokbag reckons, it demonstrates the firm’s social engagement. Adem, Luxembourg’s jobs agency, offers a second learning base. Tokbag explains that they will “see on a tailor-made basis which women they have registered we can support, be it from a legal, marketing or financial background.” The leveraging component comes from a partnership with Fonds Frauen, October 2017
MEVLÜDEAYSUN TOKBAG The lawyer wants to give women in the financial sector a fair voice
a German network for women in the fund business. That outfit, which is about to take its first footsteps in the grand duchy, will support Wildgen’s programme with knowledge sharing and mentoring events. The final leading component will be strengthened by the five female Wildgen partners themselves through diverse conferences and knowledge sharing programmes. At its official launch, Wildgen 4 Women will present a one-year agenda full of events dedicated to women only and to different law topics, in line with the five partners’ individual fields of expertise. “Everybody with other ideas can come back to us to discuss them,” notes Tokbag, who co-heads the firm’s banking and finance practice.
GENDER GAP As the European Commission reported in March 2017, a disparity of working hours between the genders in Luxem-
bourg remains: women work on average four hours more than men per week (counting both paid and unpaid household work). Tokbag chalks up this discrepancy to the high number of international residents in the grand duchy: “Expat women need more hours of work because they have no one; they have no family, no parents that could help.” She also identifies fund conferences as a case of gender imbalance. Even though the attendance is well-balanced between women and men, Tokbag states that women rarely speak: “The participation is low for women; I don’t know why since we are all active in the financial world.” The Wildgen 4 Women initiative aims to tackle this inequality by giving a voice to both genders. The official launch takes place on 17 October in the firm’s offices and is open to both women and men. Register before 12 October. icon_mail email@example.com
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Text by STEPHEN EVANS
Photography by LALA LA PHOTO
HIGH STREET BANKS, STILL When was the last time you went into a high street bank branch? ATMs and online banking are great, so why are there still so many retail banking outlets in expensive prime locations? Delano visited the ING outlet on the Kirchberg in September to find out.
ccording to Andrea Rossi, the branch manager, the answer is simple: “Everyone needs a bank.” While we might do our financial transactions online (increasingly by mobile), we are still reassured to see bricks and mortar, concrete and glass. Maybe this gives the impression that our money is physically safe somewhere, rather than just sitting in an anonymous database.
YOUNG AND OLD “Younger customers, particularly those aged 18 to 24, make the greatest use of branches,” noted a recent report, Transforming the Banking Branch, by the consultants Accenture. Even if millennials might say they want to do everything online: “Research shows that this age group has a noticeably greater... need for face-to-face contact, advice and reassurance in the initial stages of their own financial journey.” Rossi said the branch’s main dayto-day business is opening accounts, issuing credit and debit cards, and arranging home rental guarantees. They also arrange housing loans, give investment advice, and work with small- and medium-sized businesses. Located near the Kirchberg hospital, the branch serves roughly 4,700 individual clients and 300 enterprises. Seven people work there, a standard number for a branch of this size. LIGHT, WELCOMING The atmosphere is redolent of a trendy bar or café. Big windows give October 2017
an airy feel and there are plenty of chairs, a coffee machine, and shelves of ING branded bottled water. A C-shaped sofa surrounds a table equipped with a PC that clients can use. The teller staff look more like receptionists. Robbery is clearly not the worry it used to be. Gone are the bullet-proof glass screens between staff and clients that used to be standard decades ago. Advisors are on hand for those seeking financial advice: just knock on one of their open office doors. The three hours around lunch are the busiest times of the 9-to-5 day. Rossi said they have experimented with staying open later, but this changed little. He doesn’t know why, but Thursday is the busiest of the five days they are open. Only about 10-15 relatively old people visit to make payments or make withdrawals in the traditional
way: face-to-face with a bank teller. “A lot of work has gone into helping all our clients get online, and this has been mostly successful,” Rossi noted. “This work continues, but we expect to still be serving some clients in the old way for some time to come,” he added. The vast majority of clients, however, prefer to make all their withdrawals and deposits via ATMs.
NOT ALL ONLINE Even when it comes to more sophisticated transactions, most of this is now done remotely. Investment funds and pension products are described online, and are integrated into tools that help clients model their investment strategy. For loans and bank guarantees, much of the preparatory work can be done remotely, with documents collected using email. No longer do bank managers have to look clients in the eye when considering whether
ING KIRCHBERG BRANCH A. An in-branch PC used to advise and train clients about online banking is seen during a tour given to Delano on 12 September
B. Where once banks stressed security, now they also project openness C. Andrea Rossi, ING Kirchberg branch manager D. No need for strong rooms E. ATMs for withdrawals and deposits F. Only about a dozen clients habitually visit this branch to make transfers and withdraw cash. Lunch times are the busiest periods. G. In the back office: the private side of an ATM
to grant a loan. These checks are now all data driven, based on credit ratings. Only at the end of the process do clients come in to sign contracts. “Compared to other countries, Luxembourg’s tax system is quite easy to understand, so there is little need for advice,” Rossi noted. Nevertheless, many clients do have relatively complex questions, particularly if they are thinking of leaving Luxembourg, or they are non-resident commuters. Many prefer face-to-face meetings to work through these questions. However, the wealthiest clients (with wealth in excess of €1m) are referred to ING’s newly-opened HQ opposite the central train station. A few decades ago, even village bank branches would have a strong room protected with metal bars where they would store bundles of notes, coin, precious metals and safety deposit boxes. No longer. We looked into a side room with its reinforced metal door, and there was a small safe containing a few papers, the technical boxes behind ATMs, a lonely fax machine, and the stock of ING bottled water. Credit institutions are finding life tough these days due to low interest rates and high regulatory costs. But that Luxembourg’s high street banks have kept more or less the same number of outlets suggests they understand the importance of showing a human face. October 2017
Text by STEPHEN EVANS
Photography by MIKE ZENARI
MORE CHANGE FOR PRIVATE BANKING Considering the numerous recent challenges faced by Luxembourg’s private banking industry, the sector continues to perform well. The ending of fiscal secrecy and the rise of other wealth management players have forced a rethink. More will be required, as new regulation is about to overturn the way private banks charge for their services.
t the moment, private banking clients could believe the advice they receive comes free of charge. Industry wide, it has been customary for financial advisors to be remune rated from commission on the sale of the financial products they recommend to their clients. Europe’s politicians decided this relationship was prone to conflicts of interest. Their response is part of the EU’s second Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II). As of 1 January 2018, “inducements” or commission on the sale of financial products will be forbidden. Advisers will need to charge service fees, much as one would expect when using a lawyer. This will apply in all European jurisdictions, including Switzerland.
ONE-THIRD OF INCOME AFFECTED “Private banks will lose a substantial part of their income due to the disappearance of inducements,” said Luc Rodesch, head of private banking and estate planning at Banque de Luxembourg. The industry is quietly confident that clients will accept a move towards a more transparent advisor fee structure. “The UK, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland introduced similar regulations on inducements years ahead of MiFID II, and they have managed this transition well,” commented Hans-Peter Borgh, group head October 2017
of wealth management and member of the management board at Banque internationale à Luxembourg. “It’s a big challenge but I’m optimistic that we can explain this to clients.” Communication explaining the benefits of private banking services to clients will be key. The industry has been training staff and putting internal procedures in place, with autumn targeted as the time to talk about the change. As for the level and type of fees to be charged, “we are all watching the competition while looking at how other European countries have adapted,” remarked Rodesch. Fees per hour are a possibility, as are
performance fees when returns are made on investment. It is other regulatory changes that appear to worry the sector most. “MiFID II and Priips [the Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products directive] will make the advisory process more complicated from 1 January, and force wealth managers to clearly demonstrate how they add value,” Rodesch said. The aim of these new rules is to improve investor protection by ensuring that clients understand the investments they are making. However, many professionals are concerned that these safeguards are off-putting and will
HANS-PETER BORGH The “Luxembourg card” remains a selling point with many international clients
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drive up costs. For example, Rodesch explained that even if a client wants to buy a relatively simple product, such as a basic investment fund, it takes time to assess its suitability for that specific client’s profile. On top will come the need to conduct a “suitability test” that this investment doesn’t make the portfolio fall out of line with a client’s expressed desired risk profile. The Priips key investor document is a three pager of details about costs and fees. This is a tricky, costly document to put together. “In some countries it’s even worse,” Rodesch noted. For example, in Belgium the client has to pass a test to prove they understand the product to be allowed to buy it.” However, he added: “These changes are an opportunity for private bankers, in a context where greater focus is placed on the quality of advice.” Nevertheless, the sector is being helped by a relatively buoyant market. The Boston Consulting Group’s respected annual analysis* of the wealth management market pointed to a solid 3.2% increase in private financial wealth in western Europe in 2016. This is a similar figure to recent years October 2017
and this trend is expected to continue. Luxembourg appears to be in-step with this general trend, with assets under management here up 3%, said the ABBL’s Private Bank Group. Assets are up by about 20% since 2007. These are decent numbers, particularly given the recent ending of full banking secrecy across Europe. Automatic exchange of savings and investment information within the EU for tax purposes has been operational since 2015. Also, a similar 83-country Common Reporting Standard is in effect since last year. The term preferred by the industry is the end of “fiscal” secrecy, as it still remains illegal to divulge information about bank accounts other than for official tax matters. This is still a place to keep money safe, but illegal tax dodging is no longer an option. This has resulted in a shift towards Luxembourg banks serving more wealthy clients. These people need private banks to help organise their international financial lives. They might have a business in one country, homes elsewhere, children studying abroad, and maybe a boat somewhere exotic. Luxembourg is a specialist
managing these assets and expenditure in the most efficient way possible. This compares with the services which tended to be offered to less wealthy clients. They often sought a place to keep savings away from tax inspectors. So-called high net worth clients (with wealth of €1m or more) now account for 88% of all private banking clients in Luxembourg, says the Private Banking Group. This is up from 76% in 2011.
HOW TO COMPETE So how does Luxembourg compete for this international business? “For clients seeking to diversify their banking relationships, we often play the Luxembourgish card,” noted Borgh. “Of course it’s about having the right services, but on top of that we offer geographical diversification and that’s a major selling point for international clients.” One topic that does not appear to be driving business is Brexit. There is little expectation that the UK leaving the EU would change much for wealthy people, whether they are being served from London, Switzerland or Luxembourg.
A GROWING MARKET The number of high net worth individuals (with wealth of more than $1m) increased from 10.9m in 2010 to 15.4m in 2015, according to the World Wealth Report 2016 by the consultancy Capgemini. This is good news for Luxembourg private bankers and other wealth managers, as about a quarter of this growth came in Europe. There is good business to be done in Europe, but it’s the Asia/Pacific and Middle East regions that are seeing the fastest growth. Boston Consulting Group pointed to 9.5% and 8.1% growth in these regions in 2016, approaching three times that of Europe. They reckon these trends are set to continue. Non-EU wealth accounted for 29% of assets under management in Luxembourg private banks in 2016; 11 percentage points more than in 2011. But clearly, the EU still remains the main market. Luxembourg banks have to decide how aggressively they would like to tap into this global market, or whether they are better off focusing on traditional markets.
*Global Wealth 2017, Boston Consulting Group
LUC RODESCH Private bankers will be increasingly judged on the quality of advice
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NEW PAN-EUROPEAN PENSION PLAN Saving for retirement could get easier for employees who’ve worked in more than one EU country.
ncreasing numbers of people work in different countries throughout their careers. While this is personally and professionally enriching, it can result in a complicated collection of private pension schemes. A new EU product should help. This could also be a fresh opportunity for Luxembourg’slife insurance and investment fund industries. Each EU country has its own pension tax rules, making it difficult to create a cross-border solution. The Pan-European Personal Pension Product (PEPP) could help. It would have a separate compartment for each country in which the person works. Each compartment would respect local rules on subscriptions and pension payments, but the underlying product would be the same. This should cut the number of pension products being used, thus helping to reduce costs. Initial plans were published by the European Commission on 29 June and have received a broadly favourable reception from the financial services industry. “There is general satisfaction that further steps are being taken to address the EU pension gap, but commercial success will depend on technical and fiscal issues that need to be resolved,” commented Marc Hengen, managing director of the Luxembourg insurance industry trade association ACA. The local fund industry is also pleased. “We see it as a real opportunity,” said Anouk Agnes, deputy director general of the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry. “Not only could this encourage people to save for their future, but it answers a real need of a genuine October 2017
MARC HENGEN The insurance association chief is broadly optimistic about a new EU retirement savings proposal
European challenge of how to provide pensions to people who work in different countries.” Until now, Europe’s diverse mix of tax rules has worked against finding a pan-European solution. A scheme launched in 2000 to help international companies provide cross-border pensions has struggled to get off the ground. The PEPP proposal appears to have found a way around this. Luxembourg players believe they have the track record to be a central hub from which to offer these products across European borders. However, there is some scepticism about the PEPP’s potential. The root cause of Europeans saving too little
for retirement is probably not a lack of pensions vehicles, but a cultural aversion. At present around 40% of savings held in the EU are in bank accounts, rather than being put to work with investments in the shares and bonds that help businesses to grow. Also, there is a concern that the commission is taking an overly cautious approach. If one of the main challenges is to encourage European savers to have a greater appetite for investing in capital markets, then should the default option on the PEPP be a low-risk, capital guarantee product? That said, the PEPP does enable the saver a choice of options with higher risk/reward profiles.
