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N°61 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

WELCOME TO THE NEW LOOK

38 US AMBASSADOR Randy Evans speaks about his first few months in Luxembourg, the space industry, Nato contributions, EU-US trade and Brexit.

50 REGTECH FEVER It’s a big buzzword in the financial sector right now, but what precisely are Luxembourg’s “regtech” outfits doing and what is the sector’s real potential?

26 POLITICS

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Growth versus sustainability 5 453000

As his first term as a government minister comes to an end, Déi Gréng’s François Bausch talks about the election’s hot topic.

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Elections 2018

Continuity or bust? LSAP’s Étienne Schneider “might just be the man to deliver the ‘breath of fresh air’ that he says the country needs in order to modernise”. Since then, the economy minister’s forward thinking and willingness to stray from the norm has been refreshing. Indeed, the current government can be praised for boosting the grand duchy’s image after the disaster of the LuxLeaks affair that blighted its first months in office. Nowadays Luxembourg makes international headlines for its space exploration foresight and wins praise for attracting researchers and entrepreneurs in fields as diverse as biohealth and regtech. Ministers travel the world looking for new opportunities and that pays off when Chinese banks and tech companies choose Luxembourg as their European hub. Finance minister Pierre Gramegna has managed to balance the budget. Corinne Cahen has introduced measures that make life easier for families with kids and long-term mobility planning under François Bausch should ease commuting in the near future. That is not to deny that the coalition has made mistakes or failed to solve all Luxembourg’s ills. Housing, health and education remain seemingly impenetrable challenges. The decision to hold a referendum in 2015 on voting rights for foreign nationals can, in hindsight, be viewed as an unfortunate misstep. Thankfully the pragmatic Luxembourg electorate does not appear to hold a grudge, much to the chagrin of the ADR, which seems to take glee in

N°61

reminding its audience as often as possible that it was the only party

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

WELCOME TO THE NEW LOOK

38

to campaign for a “Nee” vote.

US AMBASSADOR Randy Evans speaks about his first few months in Luxembourg, the space industry, Nato contributions, EU-US trade and Brexit.

The fact that the coalition has survived, and even thrived, gives credence to

50 REGTECH FEVER It’s a big buzzword in the financial sector right now, but what precisely are Luxembourg’s “regtech” outfits doing and what is the sector’s real potential?

the opinion that the 2013 election was a political earthquake for Luxembourg.

26

Despite polling well at the start of the year, the CSV can no longer regard itself

POLITICS

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Growth versus sustainability

as the natural party of power. The question now is whether the coalition parties can do enough at the polls

5 453000

As his first term as a government minister comes to an end, Déi Gréng’s François Bausch talks about the election’s hot topic.

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to stay in power and continue their modernising programme. It will be a close call as some seats go down to the wire. If the election results with the CSV’s Claude

ILLUSTRATING DELANO

Wiseler being asked to form a government, the question is with which party will

Welcome to the new-look Delano. As our daily digital news service expands, the magazine now provides more in-depth features and analysis, and allows the team to develop a more visual language to storytelling. To this end, our cover will be graced by the work of an illustrator who is briefed in depth on the lead feature article. This month’s illustrator is Milanborn Davide Abbati, now a resident of Salamanca, in Spain, who mainly works with visual metaphors.

it enter talks. A CSV-Déi Gréng coalition, viewed as outlandish just ten years ago, was the favourite option among voters polled earlier this year. In a political landscape shaped by major upsets, stranger things have happened. But whatever the outcome, bridge building is likely to be the order of the day.

Duncan Roberts Editor-in-chief

Letter from the editor

Five years ago, ahead of the 2013 parliamentary election, we wrote that the

3


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September/October 2018 Reporting on the community

FEATURES

Analysis of business, the economy and politics

8

THE SOURCE

A guide to culture and style

78

STEM CAREERS

Interview

PAUL LESCH Big plans at the National Audiovisual Centre (CNA)

9 SCIENTIFIC MINDS

80 11

ON STAGE Stunning opera and a Mel Brooks musical: top performances to catch

THE BITTER PILL

12 CHATBOTS ON TRACK

14 DEMENTIA CHALLENGES

16 Community spotlight

BUILDING BRIDGES Brits Dominique Sweetnam and David Clark are adding zest to life in Luxembourg

26

56

Cover story

Funds

GROWTH VS SUSTAINABILITY Luxembourg heads to the polls in October for a crucial vote: which economic direction will the country take? Delano talks with the Green party’s François Bausch, who could play political kingmaker

GREEN INVESTMENT The EU has floated new sustainable finance rules; are they good for Luxembourg?

58 Get the picture

THE FILM SECTOR

34 POLITICS How voters choose between Luxembourg parties

38 Interview

18

NEW US AMBASSADOR RANDY EVANS

20 SNAPSHOTS

Family law

DIVORCE ABROAD

62 WHAT IS A FAMILY OFFICE?

Special feature

LUXEMBOURG PRODUCTS Locally crafted food, beverage, fashion and more

90 Restaurant review

LES JARDINS D’ANAÏS

92 IN MY SUITCASE What Aussie Kim Davis brought when she moved here

64

Think local

MUSICAL LINGUIST Henry Wickens found the right key to integrating into Waldbillig

60

84

42

INHERITANCE FOR EXPATS

Reportage

BUILDING A HEMPIRE

50

Kids page

70 Entrepreneurs

PSS PSS Don’t keep this circus show a secret

A SPICY BUSINESS

Regtech

HIDDEN ASSETS What exactly are Luxembourg’s regulatory technology outfits up to?

94

74 In focus

TINY HOUSE

98 AUNTIE ELEANOR Our advice columnist tells reader: no one will vote for him

Contents

THE JOURNAL

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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 CONTENTS Phone (+352) 20 70 70-150 Fax (+352) 29 66 19 E-mail news@delano.lu Publisher Richard Karacian Editorial director Matthieu Croissandeau Editor-in-chief Duncan Roberts (duncan.roberts@maisonmoderne.com) Desk editor Aaron Grunwald (aaron.grunwald@maisonmoderne.com) Journalists Jess Bauldry (jessica.bauldry@maisonmoderne.com) Margaret Ferns (margaret.ferns@maisonmoderne.com) Contributors Stephen Evans, Sarita Rao, Alix Rassel Photography Benjamin Champenois, Nader Ghavami, Jan Hanrion, Lala La Photo, Patricia Pitsch, Mike Zenari, Matic Zorman Proofreading Pauline Berg, Lisa Cacciatore, Sarah Lambolez, Elena Sebastiani Intern Sofia Mikton DESIGN Phone (+352) 20 70 70-200 Fax (+352) 27 62 12 62-84 E-mail studio@maisonmoderne.com Head of production Stéphanie Poras-Schwickerath Creative director Jeremy Leslie Head of art direction Vinzenz Hölzl Art director José Carsí Layout Tae Eun Kim (coordination) ADVERTISING Phone (+352) 20 70 70-300 Fax (+352) 26 29 66 20 E-mail regie@maisonmoderne.com Partner-director, advertising sales Francis Gasparotto (francis.gasparotto@maisonmoderne.com) Sales manager Luciana Restivo (luciana.restivo@maisonmoderne.com) SUBSCRIPTIONS For subscriptions, please visit www.delano.lu Luxembourg (shipping included) 1 year / 8 issues / 25 euros Europe (shipping included) 1 year / 8 issues / 31 euros Printed by Imprimerie Centrale Distribution by Valora Services Luxembourg

DELANO LIVE Are “alternative funds” (meant for professional and savvy investors) changing Luxembourg’s financial sector? Find out during the next Delano Live event. Delano Live features live on-stage interview with people and on topics covered by Delano magazine, but with a fresh perspective. Sponsored by ING and organised by the Paperjam Club.   14 November, 18:30    Knokke Out, Rives de Clausen  ↳  club.paperjam.lu

GET BRIEFED Delano publishes two newsletters weekdays: the “Breakfast briefing”, that features world and local headlines to start the day informed; and the “Noon briefing”, covering the latest Luxembourg news and events. Sign up on our home page:  ↳  www.delano.lu

← 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. Richard Karacian 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) NOTE TO OUR READERS Delano’s next print edition comes out 16 November. For daily news updates, commentary and our weekly what’s on guide, visit www.delano.lu.

DIGITAL HIGHLIGHT Interested in the regtech companies featured in this edition and during the Delano Live held on 11 September? More on the sector on our website the week of 17 September:  ↳  www.delano.lu/business

More Delano

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The Journal Reporting on the community

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Elisabeth John says Scienteens Lab lets high school students step into scientists’ shoes

Stem careers made real A career in science isn’t always top of the list for many students simply because

they have no idea what the job might involve. The first research lab for high school students, Scienteens Lab is an extra-curricular learning centre at the University of Luxembourg that offers “Stem” (science, technology, engineering and maths) workshops designed to spark students’ interest in all things science. Founded by the university’s Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine in 2013, and supported since 2016 by

the Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication, it provides hands-on encounters supervised by experienced scientists and teachers from a variety of disciplines. “We want to provide a realistic depiction of the sciences, show students the latest trends and technology to support them in their career choices,” says ­Elisabeth John, Scienteens Lab coordinator. “If students get to see research being done in Luxembourg right now and can interact with people working in science, it makes the idea of

a career in this field much more concrete, a real option instead of a vague idea.” Dr John, a biologist, believes that students have a good understanding of some professions such as teaching or banking, but still think of science jobs in clichéd terms or lack information of what scientists actually do, because classroom science is often theoretical. “If you don’t know a job, how can you dream about doing it? We give pupils the opportunity to enter a real research lab and step into → the scientists' shoes,” she explains.


9 Education

↑ Pascale Petry The principal of the Lycée Michel Lucius international secondary school, speaking to Delano in July.

Scienteens Lab has a team of five scientists from different fields with diverse career histories. It also has the support of nine researchers at the university and 12 teachers in Luxembourg. For schools, there is a wide range of workshops. Maths students can dive into cryptography and graph theory. Biology pupils can focus on DNA and study protein. Physics fanatics can explore visible and invisible types of light. Each discipline offers at least two workshops. Scienteens Lab also participates in Researchers’ Days, held in November, and offers one-week internships. This summer it launched the Science Academy, a seven-­day interdisciplinary workshop for students aged 16 years and above, designed to hone modelling and computer simulation skills. Dr John points out that science outreach and communications have come a long way in Luxembourg and there are a lot of actors involved from the National Research Fund to the Natural History Museum. Luxembourg also hosts a National Science Contest and a Biology Olympiad, and researchers regularly visit schools to talk about their jobs. She also highlights the many initiatives this year to encourage girls to consider careers in science. “Of course there is always room for improvement, but like scientific research, it involves collaboration on an international level,” John says. Scienteens Lab already collaborates with its counterparts in Germany and welcomes students from the Greater Region. “When high school students are part of the whole process, from formulating hypotheses to doing experiments and finding answers to their own questions, they are more likely to understand the exciting part of science, its × diversity and the thrill of discovery.” ↳  Search for “Scienteens Lab” on www.uni.lu

words  photo 

Sarita Rao Mike Zenari

The ISL’s Tess Charnaud wants to inspire children about science

Sparking scientific minds Since childhood, science has been Tess Charnaud’s obsession: “The everlasting ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ like why is the sky blue, why do plants breathe, why are cheetahs so fast or how does electricity get from the pylon to my house?” The answers she got in childhood were often disappointing, so she sought a way to learn more and to answer those questions for others. Charnaud came to Luxembourg ten years ago, following a successful career as head of science at a UK school. Initially she set up a tutoring business,

before joining the International School of Luxembourg, where she currently teaches biology and chemistry at secondary level, in addition to studying for her doctorate in education. Teaching has changed a lot during her career and Charnaud no longer uses a chalkboard, but says that much of the content is the same. However, she admits that things like Crispr (a technique in DNA manipulation), genome editing and stem cell use in disease treatment have all become realities in her lifetime. → “What also continuously changes

The Journal

“We’re at capacity. We’re nearly 500 in the English classes.”


In numbers

Facts & figures about Luxembourg

41,013

+24%

↑ ↑

MEASLES CASES The number of children and adults in Europe

BUILDING PERMITS

infected with measles during the first

Nearly 8,000 planning permissions

six months of the year. That compares

were granted across Luxembourg in 2017,

to 23,927 during all of 2017.

a notable rise over 2016.

€4,079

+30%

DECENT INCOME

AIR CON UNITS & FANS

A couple with two children would

The supermarket chain Cactus sold more

hypothetically need to earn at least this much

than 6,000 cooling units over this summer’s

each month “to live decently” in Luxembourg.

heatwave, a third more than usual.

Sources → World Health Organization → Statec → Cactus

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

and evolves is how I teach. I’ve tried to develop a repertoire of skills and change my approach as the children grow and develop. A good teacher needs to adapt in response to changing student needs,” she explains. “Obviously I want to inspire future scientists, but even at a basic level, I hope to make scientific learning something that is enjoyable,” she says. Her goal is to help her students interpret and analyse data and evaluate methodologies, and she sees these skills as applicable beyond the laboratory. A host at Scienteens Lab (see previous article), Charnaud believes “there is nothing better than seeing real science,” be that through experimental learning or through visits to world-renowned science institutions like Cern, in Switzerland, or via hands-on field trips. “It’s a cliché, but seeing is believing. The more students see science influencing their lives, the more excited they become by it.” Outside teaching, Tess is also a juror on the Luxembourg Biology Olympiad committee. She agrees that science is still a male-dominated environment but believes that “things are changing”. Events aimed at increasing female participation are becoming more evident in Luxembourg: “I’ve been involved in Greenlight for Girls, a new international initiative that held its first event at the Vodafone HQ” in May. She also notes that the US embassy ran a “women in science” event with a panel discussion and access to women mentors, and that Women in Digital Empowerment organised a “celebrate girls in ICT” event in April. “I also took part in a workshop run by the Luxembourg Institute of S ­ cience and Technology to promote gender equality in Stem,” or science, technology, engineering and maths. Knowing she might inspire a young person to study science is what makes Charnaud wake up each morning with a fire inside her: “Every day I get to work with young minds and share my love of science. I still get excited by the inner workings of photosynthesis. I’m always looking for ways to inspire children of both genders. Who knows what ground-breaking scientific discovery × they might make in the future?”

In context

The “cig poll”, 27 August

↳  www.islux.lu

The City of Luxembourg brought not quite a breath of fresh air to surveys in its new survey tool, the “cig poll”. words 

Sarita Rao photo  Mike Zenari

At the Schueberfouer, people voted with their butts on their preferred drink.

Photo → Jan Hanrion/Maison Moderne

10


11

Photo → Jessica Theis (archives)

The Journal

Ainhoa Achutegui has criticised new birth control coverage policies

The bitter pill Some say life improves when you enter your thirties, however, it does not get

cheaper, especially if you are a woman in Luxembourg. On 1 August, Luxembourg expanded the range of family planning devices to be 80% subsidised by the National Health Fund (CNS), but only to women aged under 30, revised up from 25. “We don’t understand the logic of limiting it at 30. We said the same when they first introduced it for under 25s,” the chair of sexual health organisation Planning Familial, Ainhoa Achutegui,

told Delano in an interview. “We want reimbursement of birth control for women until they reach menopause or for women in precarious situations.” The change was first announced in October 2017, after birth control subsidies were first introduced in Luxembourg in 2012 for women aged under 25. Achutegui points out that if the logic of subsidising contraception was to avoid women resorting to abortion, then it failed as over 30s are also concerned by abortions. 2016 data shows that a fifth

of abortions were requested by women aged 35 to 44, and 44% by women aged 25 to 34. Another complaint about the much-lauded reform is that it discriminates between birth control options. Firstly, it subsidises only a fraction of the cost of fitting the coil compared to the pill when there is a growing shift in demand for these “more natural” methods, according to the chairwoman. What is more, it excludes the implant, a form of contraceptive which is growing in → popularity among young people, and


12

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

the emergency contraceptive, or morning-after pill. “We think all contraceptives should be included because every woman needs to be able to choose which one is right for her,” the campaigner said. “I sincerely think the health minister wanted to do more but there are conservative powers at play that are stronger than she is.” Planning Familial offers all contraceptives free of charge to its patients. While the service is specialised in working with marginalised women, such as illegal migrants, and those on low incomes, it is open to everyone and is well used. In 2016 it issued free contraception to 6,933 people and morning-after pills to 791 patients. Understanding the government’s resistance to birth control subsidies for all is not easy. It would appear not to be related to a lack of finances, as in 2017 the CNS recorded a total cash reserve of €467m. More likely it is hampered by conservative attitudes. To demonstrate this enduring mentality, the campaigner cited one person who asked if subsidising female birth control wasn’t “counter­ p­roductive to the country’s (ageing) demography.” “I nearly went through the roof when I heard that. I won’t solve the demographic problem. No woman will,” Achutegui said. It is not only in birth control subsidies in Luxembourg that women face discrimination. In 2016 Planning Familial launched a petition calling for VAT on women’s sanitary products to be lowered from 17% (the luxury threshold) to 3%, a rate which is currently applied to things like razors, condoms, pet food and cola. In August they wrote an open letter to the government to the same effect. While Achutegui says the tax has not impacted young women in Luxembourg to the point where they skip school because they cannot afford the products, it is a matter of principal. Cyprus, France and Belgium have already lowered VAT on women’s sanitary products and Achutegui is hopeful the next government will make it a reality in Luxembourg too. “I think it’s a question of time. It’s a trend on an international level. In the next two years, × we will have that.” ↳  www.planningfamilial.lu

words 

Jess Bauldry

Sviatlana Höhn has set up a chatbot laboratory

Riding the chatbot train The train is late. While it sits stationary on the tracks just metres from Luxembourg’s central train station, I decide today is the

day to test the government’s new consumer rights chatbot, Poli. Clicking on the website, I explain the situation and ask what I can do. “Hello, I’m Poli. Were you informed of the delay when you bought your ticket?” a chat bar reads. I click “no” and explain the length of delay is less than 60 minutes. Within seconds, Poli replies that I’m not entitled to compensation, signposts me to transport information and consumer rights websites, and reminds me this information is not a legally binding text. Poli may be in the early stages, and can currently only handle questions in French about telecommunications, travel and commerce, but, because the chatbot uses machine

learning, these sorts of interactions will improve over time. That’s good news for anyone seeking to know their rights in Luxembourg. The fact that the Luxembourg government is jumping on the chatbot train speaks volumes about the possible uses for these kinds of computer programs. “Before, we produced chatbots because we could. Now, the really interesting time starts as people are looking for meaningful cases where chatbots are useful,” says Sviatlana Höhn, a computer science post-doc who set up the chatbot laboratory at the University of Luxembourg and a meetup group on the topic. Poli is certainly a useful case, providing quick access to information, which potentially opens the door for other language versions → in future. But it is not without risks,


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and Höhn stresses providers and users must consider who is responsible if the wrong information is given. “You need to understand it’s a machine and there’s a chance it doesn’t understand,” she says. Poli is all the more surprising given Luxem­bourg’s reluctance to embrace chatbots. This cautious approach comes from the dominance of the financial sector, where established banks and insurance firms generally deem customer service bots as high risk. Startups may employ them as a “distinguishing feature”, Höhn suggests. But, on the whole, customerfocused bots are mostly confined to proof of concepts, or put to work on internal tasks such as supporting HR functions, booking appointments or managing IT help desk requests. That could be about to change with the launch this year of Henri, a communications and reputation management chatbot simulating human conversation. “Businesses will use bots. It’s not a matter of if but when,” Laurence Ponchaut of Distinct Communication says, explaining that her firm and Nowina Solutions created Henri to support Luxembourg companies in developing their own bots on company premises. “This is especially important for the financial sector as banks and insurance companies treat sensitive data,” Ponchaut explains. She suggests it only needs one major Luxembourg player to embrace chatbots for the business community to follow suit. The social and educational sectors also offer plenty of opportunities for chatbot development. Höhn is developing a language teaching interface while a masters student at the university is working on a testing chatbot for other computer science students. Then there are the headline grabbers like ­LuxAI’s smart social robot companion, QT. As is often the case, however, ideas develop more quickly than technology and Höhn says we are a long way off having a conversational chatbot that recognises and understands dialects of Luxembourgish, for instance. Another challenge is getting end users to accept chatbots with their current limitations. Höhn says: “This is a first step for things to get accepted and for × people to not be afraid.” ↳  poli.public.lu

words  photo 

Jess Bauldry Mike Zenari

Photo → Rawpixel

14

Rising life expectancy lengthens poses new challenges in Luxembourg.

