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LUXEMBOURG IN ENGLISH WWW.DELANO.LU €4 SUMMER 2015 ISSUE 37

EXPAT GUIDE

CURRENT AFFAIRS EU presidency

BUSINESS Art hanging app

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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.lu Founder and CEO Mike Koedinger Administrative and financial director Étienne Velasti Innovation, quality and operations director Rudy Lafontaine

EDITORIAL

Text by DUNCAN ROBERTS

Photo by SVEN BECKER

A QUESTION OF IDENTITY

VISIT PEOPLETREE.LU

PUBLISHER Phone (+352) 29 66 18-1 Fax (+352) 29 66 19 E-mail publishing@maisonmoderne.lu Publisher Mike Koedinger Editor in chief Duncan Roberts (duncan.roberts@maisonmoderne.lu) Desk editor Aaron Grunwald (aaron.grunwald@maisonmoderne.lu) Contributors Neel Chrillesen, Stephen Evans, Natalie A. Gerhardstein, Alix Rassel, Tonya Stoneman, Wendy Winn Photography Julien Becker, Sven Becker, Annabelle Denham, Steve Eastwood, Lala La Photo, Gaël Lesure, Mike Zenari Proofreading Pauline Berg, Muriel Dietsch, Cynthia Schreiber DESIGN Phone (+352) 27 62 12 62-1 Fax (+352) 27 62 12 62-84 E-mail studio@maisonmoderne.lu Director, Maison Moderne Studio Guido Kröger Creative director Jeremy Leslie Art director Cassandre Bourtembourg Studio manager Stéphanie Poras Layout Sophie Melai (coordination), Bernard Gissinger, Jan Hanrion ADVERTISING Phone (+352) 27 17 27 27 Fax (+352) 26 29 66 20 E-mail mediasales@maisonmoderne.lu Director, Maison Moderne Media Sales Francis Gasparotto (francis.gasparotto@maisonmoderne.lu) Sales director Luciana Restivo (luciana.restivo@maisonmoderne.lu) Account manager Aysel Boschian (aysel.boschian@maisonmoderne.lu) SUBSCRIPTIONS For subscriptions, please visit www.delano.lu Luxembourg (shipping included) 1 year / 8 issues / 25 euros 2 years / 16 issues / 50 euros Europe (shipping included) 1 year / 8 issues / 31 euros 2 years / 16 issues / 68 euros Printed by Imprimerie Faber Distribution by Valora Services Luxembourg

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

Recreating car boot sale--Julien Becker shot Enid Isaac, Aedammair Ní Chiardha and Martine Neyen in front of the Banannefabrik in Bonnevoie. NOTE TO OUR READERS

The next print edition of Delano will be published on 30 September. For updates, commentary and our weekly what’s on guide, visit www.delano.lu.

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s Delano celebrates its annual “expat edition”, the choice of that very loaded word has us perturbed. The term “expat” can have slightly derogatory associations, especially when used to label those who temporarily seek out high paying jobs in foreign countries about which they care not one jot, content to earn an extraordinary salary while living in a very comfortable ghetto of their own design. However, the Oxford English Dictionary defines an expat simply as: “An expatriated person. In modern usage, a person who lives in a foreign country.” So using it as a catch-all to describe non-Luxembourgers in the Grand Duchy’s international community seems to be fair enough. Indeed, a quick glance at our cover story stars reveals that being an expat in Luxembourg can mean having lived here for more than 40 years and speaking the local language fluently, or being a new arrival who has no intention of settling down here permanently. Often these long-term and temporary expats share a common sense of pride in Luxembourg. As our cover story reveals, this can manifest itself in a willingness to pitch in and help support local organisations as well as the international community. And they are welcomed with open arms by Luxembourgers.