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TOPPING UP YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY Moving country and starting a new job are certainly two of life’s more stressful events. The additional task of having to navigate a foreign social sec urity system can be equally as daunting. Fortunately Luxem bourg offers one of Europe’s most comprehensive social security systems, but for many newcomers it is unclear how to differentiate the public caisses and the mutuelles, or top-up insurance schemes, on offer. So who covers what?
FABIO SECCI His mutual insurance company, CMCM, takes all comers from the Greater Region
GOOD TO KNOW Employee contributions to the CNS are approximately 25% of the individual’s gross annual salary with the same amount being paid by the employer. Self-employed persons must register directly with the CCSS and contributions are dependent on monthly revenue. icon_website www.ccss.lu
he Centre Commun de la Sécurité Sociale is Luxembourg’s joint social security centre. If you are a new employee, it is your employer’s responsibility to declare you, your spouse and any children to the CCSS within eight days of commencement of your employment. The CCSS aims to provide cover for employees and families in terms of sickness and maternity insurance, pension insurance, accident insurance and long-term care insurance. In addition, the CCSS is the body responsible for the registration of affiliations and collection of contributions for all social security institutions. All private employees are covered by the National Health Fund, the Caisse Nationale de Santé or the Gesondheetskees, as it is also called. People covered by the CNS receive approximately 80% of the cost of medications and 88% reimbursement of doctors’ consultations, dependent on the frequency in which they occur. Whilst the CNS offers a comprehensive range of health cover, not all treatments are included, for example, some dental treatments and psychological therapies. The Fédération Nationale de la Mutualité Luxembourgeoise was founded in 1925 as a humanitarian aid movement. Today the umbrella October 2017
group counts 48 insurance cooperatives, which altogether have some 279,942 members. The Caisse Médico-Complémentaire Mutualiste is one such organisation. “We firmly believe that everyone has the right to equal healthcare,” says Fabio Secci, CMCM’s director general. “Anyone, who is registered with the CNS Luxembourg or with a neighbouring country’s health insurer can apply to join the CMCM,” he says. “And there are no medical examinations.” Members of the CMCM receive a standard package and have the additional option to purchase dental and optical care or the “Prestaplus
Guarantee”, which is particularly targeted at those who have ongoing medical issues. “The cover provided by the CMCM in most cases matches that offered by the CNS, however there are additional options available including upgraded rooms for inpatient hospital visits and additional services beyond purely surgical interventions,” explains Secci. Many employers offer private health cover to their employees through company schemes, but the CMCM is different as it acts as a top-up, rather than bearing all the costs. In this regard, the annual premium is considerably lower than that of a private insurer.
In Luxembourg, all employees must submit a medical certificate to their employer by the 3rd day of sickness. During the first 5 days of sickness, the employee is not permitted to leave their home with the exception of medical appointments. icon_website www.cns.lu The CMCM cooperative health insurer provides all of its members with services abroad, including complimentary air transportation to Luxembourg in the case of serious illness. icon_website www.cmcm.lu All of Luxembourg’s mutual insurance companies are listed on the FNML website. Click on “mutuelles”. icon_website www.fnml.lu
the health ambassadors „Thank you for 5 successful years. Up until now we have achieved so much together. Never give up. Keep going!“ Sebastian Backes, CEO
12 000 91 mio.
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+352 26 378 378 www.luxfit.lu
Text by JESS BAULDRY
Photography by MIKE ZENARI
MOONLIGHT SONATA Performing in a national orchestra is one of the toughest jobs going. Only the very best are hired and they must work tirelessly to remain at the top of their game. Three Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra musicians explain how they unwind from this intense day job, by “moonlighting” with their other passions.
pool bar is perhaps the last place you would expect to find a classically trained musician. But for Swiss-born piccolo player Christophe Nussbaumer, Oscar’s Diner has become something of a second home. It is where he comes between concerts and rehearsals to practise his other love--playing competitive pool. “I think the music helps me in this game. Usually, when I’m under pressure on the pool table, I am singing a melody or hear music and that helps me to relax,” he explains in English. Nussbaumer began flute at the age of 12 but quickly flourished thanks to his natural talent, which earned him a first prize for virtuosity. When he discovered competitive pool in his early twenties while studying in Basel, he said it was like “love at first sight”. “As a child, I liked to play sports. But it wasn’t possible at the time because music takes up a lot of time and it’s dangerous to do very hard sports. I had to protect my hands. For me, pool is perfect because I never have problems with playing,” he says. Nussbaumer joined the OPL as solo piccolo in 1998. He soon found a club in Luxembourg where he has competed in several pool competitions. His current club were even national champions for two consecutive years and, like his job, his hobby takes him all over Europe. “When I came to Luxembourg they were talking about making pool an Olympic sport for 2004. It never October 2017
RHONDA WILKINSON In 2005, she was advised to stop playing violin because it was causing her so much pain, and now, she is a pilates instructor
happened, but I was really interested to represent Luxembourg. That would be my dream! If it becomes an official sport, I will definitely get my Luxembourg passport.” Quiet and polite, Nussbaumer says playing competitive pool is for him a chance to enter “another world” and mix with people from different backgrounds. One might argue that both competitive pool and music are equally as intense--both require extreme concentration and hours of practice. But, Nussbaumer appreciates the former for the fresh challenge
it offers. “In music, I’m able to play almost everything that’s been written. But in pool there are things that it’s physically just not possible to do. Or I have to practise a lot to reach this level,” he says.
MOVING IN STEP For Ohio native Rhonda Wilkinson, playing violin professionally was never part of the original plan. Despite playing since the age of 7, she had other ideas. “I was always going to be a lawyer until quite late,” she says, adding that after a first year at Wellesley College,
CHRISTOPHE NUSSBAUMER The piccolo player discovered competitive pool in his early twenties
she transferred to the University of Michigan School of Music to be a violinist. “I somehow couldn’t imagine not playing, even though it wasn’t what I wanted to do for a living,” she tells Delano. Wilkinson completed her studies, played in the Toledo Symphony and began freelancing in Brussels, before landing the job with what was then the RTL orchestra in 1983. It was in Luxembourg that she took up aerobics as a hobby. “I was used to moving to music. It seemed normal after years of doing ballet,” she says. When her teacher
left, Wilkinson and a friend stepped up to lead the class. She recalls “following Jane Fonda videos” to learn the moves before later qualifying as an instructor. This paved the way for the musician’s interest in health, fitness and nutrition, in which she picked up a number of certifications. In 2005, Wilkinson began suffering chronic pain as a result of playing violin. “I was having a lot of pain to the point where a sports doctor told me I would have to stop playing because I would continue aggravating it.” Fortunately, she found pilates and was able to continue her career. Still a relatively new activity in Luxembourg, this fitness system, designed by the German physical trainer Joseph Pilates, aims to improve physical strength, flexibility, posture and enhance mental awareness. It helped Wilkinson to overcome the imbalances in her body and today she is both pain-free and has the posture of a ballet dancer. Wilkinson went on to train as a pilates instructor for mat work, then on the various pilates machines, a huge variety of which she has in her home studio.
“The main body component of it is very interesting,” she says, adding that the feedback she receives from her clients who have no more pain, is very rewarding. “It’s fantastic to be able to help people on that level. In the orchestra, you might get feedback from the audience saying they liked the concert. But, you don’t often get the direct feedback.” Facing a busy schedule of concerts and rehearsals over ten months of the year, finding time for classes, in addition to being a mother-of-three, has not always been easy. With the prospect of taking early retirement approaching, she says she looks forward to developing her passion into a business of her own.
KNOCK ON WOOD Also approaching retirement is André Kieffer, a Luxembourger who has been playing double bass like his father before him, since the age of 8. After studying in Paris, he landed his first job playing with the Berlin Philharmonie at the tender age of 21. “I had made the decision when I was 17 or 18 to go onstage,” he explains. A few years later, members of the double bass section of the RTL orchestra retired,
OPL HISTORY Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra (OPL) has been going since 1933. It started out as the official orchestra of Radio Luxembourg and, prior to moving to the purpose-built Philharmonie in Kirchberg in 2005, it was housed at the Villa Louvigny. The orchestra came under public administration in 1996 and today is composed of 98 musicians. icon_website w ww. philharmonie.lu October 2017
opening the door for Kieffer to come home to play and teach. “It’s not often as a musician you get to work in your home town,” he says, adding he is one of four native Luxembourgers playing with the OPL. Kieffer meets Delano on a bright, sunny place de l’Europe during rehearsals. The veteran musician replies cheerfully and patiently to interview questions, his manner contrasts with the melancholic melody he has just been rehearsing. Kieffer easily switches between French and English, the latter he explains is often used in the orchestra where there are over 20 different nationalities represented. Kieffer clearly loves his job. “We always have really good conductors and this makes the whole job really fun and interesting. We are lucky compared to other jobs, like working in a factory.” But, he explains that sometimes the work can be stressful, and he often finds himself spending up to 12 hours a day rehearsing and playing. He needed to find a way to switch off from music without compromising on his need to create. The solution was clear. “I started making furniture at 15. My father was never at home, because he worked at a train station and played bass. And my mother always needed something fixed.” Kieffer’s ability to make and mend things grew into a passion for woodwork. In his late twenties he bought his first big piece of machinery and since then he has been making anything from wardrobes to delicate boxes in his home workshop. “All of the furniture in my living room and kitchen is made by me… After that, friends would say they needed something and would ask me to help.” He says he does not do it for money-indeed he never charges much for his work, usually asking just enough to cover the cost of materials and put something towards buying new machinery. Perhaps he should consider charging danger money as the hobby is not without its hazards. “I’ve had accidents. I once had to stop playing for three days when I cut my finger. I had to glue it up to be able to play again,” he recalls. “I need to be calm when I’m doing it.” October 2017
“ALL OF THE FURNITURE IN MY LIVING ROOM AND KITCHEN IS MADE BY ME.” ANDRÉ KIEFFER
ANDRÉ KIEFFER The double bass player has made anything from wardrobes to delicate boxes in his home workshop
THIS IS NOT THE LUXX INDEX. IT’S HASSAN’S HEARTBEAT JUST BEFORE HE WAS HANGED. 40
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Text by SARITA RAO
Photography by MIKE ZENARI
WANNA BE STARTING SOMETHING? Luxembourg is prioritising growth of the digital economy, but just how easy is it to start up an online business in the grand duchy? Sport50, Houser, iCompare and Young Enterprise winner MergeIn reveal their experiences.
nsurance comparison quotes, property price tracking, and support for amateur sport organisations are just three e-commerce startups blazing a trail in Luxembourg. This year’s Young Enterprise Project winner MergeIn also took their idea of an online sales platform and app to the European finals in Helsinki. But just how easy is it for budding entrepreneurs to set up online in the duchy? “It’s fast, it’s scalable, it’s efficient and most importantly, online gives you all kinds of data that you can analyse and work with to improve your own product, the customer experience and the value you provide. I don’t think there’s any kind of business in today’s world that should ignore this opportunity,” says Gilles Mangen, a Luxembourger, hockey enthusiast and co-founder of Sport50.com,which provides tools to sports organisations to take away the pain of running a club so they can concentrate on the sport itself. Canadian-born Matti Heikkila, co-founder of Houser.lu, which provides free and premium services on property prices, emphasises the interactivity that online gives entrepreneurs: “It’s timely and you can customise it for an individual, plus it’s a lot easier and cheaper for distribution.”
DOES SIZE MATTER? However, investment in time and money, particularly in the technology to run a truly digital business, can be a challenge. Mangen admits that October 2017
ICOMPARE.COM Jamie Eltorkey, co-founder of the insurance shopping website
Sport50’s product is purely digital, and delivers complex theories and business requirements. “Adding artificial intelligence and automation to it doesn’t make things easier,” he says. Launched at the end of 2016, iCompare.lu helps people to compare insurance quotes, previously a time- consuming and unwieldy task for many residents. “We started with a lot of market research and in-depth analysis on consumer behaviour and perception towards buying insurance online. Underpinning the options, we offer several deals with suppliers,”
says Jamie Eltorkey, one of three partners to set up the comparison site. The three startups have different views on whether Luxembourg is a big enough market to sustain a bespoke online startup service. Eltorkey believes that the online market in Luxembourg is still largely untapped. “Only seven percent of Luxembourg traders sell online, so there is still a big gap in the market,” he reasons, although his site also targets the home countries of expats moving to Luxembourg. For Mangen, appealing exclusively to a Luxembourg market was a no
go for Sport50: “We are a growth business and we are obliged to leverage the size of international markets to make the business profitable.” “By targeting new business sectors, growth opportunities still exist in the duchy,” says Heikkila. Houser.lu provides a ‘freemium’ supported model that enables people to gauge house prices in an area, but provides advanced data analytics to value residential properties to banks and real estate agents. Young Enterprise winner Lucas Arndt sees the size of the market as a big problem for any online business in Luxembourg, because the investment required to reach just 600,000 people is extremely high. “The other issue is we have lots of nationalities and cultural diversity. It’s a good thing, but it makes it hard to target advertising and decide which languages to use,” says Arndt.