Dementia in a multilingual land In a leafy garden in the centre of Luxem­ bourg senior citizens sit in the sun, listen-

ing to competitive shouts from players at the neighbouring football stadium. This is not your average retirement home. Beim Goldknapp, in Erpeldange, is the only specialised residential centre offering long-term accommodation for dementia patients in the country. It is one of several critical support solutions established by the Association Luxembourg Alzheimer for patients suffering debilitating loss of memory and other mental abilities and their entourage. Knowledge about and methods to treat dementia have improved considerably in the 30 years since the not-for-profit was established. Thanks to subsidies from the National Solidarity Fund, anyone can benefit from this specialised care regardless of

their financial situation. The difficulty comes however in finding and training staff to treat the over 50 different kinds of dementia and communicate effectively with the patients. “In almost all cases, when someone has dementia they have problems with communication,” Ala’s Lydie Diederich explained, adding that even patients who speak several languages generally revert back to their first language. Around 7,000 people in Luxembourg are thought to be living with dementia, equivalent to 1.34% of the population. Thus far most of Ala’s patients have had Luxembourger origins, “so it’s very important the current personnel should speak Luxembourgish. That’s causing more and more problems,” she added. Luxembourg’s multicultural demographic, meanwhile, forces Ala to


Fact file

Useful and random information about Luxembourg

Emperor Charles IV made the County of Luxembourg a duchy in 1354; it became a grand duchy in 1815. Source: Information and Press Service

Luxembourg has won the Eurovision Song Contest as many times as France and the UK: 5. Source: Eurovision.tv

↳  www.alzheimer.lu

Chiggeri, in the city centre, has the largest wine list of any restaurant in the world: 1,746 choices. words 

Jess Bauldry

15

Source: Guinness Book of World Records

The Journal

offer care solutions in other languages as well. “We need people who speak Portuguese and Italian and, eventually, English as well. So far, we’ve only had one English speaker in our day centres but it’s becoming more complicated,” Diederich said. The number of dementia diagnoses is on the rise, thanks mainly to longer life expectancy. We frequently hear of studies suggesting that multilingualism, healthy living and even a glass of red wine a day can potentially delay the onset of dementia. The Luxembourg health ministry focuses on awareness raising to encourage healthier lifestyles. But there is no cure and the number of people living with dementia is only set to rise. An Alzheimer’s Disease International study reported there were 46.8m people living with dementia globally in 2015, a number which would more than double to 131.5m by 2050. The social challenge this creates will be costly. The OECD recently forecast the annual 2018 bill of dementia care at $1trn. According to the Luxembourg government, dementia was the first cause of dependency in 17.6% of people receiving long-term care insurance in Luxembourg. While financial support through long-term care insurance is generous, it remains to be seen if it will keep pace with the future developments needed. Growing demand for long-term residential care means Ala must extend Beim Goldknapp. And it wants to open a second long-term residential home in the south of the country. Even if 70% of the construction costs are state-funded, the organisation must make up the shortfall. Then there is the rising cost of staff, currently covered by care payments and training which Ala gives to external bodies. “We will reach a point where we have to ask if we can continue,” Diederich said. Show your support for those living with dementia by taking part in the memory walk on 22 September in place × Clairefontaine, Luxembourg-Centre. 


Community spotlight

16

Meet the people who add zest to life in Luxembourg

The British

Building bridges SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

T

he British in Luxembourg have arrived in two major waves. Firstly in 1973, when the United Kingdom joined what was then the European Economic Community, they came to work at various European institutions based in Luxembourg. Then in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the grand duchy really developed its financial services industry. Despite the spectre of Brexit, the British remain very much involved in Luxembourg life. Indeed, many Luxembourgers have commented that they are impressed at how active the British community is. There are, for example, families like the Sweetnams, who are all immersed in playing and promoting rugby in the grand duchy. Mother Dominique, who has French and British parents but grew up in the UK, met husband Paul while working

in Hong Kong. The couple moved to Luxem­ bourg when a friend who was living in the grand duchy lured them with the promise that they would just be here for a couple of years. “Yet here we are 20 years later,” says Dominique with a smile. A graduate in environmental science and marine biology, she now works for Caritas’s international cooperation department after spending much of her career in financial services. “I enjoyed my job in finance,” she explains. “But I always wanted to do something that was more relevant to my studies, such as working for an NGO. Caritas offered me a position as a PA and since then I have moved more into the project management field.” Dominique clearly loves her job. “It’s great to do work that brings meaning to other people’s lives → and provides support.”

DOMINIQUE SWEETNAM A former player and now occasional coach with Rugby Club Luxembourg, Dominique is also involved in the touch rugby scene. She says that joining clubs, associations or volunteering allows expats to widen their network. Rugby Club Luxembourg Sports club with teams for all ages. ↳  www.rcl.lu


DAVID CLARK

British-Luxembourg Society Association promoting links between the two countries. ↳  www.b-l-s.lu

Over the last 20 years, Dominique has seen many changes in Luxembourg. “When we first moved here everything seemed a little bit archaic and old fashioned, as if Luxembourg was dragging its feet into the 20th century.” Now, she says, the country is positioning itself for a head start into the 21st century. “After 20 years of talking about it, we finally have a tram, so things are definitely moving forward.” As advice to anyone moving to Luxembourg, Dominique recommends “joining clubs, associations or volunteering to widen your network.” Dominique’s entire family is heavily involved with the Rugby Club Luxembourg, where Dominique has previously played and now sometimes coaches. “Despite what people may think there is plenty to do in Luxembourg, with venues like the Rockhal providing enter-

tainment. You just have to be proactive and go out and look for it.” David Clark has been in Luxembourg for 21 years. And although the family retains a house in London, they have no plans of moving. “We always feel at home when we’re in Luxembourg, that’s for sure.” He says the thing he enjoys most about Luxembourg is Saturday morning at the city market. “Having my coffee and doing my shopping in place Guillaume II.” A former chairman of the Oxford University Society of Luxembourg (where he remains a committee member), Clark was named president of the British-­ Luxembourg Society in March this year. The group, founded in 1947, had lain dormant for several years. “When we took it over, we found a list of 250 names, but no email addresses, so we had a lot of work to

WHERE TO MEET THE BRITS BRITISH EMBASSY    5 boulevard Joseph II, L-1840 Luxembourg ↳  www.gov.uk

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The president of the BritishLuxembourg Society says that bilateral relations between the two countries will become very important in the context of Brexit.

do to track them all down,” Clark explains. The society now has a membership list of around 100, which it hopes to expand in due time. A relaunch event at the residence of the British ambassador on 18 September should provide useful publicity and perhaps another membership boost. Clark and his fellow committee members were inspired to revive the society party because he remembers it as a very important contributor to Luxembourg life. “I thought this was a very important society set up by Luxembourgers, in a way to say thank you to Britain.” So, when he read that it was in danger of being wound up at its next annual general meeting, Clark decided to step up to the plate. “I felt it would be a great pity if it was allowed to die.” He also recalls that the society was responsible for the influential and highly regarded Winston Churchill lectures. “They got very well-known British politicians to come and speak. And the invitations were very sought after.” In the context of Brexit--Clark says he is “very much a remainer”--he thinks that the society can play a significant role. “Because bilateral relations become very important. We need to build whatever bridges we can. And the British-Luxembourg Society is very much a bridge between × Britain and Luxembourg.”

Alix Rassel & Sofia Mikton Mike Zenari & Matic Zorman

SHOWCASE

BRITISH & IRISH FILM SEASON Annual festival screening new films from the isles. This year from 19-29 September. ↳  www.bifilmseason.lu

BRITISH LADIES CLUB Club for women of all nationalities. ↳  www.blc.lu

NEW WORLD THEATRE CLUB Drama society.

OPTIMISTS CRICKET CLUB Has a home ground in Walferdange.

↳  www.bcc.lu

↳  www.optimists.cc

BRITISH STAND BAZAR INTERNATIONAL Helps raise funds for the charities supported by the Bazar. This year from 8-9 December at Luxexpo.

PIRATE PRODUCTIONS Musical theatre society.

↳  www.bazar-international.lu

↳  www.pirates.lu

Selling whisky for charity at the British stand of the Bazar International, which this year takes place over the weekend of 8 and 9 December.

Photo → Lala La Photo (archives)

↳  www.nwtc.lu

BRITISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE FOR LUXEMBOURG Business association and lobby group.


Think local

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Expats who have truly integrated into local life

Henry Wickens/British

Musical linguist gets involved SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

W

ORGAN CONCERTS The Uergelfrënn Waldbëlleg, which Henry Wickens founded, has two upcoming concerts in Waldbillig church. The first is on 30 September at 5 p.m. with Rosch Mirkes and Ad Libitum. The second is on 4 November with Christiane Dennemeyer (flute) and Roger Goodwyn (organ).

“I had the crazy idea of acquiring a proper pipe organ for Waldbillig church.”

hen Henry Wickens and his family moved to Luxembourg from Strasbourg in August 1990, they settled on Waldbillig, in the Petite Suisse, as a place to live. “It seemed vastly eccentric to my colleagues to live this far out of town,” says Henry. But they have not regretted it one bit and were soon involved in local life. Henry and wife Jane had joined a choir everywhere they had lived previously. Neighbours soon told the couple about the Waldbillig gesangveräin. “We were immediately plunged into Luxembourg veräinsliewen [association life], which was great.” Henry was eventually asked to be the choir’s conductor. The couple’s three sons, who all now have Luxembourg nationality, also attended local primary school. “That is another excellent way of making friends locally.” And as a member of the local band, Henry was later asked to take over running its junior section, which he did while his children were of the right age. Perhaps most impressively, Henry was instrumental in setting up the Uergelfrënn Waldbëlleg in 1996. After some initial difficulties, the association was revived in 2012. “We got a church-going mayor who was prepared to support us,” he explains. The church was renovated, and the organ was inaugurated in 2016. But being involved locally doesn’t mean Henry is detached from the expat community. He sings in the Anglican church choir and has also performed with Pirate Productions. A translator by profession--he is now retired from the European Parliament--in 1999 Henry had the idea of translating “Winnie the Pooh” into Luxembourgish. Gollo Steffen of Op der Lay agreed to publish the book, and there followed translations of “The House at Pooh Corner”, “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Hobbit”. “Luxembourgers have been very welcoming,” he says. “It’s easier to belong to a community as a foreigner who joins local associations, than as a Luxembourger × who doesn’t.” words  photo 

Duncan Roberts Matic Zorman


Snapshots

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Highlights from international community and networking events

Goose bumps and zen

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3

An enriching visit to the Mudam SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

contemporary art museum, organised by the British Chamber of Commerce, 27 June. The guided tour of the “No Man’s Land” exhibition and works by the sculptor Susumu Shingu was

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followed by a luncheon. ↳  www.bcc.lu

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Margaret Ferns Mike Zenari 1  Sarah Battey & Ian Sanderson 2  Claude Herrmann & Wera Czernek 3  Emmanuelle Kruten & Saski Connor 4  “Water Tree” by Susumu Shingu 5  Mudam’s Suzanne Cotter & BCC’s Christopher Clark 6  Thérèse Collins & Carole Miltgen

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More pictures from all of these events: ↳  www.delano.lu/snapshots


1  A guest holds a lacrosse helmet 2  Club president Pit Bingen (left), Austrian ambassador Gregor Schusterschitz (second from left) & general manager Henning Schmidt (right) 3  Goalie Nick Beattie 4  The new lacrosse team kit

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Lacrosse in Luxembourg The grand duchy sent its first ever World Championships this summer. hosted by the Austrian ambassador, 21 June.

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Luxembourg Lacrosse

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RCL caps 45th season

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Members of Rugby Club Luxembourg marked their 45th anniversary with a summer ball, 14 July. Scott Browne received the Senior Player of the Year Award and Richard Marsden the Most

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Improved Player of the Year Award. Rugby Club Luxembourg

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Aaron Grunwald Lala La Photo  Noel & Emma Fessey  Jamie Murray, Vincent Clarke & Tom Nguyen 3  RCL members play a “heads or tails” fundraising game 4  Neil & Sofia Wise 1

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Sofia Mikton Matic Zorman

The Journal

men’s national lacrosse team to the This was marked by a reception

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LXB Cup the international skateboarding competition held

Luxembourg’s fun side

at the Skatepark Péitruss, 21-22 July.

Expats from around the world

That’s an increase of 1,000 more people

soaked up the Duke’s Night

than attended in 2017.

(National Day Eve) celebrations

↳  www.skatepark.lu

in Luxembourg City, 22 June.

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Between 6,000 and 6,500 spectators watched

↳  www.visitluxembourg.com

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

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 Spectators  Urgan Brauers, a skater in the competition 3  PM Xavier Bettel poses for a selfie with DJs playing at the cup 1

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1  Revellers watch fireworks in the city centre 2  Joana & Camile 3  Daniel, Donna, Sarah, Teresa, Maria, Anastasia 4  Aleksandra, Vladica, Hamza & Navica 5  Michael & Chelsea

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Staff Gilles Kayser

CEOs at US embassy The freshly arrived US ambassador to Luxembourg Randy Evans hosted Paperjam Club’s CEO summer cocktail, 12 July.

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↳  www.paperjam.club

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1  Christophe Nicoletta, Carole Tisaurin & Randy Evans 2  Massimo Russo & Cindy Arces

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Staff Maison Moderne

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Natalia Pikna Matic Zorman


Sandra  One of two outdoor bachelorette parties 3  The new social venture LuxFriendSharing (www.luxfriendsharing.com) set up a table 4  Francesco & Elenora 1

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The Journal

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Saturday in the park 3

The Great Big Luxembourgish Picnic was held on the Kinnekswiss in Luxembourg City’s municipal park for the second year in a row, 14 July. Families, friends and a coincidental two bachelorette parties attended the low key outing.   The Great Big Luxembourgish Picnic

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Sofia Mikton Matic Zorman

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Lëtz get quizzacle To mark the publication of its annual “Expat Guide”, Delano held a quiz about Luxembourg, 5 July. ↳  www.delano.lu 3

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Margaret Ferns Maison Moderne

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1  Alexandre Dias & Diane Tea 2  Marc Angel, Sam Steen, Duncan Roberts, Claire Haigh & Neil Johnson are seen on stage 3  Maxime Leidelinger & Tsareena Wimbush 4  Hannes Ring, Dominique Bakima, Vincent Mansour & Anastasia Podlesnaia


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1st birthday party

Going Gaelic

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Ireland’s rich storytelling tradition and lively dance and music were brought to life in Luxembourg when

Lycée Michel Lucius international

youngsters attended a special summer school,

primary school marked the end of

organised by the Irish cultural group Comhaltas

its first school year with a summer

Ceoltóirí Éireann, 30 July-4 August.

fair, 1 July. It had 260 pupils,

↳  www.comhaltas.lu

representing 45 nationalities. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Starting this month, it will have 1

three year 1 classes. ↳  www.lml.lu

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Jess Bauldry Matic Zorman , 2  Bubbles!  The Sow and So stand 4  Face painting was a success 5  Claire Haigh offered some muay thai training 1

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1  Playing the tin whistle 2  Learning step dance 3  32 children aged 6 to 14 took part

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Jess Bauldry Maison Moderne

Summer spectacle The 678th edition of the Schueberfouer fun fair on the Glacis opened with the traditional sheep parade, 5

23 August. ↳  www.fouer.lu

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1  It was shear luck the sun was shining 2  No pulling the wool over their eyes

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Aaron Grunwald Nader Ghavami

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VER DISCO RY : STO THEIR .lu vos ry.eno mysto

We give you the energy You write the story

Luxembourg energy provider

enovos.lu


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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 ← Creating a functioning and pleasing urban environment is crucial to attracting the sort of economic sectors that fit in with Luxembourg’s image, says François Bausch


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Minister for sustainable development and infrastructure, François Bausch, looks back with satisfaction at his first term in government. But as Luxembourg gears up for a crucial election, he acknowledges that the country faces a major challenge in the future. How does the grand duchy want to develop, what sort of businesses does it want to attract, and can it cope with the rise of artificial intelligence?

words 

Duncan Roberts 

photos 

Mike Zenari

Cover story

Luxembourg at a crossroads: can the grand duchy balance economic growth and sustainability?


Y

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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

ou can always say you might have done certain things differently,” says a relaxed françois bausch in his office on the 13th floor of the ministry for sustainable development and infrastructure. The old European Parliament tower has been Bausch’s work space since he and his Déi Gréng party entered government in December 2013 as part of the so-called Gambia coalition. Reflecting on his five years in office, the minister says he didn’t expect to have so many opportunities to actually do something. “I thought it would be much more difficult. In fact, you have quite a lot of creative freedom as a minister, and it just requires political courage to get things done. If things don’t get done, it’s not because the civil service or administration is to blame, but because the minister didn’t want it to happen or did not have the courage to try.” Indeed, he describes the work over the last five years as fun. He managed to get several projects off the ground and “get things on track, in the truest sense of the word--but I am not just thinking about the tram,” he jokes. “If the will is there, you can do it. That’s my conclusion.” What is growth?