Despite the temporary strain placed on relations between some expats and the local populace following the results of the referendum in June, it is clear that the two communities continue to thrive side by side and that the fear of xenophobia has failed to manifest itself. Healthy, intelligent and respectful debate has replaced the initial overly defensive reactions on both sides. However, the question of Luxembourg identity has still not been cleared up. The argument for language as defining a Luxembourger has been strengthened by the result of the referendum. And yet, there are still many Luxembourg passport holders who have not fully mastered Lëtzebuergesch, just as there are many non-nationals who have made the effort to learn the local language. So the question that still needs to be addressed, and not just in Luxembourg, is whether a paper document, obtained for what could be entirely mercenary reasons, should really be the defining criteria for allowing political engagement?

PAPERWORK Does obtaining Luxembourg nationality at your local commune truly signify a commitment to the country and political engagement? Summer 2015


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DELANO ADVERTORIAL

HOW IT CAN BOOST YOUR PRODUCTIVITY Easy, structured access to every piece of information you have about a client or supplier in your firm’s various databases with Kolibrys.

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nformation overload is one of the key business challenges of our era. A masse of data is spread around your firm in dozens of silos: email servers, enterprise resource planning systems, archives, document management solutions… The Kolibrys software package puts you in control by automating processes, giving you access to the business intelligence data on your IT network, and avoiding wasting time hunting for information. “Imagine, a client gets in touch, but the relationship manager is away and you need to find the details about a recent email conversation or exchange of letters,” said Christophe Pietquin, general manager of IT system specialists G-Sys. “But you don’t have the password to their machine so you have to get the IT guy to trawl through the email server or the shared disk. Then you might need to find the client file which is in another application and you may not know exactly where to find things,” he added. While you jump in and out of different applications, clients are kept waiting, suppliers may have incomplete information, and your staff get fed up as they waste time searching through unstructured files.

GOOGLE-LIKE SEARCHES ON YOUR SYSTEM Kolibrys solves this frustration by enabling you to run Google-like searches on all the information sitting on your firm’s computers and your part of the cloud. Type in the search terms and you get everything you want ordered, in one place, on one interface: the client file, letters, bills, price quotes, product information, spreadsheets, non-archived email conversations, contact details, powerpoints, audio files... Summer 2015

Christophe Pietquin, general manager and co-founder of G-Sys, publisher of Kolibrys, the system that will make the information on your systems work for you

Kolibrys searches through and finds document contents as well as keywords. The results are previewed, enabling you to scan the search results easily and then open them fully if you need more detail. There is a single interface giving you all the information you could want about every aspect of your business. “This system also goes towards the user, automating processes, creating reminders and helping with project management,” added Mr Pietquin. For example, Kolibrys will generate recurring bills automatically, set reminders, it tells you if your contacts

database is not up-to-date, and it will ease communications between suppliers, clients and others. For example, construction firms have to organise a complex chain of partners, and days and weeks slip by if communication is not well organised. So when the electrician is about to finish, the plasterer will be notified automatically by Kolibrys that they need to come in two days, with the painting firm alerted that they will be required next week. “One of our clients, a transport firm, reduced their billing time from three weeks to two days,” Mr Pietquin explained.


Kolibrys can be adapted to businesses of every size, so is particularly useful for small firms who don’t have the full range of IT support. Price is on a per-user basis, enabling costs to be adapted to your needs whether you have one or 250 employees. There are versions for PC and Mac, with modules for tablets enabling you to consult and enter data on the move. It can either be installed on your server or on the cloud.

SEEKING EUROPEAN SALES PARTNERS Selling the product Europe-wide is the next challenge for G-Sys. “We have spent the last three years developing and testing Kolibrys in the field. We have sold the first copies to businesses of different sizes, they have been pleased and we are convinced this will have huge appeal,” Mr Pietquin explained. “We are currently hiring sales partners from across the continent, and we want to build relationships from Ireland to Greece, from Portugal to Finland,” he added. They are able to offer technical training to sales people and the product is available in any language. This is the latest innovation from G-Sys, an 18-year-old IT company that specialises in providing solutions that businesses really need. “Most of our clients are not IT specialists, so they need simple, intuitive tools that just help them be more productive,” Mr Pietquin explained. He co-founded and runs the firm, using his 25 years experience in the industry. “I am a system engineer

by background, and I am also highly business focused with direct experience of banking, construction, the legal profession, transport, hospitality and many others,” he said.