BOOSTER PROGRAMMES All agree that state support is pivotal for any e-commerce business to survive. “Luxembourg is a great place to start an online business. The tax environment, state support like Fit4Start and Young Innovative Enterprise, the geographical location and the country’s multicultural background, solid startup support infrastructures and incubators like Luxinnovation, Technoport and Nyuko, give entrepreneurs a very tight meaningful network and help speed up the process of getting an idea off the ground,” says Mangen. Eltorkey concurs that networking to create contacts in your business field and consulting with the many incubators in Luxembourg is particularly useful for startups, but says that understanding your market is the absolute key to success. For Arndt, the journey is yet to start, but he and his team are hoping to get their winning project off the ground during their final year of university. It’s clear that all of them are driven and combine their own specific skills with their personal passions. “You need to be passionate to cope with the long hours and weekend work,” says Heikkila. He came to Luxembourg October 2017
MERGEIN César Castréjon and Lucas Arndt, part of the team that represented Luxembourg at the European Enterprise Challenge earlier this year
in 2009 to work in IT security, but decided to combine his passions for economics, finance and housing into an online startup. “My life has always been about ice hockey, finance and entrepreneurship, and I’m surrounded by talented and ambitious people working on truly disruptive projects that can change people’s lives,” says Mangen. Life as a young entrepreneur can be frustrating, despairing and full of sacrifices, but it’s something Mangen embraces because he has a very clear vision. “It’s a unique spot to be in, and I’m very grateful for that.” Passion and tenacity is what it takes to build an online business in Luxembourg says Belfast-born Eltorkey, who came to the country in 2012 to work in the insurance sector. “My goal is to keep developing new products and services in Luxembourg. Everyone shops around for flights, hotels, shoes and other types of products and services online. The same can be said for financial services. I just want to help simplify how we live.”
WANT TO START UP ONLINE? INSPIRATION Digital Luxembourg Runs a blog on e-commerce projects and initiatives in Luxembourg. icon_website www.digital-luxembourg.public.lu HELP TO GET YOUR IDEA OFF THE GROUND Luxinnovation Runs the Fit4Start programme to support startups in their establishment phase and by offering early-stage funding and coaching. icon_website www.luxinnovation.lu Technoport Runs an incubator, fab lab and co-working space designed to help people build sustainable business models for their ideas. icon_website www.technoport.lu Nyuko Is an independent non-profit organisation that gives entrepreneurs access to experts, advisors, coaches, mentors and strategic partners. icon_website www.nyuko.lu Jonk Entrepreneuren Is a public-private sector organisation bringing entrepreneurship programmes to young adults. icon_website www.jonk-entrepreneuren.lu NETWORK The Luxembourg Entrepreneur & Startup Community Holds monthly meetups. icon_website www.meetup.com
Text by MARTINE HUBERTY
Photography by MAISON MODERNE
UP, UP AND AWAY
NOT SO SPORTY 6% of all holidays were sports holidays in 2016. 15.7% of sports holidays are taken in the period of January-March.
Living in such a small country, it’s easy to see why Luxembourg residents go on holidays a lot. Just before the weary and dreary winter months, let’s have a look at a few facts about their travelling bug.
GET THE PICTURE
MAKING A DATE 3.1% of all travel is related to events, while culture and visiting were reasons to go abroad for 18.5% of all holidays.
NEIGHBOURING DESTINATIONS A third of all holidays are to France or Germany. Other popular destinations include Spain, Italy, Portugal and Belgium. Together these countries make up two-thirds of all journeys. October 2017
HITTING THE ROAD The car remains the most popular mode of transport: every second journey is made by car, while planes are taken in more than a third of trips. Travellers take trains about 10% of the time. Special thanks to Modelshop (www.modelshop.lu) for use of the nifty train kit.
TRAVEL BUDGET On average, Luxembourg residents spent €770 per holiday in 2016. The span is from €416 per person (for travel within Benelux) to €1,982 per person (for long distance travel).
WARM WEATHER DEPARTURES The months where the fewest people go on holidays are January and November, and both short stays and longer stays are at their lowest then as well. 16% of all trips are taken in August, when people’s average stay is over 15 days.
Source: figures from the Statec reports “Regards no 08/2017 Regards sur les pratiques touristiques des résidents” and “Regards no 18/2016”
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Text by STEPHEN EVANS
Photography by MARION DESSARD
LOOKING TO ASIA, AND STILL THE US
lobal assets under management are set to hit $100trn by 2020, and, around then, the US market will start to represent less than half of the total for the first time. Barbara Wall, managing director of the consultants Cerulli Associates, made this prediction at the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry’s Global Distribution Conference. If asset managers are not planning to look into digitalisation soon, they risk falling behind “very rapidly”, she added. Meanwhile, the threat of protectionism is identified as the number one challenge to the investment fund sector in Alfi’s newly-updated “2020 Ambition” paper. In his talk, Christopher D. Christian of the American law firm Dechert suggested there was cause for optimism about the recent actions of the US president Donald Trump. The appointment of Jay Clayton to run the financial regulator SEC is a bold step which could lead to changes in the DoddFrank rules, many of which he believes have hampered the industry.
More highlights: icon_website www.delano.lu/snapshots
GLOBAL FUND CONFERENCE, 19-20 SEPTEMBER A. Julia Altmeier and Isabell de Wit B. Rafal Kwasny and Rafael Aguilera C. Barbara Wall D. Pierre Gramegna, Luxembourg’s finance minister, highlighted next year’s 30th anniversary of the Ucits directive: “This has been a great success, but like many things that work well, there is a tendency to take this for granted.” E. Denise Voss, Alfi board chair, opens the conference
F. Benjamin Rossignon and Yves Elvinger G. Vinay Shriram and Roger Exall H. Richard Lepere, Stephen Mohanas & Paul Poletti-Gadd I. According to Christopher D. Christian, the message from the Trump administration is: “America is still open for business for capital raising, and it will be made easier for European fund managers to raise capital in the US.” J. Claude Marx and Antoine Kremer K. Sébastien Danloy and Jean-Michel Loehr L. Guillermo Arthur Errázuriz, Jay Nakashima and Eric Dale M. Jean-Paul Gennari, Annick Elias and Simon Ramos N. Israel Cuesta and Paul Lacher O. Isabelle Nicks and Salla Komulainen P. Mette Bergenstoff Jensen and Brian Blanchard
Interview by JESS BAULDRY
BUILDING AN EMBASSY FROM SCRATCH
CARLO KRIEGER Appointed Luxembourg’s first ambassador to Brazil. He is pictured here at a Chamber of Commerce event held in Kirchberg earlier this year. icon_phone +352 247-82386 icon_mail brasilia.amb @mae.etat.lu
LaLa La Photo
especially ambassador Dirk Loncke, Next, I will contact our network his wife and the entire embassy team, of honorary consuls who have been who host us in their offices on a tran- diligently defending Luxembourg’s sitional basis. interests during numerous decades Already in our first week we expe- in four major cities in Brazil: Belo rienced the Brazilian national day Horizonte, São Paulo, Rio and Porto with a civil and military parade Alegre. Three of them are descendants unlike any we saw before, traditional of Luxembourg engineers linked to Brazilian singers and folkloric dancers Arbed, Belgo Mineira and Paul Wurth, were followed by historic military and were thus instrumental in helping horse riders and carriages, set up Brazil’s steel industry since the spanning from the colonial late 1920s. Talking to them is crucial times to independence and in order to learn about Brazil in PORTRAIT ending with a spectacular general and specifically its industrial flyover of Brazil’s own aerial history and potential. After all Brazil is the world’s fifth- acrobatic Esquadrilha da Fumaça, flying Brazilian-made largest country (for size and population) Tucan airplanes. In the meantime, I and even today, in difficult times, it Luxembourg’s first ambassador also participated in meetings with ranks among the ten largest econo to Brazil, Carlo Krieger, spoke Brazilian officials and EU colleagues. mies of the world. Meeting the indiWe also are house-hunting and vidual economic actors from Luxem with Delano in mid-September about setting up an embassy finding our way among the specific bourg in Brazil and from Brazil in from scratch in Brasilia and stores and local goods they carry, in Luxembourg is key to well representing how an economic mission addition to sampling the diverse our country and to assisting in opening could soon be on the cards. Brazilian cooking. So much of it is doors in the future. Several bilateral unknown to us in Europe. agreements already exist for many Prior to moving here, I had come years between our two countries, Jess Bauldry: You were appointed Luxembourg ambassador to Brazil here together with a colleague in some need updating and new fields on 1 September. What has it been order to prepare our diplomatic may require new agreements. Among presence. The Brazilian foreign mi them a new bilateral social security like so far? Carlo Krieger: The first two weeks nistry protocol department received agreement has just been ratified by in a new post are always exciting and us with open arms and greatly facil- the Brazilian Senate. eye-opening. In this case even more itated our first steps, even making it What plans are there for an ecoso, as my wife and I are the first possible for me to be accredited already nomic mission from Luxembourg Luxembourg diplomats to be stationed in late June during a formal ceremony to travel to Brazil in the future? There are regular economic and fihere. The descriptions we read of with president [Michel] Temer. this enormous country fall short What are the short and medium- nancial missions and the Chamber of Commerce organises country days compared to the first impressions we term goals of the embassy? got when the airplane touched down The very first activity is to set up an and other recurring opportunities and we actually experienced it first- office in our temporary location inside providing new contacts in Luxembourg. hand. My wife and I landed on the Belgian embassy, and to look for There are tentative plans for an eco1 September here in Brasilia, the permanent premises, offices and a resi nomic mission in the first half of 2018, federal capital, which is located on dence, in this wide-spread capital city. but they are not yet finalised. the Cerrado plateau in the geographic center of this enormous country spanning a huge chunk of the South American subcontinent. “ THE DESCRIPTIONS WE READ OF THIS ENORMOUS The initial feeling is one of the COUNTRY FALL SHORT COMPARED TO THE FIRST friendly welcome we received here by IMPRESSIONS WE GOT WHEN THE AIRPLANE TOUCHED our Belgian neighbours and friends, DOWN AND WE ACTUALLY EXPERIENCED IT FIRST-HAND.”
Delano presents a selection of upcoming business, informational and networking events for Luxembourg’s international community. Starting times omitted from all day happenings. Advance registration and fees may be required so consult the website indicated for further details. SHAPING EUROPE
Femmes Développement The not-for-profit hosts its 12th charity dinner, this year with a Havana twist. Funds raised will go towards microcredit projects, helping widows and orphans in Rwanda.
Fairtrade Lëtzebuerg Fairtrade Lëtzebuerg celebrates its 25th anniversary with a party. Founded in 1992 as TransfairMinka, the organisation fosters business practices which respect producers’ basic rights.
icon_when Thu 19 Oct, 19:00 icon_where Casino 2000, Mondorf-les-Bains icon_website www.femmesdeveloppement.org
University of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker (pictured), Jacques Santer, Viviane Reding, Claude Turmes and Yves Mersch will be guests at this event organised by the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History with the European Commission. icon_when Fri 13 Oct, 10:00 icon_where Maison du Savoir, Audimax, Esch-sur-Alzette icon_website www.uni.lu
GOVSAT LUXEMBOURG BCC Vice president of Govsat Paul Wells will talk about the latest satellite communications business being developed in Luxembourg, providing an overview of Govsat and its business evolution. icon_when Fri 13 Oct, 12:00 icon_where DoubleTree by Hilton, Luxembourg-Dommeldange icon_website www.bcc.lu
PwC Luxembourg Hear from a series of thought leaders from around the world as they share best practices and discuss the 2018 global state of information security survey.
Amcham Guest speaker and CSSF consultant Graham White will talk about the role financial institutions can play in countering terrorist threats in recognising which systems are vulnerable to abuse by terrorist groups or individuals.
Chamber of Commerce A key meeting point for ICT professionals, this year’s event focuses on digitalisation of SMEs and DDoS attacks. Over 1,000 attendees are expected to the seminars, workshops and trainings. Early registration strongly recommended.
icon_when Thu 19 Oct, 08:30 icon_where PwC Luxembourg, Luxembourg-Cloche d’Or icon_website www.cybersecurityday.lu
WORDPRESS CONFAB Wordpress Meetup If you have never made your own website or are simply curious about publishing system Wordpress, check out this free series of monthly meetups designed for beginners, followed by a drink. icon_when Thu 19 Oct & Thu 9 Nov, 18:30 icon_where Nyuko, Luxembourg-Hollerich icon_website www.meetup.com
icon_when Mon 6 Nov, 12:00 icon_where Cercle Munster, Luxembourg-Centre icon_website www.amcham.lu
LEGAL MASTER’S FAIR
Education USA Anyone interested in obtaining an LLM, an advanced legal master’s degree, is invited to attend this unique event which will bring more representatives from the law programmes at more than a dozen US universities to Luxembourg.