QUICK BIO Born 16 October 1956, Luxembourg City Career 1973 started work at the CFL, Luxembourg’s national railways 1986 joined the Gréng Alternativ Partei, which later merged with Gréng Lëscht Ekologesch Initiativ to become Déi Gréng 1989 elected to parliament 1993 elected to Luxembourg City council 2005 led Déi Gréng as it entered a local government coalition with the DP in Luxembourg City. He served as deputy mayor until 2013 2013 named minister for sustainable development and infrastructure in the current DP-LSAP-Déi Gréng government

We are here mainly to talk about the hot topic of the forthcoming parliamentary elections. How Luxembourg faces the difficult task of balancing continued economic growth with a vision of a green country with a high standard of living. How to ease the growing problem of mobility and maintain its reputation for social cohesion. “We have to question the very term growth,” says Bausch as an opening salvo. “Growth as such is not always positive. We say society has to grow, but we have to ask whether the benefits of that growth are distributed appropriately.” Not all growth is based on added value for society, he argues. Carrying out repairs, for example, adds to gross domestic product but it doesn’t bring any added value to society, because it means that something has been broken or been neglected to the point of disrepair. “And that’s not really very intelligent. Or if we have a great number of road accidents, it is perhaps bitter to say, but that also generates growth in GDP because roads have to be repaired, hospital costs have to be met.” Bausch, the Greens' co-lead candidate, thinks it is more important to question how Luxembourg wants to develop. “What do we need and what can we dispense with? And this is where Luxembourg has great potential. We can develop, but also take ecology seriously. It means making certain choices, where choices can be made--and that’s not always possible. You can decide, for example, what sort of economy you want to encourage.” His strategy for the future development of Luxembourg and its economy is based on the fact that the country has what he calls enormous potential. “In my opinion the biggest attraction of Luxembourg is that it is open to the outside, it is multi-faceted and multilingual. Those are the most important assets we have and if we jettison them or close ourselves off, then we will certainly regress; we won’t have growth or development.” Population management

As Bausch has pointed out previously, population growth and job creation in Luxembourg has become uncoupled from growth in GDP. In Germany or France, if there is a recession, then you can be fairly sure it will have an impact on job numbers. In Luxembourg, even in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, recession results in a slowdown but jobs are still created. “Luxembourg has an incredibly dynamic model that is unique in Europe,” he explains. Luxembourg is an exception, and that has to do with its size, but also with the dynamic attractivity successive governments have created.

PERSONAL CRITICISM Alongside prime minister Xavier Bettel and family minister Corinne Cahen, François Bausch has probably suffered the most personal attacks on social media and in disreputable tabloid Luxprivat (against whom the minister won a defamation case in June). How has that affected him? “We were the first government to really be confronted 100% with social media,” he says. He reckons much of the criticism that is published on social media is the sort of comment that would previously have been made in a bar or café. “It is not all factual or rational. The things that are really hurtful or below the belt do get to you. You have to remember a minister is just a person. My approach has been that if you are convinced of something, you have to fight for your conviction--­ whether it’s a full-house civic gathering or somewhere else. That’s the bottom line. If you show backbone and stick to your guns, then you earn respect.” Indeed, Bausch says he has had many people tell him that even if they don’t agree with his policies, they admire the fact that he defends his opinion. “I always told myself this is a unique opportunity to serve for five years and I should really use that opportunity. At least my position was always clear, and I managed to carry out what I promised. And you have to be able to endure confrontation on the ground and in social media.”


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Cover story

“We say society has to grow, but we have to ask whether the benefits of that growth are distributed appropriately.”

“And this is something we need to question. We need to ask how we can manage this dichotomy. But we don’t need to panic.” A recent study with a Swiss firm of ten communes in the country--including Luxembourg City and Esch-Alzette-concluded that there is still enormous potential for building on land that hasn’t been used. “Luxembourg City could probably grow to a population of 150,000 [at the start of 2018 it stood at 116,328] without any problem. We do have a problem of population-jobs deficit. In the capital city, there are four jobs for every inhabitant, for example. “People are flocking back to cities, but we have to ensure that cities are pleasing enough to provide a good quality of life and that they provide all the services people need--culture, sports facilities, green spaces--so that they don’t have to use the car. People, and their requirements, have to be at the centre of the neighbourhood. That is what we have neglected in Luxembourg over the past 30 years.” So, population growth has to be properly managed and the housing problem is one that will occupy many minds during this election campaign. But for Bausch an even more crucial challenge is to decide how and what sort of business Luxembourg actively seeks to attract. “What sort of sectors are interesting for Luxembourg? People who work in the IT sector, for example, seek out urban living. Young researchers and startup entrepreneurs go to where urban living functions, where they have a vast offer of things to do.” Steel wool, yoghurt and Google

Often heated debates earlier this year surrounded the decision by steel wool manufacturer Knauf to locate a new factory across the border in France rather than in the south of Luxembourg. Bausch sees a similarity with discussions over the location of a Greek yoghurt factory in the commune of Bettembourg and Google’s impending decision on whether to establish → a giant data centre on land it has purchased in Bissen.

↑ Mobility challenge: François Bausch has been a champion of “soft mobility” options such as cycling, and has been instrumental, both at communal and national government levels, in the development of Luxembourg’s new tram network


THOUGHTS ON GROWTH AND INDUSTRY

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During a round table debate with François Bausch on RTL’s “Kloertext” programme in June, political and industry leaders had the following to say: SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Claude Wiseler

Étienne Schneider

“We have experienced mainly demographic growth. For example, in the last 15 years we have seen employment grow by 50% but productivity grow by just 1.8%. We need growth. If we don’t have growth, you see what happens, just look at Greece. But even if we have enormous growth that leads to a population of 1.1 million, it will not be enough to secure the same pensions system that we have today over the long term, for the next 30 or 40 years.”

“Growth has meant that in Luxembourg we have the highest salaries, the highest minimum wage, the highest pensions, the infrastructure for schools, crèches, hospitals and the best social services. I’m not saying that it has to be this way. That we all need to have three holidays a year, those that can afford it, or to have two cars. But those who want less growth have to explain where we will save the money. Growth is not just for those who generate it… but indirectly through taxes it goes back to the people in the forms of infrastructure.”

Lead candidate, CSV

Nicolas Buck

Lead candidate, LSAP

President, Luxembourg federation of industry “It is obvious there is an explosion of knowledge in biology, in nanotechnologies, in robotics, in IT. Coupled with a need for consumers to have new products made to their requirements, we can’t produce everything in China and ship it over here. That would have a huge impact on the environment. We have to produce it in Europe. The comeback of industry is inevitable. And we want politicians to acknowledge that it is a sector that is highly productive, sustainable and stable compared to other sectors that now and again have different consequences for the economy.”

Demographic pull The increase in Luxembourg’s population has shown no sign of slowing regardless of the fluctuation in GDP growth.

Population GDP growth

650,000

12% 602,005

600,000

10%

8.35% 550,000

8%

4%

GDP

450,000

2.00% 400,000

2%

0

0%

-2%

-4% 2007

2008

First quarter of 2018

1

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018 1

GROWTH

6% 476,187

Source → Statec

POPULATION

500,000


Innovative cross-border projects

Esch-Alzette

ESCH EXPRESS An express tram between Luxembourg City and Esch-Alzette is the solution proposed by François Bausch to tackle expected rise in demand for public transport between the two cities of up to 55% between now and 2035. The proposed route would run along the A4 corridor at speeds up to 100km/h. The project is part of the government’s Modu 2.0 mobility strategy.

Bausch is also eager to take advantage of Luxembourg’s location at the centre of the Greater Region, where there are numerous potential areas that extend over both sides of the border. “We decided to take a territory in the south that we share with France to launch an experimental industrial zone that will be subject to one tax and social security system, to which both countries contribute, using Luxembourg as a magnet to attract businesses. This is a way to expand our economic borders. We have to agree, which of course isn’t that easy. But we know the European Union supports such projects and there is already such a project between France and Switzerland. So why shouldn’t we also manage it? It is in both countries’ best interests.” Ethics and the general interest

Then there are a bunch of ethical questions that Bausch thinks politics has to tackle. “One big question at the moment is why do political and business leaders have such a bad image? We have to bring ethics back to the business of politics and the economy. And we have to serve the general interest. That doesn’t mean individual interests have to permanently be subordinate, but somehow the aim must be that everything we do should be in the interest of everyone and not just of individuals.” As for the image of sustainability, Bausch says it is about so much more than protecting nature. That is just the base criteria. “I have always said the planet will survive us without any problem. After all, the dinosaurs lasted longer than we → humans have so far, but they too died out. The protection

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Cover story

Luxembourg City

“All three would have an impact on our natural resources, but they would have different effects and they fit in with our general image differently,” he explains. “I have no problem with Google, even though it will not have no impact. Firstly, Google was much more prepared to work with the environment ministry. They were eager to find innovative solutions to ensure the data centre would be sustainable, and I think that is common with these sorts of companies to secure a positive image. And Google fits right in with the sort of niche that we should be developing here in Luxembourg.” But the minister is not at all upset that Greek yoghurt maker Fage has failed to build a factory. “To be honest, it is not at all what we should be looking for. I have no problem if they decide to set up here, we shouldn’t dissuade them. But there is a difference if we are proactive and sell them precious land for their factory to attract them, or if we say of course you can come here if you find land and if your facilities meet all the requirements to get authorisation.” He also argues that Fage would buy milk wherever it is cheapest, which destroys the sort of agriculture policy that Bausch is seeking to protect. As for steel wool maker Knauf, the minister is even more adamant that there is nothing lost by them not coming to Luxembourg. “Regardless of what they produce, we know exactly that if the factory had come to Belvaux, it would have employed 100% French cross-border workers. Sorry but where is the problem that it is 20km away in France? Then we have helped develop that region.” He says that if the government doesn’t make an extra effort to attract a certain company to Luxembourg because it doesn’t think it is particularly sustainable, that doesn’t prevent that company from coming to set up here. Google, on the other hand, is the sort of company Luxembourg should be proactively attracting. “Or if there is a startup in the environmental sector, I would go seek them. Or look at what Goodyear is doing at Colmar-Berg. They have a high-performance research laboratory where they are testing tyre efficiency that will help vehicles use less fuel.”

150,000 ↓

Luxembourg City has enough land available for housing that it could easily support a population this big, says Bausch.


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A MINISTER ONCE MORE? SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Despite recent polls suggesting the electorate would most like to see a CSV-Déi Gréng coalition result from October’s election, François Bausch remains cautious about the prospects of being in the next government. “I don’t really take notice of polls,” he says. “The only thing that pleased me is that Déi Gréng polled 2nd with 59%, just 3% behind the CSV, when voters were asked ‘which party do you absolutely want to see in the next government?’” “That doesn’t mean that 59% will vote for us. But it means that many people acknowledge our work in government,” says Bausch. However, he is adamant that if the current coalition gets a mandate to continue, then it would be the most normal thing in the world for it to take up that mandate. “I mean what government doesn’t wish to continue if it is the will of the electorate?” On the other hand, if voters send a clear message that the Greens and the CSV are the two parties in favour, that is they both gain on their current number of seats, then Bausch says his party would have to be prepared to talk with the CSV about a programme. Not that he sees himself as any sort of kingmaker. “That sounds too arrogant. If the voters decide that we have been good for the country and want us to continue in government, then I would be happy. But whether I am a kingmaker is irrelevant.”

of nature and the environment is a prerequisite for the existence of the human race and should be the basic condition of any economic system we establish.” The AI challenge

Can sustainability survive the challenge posed by artificial intelligence? Bausch says he is convinced that the next 20 or 30 years will see the biggest revolution that the industrial society has ever experienced. “Artificial intelligence on all levels will benefit humankind and make many things easier, but it also poses a danger. There are not insignificant number of scientists warning us. I mean we are at a point where we have seen artificial intelligence capable of reproducing itself and taking autonomous decisions. We have to discuss the ethical and deontological questions and create very precise criteria. I am all for artificial intelligence, it can really help.” But we should be under no illusion that it is disruptive and that many, many jobs will be lost to AI. The minister says one solution is to develop employment models where jobs are shared--though he argues against any sort of national regulation to make that happen. “That is rubbish and wouldn’t solve anything. It has to be looked at sector by sector. And we have to decide how people will use their additional leisure time in a creative manner. Maybe people will volunteer more to help society, there are any number of things. Data protection and ownership and what happens with data is one of the crucial questions of the 21st century. We really have to look at this so that we can make the best use of AI and use it in such a way as to improve society.” When jobs are replaced, the question of how to finance the social security system also arises. “We can’t have a situation where a company that currently employs 1,000 workers reduces its workforce to just 100, and becomes much more efficient, and therefore more profitable through AI, yet the 900 former workers fall out of the social security system. We have to decide what sort of taxation system we will introduce to make sure the system doesn’t collapse. It is a question of how to distribute × the wealth created by vastly improved efficiency.”

↑ We have to bring ethics back to the business of politics and the economy, says Bausch. He wants to serve the general interest, but says that does not mean individual interests have to permanently be subordinate to it


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34

Photo → Julien Becker (archives)

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Why we vote for them essay

Politics

On the face of it, there’s little to choose between Luxembourg’s main political parties. All are pragmatic centrists which support high economic growth and a big state, without making judgements about personal morality. So how do voters choose between them? words 

Stephen Evans


CSV: nearly all things to all people

W

The Christian Social People’s Party (CSV) seeks to be all things to all voters. Its pro-business stance is sold as a way to generate income to fund generous social spending. Luxembourg is less conservative than it was, and the party has moved away from its tight links to the Catholic church. So although it opposed euthanasia, it supported same-sex marriage. This policy stance is palatable to people of all social classes, and those who are more or less open to change. This formula has worked extremely well, with the party only out of power for two five-year periods since 1945. In the last ten elections, the CSV has tended to win around 40% of the seats, only twice dipping below one third. This success generates an image of the “natural” party of government. It would be a major surprise if they didn’t return to lead the coalition in the autumn.

Once we form this broad view, we will tend to pick a party and most often we will stick with it for some time. This party can then become part of our personal identity, and often we will change our views about certain policies because our party has changed tack. In an age dominated by manufacturing industry, social class was the traditional main determinant of how people would choose a party. However now that the economy has changed, there is an increasing tendency for voters to think along the lines of being more cosmopolitan and “open” to new socio-economic influences, or more communitarian and “closed” to change.

The Democratic Party (DP) is a liberal party in the European sense of favouring individual economic and social liberty. Although it broadly accepts the high growth/high spending national economic policy consensus, its image as the party for the managerial and professional classes persists. As an advocate of cross-border business, and with a non-judgemental approach to personal morality, it tends towards “openness”. The party generally wins between 15% to 20% of seats at elections, but with the CSV traditionally preferring to go into coalition with the socialists, it has only been part of the government for 15 years out of the last 50 years. Its most notable postwar achievements came during the hiatus from CSV rule in 1974-79. Governing together with the LSAP (see below), it liberalised divorce law, abolished the death penalty, decriminalised adultery and widened access to abortion. With these reforms achieved, the electorate was happy to return to CSV rule. The DP remained out of power for 20 years. The current unconventional three party coalition formed in 2013 with the socialists and Greens was driven substantially by a desire to disturb the CSV’s grip on power. The DP prime minister and finance minister may have wished for relatively radical

hy do we vote the way we do? We like to believe that we study the different parties’ policies and personalities, and then take a dispassionate decision. The truth is few of us really know much about the big issues that face government. Because we aren’t really able to assess whether one or the other party has the technical solutions, we take shortcuts. We come to a broad opinion about the look and feel of parties and candidates. Does the candidate look and sound most like me? Which socio-­economic class does their party represent? Is the party more or less welcoming of economic and social change? Do they take a view on personal morality? Openness and class

DP: how liberal?

economic reform, but managing this diverse coalition made this impossible.

35

LSAP: tide going out?

For most of the second half of the 20th century, the centre-left stance of the Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party (LSAP) made it comfortably the second largest party in the country, often winning only a handful of seats fewer than the CSV. As with all parties of its type across Europe, it is the traditional party of manufacturing workers and their families, while also attracting white collar voters motivated by the desire for greater economic and social equality. However, changing economies and societies have put this coalition under strain. While the more “open” oriented voter is more willing to work with the grain of the move towards a services-based economy, others want to resist the decline of existing industries. Thus, some see the protection of traditional ways of working and living as the central concern, while others see the centre-left as the way to give a voice to all who lack power, including women, ethnic minorities, LGBT communities, etc. This “closed versus open” dynamic is at the heart of the challenge facing much of Europe’s centre-left. In Luxembourg, the CSV’s support for high state spending, acceptance of culturally liberal policies with a nod towards traditional family and social values, plus the decline of manufacturing, has left the LSAP struggling for a distinctive identity for some time. More recently, working closely in government with the DP has not gone down well with some supporters. Thus, moderates with a more “closed” mindset have been able to turn towards the CSV, while the more “open” find the Greens a modern option. For those who want to support a radical alternative, →

246,974 ↑ Registered voters in the last national election, a referendum held in June 2015

Politics

The strains being felt by Europe’s political systems could be down to this change, with old party structures ill-suited to the new dynamic of “open” versus “closed” replacing class driven politics. How have Luxembourg’s parties been affected by these changes, or how much are national factors at play? And what is the outlook for the ­October 2018 election?

Source → International Foundation for Electoral Systems

← A polling station during the 2009 elections


36

Seats won at general elections 1989-2013 & June 2018 poll

Christian Social People’s Party (CSV) Democratic Party (DP) Socialist Workers’ Party (LSAP) Alternative Democractic Reform Party (ADR) The Green Party (Déi Gréng)1 The Left (Déi Lénk)2

30

25

Election results source → SIP/CIE. June 2018 figures from Wort/RTL Politmonitor poll

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

20

15

10

5

0 1989

1994

1999

2004

2009

2013

June 2018 poll

Green result in 1989 includes two parties after a short-term split. 2 The Left result in 1989 includes the Communist Party.

1

a resurgent far left is appealing. The LSAP’s electoral support took a dip in the 1990s, and polls suggest a historically poor showing in October, with the potential of losing a third of its seats.

Usually when the CSV has led the coalition it has chosen to govern with the second largest party, which has tended to be the LSAP. However, there’s a good chance that this autumn the CSV may choose the Greens.

Green Party: fresher radicalism

ADR: riding populist wave

Luxembourg was an early adopter of ecology politics, with the first Green Party (Déi Gréng) MPs elected in 1984. Across the continent there was battle for control of these parties. Pragmatists wanted an evolutionary approach, while radicals wanted swift action to reduce human impact on the environment. The former won control of the Luxembourg party in the 1990s, and this was accompanied by success in local elections. This was followed by the 2013 breakthrough when the Green Party joined the national government for the first time. The Greens pose a particular challenge to the LSAP, as they have a similar policy approach but with a fresher, more “open” image. This has enabled the party to increase its appeal with voters during its spell in power, if the opinion polls are to be believed. This is despite the compromises the party has had to make in government.

The Alternative Democratic Reform Party (ADR) is towards the “closed” end of the spectrum. Founded as a single issue protest party campaigning on pension reform in 1987, it met with substantial early success. It subsequently grew into a full-fledged ­political party, pitching itself as an anti-­ establishment, traditionalist force with a mildly nationalistic slant. It grumbles about the EU and asylum seekers without really suggesting much change. It favours high social spending, is suspicious of modern economic structures, and tends to be conservative on cultural questions. If “populism” means speaking of the “system” being substantially “rigged” against the “common people”, the ADR tends towards this view. If one is minded to see things this way, the current coalition might look like ruled by a remote urban elite. This and a continent-wide swing towards pop-

ulism will help the party, mostly by taking votes from the CSV. The Left: revival to continue?