STRONG TRACK RECORD The firm’s background is writing software, but their passion for finding solutions has led them to offer a complete range of services including IT infrastructure and web design. From mainframes, to desktops, to smartphone apps, the firm has seen it all, so knows how to approach large-scale projects while paying attention to the important details. The websites they build can be either more basic “shop windows” or fully transactional with content management, product ordering, web-marketing and payment systems. They can also help you run applications on the cloud, and they help provide “software as a service” with clients using just what they need when they need it. Technical support is complete and personalised. Real time maintenance and management is organised via the telephone, online and in person. The firm turned over €1.2m last year, an impressive figure for a firm staffed with ten professionals. New hires are in the pipeline. There is an on-going process of investment and renewal, with a new version of Kolibrys planned every year to enable them keep up with new requirements and technological trends. So whether you are a start-up or are more established, Kolibrys will help you make your data work for you.

As well, the system helps you keep your business procedures in line. Templates for letters or price quotes are accessible through the system, meaning your communications will be standardised. There are also reporting forms that enable important client data (such as deliveries and " THE KOLIBRYS SOFTWARE PACKAGE requests) to be registered and stored in a standardised way. Product orders, AUTOMATES PROCESSES, GIVES ACCESS bills, stock management, project TO THE BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE DATA management, statistics generation, ON YOUR IT NETWORK, AND ELIMINATES time sheets are all handled from one portal, helping you to cut hassle and WASTED TIME HUNTING FOR INFORMATION." increase productivity. CHRISTOPHE PIETQUIN

MORE INFO: WWW.G-SYS.LU

INFO IN ONE PLACE All the information you need is collected in one place and is accessible through a single user interface: client files, letters, bills, price quotes, product information, spreadsheets, non-archived email conversations, contact details, powerpoints, audio files... BUSINESS FOCUSED IT “I am a system engineer by background, and I am also highly business focused with direct experience of banking, construction, the legal profession, transport, hospitals and many others.” SALES PARTNERS NEEDED Sales partners are being sought across Europe. If you want to share the success of this breakthrough in IT, contact Christophe Pietquin at +352 261 753 96 (landline), +32 470 507677 (mobile) or write to christophe. pietquin@g-sys.lu

Summer 2015


CONTENTS

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DELANO SUMMER 2015 CURRENT AFFAIRS 8

 9

BUSINESS  30

 31

DELANO DIGITAL HIGHLIGHTS LIFESTYLE  66

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UPFRONT

UPFRONT

UPFRONT

Beginning in 1946 and through today Britain has wanted to build the best possible European Union, says Alice Walpole.

Joe Huggard, head of the Irish chamber, which marked its third anniversary in June and plans another fiery entrepreneurship event this autumn.

Luxembourg’s late summer fun fair is truly a rite of passage.

Carte blanche

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SNAPSHOTS Duke’s Night

It rained, it poured, but Luxembourgers and international residents made the best of National Day Eve.  12

 15

EDUCATION Report card

How do the Grand Duchy’s state-run and international schools stack up, and how do English speaking parents decide which one is best for their kids?  16

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EDUCATION New digs

Catching up with…

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SNAPSHOTS

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SNAPSHOTS Two decades

The American chamber celebrated 20 years in Luxembourg during a heartfelt gala in Mondorf.  34

Grand Duchy files

 35

Church Fair

Tea and scones, snail races and magicians… childhood memories come alive in Useldange.  72

ST. GEORGE’S STUDENTS

School’s out! These kids share their hot summer tips: www.delano.lu/StGeorgesTips2015

 78

COVER STORY

International gatherings

CAREERS

Multicultural offices

How can you best navigate Luxembourg workplaces, where inevitably everyone will speak a different language?  48