FIND MORE EVENTS Check Delano’s digital agenda for the latest happenings: www.delano.lu/agenda
icon_when Thu 9 Nov, 19:00 icon_where Syrkus Kulturhaus, Roodt-sur-Syre icon_website www.transfair.lu
icon_when Tue 7 Nov, 18:00 icon_where Arendt House, Luxembourg-Kirchberg icon_mail email@example.com
icon_when Tue 14-Wed 15 Nov icon_where Chamber of Commerce, Luxembourg-Kirchberg icon_website www.luxembourg-internet-days.com
Amcham Celebrate the American holiday with good food among friendly company at the American Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner. This year’s guest speaker will be economy minister Étienne Schneider. icon_when Fri 17 Nov, 19:00 icon_where DoubleTree by Hilton, Luxembourg-Dommeldange icon_website www.amcham.lu
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Text by JESS BAULDRY
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TAKING THE STING OUT OF WORK If KPMG partner for tax services Frank Stoltz is not at his desk or with a client, chances are he can be found on the office roof, minding his bees.
he Luxembourger first got into beekeeping 15 years ago following the death of his then father-in-law. “Nobody was there to take them over,” he recalls and, since he grew up on a farm, he decided to adopt them. “I just wanted to find out whether it would be something I would enjoy,” he says, adding: “I had to adapt more to the bees than they did to me. They were just getting on with their job.” He picked up advice from the beekeeping community in Luxembourg and soon discovered beekeeping was a good way to unwind after work. “If you’re putting your head in a hive, you’re not thinking about tax any more. I think that’s the nice part about it. You can change from one topic to another and free up your mind pretty easily and quickly.” After KPMG moved into their new premises on boulevard John F. Kennedy in 2014, staff suggested he could house some hives on the roof. Today Stoltz splits his time between a handful of hives on the Kirchberg plateau and those on the roof. “I guess that most people know the hives are up there. I’ve brought over 50 people at least to the roof,” he says. In the last three years, the bees have been adopted as something of a mascot by Stoltz’s employer--they feature on the firm’s Christmas cards and the honey itself is given away to clients. Stoltz, who also enjoys hunting and being in the outdoors, says another thing he likes about his hobby is that it enables him to spend quality time with his daughters in a more natural environment. “I bring one or both of my daughters here regularly if I come to see the bees, especially during weekends… I grew up with the outdoors but for them it’s changing--they are growing up in the city and spend time in a playground or flat or house.” He also enjoys sharing his knowledge with others and during the summer helped give a workshop about bees and beekeeping to scouts. October 2017
A BUZZING DEPARTMENT Frank Stoltz joined KPMG Luxembourg as a junior assistant in 2000 after completing a degree in finance and doing a short stint working for an investment bank in London. “When I started, we were 35 in tax function roles. Today we are between 350 and 400,” he says, recalling that he had to work with all tax topics before the team grew and was organised into five areas. “I could be working for Coca-Cola, in the US, an investment bank in London or an asset manager in Germany.” Stoltz took a brief break between 2007 and 2008 to work for a bank, but later returned to KPMG. “I came back to KPMG because of the people and the working environment. I’m the kind of person who needs excitement and stress in work,” he says. Today, he is a partner in the financial services tax department and is the lead partner for tax services in the insurance sector in Luxembourg.
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SCIENCE IS FUN
THINK PINK GUIDE
The ladies at Think Pink Lux have released an updated version of their English guide offering a helping hand to women diagnosed with cancer in Luxembourg. It includes information on care and support available in Luxembourg, testimonials as well as alternative therapies. Pick up a free copy from your doctors’ surgery, the Centre Hospitalier and maternity ward or request a copy via email. icon_mail firstname.lastname@example.org icon_website www.thinkpinklux.com
This aviation concept store and gallery opened in Weiswampach at the end of September. It sells furniture, graphic art, decoration, jewellery and clothing which has been inspired by aviation or made from aircraft parts. icon_where 19 Gruuss-Strooss, Weiswampach icon_website www.aerodesignart.com
Whether you are curious about getting your first tattoo or are a seasoned collector of tats, take a tour of the ladies tattoo convention from 28 to 29 October. 130 female tattoo artists are expected to be present. Part of the admission proceeds goes to Europa Donna Luxembourg. icon_where Luxexpo The Box icon_website www.thestorm.lu
RBC RACE FOR THE KIDS
Take part in this family- friendly, 5-kilometre fun run in Kirchberg on 22 October and help raise money for children and adolescents showing signs of psychological suffering. Runners set out at 11 a.m. All proceeds go to Red Cross the rapy centre Kannerhaus Jean. icon_where Parc Dräi Eechelen icon_website www.rbcraceforthekids.lu
HOME & LIVING EXPO
Anyone planning home improvements or a construction project can discover new design trends and meet over 300 manufacturers and craftspeople at the Home & Living Expo from 14 to 22 October. icon_where Luxexpo The Box icon_website www.thebox.lu
Did you know that you can make restaurant bookings online via Explorator? The service has been available with participating restaurants for 12 months and today diners can make online bookings at over 180 restaurants without having to pick up the phone. icon_website www.explorator.lu icon_website www.luxtable.lu
BIKE WITH BENEFITS
Ride your bike in Luxembourg and get discounts and free stuff during the month of October thanks to the Biklio pilot project. To benefit from perks at participating businesses and be entered in a contest, users must download the app and cycle a minimum of 500m. icon_website www.biklio.com
Discover Luxembourg’s distillery tradition during the distillery open day on 22 October. From noon onwards, people can visit a range of distilleries found listed on the website below. icon_website www.brenner-am-miselerland.lu
Since 3 August, budget travellers can hop on a Ouibus from Luxembourg to up to 14 destinations in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Travellers can take up to 2 pieces of hold luggage, 2 hand luggage and have access to free wifi on their journey. icon_website www.ouibus.com
ver wondered if a €50 note is flame retardant? Perhaps you always wanted to learn how to make bogeys from sweets? All these questions and more can be answered at one of the most eagerly awaited public events for curious people, the Luxembourg Science Festival. Running from 11-12 November, the 11th edition of this fun and informative festival features shows, exhibitions and scores of workshops aimed at nurturing an interest in the sciences among people aged from 3 to 99. Among the highlights in the huge list of weird and wacky workshops on offer this year, participants can visit Dr Frankenstein’s laboratory, explore optical illusions, rebuild the leaning tower of Pisa and solve a murder mystery in the Sherlock Holmes workshop. And don’t miss the series of workshops for people aged 12 and over, such as “En Pleine Forme?”, which enables participants to better understand the science behind human health, physical and mental, through a series of tests and demonstrations. Among the demonstrations scheduled, people can see a 4D show, watch chemistry tricks and find out how to make bogeys and other icky stuff from frozen sweets. Most workshops are multilingual and accessible for English speakers. Check the programme for individual events to find out which languages are spoken. The festival is hosted at Neimënster and Natur Musée, both in the Luxembourg-Grund. Registration for workshops and shows is compulsory. This is a hugely popular event with limited places so participants are urged to book early to avoid disappointment. icon_when 11-12 November icon_where Natur Musée & Neimënster icon_info www.science-festival.lu
Maison Moderne > Pexels > Brenner am Miselerland > Luxtable > Pexels
DHOL, DAL AND DANCES
The Indian Association Luxembourg celebrated 70 years of India’s independence with a packed line-up of events in place d’Armes in Luxembourg on 16 September. icon_facebook Indian Association Luxembourg asbl
INDIA DAY A. Crowds lapped up the fashion show B. A woman gives a henna tattoo C. Visitors had a go at a popular Indian game D. An energising Dhol percussion performance ended with a big crowd joining the performers on stage
E “A DREAM COME TRU el Lucius began a new Luxembourg Lycée Mich en it opened a primary sec tion, chapter in September wh ge schooling. offering English-langua
260 pupils representing 45 nationalities began their first day of term at the new Lycée Michel Lucius primary school on 15 September in Luxembourg-Belair. “It’s a dream come true,” said Pascale Petry, director of the Lycée Michel Lucius in Limpertsberg (on right), which has offered Englishlanguage education in secondary since 2011. While Friday was the first official day of classes, the setting was not so dauntingly new as pupils, parents and teachers had already met on Thursday. “As the time frame was very short between setting up the school and the first day, the parents wanted to have quite a lot of information. We opened the day before so they could tell us their concerns,” Petry said, adding, “The feedback from parents was great.” The director said it had been a race against time to get the school off the ground after it was greenlighted by parliament in December 2016. Petry stressed she had a good team behind her. It also helped that the teaching requirements were adjusted so that now teachers are only required to speak one national language (as opposed to three) to level B2. It means they were able to hire foreign-born teachers who already lived in Luxembourg in addition to recruiting from abroad. Among the parents who accompanied their children on the first day, one mum lavished praise on the facilities, particularly the workshops offered during lunch time and after school, which included things like photography, arts and crafts, and music. Primary school head Daniel Redinger said these activities were coordinated with teachers to reinforce classroom learning, enabling the school to adopt a no-homework policy. For expediency, the temporary school structure is currently housed in prefab containers. Eventually, it will move to a more permanent building, but Redinger said it was too early to comment on where this would be. Since registrations opened earlier this year, demand from parents has been high--the school received more than 450 applications. It was especially strong for first year places, where five classes were created. “We really tried to be fair and give those children who we thought would profit most from our school the chance to come. The building has limited space so it would be irresponsible for us to start with more children,” Petry said. icon_website www.lml.lu
Interview by JESS BAULDRY Photography by LALA LA PHOTO October 2017
Text by ALIX RASSEL
Photography by LALA LA PHOTO
al School of the modern Internation school was of ors rrid co the gh ou agine that the As you walk thr Hollerich, it’s hard to im parent’s home Luxembourg campus inildren sit ting around a dining room table at a and locations s ch me en na ny dif ferent founded with sev o. The school has had ma Delano spoke in Strassen 53 years ags and an equally diverse collection of alumni. re. de mo t ca ou de t Parra , to find over those five of development, Margo with the school’s head
hilst the International School of Luxembourg has always had an alumni organisation, it was the school’s golden jubilee in 2013 that provided the impetus to further develop the ISL Alumni Group. “The 50th anniversary celebrations were a huge success,” explains Parra. “Over 200 people attended the weekend’s events with representatives from all five decades of the school.” The anniversary festivities included tours of previous school buildings as well as an informal cocktail party and dinner. “It was clear from the success of the event how important the alumni organisation was and it became something we wanted to develop further.” At present, there is no ‘official’ alumni committee, but Parra organises informal gatherings in Luxembourg, and in January 2017 a mini-reunion was hosted for alumni living in London. “Having a formal alumni organisation requires a lot of work and is only one part of my job,” she notes. “We now have a working database which helps a lot, but we are keen for former pupils to volunteer and get more involved in the organisation.” Over the last few years the ISL has invited a former pupil to speak at the annual graduation ceremony. This year Daniel Ham, who works for the United Nations World Food Programme in New York, gave the graduation speech, telling the students that: “You have a world of choices in front of you. Seize your opportunities. Be champions for equality and pursue your passion.” “It’s a speech that the students always love to hear,” says Parra. “They can relate directly to the speaker knowing they have gone through the same experience and come out on the other side. It’s very motivating for them.” October 2017
ISL has alumni located across the globe and in a vast array of professions. It is hoped in the future that they can act as mentors to students. “If we have students going to a particular university where there are ISL alumni, it’s a huge help to put them in touch. It makes the transition smoother, especially if the graduates are travelling to a new country.” Alumni are also an invaluable help when it comes to finding pupils employment, be it as summer students, interns or permanent employees. At present this is more of an informal, word-of-mouth process, but at some point Parra hopes that the school will have an alumni portal where information can be collated and shared. “Perhaps in the future we could even have a job portal,” she says. Future alumni events include another mini-reunion in London in 2018 and perhaps a similar get-together in Boston in 2019. In the meantime, Parra urges anyone hosting an “informal gathering” to let the school know about it. “We hope to have a newsletter in the future, so it would be wonderful to know about events that are happening and keep people connected.”
INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF LUXEMBOURG Students: 1,370 pupils on 30 August 2017 Nationalities on campus: more than 50 Previously known as: DuPont de Nemours Private School, English Speaking School of Luxembourg, American School of Luxembourg, and until 1999, the American International School of Luxembourg. icon_website www.islux.lu
MARGOT PARRA The International School of Luxembourg is looking for volunteers to help run its alumni association.