There has been support for Luxembourg’s far left almost constantly since 1945. The high point came in 1968 when the Luxem­bourg Communist Party (KPL) took 10% of seats in the Chamber of deputies. Support dwindled subsequently, and the far left appeared to have vanished with the Cold War. However, by the 1999 election, The Left (Déi Lénk) had become sufficiently well organised to take a seat. Despite an ongoing (and largely inexplicable in policy terms) rivalry with the KPL, the party doubled this total in 2013. Polls indicate a further gain is likely in October. To a large extent this new support comes from ex-LSAP voters unhappy with the compromises required of governing parties. ×


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38

New US ambassador to Luxembourg Randy Evans talks about the uniqueness of the grand duchy, Nato, space, Brexit and EU-US trade. And, of course, about Donald Trump.

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

“It was a no-brainer” interview

words 

S

everal people were perhaps surprised when Georgia lawyer and influential Republican Randy Evans asked to be posted to Luxembourg upon being told he would get an ambassadorship. But not the president of the United States. “I don’t think president Trump is ever surprised by anything,” says the genial Evans. “I think many of my colleagues were surprised because everybody has a different vision about what you’d like to do next.” duncan roberts So, why did you choose Luxembourg?

randy evans When I looked at the people, the place, the beauty, it was a no-brainer. It embodied the kind of place I want to live in and the community I would want to be a part of. Luxembourg has a baseline of in-

Randy Evans

Duncan Roberts 

photos 

Matic Zorman

tellect and knowledge and an openness to the possibility that ideas other than your own might be the right answer. And you have a genuine curiosity.

thing refreshing about talking to people who are well informed, who keep up with the issues, who know what they are and are not worried about who you are.

How have you been welcomed by the grand duke and the government ministers with whom you have had meetings?

What will be the main topics and challenges you are keen to tackle over the next couple of years?

The grand duke is a phenomenal person. I was really taken by how articulate and precise he was on issues, as well as his genuine warmth. He is an enormous asset for the country. Meeting the ministers, everybody has a passion about them… not about what’s good for a political party or an individual political career, but what’s good for the country. Wherever you go, there’s some-

For the president, the Wales commitment [the guideline agreed in 2014 by Nato member countries to move towards 2% of GDP spending on defence within a decade] is a big issue. Luxembourg has some pretty unique challenges because of the size of their GDP and the size of their population and their armed forces. I think they’re working hard to move in the right direction. I get that sense across the board that if you make a commitment you’re going to honour →


39

“I think Luxembourg is perfectly positioned to assume an enormous leadership role in the space sector.�


40

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

that commitment. How you go about honouring that commitment varies for every single country. It can be met with a variety of ­resources… everything from rescue operations to communications satellites. It doesn’t always have to be lethal force. I have a personal interest in space. I think Luxembourg is perfectly positioned to assume an enormous leadership role in the space sector. I hope to be helpful as they pursue their future in space. Luxembourg has somehow always anticipated that next moment. Whether it was moving to steel by virtue of the industrial revolution or moving to finance and technology and now to space. It’s a pretty unique skill set to look into the future and see your place. No country can substitute for the stability of the US financial markets, and you can’t go into space without enormous financial backing. On the other hand, we know that Luxembourg is the holder of significant investment assets that are also tailor-made for the same exploration. Put those two together, with a little bit of guidance and leadership, and you’re making the kind of progress that we have to make over the future of our planet.

“The president’s goal is to knock the table over and pick up the pieces and put together a deal that actually makes sense.”

→ The new US ambassador says Luxembourg has a baseline of intellect and knowledge, openness and genuine curiosity

You have written a book, “Climate Change and Insurance”. Can you tell us a bit about what it posits?

We know that the climate is changing--it’s been changing for four and a half billion years--and it will continue to change. We know there are a myriad of causes that lead to climate change--everything from plate tectonics to the distance of the moon to the Earth to internal core cooling. The operative question is, how can we affect the rate of change, and does it result in unintended consequences? The part where I come down on is, to me there are good reasons why we need to take better care of our planet regardless of getting caught up in the climate change debate. There are unique solutions available, and I discussed these with [minister for the environment] Carole Dieschbourg. She really knows her stuff. Imagine if there is an insurance policy that states if you suffer property loss, you rebuild with green materials. Or a municipality with a fleet of automobiles that replaces its entire fleet over the course of five years. You decide that every time a vehicle needs replacing, it does so with a green vehicle. That way you have a process in place that leads to the same destination but doesn’t involve the political capital and benefits consumers because they’re getting better products. That way you can take government policy, implement it through private commercial law with consumer backing and achieve a climate goal. The book deals with

directors’ and officers’ liability insurance to indemnity insurance and property insurance. All of these can be used as a way to facilitate a much faster pace than to get into the gridlock, which is where we sometimes end up. We have to find creative solutions to be good stewards of the planet. You have stated that you are fascinated with Brexit. What do you make of the current state of negotiations? What impact would a no-deal outcome have on the United States’ relationship with the UK and with the EU?

Just when we think we understand it, we realise we don’t understand it. When we think we have a target, we realise the target has changed. Somehow, it seems it may even defy time itself. I think there will be lots of ebbs and flows between now and the deadline. Where it ends up is anybody’s guess. It’s a bit like when people ask me what’s going to happen in the upcoming US [midterm] elections. I say, “anybody who tells you they know what’s going to happen is delusional”. You have a unique situation where the decision of a nation has been made,

the time for implementation has come, nobody can figure out exactly how to do that and nobody anticipated the literally millions of permeations that exist on everything from how to deal with Ireland, how to deal with immigration to how to deal with banking. My expectation is that eventually, as with all things, as you get towards the end, things start to take care of themselves. Problems start to resolve themselves by virtue of the dynamics of the moment. We are a staunch ally of the EU and the United Kingdom. The president has been pretty unequivocal on that. It doesn’t make it any more predictable though. We know where we will end up. Where their relation ends up is something that we cannot control, nor are we trying. The July meeting between Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Trump on EU-US trade seemed to be positive. How do you view the trade relationship developing in light of that meeting?

President Trump is the quintessential deal maker, which means that he considers everything on the table. You’re best to meas-


41

RANDY EVANS

ure him by the deal that’s left at the end of the day, not the beginning. If I were to be so bold as to attribute a mantra to president Trump on trade, it would be “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same result”. He’s not going to do the same thing and by definition that means it will be different. Things that are different scare people, but many times, different is the solution we need. If you’re a really good lawyer and the other side is a really good lawyer, generally the best you’re going to end up with is neither side is going to get all they want, but each side will get enough to make a deal. I think that’s where all of these trade issues will end up. Is there not a fear in the US that the imposition of tariffs will bring the EU and China and Japan closer together?

Well no, I think that is the president rearranging the board. The president’s goal is never to walk into a room and rearrange the pieces of the board. It is to walk into the room and knock the table over and pick up the pieces and put together a deal that actually makes sense.

What happens, if you’re not careful over decades, is that institutional practices become so rigid that you can never get to a fair deal. When that happens, really the only solution is to say we’re going to start over. We’re going to put together a deal that breaks fundamental assumptions. If that’s where we end up at the end of four years or eight years, at that point reality will take over from all the accusations. The president has developed some really good relationships among world leaders because they don’t have to second guess what he means. I will be the first to agree there will be differences of opinion along the way, but I think we will end up in a pretty good place. I mean, who would have expected he would end up getting closer to a deal with Mexico than with Canada on Nafta after saying “you’re going to pay for × the wall”. He does things differently.

A former partner in law firm Dentons (a role he has resigned upon taking up his diplomatic appointment), Randy Evans has worked as advisor to several Republic politicians, including former House of Representatives speaker Newt Gingrich. He also served as general counsel to the Republican Party of Georgia and was a member of the Republican National Committee. Evans was nominated to the post of US ambassador to Luxembourg by president Donald Trump in September 2017, but his confirmation by the senate was delayed and the nomination expired at the end of the year. He was renominated in January and finally confirmed by the senate in May.


42

reportage

Agriculture

Building a hempire SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 ↑ Cannad’Our has been growing hemp since 1995 at the farm in Kolbach, in northeast Luxembourg. The farm is seen during a visit by Delano on 12 July.


words 

Jess Bauldry 

photos 

Matic Zorman

43

Agriculture

Once the mainstay of the Luxembourg economy, today farming generates just 0.3% of GDP.  Facing a sector in decline, in 1995 Luxembourg farmer Norbert Eilenbecker sought to diversify. His answer was a plant whose healing properties and versatility have been exploited for thousands of years--hemp. After developing hemp tea, seeds and cannabidiol (CBD) oil production for sale on an emerging market, Eilenbecker and his team are now setting their sights on the mass sale of CBD oil, which has numerous healing properties, to make medicines. Luxembourg passed a law in June legalising medical cannabis for cancer, sclerosis, neurodegenerative or chronic disease patients. Right now, the medicine will be supplied by the Canada Cannabis Agency. However, the firm hopes to strike a deal to become a local supplier.


44

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 ↑ July is harvest time at the farm where this seasonal worker picks hemp buds. The bud harvest lasts three weeks and is carried out by a team of around 10 seasonal workers.

→ Cannad’Our’s co-CEOs Norbert Eilenbecker and André Steinmetz study the plants during harvest.


45

Agriculture

→ Hemp’s fibres are so strong they can easily break farm machinery, which is why the plant is picked by hand.


46

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 ↑ ↑ Fresh buds are immediately heated at 40°C over 24 hours in a drying machine. The end result is placed in 5-kilo bags. “You need a lot of flowers per kilo. That’s what pushes up the price,” says Eilenbecker.

↑ Eilenbecker wants to increase understanding of medical cannabis in Luxembourg. “Some doctors are interested and others not at all. What we are seeing more and more is that people don’t want more (pharmaceutical) medicines.”


48

Serge Fischer of the Wine Institute talks with Delano about how this year’s endless heatwave will impact local wine production and about adapting to climate change.

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Hot year for wine interview

words 

Agriculture

Margaret Ferns 

photos 

Mike Zenari


How has the recent heatwave affected wine production in Luxembourg?

margaret ferns

The vine is a plant that likes the sun and heat. The high temperatures of 2018 accelerated the development of the vine, increased photosynthesis (thus the production of sugar) and lowered the natural acidity in the berries. So, we expect very healthy grapes and high maturity in the long-established vineyards. However, as a drought of this magnitude is rare in our latitudes, the sector has not set up systems for water recovery and irrigation. As a result, young vines (less than 10 years old) suffer to the point that the natural development of the grapes stops, and they become scalded. This phenomenon, although favourable for the quality of red wine, will result in white wines that

serge fischer

are not typical for this region. A mixed result, then, for younger grapes.

49

Will the heatwave change when the grapes are harvested?

Harvest is scheduled for 10 September, 12  days earlier than usual. The first to be harvested will be the deep-rooted mature vines that have not really been impacted by the drought. The early grape varieties such as rivaner or auxerrois will be harvested first, followed by the pinots. The harvest ends with riesling. The vines intended for the production of crémant are also harvested earlier, in order to keep some acidity and to avoid a too high concentration of sugar. When will we be able to drink the wines of the 2018 harvest?

The first rendez-vous with the 2018 vintage is the arrival of the Fiederwaissen (early wine) in the middle of September. Then the early wines from the auxerrois or pinot noir grape varieties appear in November. The first official opportunity to taste all the varieties is the Maacher Wäimoart, the Luxembourg wine fair, that will take place on 26 April 2019 in the cultural centre in Grevenmacher.

Agriculture

his summer’s heatwave has left many of us feeling worn out and scientific research suggests that it takes more energy for your body to keep itself cool than to warm up. But consider this. If we are exhausted, think of how it feels to be a grape in the Moselle wine region. At this year's Vinalies Internationales contest in Paris, one of the biggest wine contests in Europe, 130 wine experts took part in a blind taste of more than 3,000 wines from around the world and awarded 12 winemakers from the Luxembourg Moselle region for their 2015 and 2016 vintages: 10 silver medals and 2 gold. “This success reinforces the slogan ‘Luxembourg, a small country with big wines’ and proves that the quality of wines produced in the Moselle can compete with international wines,” the viticulture ministry wrote in a press release published at the time of the awards ceremony. Luxembourg wine is an export earner. Of the 81,248hl of wine produced in Luxem­bourg from the 2016/17 harvest, about 75% was shipped abroad, according to Statec. Belgium was by far the largest market, representing 70% of exports. Concerned that the soaring temperatures might have adversely impacted the grand duchy’s award-winning wine production this year, Delano embarked upon a quest. A quest to ascertain whether or not we will be able to find our usual supplies of Luxembourg wines and crémants to see us through this winter’s various activities. We need not have worried. In a Q&A with Serge Fischer of Luxembourg’s Wine Institute (Institut Viti-Vinicole), Delano learned that we can expect high quality vintages to descend from the Moselle’s slopes later this year, but also that planning for future heatwaves needs to be put in place to protect younger vines.

WINE INSTITUTE The Institut Viti-Vinicole was established in 1925, its mission is to contribute to the development of viticulture in Luxembourg. It provides winegrowers with consulting in viticulture practices and analytics. It is also in charge of the vineyard registry and the administrative control of financial aid in viticulture.

If summers continue to get hotter, how will Luxembourg wine producers have to adapt?

The sector considers warming to be beneficial to the quality of our wines and crémants and the Institut Viti-Vinicole has noted that the characteristics of Luxem­bourg wines have changed for the better over the last 30 years. However, going forward, adaptations are going to be necessary. We are confronted more and more with warmer springs and summers, often accompanied by torrential rain. Such a combination of moisture and heat boosts the development of certain fungi, such as mildew and rot. To remedy this, more and more wine growers are stripping vineyards early, thus allowing faster berries to dry out and the formation of skins more resistant to these diseases. If droughts become the norm, we should aim to put in place upstream water recovery systems and downstream drip irrigation facilities. To achieve this, the sector will require the support of public authorities in order to install the necessary infrastructure. We must also review some technical practices. An interesting way would be to strengthen the resistance against drought with specially adapted rootstocks, such as those currently used in the Mediterranean. However, as the renewal cycle of a vine is around 30 years, it is not an imme× diate solution.

1,258ha ↑ The total surface area in hectares of productive vineyards in Luxembourg, split over 4,958 parcels and producing 81,248hl of wine in 2017.

Source → Luxembourg Ministry of Agriculture, Statec

T


50

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Hidden assets Regtech

There are at least 30 “regtech” (regulatory technology) startups in Luxembourg. They help financial firms comply with a thicket of national, European and international rules and regulations--a burgeoning sector. What precisely are Luxembourg’s new and established regtech outfits doing? words 

Aaron Grunwald and Stephen Evans 

photos 

Mike Zenari


← Yoann Jagoury, CEO, Alto Advisory

t started with a tweet by the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology, which listed 12 regtech startups in the grand duchy. But after just a few minutes of digging, Delano found a dozen more. Could this segment be a bigger deal than people realised? And why aren’t these firms better known? So Delano sent detailed questionnaires to 34 regtech outfits active in Luxembourg; 18 agreed to participate (see page 54). Their replies are available on delano.lu, but here are a few highlights and takeaways. While this story started out as a way to look at cool startups, “there are many mature regtech firms in Luxembourg, and perhaps this is, in itself, an advantage for Luxembourg as a financial centre,” Matt Elton, CEO of Finnolux, a regtech consultancy, and vice chair of the International Regtech Association (IRTA), told Delano. But, first, why regtech? Financial firms face a growing alphabet soup of regulations, including GDPR, PSD2 and Mifid II, just to name a few. According to KPMG’s “The Pulse of Fintech 2018” report, published in July: “The cost of compliance has skyrocketed for many financial institutions, particularly global institutions needing to comply with regulatory requirements across jurisdictions. The growing cost of compliance has driven many corporates to invest in regtech.” A study published by Thomson Reuters in June found that compliance staff were spending less time “tracking and analysing regulatory developments” in 2018 than two years prior. The data firm reckoned part of the decline may be due to “the wider use of technology”. To vastly oversimplify, regtech firms here in Luxembourg are focused on a few key areas: helping financial institutions make necessary checks on their clients, helping investment funds keep their doc-

Know-your-customer

For example, Luxembourg-based firm ­Logos IT Services is using machine learning to streamline costly “know-your-customer” (KYC) rules. Regulations blocking criminals from the financial system are vitally important, but these KYC rules are costly. At their foundation are watch lists of terrorists, money launderers, politically sanctioned individuals and other people targeted by the authorities. Financial businesses have to avoid serving these people, or risk multi-million euro fines and reputational damage. These blacklists are compiled by international agencies, but over the years they have become very long, featuring millions of names. One problem is that there is no internationally agreed methodology for trans­ cription into the Latin alphabet from names written using Chinese, Cyrillic, Arabic and other characters. Then there is the question of telling the difference between spellings such as Lee, Li or Leigh, Mohammad, Muhamet or Mohammed, or Smith, Smyth or Smythe. Plus there are typos to deal with. It has traditionally been a highly labour intensive task to make sure finan-

→ Holger Pletsch, head of research and development, Logos IT Services

cial businesses are not working with blacklisted people. IT tools have emerged to help, but even so KYC procedures continue to take hours and sometimes days, slowing transaction times and making it harder to on-board new clients. Logos IT Services are about to launch a new version of software they believe will be three times more efficient than existing systems, and will work in real time. Machine learning, one of the key strands of artificial intelligence, is central to their iDetect product. “It is important that IT systems flag up every suspicious transaction and every blacklisted person, but inevitably this will throw up false positives,” explained Holger Pletsch, head of research and development at Logos IT Services, during an interview. Every alert requires costly human intervention and causes delays. Existing systems feature hard-coded thresholds which define which names will be highlighted. They can’t be updated easily to take into account frequently occurring false positives. This is how iDetect aims to be different: using machine learning techniques to scan data, to spot patterns and adapt data filters intelligently. It also takes into account different name structures and ethnicity awareness. “The other major →

51

Regtech

I

umentation in order, and helping secure sensitive data.


52

← Jorg Reinking, CEO, Secourriel

with KYC and messaging services, and a market­place for other vendors. Security

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Financial outfits have a serious obligation to keep data safe and secure. One firm wanted to get away from sharing files via regular email and clunky online uploads. “We started to implement the idea of a ‘portal killer’ able to cover complex confidential data flows with hardened email and file sharing instead of rigid portals with felt thousands of different login credentials,” says Jorg Reinking at Secourriel. He points out that the EU’s newish data protection rules, GDPR, require “encryption for confidential electronic messages and data exchange.” PSD2 and other financial regulations are fuelling “the need for more electronic communication which must be highly secured. Other sectors, such as insurance, health and accounting, are impacted by similar regulation.” U IT focuses on secure financial, legal and social security reporting, but ­Alexandre Thilmany started his firm back in 2009 before regtech was a thing. “If you look at Google Trends, this term started to be used only early 2016.” U IT has more than 370 clients, including 45 banks in Luxembourg, says Thilmany. Fund industry

breakthrough is the ability to provide this screening in real time, meaning inconvenience for our clients and their clients is kept to a minimum,” Pletsch noted. They are planning to release the first version of this system this autumn. Changing processes

“A problem that is still recurrent today is that most actors of the financial sector as well as the software vendors focus on name screening,” says Acia Baghdadi at CDDS in the Delano survey. “In our eyes, this is only a part of [anti-money laundering] monitoring but the very first step is an efficient risk classification included in a complete AML compliance process.” “Doing KYC manually and seeing how much information is missed or skipped because the process wasn’t automated and seeing how machine learning could automate the process when an early prototype showed very promising results” inspired the founding of KYC3, says Chris Marcilla. Opening a bank account is “painful” and “time-consuming”, says Adeline Poun of Snapswap. “We came up with the idea of a remote automated onboarding solution for banks, the investment industry and other businesses.” There’s also Algoreg, which Mathis Ries says helps remove “the burden of compliance with video on-boarding.”

Virtual currencies like bitcoin present special challenges. “We decided to be the missing link between the decentralised world of blockchain and the regulated world of business by creating an AML suite of tools for crypto transactions tracking and risk management scoring,” says Scorechain’s Lisa Boussard. Also worth noting is Truth Technologies, which provides anti-money laundering and anti-fraud solutions to the financial industry. It’s headquartered in the US, but was founded by Egide Thein, a Luxembourger, with an office here. Open banking

The EU’s second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) could give a big boost to Europe’s fintech sector. PSD2 requires banks, with their clients’ approval, to open up customer data to third party companies. So-called “open banking” is expected to increase competition, as other firms--big and small--will be able to provide investment, money management, mortgage, payment and other financial services to customers using the bank as a sort of platform. That’s opened the door to firms like Finologee, co-founded by Raoul ­Mulheims, a serial startup entrepreneur. He says the firm provides infrastructure for PSD2 payments for banks and telecoms, along

Given that Luxembourg is Europe’s largest and the world’s second largest investment fund centre, it’s not a huge surprise that local regtech firms are providing fund distribution, documentation and reporting services. One key sector is depositary banks, which safeguard investors’ funds. Olus Kayacan at Governance.com says that when co-founder Bert Boerman was head of ABN Amro’s depository business, he “was searching for a tool to handle simply fund data and structures.” Boerman couldn’t find it, so “he decided to build a tool by himself, together with his twin brother Rob.” “In 2009, before the fintech term was coined, we recognised the widening gap between consumer technology (Google, smartphones) and fund industry systems,” says Yoann Jagoury at Alto Advisory. “We knew we could help transform some parts of it.” They have two product suites: one for depositary banks to comply with AIFMD and Ucits V “with machine learning embedded” and “a platform for automated understanding of information from fund documentation (prospectus, key information documents, annual reports) using natural language processing and machine learning.” For money managers, there’s Amfine, which was founded in Paris in 2006 and moved to Luxembourg in 2012. It got started to support Ucits (mutual fund) asset managers; its headcount is now 35, says →


Straight talking. Thinking around corners. Understanding and solving the problem before it becomes a problem. Performing as a team, no matter where you are. Delivering clear and practical advice that gets your job done. 2,800 lawyers / 47+ offices / 80+ languages / 100+ years of history

In Luxembourg since 2013 www.hoganlovells.com Hogan Lovells is an international legal practice that includes Hogan Lovells International LLP, Hogan Lovells US LLP and their affiliated businesses. Images of people may feature current or former lawyers and employees at Hogan Lovells or models not connected with the firm. www.hoganlovells.com Š Hogan Lovells 2018. All rights reserved. 1027916 _0818


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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Charles Seigle-Goujon. “Portfolio management systems are not new,” says Audric Debaisieux at Apentis. “But we wanted to create one focus on risk management and compliance with regulations, using modern web technologies.” Blanco, a Dutch firm that set up a Luxem­ bourg branch earlier this year, aims to address “today’s challenges for asset managers.” Which are, says Koen ­Vanderhoydonk, “decreasing margins, increasing legislation & regulations and maintaining focus on customers and investing.” To help tackle paperwork, “Fundsquare provides a market infrastructure” to investment funds for filing regulatory documents, disseminating fund information and “facilitating transmission of transactions” automatically, says ­Olivier ­Portenseigne. Fundsquare is “100% owned by the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.” Nadi Solutions was founded by fund financial and legal reporting professionals who thought “an application to simplify the complex and lengthy processes of production and review was needed in the industry,” says Cécilia Vernhes. “We always think of Nadi as the application we would have dreamt of having when we were producing reports ourselves or overseeing operational teams.” Then there’s Ume, which is creating a common information resource: “Fund management companies are spending a lot of time and resources to chase due diligence information on their fund distributors that can be standardised and mutualised,” says Laurent Denayer. And Inreg is building a digital community for regulatory compliance in the asset management and life insurance sectors, says Jean Louis Catrysse. Challenges ahead

Firms can have the most innovative products and services on the market, but still face big stumbling blocks. The Luxembourg regtech firms who took Delano’s survey cited the challenges of winning the trust of conservative financial institutions, low adoption rates here in Luxembourg, a potential skills shortage and the need for more collective action. But for that part of the story, you’ll have to check × out Delano’s website.

REGTECH FIRMS SURVEYED BY DELANO Algoreg Their pitch: “Algoreg is a regtech based in Luxembourg who reshaped KYC and brought it into the 21st century thanks to advanced technology like AI.”

Inreg Their pitch: “Inreg merges inhouse expertise + technology to help asset managers and insurers accurately navigate complex regulatory landscapes.”

↳  www.algoreg.com

↳  www.inreg.eu

Alto Advisory Their pitch: “Fund oversight and intelligence made easy with innovative solutions.”

KYC3 Their pitch: “Full KYC/AML process for regulated and crypto companies deployed in a few hours.”

↳  www.alto.fund

↳  www.kyc3.com

Amfine Services & Software Their pitch: “Amfine is a leader in the automated production of regulatory reports. We cover the entire cycle of regulatory documents for leading asset [managers] and insurers in Europe.”

Nadi Solutions Their pitch: “Producing all your fund documents is now simple. Focus on what matters! Our goal is to provide a unique, innovative, easy to use and effective solution for all the reporting needs of the fund industry.”

↳  www.amfinesoft.com

↳  www.nadisolutions.com

Apentis Their pitch: “Apentis is a fintech providing risk management services, reporting and a cloudbased portfolio management system to asset managers.”

Scorechain Their pitch: “Scorechain provides trust in crypto markets with a Blockchain Business Intelligence suite… We help crypto exchanges, banks, brokers, ICOs and auditors to comply with regulation and enter into the cryptocurrencies market.”

↳  www.apentis.com

Blanco Their pitch: “Blanco’s wealth manager out-of-the-box: grow your business with new scalable technology and knowledge.” ↳  www.blanco.services

The Luxembourg House of Financial Technology hosts its second regtech industry confab:   11 October     Lhoft, Luxembourg-Gare  ↳  www.regtechsummit.lu

Secourriel Their pitch: “We offer the gold standard of trusted digital B2B collaboration.”

CDDS Luxembourg Their pitch: “CDDS offers a wide range of AML solutions to its clients helping them to be compliant with regards to their anti-money laundering/counterterrorism financing obligations.”

↳  www.secourriel.com

↳  www.cdds.lu

↳  www.snapswap.eu

Finologee Their pitch: “Finologee is building Luxembourg’s prime platform for fintech/regtech that powers its own KYC, payments and messaging products and fuels other products and companies, making them [financial services] regulation-compliant.”

Truth Technologies Their pitch: “A company with Luxembourg roots, it delivers fast and reliable global risk and governance solutions worldwide. Its Sentinel service is language neutral and data agnostic, and its name recognition algorithms can read up to 78 different non-Latin character sets, and assign risks.”

↳  www.finologee.com

Fundsquare Their pitch: “Fundsquare is an innovative infrastructure with the ambition to facilitate drastically fund distribution.” ↳  www.fundsquare.net

Regtech Summit

↳  www.scorechain.com

Governance.com Their pitch: “We allow our clients to manage their governance, risk and compliance process easily thanks to our data repository platform.”   Governance.com

Snapswap International Their pitch: “We help banks and other services to onboard new customers online, in minutes, in full compliance with EU and international regulations.”

↳  www.truthtechnologies.com

U IT Their pitch: “U IT focusses on the job to be done. No commercial bla bla; we do or advise what needs to be done in order to report in time to the regulators.” ↳  www.uit.lu

Ume Their pitch: “By collecting information on fund distributors, we are building a Trip Advisor-like solution for fund distribution.”   @ume_kyd More about these firms: delano.lu


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Anouk Agnes of the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Funds

What does green mean? A broiling summer should be focussing minds on how we can work to reduce our impact on the environment. Billions are needed to change our economies and societies, and investment funds need to contribute more. But how? words  photo 

Stephen Evans Mike Zenari

W

hat is a green investment? Is it supporting wind farms, even though some criticise their physical impact on the environment? Nuclear power has a small carbon footprint, and scant support from the environmental lobby. What for one investor is “taking small but important steps towards a greener future” is “empty greenwashing” to another. One person’s “important radical action” might seem like the “cure being worse than the disease” to another. A range of private initiatives have been launched to provide a green labelling system to help investors through this moral and technical maze. But all have different criteria, and consumers still need to make substantial effort to understand if the

policies of each fund or label match their own personal values. For example, the grand duchy’s own Luxflag Climate Finance Label requires qualifying funds to demonstrate that “at least 75% of total assets are in investments related, with a clear and direct link, to mitigation and/or adaptation of climate change or cross-cutting activities.” This is a relatively high bar to reach, such that only a handful of funds have applied and qualified. The danger is that the perfect can become the enemy of the good. Understandably, Luxflag wants to avoid suggestions that it is “soft” on climate change, but its high standards exclude many funds that are making a positive contribution. The European Commission has sought to break this logjam with a sustainable finance “road map” published in May. The first step is to establishing a common language for sustainable finance; a unified EU classification system that will seek to define where sustainable investment can make the biggest impact. Then they will look at the possibility of creating EU labelling on this basis and “clarifying the duty of asset managers and institutional investors to take sustainability into account in the investment process and enhance disclosure requirements.” So far the industry is cautiously supportive of this approach. They feared prescriptive rules would result in a low value but costly lowest common-denominator way of working. “This is important work but very technical and it will take time, with the deadline set for 2022,” said Anouk Agnes at the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry. The industry was concerned that the rules would seek to set limits on what funds could do, resulting in products which satisfied the regulator, but not necessarily the end investor. If this EU plan can help the industry better communicate to clients, the benefits could be huge. Agnes commented: “In the past, green funds and socially responsible funds were seen as a niche, but we think they will become mainstream.” ×

€32.2bn ↑ Assets under management in European green investment funds, according to Novethic, a French research organisation. That’s a rise of 49% between 2016 and 2017.


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get the picture

Film industry

At the movies

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Financial aid €36,118,994 of selective financial aid provided to projects by the Film Fund in 2016.1

Box office leader 42,619 spectators have seen screenings of the most popular Luxembourg film of all time at the box office, 1983’s “Conge fir e Mord”.2

Awards season 7 Luxembourg feature films are up for the main prize at the 8th Lëtzebuerger Filmpräis on 22 September. There are also 10 nominations each for Best co-production and Best documentary, and also awards for short films, animated films, TV productions, actors and technicians.1

Ahead of the Lëtzebuerger Filmpräis awards, Delano looks at the facts and figures of the film industry and cinema audiences in the grand duchy. words 

photo  

Duncan Roberts Patricia Pitsch/Maison Moderne

Andy Bausch The director has 4 films in the top 10 Luxembourg films of all time--“Le Club des Chômeurs” at no.2, “Rusty Boys” at no.5, “Troublemaker” at no.9 and “Back in Trouble” at no.10.2

On screen 31 films supported by the Film Fund Luxembourg were released in 2017.1

Bums on seats Luxembourg’s biggest cinema chain Kinepolis sold 1.044 million tickets in 2017, a fall of 0.8% on the previous year. Worldwide the chain’s 94 cinemas saw audience numbers rise by 6.2% to 25.3 million.4

Hollywood in Kehlen 6 production companies helped set up the Filmland site in the Kehlen industrial zone. A further 3 production companies, 5 post-production companies and 3 service companies are also on site. It houses 4 film studios, 2 workshop spaces and 320m2 of office space.3

Sources → 1. Film Fund Luxembourg → 2. CNA → 3. Filmland → 4. Kinepolis Group

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A Success Story “Made in Luxembourg”! Founded by Victor Bodson in 1923, today the Wildgen fullservice law firm is a reference for Luxembourg companies. On the occasion of its 95th anniversary and the opening of a representative office in London, François Brouxel, Managing Partner, retraces the main steps in the firm’s history.

1 2

3 4 5

In 1923 Victor Bodson, a lawyer and future Minister for Justice, Public Works and Transport, opens a firm dedicated to his activities. After his death in 1984 the firm, led by Albert Wildgen since 1978, is renamed Wildgen & Ries after the 2 main partners. In 1996, following the emergence of Luxembourg as a financial capital and the firm’s expansion, Wildgen becomes a member of the KPMG legal network, KLegal, until 2003.

In 2003 Albert Wildgen leaves the firm and is replaced by François Brouxel and Pierre Metzler. Samia Rabia and Michel Bulach become partners in 2005 and the firm moves to 69, boulevard de la Pétrusse in Luxembourg.

In 2012, winds of change blow through Wildgen and the partners elect Pierre Metzler as first Managing Partner. Several partners arrive to enrich the management team. The firm currently has 12 partners. François Brouxel succeeds Pierre Metzler in the role of Managing Partner in 2016. In 2018 Wildgen gathers 85 people and starts a new chapter in its history with the opening of a representative office in London.

From Luxembourg to London ! Wildgen Opens a Representative Office in London on its 95th Anniversary! “Working with our English clients on aspects of Luxembourg law” The opening of this representative office in London solidifies Wildgen’s desire to establish strategic international development and to open a new chapter in its history. “It is important to note that we are opening a representative office where we only practice Luxembourg law and, as its manager, we have appointed an English lawyer registered with the Luxembourg Bar who has worked as an in-house counsel in the UK financial and funds industry for a long time. This means he understands perfectly the needs of our clients. This establishment is a reflection of our proactiveness, our desire to expand and to further improve our services for all our clients.“ François Brouxel, Managing Partner www.wildgen.lu


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special report

Family law

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Planning for the future No one wants to think about death and divorce, but a bit of advanced planning can go a long way. Especially for expats. So what should international families in Luxembourg know about inheritance and breaking up?

2046 30

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The first step is to understand the basic rules of how couple’s assets are held under Luxembourg law. “All my worldly goods I thee endow” is how many in the English-speaking world understand how our savings, investments and property are shared after marriage. Luxembourg law (and other countries with “civil code” legal systems) sees things differently. Marriage property rights law allows couples to choose one of three matrimonial regimes (see table on next page). This is important for divorce but also inheritance. Three options

Under the common law system it is standard practice for all assets to be shared 50/50, whatever their nature and whether they were acquired before or during a marriage. In Luxembourg, this arrangement is one of three options, but is not the automatic, default situation. To choose this arrangement, couples need to change their status with a notary. In Luxembourg the default is the “statutory marriage regime”, which is akin to a form

Alternatively, there is the separate ownership regime where all assets are held separately. In this case, if partner A earned twice as much as partner B, the former would expect to take two-thirds of earnings made during the marriage/ partnership in the settlement. As well, neither would have any rights over their spouse’s assets acquired before the relationship. This is the default option for people in an official civil partnership, or those just living together. Married couples can jointly opt for this option. Changing status can be made by any consenting couple where both partners are aged 21 and over. Changes can only be made every two years.

61

Minimising the losses

Despite this, there is still much that can be haggled over. “Couples save themselves substantial stress and money if they can agree on a settlement amicably,” noted Pierre Reuter, a partner and head of family law at the Thewes & Reuter legal practice. “If these matters can be decided with a neutral arbitrator before going to a lawyer or notary, then it’s mainly just a question of covering court costs to a total of €1,500-€2,000,” he said. However, complicated, contested divorces can take years and cost several tens of thousands, plus you put the division of assets and allocation of access to your children in the hands of the courts. “It will be the judge’s job to decide what a couple → intended when they got married,”

Just about assets held in common

Thus, any divorce settlement can only concern assets held in common. For example, if a couple have bought a house together, future ownership shares will either be decided by mutual agreement or by a judge. However, a spouse would have no claim on a holiday home inherited by the other spouse during the marriage,

Photo → Julien Becker (archives)

Divorce is an emotionally and financially painful failure wherever you live, but making the break using an unfamiliar legal system can add to the pain. The complications multiply when families live or own properties in different countries.

even if the pair had treated the property as “theirs”. Similarly, gifts given to either spouse (such as by their employer for long service or private transactions) would remain their property after the divorce.

Family law

1. Divorce in a foreign land

of the optional “prenuptial agreement” seen in common law countries. Under this arrangement all assets earned by the couple after the wedding day are held jointly, shared 50/50. However, any property or assets owned before marriage (or received through inheritance or as a gift) remains the exclusive property of that individual. This option is the default situation for married couples, whether they got hitched here or abroad. Those in an official partnership can choose this regime through a notary.

Pierre Reuter Partner Thewes & Reuter

3

8

“If you are a Swede who married a Pole in the Maldives, things can get complicated."


62

Statutory marriage regime (default for marriage)

Joint ownership

Separate ownership (default for civil partnerships)

Before

Held separately

Held in common 50/50

Held separately

During

Held in common 50/50

Held in common 50/50

Held separately

Personal gifts/donations or inheritance received during

Held separately

Held in common 50/50

Held separately

Reuter explained. “Good negotiations are better than a bad court judgement,” he warned. For example, if the couple can’t agree on how the family home should be decided, the court will put the property up for forced sale by auction. Often the price agreed will be less than the average market valuation. Multi-national, multiple problems

Normally, Luxembourg law will govern the case, but if the couple were married abroad, or are of different nationalities, things can become more complicated. For example, UK law is generally seen as being particularly generous to the spouse who earns least. Whereas in Luxembourg it is known for the non-working spouse to receive just the minimum social income of around €1,400 per month. Thus it may be in the financial interest of one of the partners to seek to have the settlement decided in another country. Couples can in certain cases opt to have their divorce judged in Luxembourg courts using another country’s law if this can be relevant. “Luxembourg has built up experience of divorces for French, German, Portuguese people and so on, but if you are a Swede who married a Pole in the Maldives, things can get complicated,” Reuter explained. There is greater flexibility using law from other EU countries in Luxembourg, but organising the official legal translations and opinions will of course be costly. Things get particularly tough if one of the spouses lives in another country, even just across the border. Complications multiply when it comes to the division of foreign property.

If this is contested, it will be a question of coordinating disputes in the courts of multiple jurisdictions. “This can be a total mess,” commented Reuter. “We have one case running for more than 20 years of a Belgian client who lived here with properties around Europe but who died outside the EU.” Even if situations like this are put into matrimonial contracts, it is still possible to challenge details × in the local courts. words  

nitty-gritty of sorting out clients’ lives: managing properties, organising schooling or taking care of the yacht. Single or multi

There are single and multi-family offices. The ultra-rich often prefer to have their own dedicated organisation, while →

Stephen Evans

2. Every family office is different No two family offices are the same. They all work to preserve and develop the wealth of one or more families in a highly personal fashion. Yet each does this in subtlety different ways, with some even closely involved in helping to organise clients’ private lives. Family offices serve the very wealthiest families with at least €15m to invest. With this wealth comes the complexity of structuring assets and planning for the future in multiple countries. Some family offices operate mainly as hubs coordinating other professionals. They will develop the strategy, but work with partners on portfolio management, inheritance planning, risk management, custody services, philanthropic action, etc. Others will carry out some or all of this work in-house. Others get into the

Photo → Sven Becker (archives)

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

When assets acquired: before or during marriage/ civil partnership

Source → Delano research

Ownership status of assets in the three marriage/civil partnership regimes

Serge Krancenblum Chairman Luxembourg Association of Family Offices

“Often the term ‘family office’ is a marketing gimmick.”