ISL ALUMNI Due to the grand duchy’s transient population, the International School of Luxembourg considers anyone who has attended the school as alumni, even if it was for a short period of time. icon_facebook International School of Luxembourg - Alumni icon_mail email@example.com
IN 2017, BERNARD-MASSARD WAS AWARDED WITH TWO PLATINUM MEDALS AT THE DECANTER WORLD WINE AWARDS. In 2017, Bernard-Massard participated for the first time to the Decanter World Wine Awards. The DWWA can be considered as one of the most prestigious wine competitions. Many call it the “Oscars of the wine world”. Two of our Cuvées received the highest distinctions with one “Platinum Best in Show” and one “Platinum Best in Category”. Out of 17.500 wines, only 34 received Best in Show, 175 Best in Category. To us, this is a true achievement and a fantastic reward for our continuous efforts to deliver products of the highest quality at great value. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our faithful customers and our fantastic team.
Text by ISABELLA EASTWOOD
Photography by MARION DESSARD
Fruit of s r u o b a l r i e th al health g organic food and natur Delano’s guide to buyin in Luxembourg. and household products
he grand duchy had the fourth highest rate of organic food consumption per capita in 2015, according to the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture. In terms of selection and shops, Luxembourg residents have a wide range of prospective suppliers to choose from, ranging from traditional supermarkets to farmer’s gardens and markets, to specialised retailers. Here are a few of the best to check out.
TERRA Terra consists of founding members Marko, Pit and Sophie, a trio who aims to narrow the gap between consumers and farmers. With a garden located just outside the city centre, they follow the Community Supported Agriculture concept, a movement built around the regeneration of local and communal gardening. The model emphasises communication, trust and partnership. Participation follows a membership scheme, with people paying in advance in order to allow for planning and budgeting. Members receive a weekly supply of fruit and vegetables, and while you might not be able to choose your produce, you can expand your knowledge and learn about what’s available. The allotment is open once a month to the general public, while members are always welcome, and October 2017
workshops for schools and transition centres take place weekly. “Depending on the season, these activities can go from carving pumpkins to making apple juice,” elaborates Marko. This interactive cooperation lies at the heart of Terra, enforcing no obligations to be active, but rather providing the opportunity for people to rebuild a connection to those who grow and cultivate their food. Independent of any government subsidies or financial support, it was important to the members of Terra to start an organisation with complete autonomy, a demonstration that communal agriculture is a viable option. “We want to build a community and culture around food. We’re proving that we are both economically and agriculturally resilient,” states Sophie. Subscriptions are limited, and the system works under a first come, first served basis. Pick up points take place three times a week, in Mamer, Redange, Esch-sur-Alzette and at various spots in the capital. Members are also welcome to organise new pickup spots with other members. icon_website www.terra-coop.lu
KRAUTGAART Also following the CSA mentality are Jean-Marc Parries, Claude Petit and Max Epstein, each with an educational background in agriculture, including botany,
agricultural economics, preservation and landscape ecology. Amassing expertise from different areas, they launched their communal project this year. While some of the finer details concerning basket size and price are still being smoothed out, the pick-up area in Koerich sets an atmosphere that reflects the philosophy of communal sharing and expression. “We don’t want this to be a collection spot only, but a place to chat and to talk to each other. It’s as social as it is commercial,” Jean-Marc explains. “It’s not really the vegetables that cost money, but the work that goes into cultivating them. Maintaining biodiversity and the natural ecosystem, and ensuring the best soil possible: these are the pillars of our work. Supermarket prices are low, but they’re neither sustainable, nor do they indicate the amount of labour involved in production. We do this as a vocation, but it’s not easy. We have the capacity to have enough for people. People need to remember that farmers still have one of the most important jobs in society, because everyone is always going to need food. Instead of slowly destroying both the environment and our bodies, just take a trip to your local farmer. The current system undermines that. Ideally, society would be built around small, local projects and businesses: ecological, communal, diverse.” The collection point is open Fridays between 5 and 8 p.m. in Koerich. icon_facebook Krautgaart
AMAPURA Previously the owner of an organic, vegan bistrot, Antoni Pitou gives a number of classes and workshops centred on the concept of DIY vegetarian, vegan and organic food, cosmetics and hygiene products. Combining workshops with a basic education on the use and benefit of a number of different natural ingredients, individuals looking to develop cooking and creative skills should have a look at the classes Pitou has to offer. Her courses also look at dietary alternatives, including gluten-free and raw food, allowing people to experiment with the creation of their own energy bars, brownies and other recipes. In terms of cosmetics and hygiene, individuals are invited to make their own products: oils, deodorant, creams, masks and
KRAUTGAART Claude Petit, Max Epstein and Jean-Marc Parries at their community farm
a variety of soaps are on the agenda, as well as some more curative products such as after sun lotions and mosquito creams. Pitou is also an authorised distributor of Aroma-Zone, a French organic and natural cosmetics brand. “Having been a vegetarian for over 40 years, I’ve always been on the search for new and interesting recipes. I want to share these with others, especially those suffering from dietary restrictions, or who want to live and eat healthily but don’t know how. Sometimes I organise a special vegan brunch or gourmet dinner, it really depends.” Classes are held in Niederkorn. icon_facebook Amapura
BOULANGERIE SCOTT An organic producer since 1990, John Conrardy began his business in response to the genesis of ready meals
and ready-mix. “I started working with organic food because I developed an allergy to emulsifiers, and the industry has grown a lot since then. It’s pure luck that we managed to jump on the right train, so to speak. The chemical cocktail that goes into baking nowadays, the way the bread is prepared and sold--crisped, not baked, frozen, delivered and warmed--is not the right way to bake. People tend to be alarmed or dismayed by the price of organic food, but they sometimes fail to recognise the difference in quality. Organic food goes a long way, but it has a lot more density and texture.” Scott delivers to over 20 locations in Luxembourg, including Naturata, Alavita, Terra Vital, several smaller organic shops, grocery shops, and even to some day care centres. At the main shop located in Gasperich, 22 different kinds of bread are available, as well as
other pastries, ice cream and cakes. The bakery also takes personal, individualised requests, and caters to vegan and gluten-free diets as well. icon_website www.scott.lu
GRANDMA Online e-commerce enterprise Grandma directs its attention towards authentic Italian food. Stefano and Paolo, each hailing from opposite ends of the country (Torino in the south and Puglia in the north) use the digital platform to distribute quality Italian goods, from small local producers. “Some of our suppliers might be well known regionally, but not outside of Italy. We want to give the right producers the right exposure,” states Paolo. “Any free time is spent trying to find new products. We want to promote goods from as many regions as possible and to advance the diversity October 2017
of Italy. Genuine, pesticide-free goods,” states Stefano. “Being aware of the food you eat, being conscious and aware of the origins and source of produce, that’s part of what Grandma is about,” concludes Paolo. With an organic licence acquired in December, the expansion of Grandma’s organic selection is top priority. icon_twitter @Grandma__Lu
OUNI In December 2016, Ouni opened its doors to the general public. As one of the first shops to run without packaging, Ouni (which means “without” in Luxembourgish) attempts to work entirely around a zero-impact policy. “Involvement really is the key here. As a cooperative, anyone can buy shares, and all members have equal voting rights,” says Amélie De Courcel, the shop manager. “As a member you can be passive, or active, in which case you agree to two hours of voluntarily work a month. It’s true that people come here to buy organic food and to reduce waste, but they also come here for social and communal reasons. Everyone is committed to the same principles, and is engaged with the shop on multiple levels. By taking on different roles, the feedback they are able to provide is incredibly helpful and constructive. They’re invested, and we encourage this. What we’re witnessing is a new way of consuming.” At Ouni, packaging is avoided wherever possible. Cereal, nuts, sweets, pasta and other dry goods are kept in mason jars and various other storage systems. If wrapping is inevitable, reusable and harmless alternatives are sought out. Shoppers are advised to bring their own containers, and to bring back used jars and storage boxes. These rules also apply to suppliers: should they not provide suitable substitutes, Ouni seeks to find a different supplier. In order to bypass exploitation, which is easier at a distance, produce is locally sourced as much as possible. The selection of cosmetics and cleaning is somewhat “other”: shampoos come in bar form and toothpaste is made out of charcoal, which may take some getting used to but promises similar results. Meat and fish, however, are not on display. “The shop promotes the idea that economy, ecology and health are all part of the same equation. October 2017
Furthermore, consumers do have a degree of power: they can say no to pesticides and packaging. Shopping is a basic political act.” icon_website www.ouni.lu
NATURATA The largest organic chain in Luxembourg is Naturata, with ten stores dotted throughout the country. While every single store adheres to the standard EU regulations--the minimum that every certified producer needs to comply with--the franchise endeavours to sell a high percentage of private labels with higher quality organic products. The supermarket provides food and catering services, with shops dedicated entirely to beauty and cosmetics,
and runs an online delivery service in Belval. All diets and dietary requirements are catered for, providing vegetarian, vegan, and gluten- and lactose-free options, as well as ready meals. In a number of cases, Naturata sells produce onsite from farms, in collaboration with local farmers. This is the case with Schank-Haff (one of the first farms certified by Demeter, an organic inspection body), Kass-Haff (a dairy farm in the commune of Mersch) and Meyers-Haff (which provides chicken and eggs). On a more pedagogical level, Naturata organises a number of workshops, such as gluten-free Christmas baking (Naturata lädt ein) and visits to cheesemakers and winegrowers. “What we try to do,” explains Peter Altmayer, “is to create associative
OUNI Amélie De Courcel at the packagingfree shop in the Gare district
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ALSO CHECK OUT BIO-LËTZEBUERG Click on “Unsere Bio-Betriebe” for a list of certified organic farms and establishments in Luxembourg. icon_website www.bio-letzebuerg.lu ALAVITA Organic food store in Junglinster. icon_website www.alavita.lu CO-LABOR Flowers and gardening supplies and organic vegetables, in Bertrange. icon_website www.co-labor.lu LES PANIERS DE SANDRINE A vegetable supplier in Munsbach. icon_website www.lespaniersdesandrine.lu MULLEBUTZ Organic foods and natural cosmetics, in Bonnevoie. icon_website www.bio-mullebutz.lu
agriculture, to establish a space where consumers, farmers, suppliers and retailers discuss their needs. In order to support local farmers, we promise a purchase guarantee. Naturata tries to take full advantage of the fact that the size of Luxembourg makes this collaborative process a lot easier.” icon_facebook Naturata Bio Marché
NATURE ELEMENTS Behind the Nature Elements stores stands Terra Vital: an organic import, distribution and wholesale company. Active for the past 50 plus years, the decision to move towards owning retail outlets was made in order to display the entire range of products acquired, sidestepping the selection process of individual shops. October 2017
NATURE ELEMENTS Olivier Bens and some of his shop’s wine suggestions
“By having our own store, we avoid all filtering processes out of our control. This way we distribute 100% of produce we acquire. We provide all we can and the consumers make their choice,” explains Olivier Bens, its managing director. “We like to suggest new types of food and wine. Recently our restaurant integrated teff, a naturally gluten-free North African cereal into our menu, while our wine shop proposed organic and sulphitefree wines. Not only do we have full control over our prices and stock, we have the freedom to find pragmatic ways to introduce new foods.” Shelves in Nature Elements are not jam-packed, with a focus on diversity instead of quantity. In order to prioritise local produce, they check with regional
suppliers and farmers before moving on to larger, international companies. Removing the number of intermediaries between product and consumer assures, to a higher degree, quality produce and animal welfare. “Organic doesn’t guarantee animal welfare, but by forming relationships with our farmers, and the animals themselves, we can attest to some standards. Our experience also helps us dodge some commercial traps: ‘natural’ does not necessarily mean organic! What is missing in Luxembourg is honest and sincere communication between producers, sellers and users. We’re trying to fulfil that need.” They have three shops: Luxembourg City, Howald and Mersch. icon_website www.naturelements.lu
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y e n r u o j a This is d n u o s o t n i
Text by DUNCAN ROBERTS
sic Experie dubbed “Tomorrow’s Mu en be s ha al tiv fes s ion scene. The annual Sonic Vis rising stars of the music It is a great showcase for
aunched in 2008, the Rockhal’s Sonic Visions festival has always delivered on its promise to promote the very best upcoming artists. It is an eclectic mix, but one that has seen acts such as Kate Tempest and Courtney Barnett play in small intimate venues before hitting the big time. With three festival stages to choose from, audiences can always discover something new and exciting just around the corner. Festival goers can also enjoy a street food market and party late into the night. What’s more the festival site now includes a plaza, with its own music programme, that can be accessed for free even without a festival ticket. The line-up this year includes hot local artists such as power pop youngsters Tuys, singer-songwriter Them Lights (Sacha Hanlet from Mutiny On The Bounty), dreamy alternative R&B performer Edsun, and Frenchlanguage hip-hop acts L.I.L Star and Dorian. Indeed, there is a heavy accent on French artists this year with laid-back hip-hop act Roméo Elvis + Le Motel, and quirky electropop duo Faon Faon also on the bill. Other interesting acts include experimental female pop duo F.U.N.C. (an acronym stemming from their FinnishDutch-Ukrainian-Congolese roots), gloriously alternative soul singer PAULi and Berlin-based classical-electro duo Emina. Perhaps the most exciting acts on the bill are young London girl power duo Nova Twins (pictured), whose grime-punk sound has been described as “lurching, grinding, seismically distorted, FX-mangled”; and French-Algerian home-studio hip-hop artist Rilès, who raps with great skill in English. Sonic Visions, which is a founding member of the Innovation Network of European Showcases festivals, is also a conference for music professionals. Guest speakers this year include PledgeMusic founder Benji Rogers and Grammy-winning artist Imogen Heap. And on the Saturday night the festival plays host to the Luxembourg Video Clip Awards. icon_when 16 to 18 November icon_where Rockhal, Esch-Belval icon_website www.sonicvisions.lu October 2017
Text by NATALIE GERHARDSTEIN
Photography by SVEN BECKER
“ A perfect ow” place to gr ourg via Madrid: From Caracas to Luxembzo’s journey to the grand duchy Marianne Da Silva Cardo r own organic food company. inspired her to launch hees and misses about Venezuela . Here’s what she celebrat
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IN MY SUITCASE
MARIANNE DA SILVA CARDOZO Marianne and her husband decided to look for opportunities abroad when they saw the direction Venezuela was headed in 2008--“on a bad path”, as Marianne put it. The couple--who met in a bank in the capital of Caracas-moved to Madrid, where his sister was living, and began working on their MBAs. Despite the fact that Marianne didn’t want to stay in the financial sector, they both found themselves doing just that. But in 2013 another opportunity came up: her husband found a job in Luxembourg, and they moved. “We thought it was a perfect place to grow professionally and personally,” she adds. For Marianne, this meant taking a moment to reflect on what she wanted to do. In an attempt to eat healthier, she created a line of organic nut spreads which eventually became her own company, Nux, which carries the “Made in Luxembourg” label. Her husband has also followed his passion for craft brewing and co-founded Nowhere Brewing. October 2017
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QUICK GUIDE – WEDDINGS
Text by ISABELLA EASTWOOD
Stress free weddings
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PERSONAL ADVICE Planning a wedding, no matter how big or small the celebrations, takes time and patience and no small amount of imagination and diplomacy. Delano spoke to two couples about their experience and the advice they would give others who are just starting to think about the day they get hitched. While Tilly and Barbara (pictured below, centre) still have their big day ahead of them, newlyweds Luka and Lita (pictured above) tied the knot just recently. Each experienced different sets of difficulties: whether it was the unexpected lengthy process of sorting out matrimony requirements (which can vary from one religious establishment to the next) or the hurdle of finding the right venue to accommodate their party. Notoriously stressful to plan and to perfect, it’s easy to get lost in details, decisions and plans ahead. Here are some personalised tips and tricks to help you along.