PAY WHAT YOU MUST

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

those with only a few tens of millions will share these services. Anyone can set up as a family office: everyone from a local notary or auditor through to banks and regulated domiciliation agents. Some are regulated by the Luxembourg agency CSSF as family offices, with others supervised as other entities (such as financial sector professionals, known by its French acronym PSF), or there may just be oversight from the relevant professional body (lawyers, accountants, etc). “Often the term ‘family office’ is a marketing gimmick,” said Serge Krancenblum, chairman of the Luxembourg Association of Family Offices. For him, this activity is not so much about the branding as the way the services are provided. In recent years, several Luxembourg private banks have established their own family office entities, but Krancenblum is sceptical. “The main concern for clients is independence. They want to be sure that the professional relationships being established and monitored are free of conflicts of interest,” he said. Private bankers counter by insisting there are thick Chinese walls with the entity, and that they would not risk offending a valued client by not working in their best interests. On the contrary, they insist that their institutional heft gives them greater capacity to serve. A unique market

Ultimately the client will choose the flavour they prefer, and the range of options should help promote the grand duchy’s wealth management brand. “Luxembourg is a very specific market,” Krancenblum commented. “People chose to be served from here because of the solutions and the legal framework, not because they live here,” he said. “The most wealthy billionaires generally don’t live here, but they will decide to have their top-level structures here. This makes us different from Monaco, London and Geneva where people go and live, and want to have their family office × next to them.” words  

Stephen Evans

3. Inheritance: what share, what tax? As well as the grief of bereavement, remaining family members have to deal with the cold reality of inheritance. Efficient planning can → minimise the heartache, maximise

Photo → Lex Thielen & Associés

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Lex Thielen Senior partner Lex Thielen & Associés

“There is a risk that these people will de facto establish their residence abroad.” fairness and maximise tax efficiency. Here we look at some of the options. There is no inheritance tax in direct line to direct descendents in Luxembourg. In other words, on their death, a Luxembourg resident can pass on real estate held in this country and other assets tax-free to children, grandchildren, etc., as long as they too are resident in this country. The situation becomes tricky when descendents who live outside the grand duchy seek to benefit from these rules. International law states they should pay the inheritance tax applicable in their country of residence. Tax evasion clampdown

“In days gone by it was simple,” explained Lex Thielen, senior partner at the law firm of Lex Thielen & Associés, “because people would keep their assets in Luxembourg and thanks to banking secrecy laws, they did not need to declare this to their tax office.” However, since 2016 tough, → comprehensive global rules on the

It used to be quite easy to evade tax by setting up a holding company through which assets would be held and then so-called “bearer” shares transferred. Recent rule changes have made this manoeuvre harder to organise, and in a few years it will become impossible as lists of bearer share holders and maybe even beneficial owners of companies will be circulated routinely. Nevertheless there are still things that people can do to make sure they don’t run into an excessive inheritance tax bill. “Everyone has to pay their taxes, otherwise our societies won’t work, but even so, you don’t have to leave a tip,” Lex Thielen commented. For example, there is certain leeway on pre-bereavement donations and life insurance policies are often handled in different ways in different countries.

SECOND MARRIAGES A complication can occur if the bereaved spouse has remarried. That new spouse is in line to inherit usufruct of the couple’s house, even if it eventually belonged legally to the children. This can be frustrating as it makes the home almost impossible to sell and banks will not lend money on the back of this limited collateral.


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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Legal default share*

Share of estate that can be inherited per child. The lower figure is the legal minimum.*

Maximum share of the estate the legator can reallocate through a will

One child

100%

50%-100%

50%

Two children

50%

33.33%-66.67%

33.33%

Three children

33.33%

25%-50%

25%

Four children

25%

20%-40%

20%

Five children

20%

16.66%-33.33%

16.66%

*Note: If the remaining spouse opts to take a “child’s share” rather than taking usufruct of the family home, his/her share cannot be less than 25%. The remaining 75% is divided between the children.

exchange of savings information make this impossible. Data about an individual’s assets must now be transferred by banks (and soon other advisors) to the tax office of the client’s country of residence. There is clear temptation to appear to be resident in Luxembourg even if most of a person’s life takes place outside the country. International rules state that a person must be resident in a country for at least 183 days a year (i.e., half a year or more) to be classed as resident. This is something to consider for people who travel widely and live abroad for many weeks or months during their retirements. Proof of residency

Proving where your home location is can be tricky. In certain countries, tax offices will use things such as where a mobile phone is used and where credit card payments were made to build a picture. Also, if someone has their family home in another country with their children attending the local school, tax offices will more often than not judge this to be the tax domicile. This can be even if most of the year is spent in Luxembourg and the family owns property in the grand duchy. Some people even go through divorce proceedings in an attempt to indicate clearly that Luxembourg is at the centre of their lives. Having your main employment based in Luxembourg is usually enough to prove residence. There can also be problems when we approach our final moments. The internationally accepted rule is that the location of your last domicile decides which

inheritance law will be applied (for assets other than international real estate). Yet we may wish to move to a retirement home across the border, or we may need extensive medical care abroad. “There is a risk that these people will de facto establish their residence abroad, even though they have lived their entire lives in Luxembourg,” Thielen warned. This problem has lessened as Luxembourg has built numerous nursing and retirement homes recently. “Questions such as this are normally less about estate planning and more about just knowing the rules,” he added. How the law structures family assets

These rules are universal across Europe, but specific to Luxembourg and other civil code legal systems is how assets are apportioned after death. The starting point is to understand how the law structures family assets (see article on page 61). Assuming a couple has the statutory marriage regime at the time of bereavement, the most usual outcome is for children to receive equal shares of the deceased parent’s estate, including the family home. Thus, two children will receive half, three children a third, and so on. Alternatively, the surviving spouse can retain usufruct of the house for life. Or they can decide to leave the home, and take a share of their spouse’s bequest. This share is equivalent to that of an extra fictitious child, to a minimum of 25%. Thus with one child, the spouse can choose to take a half of the whole estate, with two children a third, but with four children the spouse would receive 25% rather than 20%. Under Luxembourg law, only one part of the estate can be reallocated by the legator.

This share can be up to the equivalent to a fictitious extra child’s share (see table above). The rest must go to the different children, or grandchildren if the child is deceased. The civil code also sets a framework for how assets are allocated. Without a will, an only child will inherit the entire amount of the deceased parent’s portion, two siblings would receive half of this, and so on. However, a will can limit the amount children receive. With an only child, the parent can specify that up to half their estate will go to another person or organisation, with the inheritor receiving a minimum of 50%. For two siblings, the minimum is one-third, and for three children or more, one-quarter can be reallocated. These changes must be made with a will. This can be written out long-hand and signed, even minutes before death, or alternatively it can be drawn up with two notaries or at one notary with two witnesses. Thielen recommends keeping a will with a lawyer or a notary to ensure it can’t be tampered with. He also recommended not putting conditions in the will “because if the condition is considered to be illegal or impossible to fulfil, then the condition is void, but the courts could also decide to annul the will × if the condition was decisive”. words  

Stephen Evans

Source → Delano research

Legal limits of the share of estates that can be inherited by children


LUXEMBOURG • LONDON • MONACO LIECHTENSTEIN • DUBAI • GENEVA • ZURICH

PRIVATE BANKING WEALTH MANAGEMENT INSTITUTIONAL BANKING ASSET MANAGEMENT

www.banquehavilland.com


SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Photos → Arendt → EIPA

68

Perspectives

What should expats in Luxembourg be thinking about now to plan for their families’ financial future?

Which laws apply?

Posted, but same pension

Ellen Brullard-Roth Private wealth advisor Arendt

Igor Dizdarevic Lecturer European Institute of Public Administration

When you think about a family’s financial future, what immediately comes to mind is increasing and consolidating its estate and protecting it through diversification in particular. However, is this enough?

After two years of fierce negotiations, the European Union finally agreed on the new posted workers directive, the objective of which is to guarantee the rights of posted workers. Posted workers are those employed by a company established in one member state and who are sent to provide services in another member state, for a duration not exceeding 12 months.

Structuring and securing wealth is one thing, considering its future is another. B   uilding an estate is often a lifetime’s work. However, passing it on efficiently to the chosen individuals may be a challenge, especially for expats. An expatriate’s life is confronted with a mosaic of laws. Life events such as marriages, births, investments and the transmission of assets by donation to future generations all take place in time and space.  G   eographical family breakdown also contributes to this patchwork of applicable laws.  T   ogether these elements constitute a melting pot which has significant legal repercussions and which should all be taken into consideration and anticipated to avoid any disappointment. What would indeed happen if nothing is done or planned? Which law would be applicable if nothing is anticipated?  F   or example, an expatriate may find that the law of his country of residence applies to his succession whereas he was convinced that his succession would be subject to his national law.  I  n the worst case, the heirs designated by law might not be the heirs the expat imagined! In this context, measures can be taken to grant his wishes, although it is still necessary to be aware of it and to proceed!  In this respect, the answer to the question raised would be: a compliance check between the × applicable laws and expats’ wishes.

Posting of workers has become increasingly relevant for Luxembourg. According to the Inspection du Travail et des Mines, in 2017, 119,893 workers were posted to Luxembourg, up by 73% since 2015. Moreover, 43,254 workers employed by a Luxembourg-based employer were posted to another member state. The directive guarantees that an expat--whether posted from Luxembourg to another member state or coming to Luxembourg from another member state--will be equally treated in terms of remuneration, maximum work periods and minimum rest periods, health, safety and hygiene at work, protection of pregnant women, etc. In these matters, the legislation applicable is always the one of the host state. However, the posted worker will still be subject to the social security system of his country of origin and will retain the retirement scheme of his country of origin. For example, a worker posted by his Luxembourg-based employer to Germany will be equally treated as the other workers in accordance with German legislation, but will still be affiliated to the Luxembourg social security system. Luxembourg has two years to transpose the × directive into its national legislation.


Photos → Hogan Lovells

69

Accuracy and efficiency are key

Perspectives

What are the biggest legal challenges facing regtech companies?

Agathe Laissus Associate, Banking & Finance Hogan Lovells

Simon Recher Associate, Investment Funds Hogan Lovells

Regtech. Fintech. Insurtech. Suptech. Nowadays, it is hard to escape these topics, which are and are not related. A “-tech” dominates the headlines of all conferences that are held these days around the globe. One cannot ignore this trend, but it is also important to understand some of the challenges that those tech are facing.

Regtech would receive a whole bunch of data that they will then process and analyse. In the light of recent data privacy breaches, clients will genuinely request for more assurances as to the use of their data and how it will be secured from any potential breach.

Regtech, in particular, is meant to assist companies, generally of the (regulated) financial sector (but not only), in complying with their regulatory requirements, which are sometimes far beyond their ken. Needless to say that financial institutions are in need of this type of help. The regulatory burden has increased over the last decade (and a reversal of this trend is not to be seen), and with them regulatory costs. Regtech aims at reducing these costs by providing an efficient regulatory compliance tool at a reasonable cost. From a certain viewpoint, the “legal watch” is only transferred from one company (the regtech’s client) to another (the regtech itself). Indeed, it is now the regtech’s duty to understand and respond to the regulatory constraints of each of its clients in an ever growing regulatory labyrinth, both at supranational and national levels (including local particularities). Regtech tools are designed to permit to comply with several sets of rules that may partly contradict in terms in a timely fashion. Regulatory accuracy and technological efficiency are thus key to the success of a regtech model. Albeit not specific to regtech, data protection is a big challenge for them.

Long story short, regtech is facing first-hand the regulatory wave that has recently hit the financial and insurance sectors. Having as target markets those heavily regulated sectors, regtech shall provide enough comfort and security to clients whilst trying itself to avoid any × additional regulatory supervision.


70

← Shamala Swaminatham in her Capellen kitchen

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Entrepreneurs

Cooking up a spicy business These women tapped into the growing interest in Luxembourg for Indian cuisine to create their own small businesses. What’s behind the rage for Indian cookery classes?

words 

Sarita Rao photo  Mike Zenari

I

f your idea of Indian food is chicken tikka masala, then you haven’t really tried the many regional varieties of this cuisine. Three ladies have used their skills in traditional Indian cooking to support a growing business trend. Shamala Swaminatham came to Luxembourg with her husband in 2008. A talented cook, always receiving praise for her meals, she decided to start her own business, helping Luxembourg residents to discover the secrets of her repertoire. “My passion for Indian food and using the proper techniques to bring out its authenticity was driven by my desire to convince people that Indian food is simple, quick and healthy to prepare.”

She believes that people are always interested in experimenting with a new cuisine and want to learn new techniques and use ingredients that feel alien to their own culture to replicate a dish in the comfort of their own kitchen. Class sizes are limited so Swaminatham can dedicate plenty of attention to each individual, and each session lasts about 2.5 hours. Sunita Trivedi missed authentic food when she arrived in Luxembourg 22 years ago from New Delhi, so she set up Spice Curry 14 years ago to teach Indian cookery. The menu ranges from traditional to fusion recipes, and cookery course participants can learn up to 100 recipes from various parts of India. “I was a mum and I found the best way to integrate with different nationalities was through my cookery programme. I have met some amazing people and made many friends from all over the world.” Belgian-born Anne-Marie Bertrand tea­ ches groups of 4 to 6 people but also gives private one-to-one lessons in the evening or on day programmes. “I’ve been in love with India since my teens, and then in 2007 ayurveda appeared in my life.” Her ayurveda cookery workshops produce vegetarian dishes, but her aim is also to introduce participants to the joy of cooking with consciousness and love. Her Escale Indienne classes produce light, delicious and digestible meals that maintain the body and spirit’s energy and vitality. The main ingredients include rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, mung beans, lentils, chickpeas and, of course, spices. Whether or not you believe that Indian cooking is good for the spirit and the waistline, one thing is clear, cookery classes in this cuisine are becoming ever-more popu× lar in the grand duchy.

Get in touch   

Shama Swami

 ↳  www.spicecurry.com  ↳  www.escaleindienne.com


10 0

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kichechef.lu

Custom-planned. Without decoration.


72

Agenda

A selection of upcoming business, information and networking events for Luxembourg’s international community.

University of Luxembourg

LuxLogAI 2018

  Mon 17-Wed 26 Sept    Belval campus  ↳  luxlogai.uni.lu

Luxembourg Space Cafe

Move planets? “A special night dedicated to the $100m initiative to reach for the stars and the world’s largest rocket company’s plan to have 1,000 people living and working in space.”   Thu 27 Sept, 18:00    Paul Wurth Incub

BCC

  

CEO Forum

Luxembourg Space Cafe

The Network

Google for Education

Equal opportunities

7th European Summit

Sarah Mellouet of the Idea Foundation and Larissa Best of Equilibre (pictured) speak at the “Cross-Culture Gender Equality Forum”.

“Sessions for educators on the best use of Google tools across schools.”

  Wed 19 Sept, 19:00

The British Chamber of Commerce for Luxembourg hosts its annual CEO panel on leadership and management.   Wed 17 Oct, 18:00    Banque de Luxembourg  ↳  www.bcc.lu Lu-Cix

Luxembourg Internet Days

  Fri 28-Sun 30 Sept    International School of Luxembourg  ↳  european.appsevents.com

   Arendt & Medernach   

“The two themes for 2018 will be network security & monitoring and data security in the cloud.”

The Network – Luxembourg

Amcham & BCC

Personal tax lunch Amcham Alfi

Global funds talk Three decades of Ucits, the mutual funds that made Luxembourg a market leader, are marked at the Global Distribution Conference.   Tue 25-Wed 26 Sept    European Convention Center  ↳  www.alfi.lu

Business in China Denis Niedringhaus gives “eight keys to working successfully with Chinese” at this luncheon.   Mon 1 Oct, 12:00    Sofitel Luxembourg Europe  ↳  www.amcham.lu

  Tue 13-Wed 14 Nov    Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce  ↳  www.luxembourg-internet-days.com

The American and British chambers host a joint luncheon on tax tips. Speakers include Laura Foulds of Analie Tax & Consulting.   Mon 12 Nov    To be announced  ↳  www.amcham.lu or www.bcc.lu European Microfinance Platform

European Microfinance Week More than 500 professionals from around the world discuss financial inclusion issues; plus the European Microfinance Award ceremony.   Wed 14-Thu 16 Nov    Neumünster Abbey

Find more events Check Delano’s digital agenda for the latest happenings: ↳  www.delano.lu/agenda

 ↳  www.e-mfp.eu

Photos → Mike Zenari (archives) → Lala La Photo (archives) → SpaceX → Matic Zorman (archives) → Marion Dessard (archives) → Eric Chenal (archives)

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

The Luxembourg Logic for AI Summit includes presentations “on the crucial question of how to make AI more transparent, responsible and accountable”.


Dec. 13th 2018 @D’COQUE

Milow

Bryan Ferry

Tim Bendzko

The Pointer Sisters

John Miles Antwerp Philharmonic Orchestra Alexandra Arrieche Petrit Ceku

Agenda & Ticketing www.coque.lu 2, rue Léon Hengen • L-1745 Luxembourg • Tél. +352 43 60 60 1 • www.coque.lu • info@coque.lu

Tickets from 59€

ORDER now: www.coque.lu


74

in focus

Housing

Going tiny

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Emmy McNiece and Quentin Richard and their son, Zachary, are seen inside their tiny house. The family moved into the handmade 25 square metre home on wheels in a bid to downsize and live closer to work in Luxembourg while saving money. “I’ve been able to stay at home for two years to raise my son. That was important for us,” McNiece explains when Delano visited in August. They invested around €30,000 for the entire set-up, which is made with ecologically-sound materials and took six months to build. At the time the photo was taken, it was parked at a campsite near Luxembourg City. “It’s felt very liberating. Most people feel like it should be the opposite because you’re going smaller. It’s opened up such a lot of space for us to have fun together,” she said.

words   photo  

Jessica Bauldry Mike Zenari


75

Housing


Iwwerall ĂŤnnerwee

Autocars Emile Frisch TĂŠl. (+352) 49 61 51-1 www.emile-frisch.lu info@emile-frisch.lu

5 : 45 1 06a:4 1 t s a f oon e k Br fing brie

N fing brie

Delano Daily.

Your twice-daily dose of Luxembourg business news in English. Subscribe on delano.lu


The Source A guide to culture and style

78 Interview

No language barriers Paul Lesch on the work of the National Audiovisuel Centre

80 On stage

84 Special feature

Live Buy performance local! Delano’s selection of the best shows on Luxembourg stages this autumn

A guide to favourite products, new and old, made in Luxembourg

77


78

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 interview

Paul Lesch

Understanding Luxembourg through art Two and a half years since he was appointed to succeed the long-serving Jean Back, Paul Lesch is revelling in his role as director of the National Audiovisuel Centre.

words 

photos 

Duncan Roberts Mike Zenari


← Paul Lesch says that the CNA showcases what Luxembourg is all about through the visual and audio arts

t is no surprise to walk into Paul Lesch’s office at the National Audiovisual Centre (CNA) and find it stylishly cluttered with film artefacts. The film historian has figurines from Hitchcock movies sitting on a table covered in books and magazines. A large triptych of John Goodman, Steve Buscemi and Jeff Bridges from “The Big Lebowski” is propped against his desk just waiting to be hung on a wall. Stacks of film reel cases serve as makeshift tables. Then there is the inescapable photo of the great Luxembourg film star Thierry van Werveke in his most famous role, Johnny Chicago. International impact

But for now, Lesch is keen to talk about some of the other work the institution does. “If we have something in Luxembourg that really has international prestige--it is not for nothing that it is part of the Unesco Memory of the World Register--then it is ‘The Family of Man’,” he says. The collection of 503 photographs (including work by the likes of Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson) from 68 countries was gleaned from over 2 million photos by Luxembourg-born photographer Edward Steichen. First shown in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1955, it is, says art critic Fred Turner, “quite likely the most widely seen collection of photographs ever created.” The collection now has a permanent place in the château at Clervaux after Steichen bequeathed it to the country of his birth. Earlier this year, Lesch was at Moma to present the launch of a book, “The Family of Man Revisited: Photography in a Global Age”, produced by the CNA in collaboration with the University of Trier and the New York University Abu Dhabi. “Around 130 or 140 people turned up… for a book launch.

widow Danielle Meneghetti and fellow artists, including the likes of Serge Tonnar and German cinema star Til Schweiger. But what is refreshing, apart from the setting of the exhibition if specially made film sets, is that it is not a hagiography but deals frankly with many of the problems Thierry faced × during his life. 

No language barrier

There really is no language barrier to much of the public work that the CNA produces, its director explains. “I think it is important for anyone who lives here and wants to better understand Luxembourg to see what the country has produced and what it is producing,” says Lesch. “There is no reason that a non-Luxembourg resident shouldn’t come to view the exhibition by [Luxembourg photographer] Michel Medinger.” Indeed, anyone who wants to dive into the Luxembourg psyche could do worse than visit the “Thierry!” exhibition about Thierry van Werveke, who died in 2009 aged 50. One of the first stars of Luxembourg cinema, van Werveke started out in the 1980s making short films with director Andy Bausch, who would later cast him in “Troublemaker”--the 1988 cult film that inspired a whole generation of new filmmakers in Luxembourg. Van Werveke went on to star in dozens of Luxembourg and international films as well as make appearances in German TV series and on stage (he was quite brilliant as a Luxembourgish Hamlet at the TNL). He also sang in the bands Nazz Nazz and Tabula Rasa. Lesch is wonderfully enthusiastic as he gives a guided tour of the exhibition. He explains that it is made with respect and love, featuring the cooperation of van Werveke’s

ON SHOW “Thierry!” Designed around specially built film sets, the exhibition reflects different aspects of Thierry van Werveke’s life and work. An English guidebook is available for free to visitors.   Until 31 December, Wed-Sun 12 to 6 p.m.   Free entry

“Les univers photographiques de Michel Medinger” Famous for the still-life photos of objects he collected throughout his life, Medinger’s works constitute a unique universe.   Until 16 December, Tue-Sun 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.   Free entry

“The Bitter Years” A collection of photos by the Farm Security Administration that documents rural America during the Great Depression.   Permanent exhibition, Wed-Sun 12 to 6 p.m.   €6 (€4 concessions), free entry for under 21s     CNA, 1B rue du Centenaire, L-3475 Dudelange  ↳  www.cna.public.lu

79

Culture

I

That shows ‘The Family of Man’ still has an enormous impact,” he says with pride. “It is frustrating when I notice that people who live here, even Luxembourgers, don’t really know what a treasure we have.” Another project with international renown that the CNA is involved with is the screening, at its Ciné Starlight, of live opera and ballet from the Royal Opera House in London between October and June. Lesch explains that the CNA serves as an important national archive, collecting a wide panoply of official broadcast and amateur recordings and photographs that it is currently digitising to help preserve vital documentation of Luxembourg’s 20th-century history. The institution also attracts students from all over the world to attend its workshops and traineeships in the audio-­visual profession. It also co-produces documentaries and films. These include “Ashcan”, the recent documentary by Willy Perelsztejn about the secret prison in Mondorf-les-Bains where several prominent Nazi leaders were detained after WWII. A film about the history of Radio Luxembourg 208 is also currently in co-production with Samsa Film and should appeal to the local English-speaking community, as well as thousands of Brits who grew up secretly listening to the pop station.


On stage

80

Stunning opera, a side-splitting musical and neo-classicism from Iceland Theatre

Purge

Rigoletto

   Kinneksbond, Mamer

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 Opera

A one-man social media experiment conducted live by Brian Lobel saw him talk about his Facebook friends in front of an audience, who then voted on whether he should keep or delete them in what became known as the “Purge”. Now he tours with an entertaining performance based on that experiment and its aftermath, exploring the world’s love-hate relationship with social media.

British baritone Simon Keenlyside sings the title role and Russian soprano Ekaterina Siurina is Gilda in this concert version of one of Verdi’s most popular operas. Gustavo Gimeno conducts the OPL and the Philharmonia Chor Wien. The tragic “Rigoletto” was an almost instant success following its premiere in 1851, travelling to the UK and USA and beyond.

  5 October ↳  www.kinneksbond.lu

  5 October    Philharmonie, Luxembourg-Kirchberg

Opera

The Beggar’s Opera John Gay and Johann Christoph Pepusch’s 1728 ballad opera is reworked by Ian Burton and prolific stage director Robert Carsen with musical director William Christie. The inspiration for Brecht and Weill’s “Die Dreigroschenoper”, the satirical work is often said to be the world’s first musical. Set in London’s underworld, it explores a world of capitalist greed, crime and social inequality.   27 & 29 September    Grand Théâtre, Luxembourg-Limpertsberg ↳  www.theatres.lu

Opera

La Traviata More Verdi, this time a full-blown production of “La Traviata” directed by the master of experimental theatre Robert Wilson. The director’s penchant for what critic Ako Imamura calls carefully calculated and deliberately executed theatre comes to the fore as Wilson shows that “elaborate staging is not always necessary for a successful performance”.   12, 14 & 16 October    Grand Théâtre, LuxembourgLimpertsberg ↳  www.theatres.lu

words 

Duncan Roberts

Theatre

Young Frankenstein Neil Johnson directs a cast of 30 in this production of the Mel Brooks musical, itself adapted from his classic 1974 comedy. The musical, which opened on Broadway in 2007, has taken the West End of London by storm since its first performance at the Garrick in 2017. The show, with a live orchestra, features “sidesplitting jokes, hilarious songs and a tap-dancing monster” and is recommended for the over 14s.   8 to 11 November    Kinneksbond, Mamer ↳  www.kinneksbond.lu

Photos → Patrick Berger → Lucie Jansch → Christa Holka → Mike Zenari

↳  www.philharmonie.lu


81

Cadaqués Orchestra

TOP PICK Neo-classical

Ólafur Arnalds

Russian conductor and pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy leads the Cadaqués Orchestra in an eclectic evening programme. The young and passionate Catalan orchestra, founded in 1988, begins with the overture to Fernando Sor’s ballet “Alphonse et Léonore ou l’Amant peintre”. This is followed by Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No.23” with Denis Kozhukhin as the soloist. The climax of the evening is provided by Schubert’s “Fifth Symphony”, which bears a significant Mozart influence.   8 October    Philharmonie, Luxembourg-Kirchberg ↳  www.philharmonie.lu

Icelandic composer and multi-instrumentalist Ólafur Arnalds brings his neo-classical piano-led ambient electronica to the Philharmonie. New album “Re:member” was released to critical acclaim in August and features a track with Sohn that one critic said was a mix of “the opposing forces of a sweaty dancefloor and the icy ocean”. Even if you don’t recognise the name of Arnalds as a solo artist, his beautiful and haunting soundtracks to series such as “Broadchurch” will be very familiar.

Classical

Murray Perahia American pianist Murray Perahia returns to the Philharmonie for two performances this autumn. This recital is followed on 29 November by a concert as guest conductor of Academy of St. Martin in the Fields featuring Beethoven’s first and third piano concertos. His latest recording for Deutsche Grammophon features Beethoven’s piano sonatas number 29 and 14 (the “Moonlight Sonata”).   21 October    Philharmonie, Luxembourg-Kirchberg ↳  www.philharmonie.lu

  20 October    Philharmonie, Luxembourg-Kirchberg ↳  www.philharmonie.lu

Jazz

Touch of noir The annual festival at opderschmelz is ostensibly a celebration of all things dark in the arts. It includes theatre in Luxembourgish for kids and the latest production in German by Independent Little Lies. But it is also a feast for fans of unique jazz, with concerts by experimental London quartet Ill Considered, EgyptianAmerican guitarist Khalil Chahine and thrilling young New York trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire.   14-25 October

Photos → Felix Broede → Keith Saunders

   opderschmelz, Dudelange ↳  www.opderschmelz.lu

Folk-rock

Frank Turner The angry troubadour returns to the grand duchy with latest album “Be More Kind” performing well and its lead single ‘1933’ on heavy rotation on Ara City Radio and other stations. Popular in Luxembourg-he has played Rockhal and den Atelier on numerous occasions--Turner is renowned as a charismatic and energetic live performer. Support comes from Luxembourg veteran folk-rock outfit Dream Catcher.   21 October    den Atelier, Luxembourg-Gare ↳  www.atelier.lu

On stage

Classical


82

Indie

Spain SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

MUSIC ROUNDUP De Gudde Wëllen continues to bring a varied selection of upcoming and established artists to its intimate upstairs room. American folk-pop duo Field Division, who have just released debut album “Dark Matter Dreams”, play there on 26 September and one of the most exciting young bands in Europe, Dutch indie trio The Homesick, play on 23 October. Over at den Atelier, the early autumn line-up includes the Julian Casablancas-led pseudo punk band The Voidz on 29 October, the same day as they put on Berlin-based Swiss singer-songwriter Sophie Hunger at neimënster. Australia’s John Butler Trio--hugely popular with the A crowd--also play the Hollerich venue on 30 October. Down south, Christine & The Queens bring their unique pop flair to the Rockhal on 11 October and soul veteran Raphael Saadiq (who remembers Tony! Toni! Toné! from the 90s?) performs there on 2 November. Finally, fans of nostalgia can see rock legends Ten Years After at opderschmelz in Dudelange on 14 November.

Josh Haden’s “indie pop slowcore americana free jazz” outfit, Spain, releases its brand-new album on the day of its Gudde Wëllen show. Recorded live in the studio, “Mandala Brush” features Haden’s talent for writing catchy melodies and haunting ballads (his song ‘Spiritual’ was beautifully covered by Johnny Cash) as well as the band’s penchant for endless, psychedelic jams.   24 October    De Gudde Wëllen, Luxembourg-Centre ↳  www.deguddewellen.lu

Electronica

Superorganism Less than two years after joining forces with lead vocalist Orono Noguchi to form Superorganism, the eccentric eight-piece Londonbased collective plays its third show in Luxembourg. The band’s music has been described as “internet-age electronicallytinged indie pop music” and their charmingly exuberant stage show makes them a sort of digital I’m From Barcelona, with less nostalgic lyrics, if you will.   11 November

Rock

The Flaming Lips At their best, Kevin Coyne and his acolytes deliver mesmerising spaceage-prog-post-punk-pop. At their most experimental, The Flaming Lips can be awkward and inaccessible. It’s been a long time since their definitive masterpiece, “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots”, was released in 2002, but there have been seven studio albums (including latest opus “Oczy Mlody”) and numerous collaborations since. Always fascinating, the band’s live shows are real art performances.   12 November    Rockhal, Esch-Belval ↳  www.rockhal.lu

   Rotondes, Luxembourg-Bonnevoie ↳  www.atelier.lu

↳  www.deguddewellen.lu ↳  www.atelier.lu ↳  www.rockhal.lu ↳  www.opderschmelz.lu

Find more events Check Delano’s digital agenda for the latest happenings: ↳  www.delano.lu/agenda


– LES THÉÂTRES DE LA VILLE DE LUXEMBOURG

Your season

18’19 in English

GRAND THÉÂTRE

THÉÂTRE DES CAPUCINS

27, 28 & 29.09.18 at 8pm

11, 12, 17, 22 & 23.01.19 at 8pm

THE BEGGAR’S OPERA

STUPID FUCKING BIRD

BALLAD OPERA BY JOHN GAY & JOHANN CHRISTOPH PEPUSCH IN A NEW VERSION BY IAN BURTON & ROBERT CARSEN

AARON POSNER / ANNE SIMON

GRAND THÉÂTRE 20.11.18 at 8pm

A QUIET PLACE

GRAND THÉÂTRE 26 & 27.04.19 AT 8PM 28.04.19 AT 3PM

LE LIVRE DE LA JUNGLE JUNGLE BOOK RUDYARD KIPLING / ROBERT WILSON

LEONARD BERNSTEIN (1918-1990)

27, 28 & 29.11.18 at 8pm

ABIGAIL’S PARTY MIKE LEIGH / DOUGLAS RINTOUL

GRAND THÉÂTRE 03, 04 & 07.05.19 at 8pm 05.05.19 at 5pm

MONSIEUR LINH AND HIS CHILD PHILIPPE CLAUDEL / GUY CASSIERS

GRAND THÉÂTRE

GRAND THÉÂTRE

08 & 09.01.19 at 8pm

ICON A 21ST-CENTURY OPERA BY ATELIER BILDRAUM, FREDERIK NEYRINCK & SABRYNA PIERRE

27 & 28.06.19 AT 8PM 29.06.19 AT 3PM & 8PM

ENGLISH NATIONAL BALLET & AKRAM KHAN & OPL GISELLE

WWW.LESTHEATRES.LU WWW.LUXEMBOURGTICKET.LU | TÉL.: + 352/47 08 95-1

THE BEGGAR’S OPERA © PATRICK BERGER

GRAND THÉÂTRE


special feature

Luxembourg products

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Ahead of the latest De Lokale Maart weekend organised by Lët’z Go Local (29 and 30 September at Rotondes), Delano looks at a selection of new and indispensable products made in Luxembourg. Many of the designer products will be on sale at the event, while others are available in shops.

Taste it, wear it, make it, buy it…

words 

Duncan Roberts

FOOD Cookies

1

 Bake your own

As the name suggests, the idea with Lëtz Cookie is to make your own cookies from the ingredients packed into an aesthetically pleasing jar. The company currently has 7 different varieties but can also create personalised recipes.   

1

Lëtz Cookie

Confection

2

 Made with love

Seabiscuit founder Thierry Li has succeeded in recreating the taste of grandmother’s biscuits. His lovingly packaged homemade cookies come in 8 flavours including chocolate, caramelised nuts, coconut and cinnamon. ↳  www.seabiscuit.lu

2

Fruit

3

 We’re jammin’

What began as an apple juice maker, Eppelpress has now expanded. Its product range includes 9 varieties of juice (mostly apple mixed with other ingredients), elderberry syrup and 8 flavours of jam (including quince and mirabelle). ↳  www.eppelpress.lu

3

Photos → Seabiscuit → Lëtz Cookie → Eppelpress

84


BEVERAGES

85

Cider

1

 Snappy single variety 1

3

Luxembourg products

Ramborn made a splash when it launched a range of ciders and perries in 2015. For those familiar with its more popular labels, we recommend the Erbachhofer single variety--a beautiful, crisp drink with just a hint of tannins. ↳  www.ramborn.com Beer

2

 Rye on time

2

The latest craft beer to emerge from the ever-innovative Simon brewery, Ourdaller “Karel” is a 5% brew made with 40% organic rye from Luxembourg. It has a dark golden colour and a hint of freshly baked bread. ↳  www.craftbeer.lu Gin

3

 Work of art

Three Luxembourg gin fans set up their own distillery in 2016. Using local natural ingredients as well as classic botanicals, they developed the Opus gin, which is described as complex with nuances of spiciness and a certain sweetness. ↳  www.opusbeverages.lu Wine

4

 Organic smiles

A Belgian who has lived in Luxembourg since 1995, Raphaël Hannart launched his organic winemaking operation in 2010. Happy Düchy produces a range of white wines, including elbling and pinot gris, a pinot noir red, two sorts of crémant and a sparkling wine.

Photos → Opus → Ramborn → Maison Moderne → Happy Düchy

↳  www.happyduchy.com

4


86

DAIRY Ice cream

1

 Unusual licks

1

  

3

Anna&Paul Glacerie et Chocolaterie

Milk

2

 Flavoured up

Luxlait has a range of 5 flavoured milks that can be enjoyed on the go. The 33cl packs have resealable tops. Try cappuccino variety for a quick energy boost, savour vanilla or chocolate or try the banana or strawberry flavours. ↳  www.luxlait.lu Cheese

 Super power spread 3

Expect a boost in the sales of local delicacy Kachkéis upon the release this October of Luxembourg superhero film “Superjhemp”. The cheese speciality does for our hero what spinach does for Popeye. It is actually delicious spread on toast. Luxlait has 40% and 0% fat versions, and also an herb variety.

2

↳  www.luxlait.lu

KIDS Knitwear

4

5

 Granny knots

Hand-knitted by grandmothers, the range of products at Mamie et Moi includes woollen bloomers, pullovers and even booties for infants as well as hats, mittens and cardigans for toddlers and young children. ↳  www.mamieetmoi.com Accessories

5

4

 In the bag

Specialising in handmade accessories for kids, mums and women, Goldstéck started as a hobby but has now become a well-known local boutique brand. The collections feature bags, rucksacks and purses with cute designs as well as birthday crowns and crawl blankets. ↳  www.goldsteck.lu

Photos → Maison Moderne → Luxlait → Mamie et Moi → Goldstéck

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Pavel Silenchuk trained to be a master ice-cream maker in Bologna and opened his own store, Anna & Paul, in Bertrange this summer (the Anna in the name comes from his daughter). He creates firm favourites and plenty of fruit flavours, but also more unusual varieties such as mozzarella, tomato and basil or even foie gras.


BEWOSST ENTSCHEEDEN ! Why go looking far afield? As a local chain, and since we were founded over 50 years ago, we’ve been working to make links with producers in the Greater Region!

“Cactus: showcasing the region’s very best” Regional producers committed to environmentally-friendly and quality-orientated production methods have become our preferred business partners. Our job has allowed us to introduce them to you – so you can enjoy what they produce and they can continue developing.

Find more about our commitment on www.cactus.lu/bewosst

Quality without compromise


DESIGN

88

Glass creations

1

 Fragile art

Luxembourg’s premier glassblower Pascale Seil makes stunningly beautiful creations at her studio in Berdorf. Her range includes art collectibles, lights, tableware, trophies and even Péckvillercher.