FIRST THINGS FIRST… “The first thing I do with clients is to put together an inspiration board. Everything, from the venue and the décor to the food, the dress and even the cost of your wedding depends on this. Defining the concept of your wedding is the most important step of all,” says Nancy from The Party Ville.
THE EARLY BIRD... Luxembourg has some beautiful venues to choose from, most notably the number of châteaux dotted throughout the country. However, popular locations are booked up to 18 months in advance, warns Nancy.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED Something unforeseen will happen. Whether it’s a cancellation, a sudden turn in the weather, or a split in the groom’s trousers. “Always have a plan B,” urges newlywed Lita.
“TIME IS WHAT WE WANT MOST… … but what we use worst.” Prove the saying wrong, and insert time buffers into your day. Packing everything back to back will leave no room for movement, especially for those unpredictable occurrences.
IT’S YOUR PARTY… You can do whatever you want to! Don’t let anyone push you in a direction you don’t want to. This includes people trying to foist something upon you, such as additional courses, decoration, or drinks.
WITH A LITTLE HELP “Don’t shy away from leaning on friends and family. It’s what they’re there for! It will make your busy day easier and more enjoyable,” advises Lita. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
MORE THAN A FEELING “Visit every potential venue personally to make sure you get a real feel for the place. Take your time before settling and assure yourself it’s exactly what you want,” suggest Tilly and Barbara.
RESOURCES WEDDING PLANNERS The Party Ville specialises in themed weddings such as vintage, boho, garden, rustic. icon_website www.thepartyville.com
Weddingreen is part of the Mevengreen organisation that specialises in eco-friendly sustainable events organisation. icon_website www.mevengreen.lu
FAITH, AND TRUST “You need to have complete trust in who you work with. It makes all the difference,” says Tilly. Lita adds: “Our photographer suggested we take our wedding photos before the day’s events. We still looked fresh faced, and could then spend the rest of the day fully focusing on our guests and the celebrations.”
LAST BUT NOT LEAST While it may be your day, it’s up to you to arrange, or at least provide information, about transportation and accommodation for your guests. For Luka and Lita, this meant advising booking a room in the youth hostel next to venue, while Tilly and Barbara organised shuttles to and from venues.
Luxwedding offers a range of wedding packages, from full service to wedding day coordination. icon_website www.luxwedding.lu
icon_where Château de Bourglinster, rue du Château, Bourglinster icon_website www.bourglinster.lu
icon_where L’Orangerie – Domaine Thermal, avenue des Bains, Mondorf-les-Bains icon_website www.mondorf.lu
icon_where Château de Septfontaines, rue de Rollingergrund, Luxembourg-Rollingergrund icon_website www.chateaudeseptfontaines.com Marion Dessard Luka & Lita picture archives
Collection « Charlotte » 5 Rue du Marché-aux-Herbes ∙ L-1728 ∙ Luxembourg ∙ T: +352 22 18 401 www.fabiennebelnou.com
Text by DUNCAN ROBERTS
n e t s n r u t t s a CinE to 22 Oc tober, CinEast festival, from 5 The 10 th edition of the hundred screenings as well as will feature around oneevents. several accompanying
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
SPECIAL EVENTS A selection of some of the best events away from the silver screen.
DINING EVENT Gastronomic evening with buffet from all countries. icon_when 10 October icon_where Brasserie Wenzel, neimënster, Luxembourg-Grund
inEast screenings take place in three main venues in Luxembourg City, the Cinémathèque, neimënster and Ciné Utopia, as well as cinemas around the country. In addition, a major photography exhibition entitled Making a Difference is slated for neimënster and a series of live music events are also on the programme. The main competition features eight films vying for the coveted Grand Prix. Miracle is a quirky tragicomic drama about the struggle of a 40-yearold pig farmer to keep her business as Lithuania shifts from communism to capitalism. Filthy (main photo) is an uncompromising coming-of-age story about a rape victim’s struggle with her own demons. Directions is described as a nocturnal journey through the “murky streets of Sofia”. Fantasy drama November is peopled by bizarre creatures and mixes magic, black humour and romance. Daybreak is a bleak social drama about a single mother looking after an elderly bed-ridden acquaintance. Birds are Singing in Kigali is a October 2017
hard-hitting exploration of the Rwandan genocide of 1994 seen through the fates of two women. Things get a little more upbeat with Soldiers. A Story from Ferentari, which is a modern gay love story set in a marginal Roma neighbourhood of Bucharest. Then there is family drama ¾, which features a touching and poetic story about the relationship between a sister and her younger brother. The festival also has several other sections including a Cinéscope slot for the most outstanding recent fiction films and the FunnyEast selection of the best new comedies. The East Goes West programme is reserved for those films that somehow straddle the former Iron Curtain, and there are also Cinédocs and Cinéshorts sections. The festival will take a closer look at Estonian cinema and also has a focus on Polish actor, director and musician Arkadiusz Jakubik, Romanian new wave actor Adrian Titieni, Sarajevo-born Swedish director Goran Kapetanović as well as Croatian actress Ksenija Marinković.
ELECTRO DJ PARTY Following a screening of documentary End of an Era about the pioneering days of western DJ culture in the Soviet Union, the Riga Disco Blitz DJ collective play early electronic dance music from Latvia and other parts of the former USSR. icon_when 13 October icon_where Rocas, Luxembourg-Centre
10TH BIRTHDAY PARTY The 10th anniversary celebration features live music with folk rock band Svjata Vatra, a birthday cake, short film, traditional food, a quiz and a DJ set from dr. gonZo. icon_when 14 October icon_where Rotondes, Luxembourg-Bonnevoie CLOSING PARTY Antwerp group Gipsy-Ska Orkestra performs an exotic cocktail of Balkan music and Jamaican ska. icon_when 21 October icon_where Melusina, Luxembourg-Clausen FULL PROGRAMME icon_website www.cineast.lu
Photos provided by CinEast
© Prenom Nom
DR. MISIO LIVE Concert by the Polish band led by the actor Arkadiusz Jakubik. icon_when 13 October icon_where Ancien Cinéma, Vianden
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Text by DUNCAN ROBERTS
Photography by LALA LA PHOTO
Children ofon i t u l o v e r e th Domaine et Tradition ir parents founded the emakers are ensuring the er aft ars ye 30 to Close tners, a generation of win group of independent vinreputation for qualit y continues to thrive. that the charter group’s
hough limited in quantity, wines from Luxembourg are now recognised the world over for their quality. Specialist media like Wine Review Online as well as generalist newspapers such as The New York Times have been singing the praises of the best vintages from the Moselle for several years. But it was not always so. As recently as the late 1980s, vintners along the Moselle were content to produce large quantities of cheap and instantly drinkable wine aimed at locals who quaffed the popular elbling and rivaner.
A NEW CHARTER But then a group of eight independent wine makers got together and started what can only be described as a revolution. They decided to go for quality rather than quantity, and imposed a yield limit of 85 hectolitres per hectare. “That was a huge step from what was until then an unlimited yield,” says Jean Duhr, a founding signatory of the charter whose sons Luc and Frank are now the 11th generation to run the Clos Mon Vieux Moulin winery. The other criteria for the Domaine et Tradition wines are that they should stem from vineyards with a recognisably good location--what the French would call lieu-dit--that they should be made using traditional methods and also be wines that improve with age (Domaine et Tradition wines go on sale one year later than other vintages). It was the first such charter to be initiated in Luxembourg, and others such as the Charta Schengen Prestige and charta.privatwënzer have followed. But Domaine et Tradition remains the benchmark--a close-knit group of vintners who share mutual trust and respect. Importantly, as the founders of the group start thinking about retiring, the next generation of wine makers such as Luc and Frank Duhr, Yves Sunnen and his sister Corinne Kox-Sunnen, siblings Isabelle and Georges Gales, Anouk Bastian, and Antoine Clasen at Bernard-Massard are stepping up to the plate. They are not only creating wines for a more and more sophisticated and educated clientele, but also ensuring that the Domaine et Tradition label thrives and that its reputation spreads. Their ambition stems from a recognition of the hard work their parents put in. “Younger generations of October 2017
NEW GENERATION Anouk Bastian, Georges Gales, Corinne Kox-Sunnen and Luc Duhr represent four of the Domaine et Tradition wine makers
THE D&T WINE MAKERS DOMAINE THILL Based in Schengen and now owned by Bernard-Massard, the estate has a neat selection of four grape varieties--Auxerrois, Pinot Blanc, Pint Gris and Riesling. icon_website www.domaine-thill.com CAVES SUNNEN-HOFFMANN The Remerschen estate, run by siblings Yves Sunnen and Corinne Kox-Sunnen, makes exclusively organic wines. icon_website www.caves-sunnen.lu CAVES GALES Now being run by the fourth generation in the shape of Isabelle and Georges Gales, the estate also owns the Caves St. Martin in Remich. icon_website www.gales.lu
wine drinkers may know the Domaine et Tradition label, but not necessarily the story behind it. We, the next generation of winemakers, have ridden on the whirlwind they [the founders] created for the past 20 years,” says Luc Duhr. Once a year the eight wine makers each select two of their best wines and get together for a blind tasting to select those wines that will be granted the Domaine et Tradition label. “We are all responsible for each other’s wine,” says Anouk Bastian, whose father Mathis was a founder signatory. “But if one of our wines is not accepted, we don’t take it badly.” Jean Duhr points out that although Domaine et Tradition is a great showcase for the best and typically characteristic wines, each estate also has a slew of top quality grand premier cru and premier cru wines that they market under their own label. What makes Domaine et Tradition wines even more special is that they are not on sale via the usual retailers, rather can only be purchased from the estate itself or drunk at some of the best restaurants in the grand duchy. “Nowadays no decent wine list is complete without at least one bottle of Domaine et Tradition,” says Corinne Kox-Sunnen from the Sunnen-Hoffmann winery
in Remerschen--the first (and so far only) estate in Luxembourg to produce exclusively organic wines.
EXCLUSIVE EVENT This exclusivity is nothing to do with snobbery-anyone who knows the vintners in question will confirm that they are all typically down-to-earth Moselle people--but, with a limited production, the wine makers want to ensure that their regular customers get a fair chance to order the latest vintage. Which makes the anniversary event at the Schéiss restaurant in Belair on 26 October all the more enticing for newcomers to the label. Guests will have the opportunity to taste Domaine et Tradition wines from all eight estates, allowing them to compare, for instance, six very distinct rieslings from along the Moselle. “We can really showcase the diverse styles and real quality of our wines,” says Luc Duhr. Guests will also get to taste some top-notch local food during a walking dinner conceived and prepared by award-winning chef Joël Schaeffer from Mertert. “It’s meant to be a convivial get-together, not a hard sell. We want to make guests aware of our wines and then maybe they will look out for them the next time they are at a restaurant.”
MATHIS BASTIAN Perched on the hill above Remich, Bastian has an international reputation and is in the hands of Mathis Bastian and his daughter Anouk. icon_website www.mathisbastian.lu CHÂTEAU PAUQUÉ The inimitable Abi Duhr runs this Grevenmacher winery, which also produces under the Clos du Paradis label. Visits are by appointment only. icon_mail firstname.lastname@example.org MME ALY DUHR ET FILS The estate, which has received glowing reviews in the international wine press, is run by the fifth generation in the form of Ben and Max Duhr. icon_facebook Domaine Madame Aly Duhr DOMAINE CLOS DES ROCHERS A Delano favourite, the Clos des Rochers also belongs to BernardMassard, having belonged to the Clasen family since the 19th century. icon_website www.clos-des-rochers.com CLOS MON VIEUX MOULIN One of the oldest wineries in the grand duchy--it was founded in 1689--the estate is now run by convivial brothers Luc and Frank Duhr. icon_website www.duhrfreres.lu
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Text by ISABELLA EASTWOOD
Photography by LALA LA PHOTO
s e i r o t s g n i l l i h c e Spin s d n e g e l l a c o l d an , dead is said to be lifted tween the living and theed folklore surrounding be il ve the , en we llo Ha from the fam Every year at among humans . Aside al occurrences . and spirits cause havoc rg is home to a number of other supernatur ou mb xe Lu , the Melusina
or those who have walked through the forests and rocky landscapes of the Mullerthal region, it should not come as a surprise that the rural environment is home to many a spooky story. With natural rock formations and far-reaching woodlands, the Mullerthal region is the perfect breeding ground for the otherworldly and the uncanny. And indeed, hikers should always be aware, should they start hearing a beautiful singing voice: chances are it might be the last thing they hear. Legend tells of the wealthy and bewitching Griselinde, heir to the Heringen castle, who learned to ensnare travellers with her voice. Living alone with her fairy godmother Harmonika, she gained the ability to lure heartless nomads into the depths of the forest, where they were then turned into stone. It is said that stony Mullerthal landscape is composed of the petrified souls of the callous and cold-hearted men, all losing their lives, wandering in the woods upon following the singing voice. Beneath the jagged, stony surface of the Mullerthal lie countless chevaliers, all fallen for not valuing the heiress’ song. One knight however, the knight of Folkendingen, became enraptured with her voice and vowed to find the woman it belonged to. His heart filled with yearning, he slowly followed the melody closer and closer to Griselinde’s dwelling. Recognising the passion in her suitor’s soul, Griselinde sang on, drawing him ever nearer. At the foot of Griselinde’s tower, the knight was not to be put off, and so he began to climb the steep and craggy rock face up to her. However, on his way up he lost his footing, falling to his death before the lovers could ever meet. Hearing the cries of her admirer, Griselinde rushed out to find him, only to find his lifeless body broken by the fall. Unable to endure the weight of grief and guilt that bore down upon her, Griselinde too gave her body to the cliffs, throwing herself into their depths. Hikers today still hear her song, a lament of love lost, echoing around the ruins of Heringerburg, reverberating between the trees. A legend that is well known to Luxembourgers across the land is the myth of the “Kropemann”. October 2017
Earning his namesake from the hook he uses to drag children into deep waters, the Kropemann’s origin is shrouded in mystery.
HORROR WITH A HOOK In his 2017 film Kropemann, Patrick Ernzer explores one of the possible histories of the spine-chilling water demon. The folklore follows the 16th century story of Johann, who was granted permission to reside in his castle in Meysembourg after the death of his father, son of Karl the Brave, the last duke of Burgundy. Johann enjoyed a purely symbolic reign and devoted his time and love to his only daughter, Lili, whose mother had passed away during childbirth. While Johann invested all the tenderness and support a parent could provide, time for him and his daughter ran out earlier than expected. Located in a forest close by lay a treacherous swamp: the Devil’s Marshes. The day came when Lili, a child full of life who loved to explore, ran too far, and too deep into the marshes. She never returned, and no body was ever found, leaving her father to slowly go mad with grief. Unable to rest and unable to find his daughter, Johann returned to the Devil’s Marshes time and time again, calling out for his beloved Lili. There finally came a night when Johann was so desperate he slowly began to enter the marshes in one last, frenzied attempt to recover Lili. Step by step, Johann waded into the deep, freezing waters, howling for his daughter, crying her name. Ever deeper he dragged his body, wailing for his lost daughter, until his ghastly, wan moans woke the servants of the castle. Maids and manservants rushed to the water’s edge, only to witness the
TREACHEROUS MULLERTHAL The landscape is said to be composed of petrified souls
“ EVERY LUXEMBOURGER HAS HEARD THE LEGEND OF THE KROPEMANN AT LEAST ONCE IN THEIR CHILDHOOD.” CAMERA OBSKURA
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
MONSTER FROM THE DEEP The Kropemann, as envisioned in the Luxembourg horror film
Halloween has become a major event in Luxembourg over the past decade or so. Here is a selection of the best events for kids and adults.
GRAVEDIGGER’S COMEUPPANCE The last tale revolves around a gravedigger of Mamer; a drunken, violent thief. It was late one Christmas Eve, as he was busy excavating another grave, when a young man passed him on his way home, singing. The gravedigger’s fiery temper flared, and he bore down on the innocent man, beating him long after drawing first blood. When he finally desisted, the gravedigger sat down, heaving, knocking back the spirits he always October 2017
kept on his person. It was then that he caught sight of a pale figure, clad in white, sitting just four graves across from him. Staring, the gravedigger could not tear his eyes away as the apparition turned towards him. In horror, he watched as the man slowly opened his mouth, lips stretching over teeth, eyes bulging, tongue lolling. The gravedigger finally came to his senses and ran for his life. The phantom however latched onto him, dragging him back with spectral, steely claws. The more the rogue writhed and recoiled, the stronger the grip, and before long, the phantom rang a small bell, an eerie chime that echoed throughout the cemetery. Answering his call, 12 further goblins crawled out of the shadows, and, seizing the gravedigger by the arms and legs, threw the wretch into the open grave he had been digging. Among screeching and raucous laughter, the little demons turned to him. “You’re freezing!” they howled, gleefully producing a bucketful of living flames. “Drink!” they screamed and goblins forced the fire down his throat. No sooner had he finished than the man’s legs were kicked away from beneath him, and his body was twisted, torn and pulled into various shapes and forms before he was thrown back outside, unconscious, with his head stuck between his legs. Although he survived the ordeal, the grave digger took a long time to heal, his bruises, contusions and swelling a reminder of the nightmarish torment.
HORRIBLE HALLOWEEN The British Ladies Club is hosting its Horrible Halloween event for children at the Bambesch playground on Sunday 22 October between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. There will be prizes for the best costume. icon_website www.blc.lu DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS Bellamy Bar & Cookery, Octans, Go Ten and The Tube host their third Día de los Muertos, the Mexican day of the dead celebration, on 31 October. Guests are encouraged to dress up-women in floral skull makeup coupled with refined Calavera Catrina like long flowing dresses, men in early twentieth century black coats, Victorian hats and skull masks. icon_facebook diadelosmuertosluxembourg URBAN GORE Urban Bar in the capital city was one of the first to get its staff to wear costume and gory makeup for Halloween. It remains one of the best Halloween parties in town. icon_website www.urban.lu
ripples of the watery surface. No sign of life, not even the haggard form of their former master was visible. Far from being reunited, however, Johann’s cries continued to echo around the marshes, as he resumed his fateful hunt into the afterlife. Only now, any child that came too close to the water’s edge was swiftly dragged underwater, as Johann inspected every single one, in hopes of reclaiming his Lili. As his disappointment grew, so did his fury, and locals soon learned to avoid the Devil’s Marshes. Johann, failing to find peace, started searching beyond his underwater realm. Thus, the legend goes, once every hundred years Johann climbs out of his watery grave to scour the land of the living once more, since the land of the dead gave him nothing but darkness. Ernzer’s film explores the legend in a contemporary Luxembourg setting, as the Kropemann haunts the country once more.
TRICK OR TREAT The American Women’s Club of Luxembourg was the first to organise formal trick or treat events in the grand duchy. The event is now held at St. George’s International School in Hamm and this year takes place on Saturday 21 October. Proceeds go to charity. icon_website www.awcluxembourg.com
Text by DUNCAN ROBERTS
s d n a p x e k e e Art W
3 not to miss
s ion . xembourg Ar t Week see The third edition of Lu and attrac t even more international recognit gs win its the fair spread
THEATRE OF DISORDER The latest show by Martine Feipel and Jean Bechameil, who represented Luxembourg at the Venice Biennale in 2011. icon_when 28 October – 1 January 2018 icon_where Casino contemporary art forum, Luxembourg-Centre icon_info www.casino-luxembourg.lu
Giving more space to the gallery and group artist exhibitors at Victor Hugo has meant that the Cercle Artistique de Luxembourg group show moves to the nearby Tramsschapp. The CAL show, which has been an annual event since 1983, will be even bigger than usual and will also be extended until 12 November. The best work at the CAL show will be awarded the Prix du Grand-Duc Adolphe. “With the CAL spanning some 1,000m2 this year, we will be able to give the selected artists more space and greater visibility,” CAL president Marc Hostert told Flydoscope magazine.
POSITIONS & TAKE OFF Free entry. Guided tours every day. Preview 3 November at 6 p.m. icon_when 3-5 November icon_where Halle Victor Hugo, LuxembourgLimpertsberg icon_info www.luxembourgartweek.lu
CERCLE ARTISTIQUE DU LUXEMBOURG Free entry. Guided tours 5 and 12 November at 11 a.m. Preview 3 November at 7 p.m. icon_when 3-12 November icon_where Tramsschapp, LuxembourgLimpertsberg icon_facebook Luxembourg Art Week
icon_when Until 4 November icon_where Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery, Luxembourg-Centre icon_info www.zidoun-bossuyt.com
BEASTS OF BEAUTY Fashion photographer Yves Kortum’s show for Landscape Contemporary Art features very personal images of women which the local artist says were inspired by Helmut Newton. icon_when Until 28 October icon_where Lagura Next Door restaurant, Luxembourg-Limpertsberg icon_info www.artscape.lu
Eric Chenal > Patty Neu > Yves Kortum courtesy ARTSCAPE Contemporary > Jean Dubuffet/ADAGP
ocal and international art galleries will showcase their favoured talent to a cosmopolitan audience at the Halle Victor Hugo over the first weekend in November. Luxembourg Art Week is now an established fixture on the European art fair calendar, attracting a total of 28 galleries from the grand duchy and the greater region as well as from further afield in Germany, Austria and Italy to its “Positions” section. The fair will also retain its popular “Take Off” section, which was introduced last year and is dedicated to new galleries and groups of artists whose works are more reasonably priced (they must sell for under €3,500). The Halle Victor Hugo will also play host to a number of lectures, round table discussions and performances organised in conjunction with radio station 100,7 as well as art museums Mudam, Casino contemporary art forum and even the Centre Pompidou-Metz. The three museums are also hosting shows that will attract visitors to the art week. “Luxembourg Art Week is taking on an increasingly international dimension,” says coordinator Alex Reding of the Nosbaum Reding gallery. Workshops for children are also on the programme.
JEAN DUBUFFET A show featuring over 45 works, paintings and sculptures, made between 1944 and 1982 by the anticonformist, visionary artist.