2

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

↳  www.pascaleseil.com Jewellery

2

 Fair trade gems

Annick Mersch, a young Luxembourg jewellery maker and goldsmith, who learned her trade in the German precious stone mecca of Idar-Oberstein, only works with fair trade gold. Her creations also use semi-precious stones and precious stones and she does work with silver or can fashion something new from old jewellery. ↳  www.annickmersch.com

1

FASHION Street wear

3

 Citizen cool

↳  www.sentinel-city.com Haute couture

4

 Timeless vibe

Nathalie Siebenaler drew inspiration and gained experience all around the world. Her By Siebenaler label specialises in classic and timeless but highly unique wedding and cocktail dresses, but also has a snazzy collection of scarves and produces made-to-measure dresses. ↳  www.bysiebenaler.com

3

4

Photos → Maison Moderne → Sentinel City → Christine Eckhardt

Launched in 2013, Sentinel City produces T-shirts, hoodies, pants and sweaters with a variation on its distinctive logo and other cool designs. A clever marketing ploy also sees customers become citizens of Sentinel City, which is mapped out on the brand’s website.


Luxlait 3 Am Seif, L-7759 Roost/Bissen www.luxlait.lu info@luxlait.lu

MORE THaN a BRAND... CLOSE

PREMIUM

A RESPONSIBLE

YOUR CONFIDENCE IS OUR MAIN CONCERN

Luxlait is an agricultural association made of 350 passionate farmers, present throughout the whole Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. For almost 125 years, they are giving their know-how every day. Thus, by tasting our products, you support the Luxembourg agriculture and participate in an economy that everyone benefits from.

About a hundred of different Luxlait dairy products are made from high quality raw materials. This is reflected in the taste and it makes Luxlait the most famous brand in Luxembourg. From the milking to the finished product, Luxlait and its highly qualified staff monitor all the production steps.

Our raw materials are natural, so, as a matter of fact, we of course respect the environment. Also, the recycling of waste, the water purification we used to manufacture our products and the energy expenditure optimization are our concrete actions on a daily basis to preserve the environment. By consuming Luxlait products, you are taking care of the biodiversity and of the environment.

Luxlait products are contributing to a balanced diet by providing you with essential nutrients. Our customers are trusting us. Thanks to the 1.500 daily quality checks, we can guarantee flawless products. Food safety is guaranteed to our customers by a full traceability control.

TO YOU

QUALITY

ECOLOGICAL ATTITUDE


Restaurant review

90

WHAT’S NEW? Cereal Lovers SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

The brainchild of Raoul Thill, Cereal Lovers uses locally sourced ingredients for its fresh sandwiches, salads, healthy breakfast offerings, energising lunches and tasty afternoon snacks. The diner and concept store (it sells glassware and gifts), located in the Capucins courtyard and in Beggen, also caters to gluten and lactose sensitive clients, vegans and vegetarians. ↳  www.cereallovers.lu

Hesper Park The latest venture by celebrity chef Jan Schneidewind is located at the rear of the new Hesperange cultural centre. With a view overlooking the park, the restaurant pursues the noble cause of reducing carbon footprint and food waste. The menu features mostly classic bistro fare and a tempting range of cocktails. ↳  www.hesperpark.lu

Les Jardins d’Anaïs Classic cuisine hits all the right notes words 

photos 

Duncan Roberts Mike Zenari

If you are going to open a restaurant with specially designed crockery, and even go so far as to commission a signature knife, then you better make damn sure the food delivers. Luckily for owners Annabelle Hazard and Pascal Soutiran, chef Christophe Quentin has created crisp, clean, classic cuisine that leaves a lasting impression.

The French couple took four months to renovate the former Maho and its impressive garden, before opening Les Jardins d’Anaïs (named after their daughter) in June. They had spent four years looking for a Luxembourg location after deciding that the city was the ideal place to open their second restaurant--they also own Les Grains d’Argent near Épernay in Champagne. The dining room has undergone an upgrade, looking more chic than ever, but retains its natural lighting and views of the impeccable garden. Service, overseen by maître d'hôtel Philippe De Kimpe, is also faultless and

not without a welcome touch of theatre for those who enjoy that sort of thing. But it is the food that truly excels. A starter of white asparagus perfectly cooked in a papillote accompanied by a delicately smooth eggs mimosa, roquette, grated dried caviar and a delightful beurre noisette sabayon is a fantastic explosion of flavours. A main course of line-caught St. Pierre from Brittany is steamed in citrus fruits and served with peppermint oil and a splash of slightly acidic sauce on top of colourful batons of carrots from the famous Kirsch family farm. A rich dessert named after the Brazilian Bahia islands features wonderfully crisp feuilles de chocolat atop a dark Caribbean chocolate mousse with caramelised hazelnuts. The mignardises--moist madeleines, beautiful lemon meringue tartlets, raspberry

macaroons--to accompany coffee are served in the fashion of a British high tea. As you would expect from an establishment that unveils its showcase dishes with the impeccably synchronised lifting of cloches, prices--including a choice of three set menus--reflect the luxury fine-dining experience. For those of us who have decided to dine out less regularly and focus on excellence, it is well worth surrendering a couple of semi-decent meals at lesser establishments for a visit to × this oasis in Clausen. 

Delano gives it:

   2 place Sainte-Cunégonde, Luxembourg-Clausen   27 04 83 71 ↳  www.jardinsdanais.lu


A multi-purpose deposit system designed in Luxembourg to transport meals. Whether at the restaurant, canteen or takeaway, the ECOBOX can be used almost everywhere. The multiple use of the ECOBOX will eliminate many disposable packagings. This initiative reduces the volume of waste because it does not only scale down the number of packages, but also the amount of food waste.

An action of: LE GOUVERNEMENT DU GRAND-DUCHÉ DE LUXEMBOURG Ministère du Développement durable et des Infrastructures Département de l'environnement

Partners: LE GOUVERNEMENT DU GRAND-DUCHÉ DE LUXEMBOURG Ministère du Développement durable et des Infrastructures Administration de l'environnement

MÉI LAANG GENÉISSEN www.ecobox.lu info@ecobox.lu

+100°C -20°C

5€


words 

photos 

Sofia Mikton Mike Zenari

↗ A quaich A traditional Scottish cup intended for two-handed use. The object serves as a memory of her time in Scotland, where her daughter Eilidh was born.

← Vegemite “I always have my Vegemite with me,” says Kim. And indeed, no matter where in the world she chooses to go, rest assured the Australian delicacy will be somewhere in her kitchen cupboard.

Australian teacher Kim Davis chooses objects that bring back memories of the places where she has lived, as well as a ubiquitous Australian food.

↑ The tanoa A Fijian ceremonial bowl that is used to make a traditional drink called kava. The bowl is a reminder of her time in Fiji, the place of her first overseas job posting and the birthplace of her son Lachlan. ↓

WHAT I REGRET LEAVING BEHIND The one thing Kim regrets not bringing from Australia is… consistent sunshine.

Illustration → José Carsí/Maison Moderne

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

In my suitcase

92


93

In my suitcase

Kim Davis

HOME AWAY FROM HOME

↑ “Cloudstreet” by Tim Winton Tim Winton is Kim’s favourite Australian writer, and “Cloudstreet” her favourite of his books. “It’s a phenomenal story of growing up in Australia, in an urban environment.” Unlike most stories of Australia, that only paint wide-open spaces and endless landscapes, this book delves deep into the suburban life of a family in Perth.

Meet Kim Davis, learning support teacher at the International School of Luxembourg, seasoned expat and Vegemite-lover. Originally from Australia, Kim has been living abroad with her family for most of her career. In fact, five years in Luxembourg is the longest she has been in one place since starting to work overseas. Upon arriving here in 2013, her impressions of the country could be summed up in three words: “small, green and calm.” Luxembourg lived up to stereotypes of classical European efficiency and proved an easy place to settle and get routines going. Over time, with the connections and friendships formed, “and the fact you can buy Vegemite here”, the small green country began to feel like home. Scattered around her house lie “bits and pieces” from everywhere she’s lived, each a physical reminder of one of the many countries she and her family have come to call a home away from home.

← Giraffe statue This tall wooden giraffe statue is a reminder of “living in Botswana, being in the open African skies, and the freedom that is there.” The giraffe made its way to her family’s home in Botswana all the way from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe by bus--its head sticking out the window the entire journey.


Kids page An hour of happiness

Graduates of the Teatro Dimitri school in Switzerland, Camilla Pessi and Simone Fassari joined forces in 2004 when the latter contacted Pessi to stand in for his usual acrobatic partner. They have not looked back since and, after being joined by Valerio Fassari, formed Compagnia Baccalà. The company’s 2010 first full-length work, “Pss Pss”, was completed when they worked with director Louis Spagna, who was part of Cirque du Soleil’s first ever tour in 1984. Since then the show has gone on to tour the world to critical acclaim. Described as an ingenious circus show, “Pss Pss” is performed by Pessi and Fassari. Inspired by the stars of silent film, it has been called “inventive, exciting, ridiculous… breathtaking.” It is a show without words and has been hailed as a “pas de deux of mishaps and acrobatics that will have you laughing long after you leave the theatre.”

Compagnia Baccalà’s acclaimed “Pss Pss” show SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

words 

Duncan Roberts

ALSO COMING UP

Simplicity

Family fest

Bébé Fado

Picelectronic

The Natural History Museum’s annual family fest features a number of activities, games and workshops for youngsters. The museum’s Panda Club and Science Club are involved. Food and drink will also be available. The event is at the museum and the adjacent Abbaye de Neumünster.

Part of the Philharmonie’s “1.2.3... Musique” series aimed at babies and toddlers, “Bébé Fado” features singers and musicians performing the famous Portuguese song form. The concerts are specifically tailored to infants and toddlers and an accompanying adult.

The Rotondes’ annual “festival for headbanging kids and grooving parents” features music workshops, concerts, sound installations, cinema screenings with live music, DJ sessions and a disco. Great fun for the whole family, the weekend really encourages kids to discover different aspects of music and sound.

  16 September, 12-6 p.m.    Natur Musée & Neimënster, Luxembourg-Grund  ↳  www.mnhn.lu

  9 to 11 October, 10 a.m. & 3:30 p.m.    Philharmonie, Luxembourg-Kirchberg  ↳  www.philharmonie.lu

The show is suitable for kids aged 9 and up. And, being without dialogue, it will appeal to audiences regardless of their language skills. Pessi says the show eschews the common association of clowns as having “red noses, fright wigs, and all that.” The show, he says, was born and developed for an adult audience, but children get to see another layer. It is “more like Chaplin and Keaton, who wore little makeup and had a great simplicity in their × way of doing things.” 

  27 & 28 October    Rotondes, Luxembourg-Bonnevoie  ↳  www.rotondes.lu

Pss Pss   28 September, 8 p.m.    Kinneksbond, Mamer  ↳  www.kinneksbond.lu

Photo → Pierre Colletti, Illustrations → José Carsi/Maison Moderne

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THE ROLE OF HUMANITY IN MIGR ATION ISSUES

A FILM BY

FRÉDÉRIQUE BUCK WITH: MARIANNE DONVEN • LI SCHILTZ • SAL AM JABBAR • DR CL AUDIE RE YL AND DOLFIE FISCHBACH • CASSIE ADÉLAÏDE • MARTINE NEYEN • DR PAUL HENTGEN KAROLINA MARKIEWICZ • DEEDEE OSTROWSKA-ABDULHUSEIN MICHEL RECKINGER • FRANK WIES DR ABDU GNABA • LAURENCE BERVARD • JEAN ASSELBORN

WWW.GRANDH.NE T

10. OCTOBER 2018 IN YOUR CINEMA

CONCEPT : FRÉDÉRIQUE BUCK • PHOTO : SVEN BECKER • DESIGN :

15 PERSPECTIVES FROM ACROSS THE BOARD


Index

96

A

E

Ainhoa Achutegui 

11

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Anouk Agnes 

56

Matt Elton 

50

Eppelpress84

Algoreg50

European Commission

Alternative Democratic Reform Party

European Institute of Public

(ADR)34

Administration68

Alto Advisory

50

Randy Evans 

Amfine Services & Software

50

Apentis50 Arendt68

56

38

F

Association of the Luxembourg

Family of Man

78

Simone Fassari 

94

Valerio Fassari 

94

B

Finologee50 Serge Fischer 

Acia Baghdadi 

50

François Bausch 

26

Anne-Marie Bertrand 

70

Blanco50

48

Fundsquare50

G

Bert Boerman50

Goldstéck84

Rob Boerman 

50

Google26

Lisa Boussard 

50

Governance.com50

British-Luxembourg Society

16

Green Party (Déi Gréng)

Ellen Brullard-Roth 

68

Nicolas Buck 

26

By Siebenaler

84

C Cactus

10, 84

26, 34

H

50

CDDS50 Tess Charnaud 

9

Happy Düchy

84

Annabelle Hazard 

90

Sviatlana Höhn 

12

Hogan Lovells

69

I Inreg50 International Regtech Association 50



International School of Luxembourg 9

David Clark

16

Compagnia Baccalà 

94

D Audric Debaisieux 

J Yoann Jagoury 

50

Elisabeth John 

8

50

Democratic Party (DP)

34

Laurent Denayer 

50

LuxAI12 Luxembourg Association of Family Offices

62

Luxembourg Communist Party (KPL) 34 Luxembourg Federation of Industry 26 Luxembourg House of 50

(LSAP)34 Luxembourg Stock Exchange

50

Luxflag56 Luxlait84 The Left (Déi Lénk)

34

K

Mamie et Moi

84

Chris Marcilla 

50

Michel Medinger 

78

Annick Mersch 

84

Raoul Mulheims 

50

N 50

National Audiovisuel Centre (CNA) 78 National Health Fund (CNS)

11

Nowina Solutions

12

O

14

Olus Kayacan 

Carole Dieschbourg 

38

Knauf26

Distinct Communications

12

KPMG50

Igor Dizdarevic 

68

Serge Krancenblum 

50

P

62

KYC350

94

Planning Familial

11

Holger Pletsch 

50

Laurence Ponchaut 

12

Olivier Portenseigne 

50

Adeline Poun50

Agathe Laissus 

69

Les Jardins d’Anaïs

90

Paul Lesch 

78

Lëtz Cookie

84

Seabiscuit84 Secourriel50 Charles Seigle-Goujon 

50

Pascale Seil 

84

Sentinel City

84

Simon84 Snapswap International

50

Pascal Soutiran 

90

Spice Curry

70

Shamala Swaminatham 

70

Dominique Sweetnam

16

The Second Degree

70

Egide Thein 

50

Thewes & Reuter

60

Lex Thielen 

64

Alexandre Thilmany 

50

Thomson Reuters

50

Sunita Trivedi 

70

Donald Trump 

38

Truth Technologies

50

U U IT

50

Uergelfrënn Waldbillig

18

University of Luxembourg US Embassy

8, 12 38

Thierry van Werveke 

78

Koen Vanderhoydonk 

50

Cécilia Vernhes 

50

W Henry Wickens 

18

Wine Institute (Institut Viti-Vinicole) 48 90

R Ramborn84 Simon Recher 

L

26

Scorechain50

V

Camilla Pessi 

Christophe Quentin 

Étienne Schneider 

Ume50

Q

Lydie Diederich 

S

T

M

Opus84

Christian Social People’s Party (CSV) 26, 34

LSAP26

Nadi Solutions

Cannad’Our42 Jean-Louis Catrysse 

64

Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party

Fage26

56

84

Lex Thielen & Associés

Financial Technology

Association Luxembourg Alzheimer 14 Fund Industry

Lëtz Go Local

69

Jorg Reinking 

50

Pierre Reuter 

60

Mathis Ries 

50

Rugby Club Luxembourg

16

Claude Wiseler 

26


PREVIEW ONLY


Auntie Eleanor

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Why am I on the ballot?

This month, Delano’s advice columnist answers reader questions on the grand duchy in August, alcohol taxes and the Luxembourg Film Prize.

Dear Auntie Eleanor, I just moved here and no one seems to be around. Is summer always this quiet? Newbie in Nospelt

Gentle reader, hmmm. You seem to have fallen victim of the “nothing ever happens in Luxembourg in August” syndrome. It is a common phenomenon amongst recent arrivals. Did you know that native Luxembourgers are migratory? The reason is this: each summer since the 1300s a certain sheep fair has taken place that attracts exactly no sheep, but thousands of human visitors who gather on what is nowadays the Glacis carpark. These people are the natural predator of the Luxembourger, arriving by the bus load and soaking up vast quantities of beer and crémant, before getting on a fun fair ride. The result is projectile vomiting from a great height that travels at speed through the air to disturb the BBQs of folks on their terraces. Thus, the average Luxembourger has no choice but to take off in order to be safe from this deluge. It’s all over now, though, so they’re back. Dear Auntie Eleanor, given the findings of a recent study that even the occasional alcoholic drink is harmful to health, do you think the Luxem­bourg

government should increase taxes on booze? Olly in Olm

Gentle reader, I once had a dry holiday in Iceland; dry because for the cost of the three beers I had in one bar, I could have had a slap-up meal at Brasserie Guillaume. The taxes on alcohol in Iceland can amount to more than 90% of the price in some cases. I had to live off bread and water for months after that trip! So, no, I don’t think we should raise taxes on alcoholic drinks, it would probably only push people to start drinking things they shouldn’t, like Blue Nun. I would, however, like to see our country introduce more transport alternatives at night, so that people are less inclined to drink and drive. Dear Auntie Eleanor, I have read somewhere that the Luxembourg Film Prize will be awarded soon. Is this the local equivalent of the Academy Awards? César in Bonnevoie

Gentle reader, the Lëtzebuerger Filmpräis (take care with your umlauts) does indeed take place on 22 September. It’s not exactly the Oscars. It’s less political for a start and the top gongs don’t always go to the most worthy or politically correct films. Also, although Luxembourg has a thriving film industry, its output is tiny

compared to the Hollywood behemoth, so the awards are only held every two years to make sure that there are enough films to choose from. But like the Oscars and the Luxembourg Media Awards (also every two years) it is an opportunity for an industry already bloated with fragile egos to give itself a hearty pat on the back (and then get blind drunk at the after-party… on Blue Nun). Dear Auntie Eleanor, the downside of gaining Luxembourg nationality was brought into sharp focus last week when I was shocked to see that my name has been added to the list of candidates for a political party at the coming election. What can I do? George in Belval

papers currently being printed in time for the 14 October polling day. That will teach you to sign something before you read it properly. The people who check the signed candidate lists submitted by the parties do little more than make sure you are eligible to stand for election. It’s not their job to ask each candidate if they really mean to be on the ballot paper. But don’t worry, unless you are a former journalist or sports personality or a professional politician (i.e., a lawyer who can no longer be bothered practicing at the bar) the chances of you getting × elected are pretty slim.

Gentle reader, as the law stands, you can’t do anything. The deadline for submissions has passed and your name → is on the official ballot

ASK AUNTIE ELEANOR Want to know something about Luxembourg? Write to AuntieEleanor@delano.lu. Please indicate if Delano can publish your name or if you wish to remain anonymous.

Illustration → Jan Hanrion

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F

NK S BA AN 1 G LO N° IN E OUS TH OR H

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Profile for Maison Moderne

Delano September/October 2018  

Delano September/October 2018