FEED THE METER VOL. II 23 septembre - 16 décembre 2017
Katherine Bernhardt Steve DiBenedetto Kimia Ferdowsi Kline Keltie Ferris Jess Fuller Nancy Haynes James Hyde Sadie Laska Fabienne Lasserre Stuart Lorimer RJ Messineo Scott Reeder Leif Ritchey Adrianne Rubenstein Bill Saylor Michelle Segre Russell Tyler Annette Wehrhahn Wallace Whitney Rachel Eulena Williams Ceysson & Bénétière Wandhaff 13 - 15 rue d’Arlon 8399 Koerich +352 26 20 20 95
EXHIBITIONS ARCHITECTURE AND URBANISM IN JAPAN SINCE 1945 09.09.17 > 08.01.18
A NEW VISION ON ART ART SINCE 1970 20.10.17 > 05.03.18
A DIGITAL ODYSSEY 1998-2018 20.01 > 14.05.18
PERFORMANCES, CONCERTS, WORKSHOPS…
Centre Pompidou-Metz, 2010 © Shigeru Ban Architects Europe et Jean de Gastines Architectes, avec Philip Gumuchdjian pour la conception du projet lauréat du concours / Metz Métropole / Centre Pompidou-Metz / Photo Philippe Gisselbrecht
Text by JESS BAULDRY
14 shows e you must se ATLÂNTICO FESTIVAL Lusophone lands The Philharmonie will be filled with the rhythms and melodies of Brazil, Portugal and Cape Verde for the second edition of this festival. See artists including Carminho, Vinícius Cantuária, Maria João (pictured), Egberto Gismonti and Rodrigo Leão, as well as arrangements of songs performed by the OPL. icon_when 7-14 October icon_where Philharmonie, Place de l’Europe, Luxembourg-Kirchberg icon_website www.philharmonie.lu
THE WOMAN IN BLACK Spooky theatre After its record-breaking run at the Fortune Theatre in London’s West End, Stephen Mallatratt brings his ingenious stage adaptation of Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black to Luxembourg for three nights. icon_when 12-14 October icon_where Grand Théâtre, Luxembourg-Limpertsberg icon_website www.theatres.lu October 2017
EUROPEAN OUTDOOR FILM TOUR Inspiring movies Watch the true stories of people who leave their comfort zone far behind in 7 dynamic docu mentaries encompassing the world of outdoor sport, travel and adventure. Among them will be Choices (pictured), Ice Call, Dug Out, Into Twin Galaxies and La Congenialità. icon_when 15 October icon_where Rockhal, Esch-Belval icon_website www.eoft.eu
FLOOD Dance New York choreographer and dancer Daniel Linehan makes his first visit to the Grand Théâtre in this commentary on our throwaway society and the flood of new technologies and increasingly frequent product updates. icon_when 11 October icon_where Grand Théâtre, Luxembourg-Limpertsberg icon_website www.theatres.lu
ROCK FOR KIDS Family music workshop How does a rock band work? What does each instrument do? What is a song made of? Starting with rock music’s ancestor, blues, this fun workshop aimed at 6-12-yearolds will help youngsters and their parents discover the essentials of the music that gave birth to rock ‘n’ roll. icon_when 14 October icon_where Rocklab, Rockhal, Esch-Belval icon_website www.rockhal.lu
EMIR KUSTURICA & THE NO SMOKING ORCHESTRA Gypsy jazz Controversial and independent filmmaker, actor and musician Emir Kusturica brings his anarchic Bosnian band to Luxembourg to perform snatches of gypsy music, Serbian rock and brass-powered tunes. icon_when 19 October icon_where Den Atelier, Luxembourg-Hollerich icon_website www.atelier.lu
CRIME SCENE IMPROVISATION Whodunit improv Mirth meets murder in the world’s daftest whodunit as Crime Scene Improvisation bring its unique murder mystery comedy from the Edinburgh Fringe to Luxembourg for three nights. The Wee Review described the show at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe as “a novel idea and one that is executed superbly”. icon_when 19, 20 and 21 October icon_where Centre Culturel Altrimenti, Luxembourg-Centre icon_phone +352 356 339 icon_mail email@example.com
Alexandre Gabrita > Jean-Luc Tanghe > Pexels, Grand Théâtre > Scott Rogers > Den Atelier > CSI
s the ground running The new school year hitd line-up of theatre, with a packed and varie and comedy happenings dance, music , cinematic Delano’s top picks. in Luxembourg. Here are
Flickr/Ian Brown > Flickr/Simon Fraser > Pexels > Den Atelier > Hugo Glendinning > Pirate Productions > Den Atelier
DIWALI Indian Business Chamber People from all walks of life are invited to discover the Hindu festival of lights at this Bollywood-themed Diwali organised by the Indian Business Chamber Luxembourg. Entry includes a dance show, dinner, soft drinks, access to the Henna bar, magic show and dancing. icon_when 21 October icon_where Casino 2000, Mondorf-les-Bains icon_website www.ibcl.lu
COMEDY SHOWCASE Stand-up comedy The Luxembourg comedy showcase flies two international comics in to Luxembourg: Thanyia Moore (UK) and Davis Tsonos (Canada) for a night of chuckles. The evening will be hosted by local comedian Deepu Dileepu. icon_when 28 October icon_where Marionnette, rue de Strasbourg, Luxembourg-Gare icon_facebook Luxembourg Comedy
TO A SIMPLE, ROCK ‘N’ ROLL… SONG Contemporary dance Michael Clark’s latest piece opened to great critical acclaim in London in 2016, earning an Olivier Award nomination. Comprised of works inspired by Erik Satie, Patti Smith, David Bowie and punk rock, Clark offers a refreshing take on our musical legends. icon_when 7 & 8 November icon_where Grand Théâtre, Luxembourg-Limpertsberg icon_website www.theatres.lu
SCROOGE, THE MUSICAL Dickens classic Pirate Productions are to bring a musical version of Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol to Luxembourg. The show, featuring music and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse, brings together a huge cast of performers from Luxembourg society. Tickets cost €24 for adults, €12 for children and students. Discounts are offered to groups of 10 or more. icon_when 9-12 November icon_where Kinneksbond, Mamer icon_website www.pirateproductions.lu
DIWALI Indian Association Luxembourg Celebrate the festival of lights with contemporary and folklore, fusion and Bollywood dance performances, an authentic Indian meal, Bollywood dance workshops and disco. This family-friendly event begins at 5:30pm. icon_when 28 October icon_where Tramsschapp, Luxembourg-Limpertsberg icon_facebook Indian Association Luxembourg asbl
HARRY POTTER IN CONCERT Ciné concert Experience the OPL performing music to the entire film of one of the most beloved movie franchises in history. Relive the magic of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in HD on a 40-foot screen while hearing the OPL perform John Williams’ unforgettable score. icon_when 28-29 October icon_where Rockhal, Esch-Belval icon_website www.atelier.lu
OH WONDER Alt-pop Multi-instrumentalists Anthony and Josephine, who make up London-based duo Oh Wonder, play energetic, quirky pop. Now they plan to conquer Luxembourg as part of their world tour of second album Ultralife, which has won them comparisons with The xx. icon_when 12 November icon_where Den Atelier, Luxembourg-Hollerich icon_website www.atelier.lu October 2017
Text by DUNCAN ROBERTS
s y a d i l o h y p p a H MUSEUMS AFTER DARK On Saturday 14 October night owls have a rare opportunity to visit Luxembourg City’s museums during the “Nuit des Musées”. Seven museums including Mudam, Casino, the City History Museum and Natural History Museum stay open from 6 p.m. until 1 in the morning. icon_website www.museumsmile.lu
op Squash (www.topsquash.lu) has long provided families with a great venue for holiday camps. The camp runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kids will learn to improve skills, techniques, tactics and fitness in a fun environment. Lunch is provided. The International School of Luxembourg plays host to the Football Klinik Academy (www.octopus-link.com). The camp runs from 30 October to 3 November from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Kids over the age of 4 and up to 18 will improve their football skills and also develop their speed, agility, and quickness. The Aller Badminton Club (allerbadminton on Facebook) based at the CK Sportcentre in Kockelscheuer is running an English-language half-term camp at which kids train in a fun and October 2017
friendly environment. Not only will they learn the rules of the game and how to serve, rally and score, they will also develop hand-eye coordination and general fitness. The camp is open to children from 3 to 6 with parent supervision and for juniors aged 7 and upwards. Luxembourg art museums Mudam (www.mudam.lu) and Casino (www.casino-luxembourg.lu) also have their regular holiday workshop programmes. Zigzag indoor play area (photo) in Bertrange (www.zigzag.lu) is hosting two 2-day holiday camps on 30 and 31 October and 2 and 3 November. Kids aged between 4 and 10 can register for full or half days, during which they will take part in crafts and cooking workshops, zumba sessions and treasure hunts as well as obstacle courses around the soft play area. A lunch is also provided. Sunflower Montessori crèches (www.sunflower.lu) in Moutfort and at the Eagle building in Findel are open for children aged up to 12 during the holiday week. A programme featuring arts and crafts, storytelling and poetry and much more is being devised for the holiday week.
TODDLER OPERA Fogonogo is a captivating opera adventure created especially for babies and toddlers. Babbling, rumbling sounds, shimmering light and live music form an enticing soundscape suitable for ages 0-2½ and adults. This is a Spitalfields Music production as part of the Musical Rumpus series. Shows are at 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on 26, 27 and 28 October. icon_website www.philharmonie.lu
Jessica Theis (archives)
The autumn half-term break poses a quandary for many families with two working parents who may not have many vacation days left. What to do with the kids? Luckily there are plenty of camps on offer.
GO NUTS One of the most popular local festivals in Luxembourg, the Nëssmaart (nut market) on Sunday 15 October sees Vianden’s streets come to life. Stands sell nuts and walnut-based produce such as fresh bread and liquor, and there’s entertainment for all ages. Why not combine this with a visit of the famous castle and its medieval delights?
At ISL our mission is to provide an outstanding education and inspire our students to engage in both academic and enriching extra-curricular programmes. Our students set high expectations for themselves, enjoy school and the community is constantly rewarded by their achievements. ISL has earned its outstanding reputation through its studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; successes, its rigorous educational programme, its excellent and dedicated staff, its caring community and its engagement in global issues. With over 40 nationalities in our student body and more than 20 nationalities within our staff, friendship, international mindedness, diversity and inclusion are ways of life in our multi-cultural environment. www.islux.lu
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s r e t s a s i d t r o p s Tran questions vice columnist answers This month , Delano’s adwas all over social media , on the tram prang that the singles dilemma and footie. hunting exotic species ,
Dear Auntie Eleanor, is it true that the much heralded tram in the city crashed on its maiden voyage? --Jimmy in Clervaux Gentle reader, “crashed” is perhaps a rather too dramatic description of what was merely a collision with a pedestal during an open-days weekend in the middle of September. The tram in question suffered the sort of minor dent that my poor old Renault regularly endures whenever I try to negotiate the tight spaces in the Kirchberg hospital car park. But these sorts of things are par for the course with modes of transport. No need to mention the Titanic, but how many of you knew that the opening of the very first railway connection between two major cities, the Liverpool and Manchester line opened in 1830, was also blighted by disaster? Member of parliament William Huskisson was killed by a steam engine and the Duke of Wellington’s train was later pelted with vegetables by an angry Mancunian crowd. I think François Bausch, Lydie Polfer, Marc Angel, et al, appear to have escaped lightly. Dear Auntie Eleanor, your website recently reported a sighting of a nutria, October 2017
an invasive species, in the Pétrusse valley. I gather nutria are eaten in the state of Louisiana and was wondering if there were any restrictions on hunting this animal in Luxembourg? --Audrey in Pfaffenthal Gentle reader, as you correctly point out, the coypu, as this adorable animal is known in Luxembourg, is an invasive species. It originates from South America, from where it was brought to Europe to supply fur farms. My friend at the nature and forestry office tells me that they are a huntable species and, for the first time this year, they even have their own hunting
the French. Will this attract more crowds to watch the BGL Ligue? --Frederick from Mondorf Gentle reader, like you I was willing that shot from Gerson Rodrigues in the 79th minute against Les Bleus to sneak in to the net rather than bounce back off the post. What a story that would have been! As it was, a scoreless draw in Toulouse still grabbed headlines around the world for the Red Lions. And Niederkorn’s win over the much despised team from Glasgow was a thing of beauty. As for attendances in the BGL Ligue, unfortunately still not enough people here support their local team. They are too busy on a Sunday afternoon using their latest Karcher power cleaners or extending their lunch with a third digestif to turn up to the footie, I guess.
season: from 16 April to 28 February. Before you grab your gun, Audrey, you might want to make sure you have all the necessary permission to hunt, i.e., check with the hunting area, pay your hunting insurance and tax, around €275. Given the rareness of coypu sightings in Luxembourg, assuming you met all of the rules, you would be hard-pressed to find one. And good luck finding a recipe!
Dear Auntie Eleanor, I recently rejoined the dating game after the partner I moved to Luxembourg for left me. Where is the best place to meet single people in your experience? --Gary from Ahn Gentle reader, firstly I am very sorry to hear this. Moving abroad places a huge strain on relationships and I empathise. But it has been many years since my courting days and I imagine most of the dance halls I frequented are long gone, so I have no places to recommend. I would, however, suggest you consider being featured in “Single of the day” on the Delano website. It takes a few minutes to complete the online form and upload a digital photo and, before you know it, your profile will be in the inbox of over 12,000 potential partners in no time. Good luck!
Dear Auntie Eleanor, it was a glorious summer for Luxembourg football with Niederkorn beating Rangers and the Red Lions taming
SEND IN YOUR QUESTION Want to know something about Luxembourg? Contact Auntie Eleanor via AuntieEleanor@delano.lu. Please indicate if Delano can publish your name or if you wish to remain anonymous.
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