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PERSONAL BUSINESS Cross border bargains

Throughout the year Luxembourg’s local and expat communities come together to raise funds, raise awareness, build bridges, make an impact, try new experiences and to just meet up. Delano gets into gear to find out what’s driving these multicultural organisers.  82

TECH CLUB FOR KIDS

Give your children an IT skills boost: www.delano.lu/news/tech-clubs-kids

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SHOPPING

Out and about

APPOINTMENTS COLUMN The University of Luxembourg has officially moved into its new Belval site; what awaits students at the gleaming southern campus?

Some things are cheaper in Belgium, France and Germany. Where do you find the best deals?

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 50

POLITICS

HOUSING

Fallout

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Rent vs. buy

Looking for a gift with that special Luxembourg touch? Miss some treats from home? Worn out that newcomers guide and looking for some real insider secrets? Delano has some nifty ideas for you.  90

 94

THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT

Who’s landed a new job in Luxembourg? www.delano.lu/careers

HAVE A COMMENT? Delano is always looking for reader feedback and guest contributors: news@delano.lu

Take in a show

From “contagious music” to dark drama, oh, Mama Mia, you’ll want to book your tickets now.

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 28

Luxembourg’s real estate market continues to bound upwards. So is it better to be a home owner or long term tenant?

Expat encounters

 62

MIGRATION

MY OTHER LIFE

What is it like to be a refugee in Luxembourg, and what can Luxembourg do about the Mediterranean migration crisis during its EU presidency?

Finance sector executive Germain Birgen talks about his favourite house.

Sensitive issue

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MY FAVOURITES

A palace in our backyard

DJ and events consultant Natasha Liati-Jones shares three favourites locales to meet internationals.

EXPAT EDITION Throughout this issue, Delano presents special reports of interest to new arrivals and longer term international residents.

Summer 2015

Steve Eastwood PwC Luxembourg

What does the triple “no” vote in June’s national referendum mean for Luxembourg’s cabinet and for its expat population?


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UPFRONT

CURRENT AFFAIRS

HAPPY, SMILEY PEOPLE

The Lëtzebuerger Vëlos-Initiativ has launched a campaign calling for city planners in the capital to give priority to pedestrians and cyclists in strategic areas. In a statement subtitled “an appeal for an endearing city worth living in”, the LVI suggests that traffic planning should be “people friendly” and create quality of life. The campaign posters show images of what the avenue de la Gare, boulevard FD Roosevelt and boulevard Royal could look like if the streets were reserved for “alternative” transport, leaving enough space for cyclists and pedestrians to make their journeys while also making room for children to play, rest areas and a chance for people to meet and talk. The plans allow “retail trade and gastronomy to blossom, and architectural cultural heritage to be fully appreciated.” The posters do, indeed, show plenty of happy, smiley people--though, as some social media commentators pointed out, the images are set in summer with pedestrian and cyclists wearing short sleeves. But the LVI remains positive. “Whether our vision will soon become reality is simply a matter of political will!” www.lvi.lu

CLAUDE MEISCH

The education minister faces a potential strike by teachers in the autumn as he battles to push through reforms to restructure their working hours. Summer 2015

JEAN ASSELBORN

The foreign minister has said Luxembourg will support Bosnia and Herzegovina in its accession bid during its presidency of the EU Council.

The ministry for interior security has released details of the audit of the Police Grand-Ducale that it commissioned from Mindforest, which recommends a wave of new recruitment and a geographical reorganisation of the force. Revealing the findings of the report, minister Étienne Schneider and secretary of state Francine Closener said that the force should recruit some 320 new officers by 2018 to supplement the current 2,000-strong force. “This increase in the number of officers… will guarantee a better service for citizens, for example by expanding the opening hours at police stations or by having more presence in the field,” the minister said. The audit also recommended the police force be divided into three new territories centred around Esch in the south, Luxembourg in the centre and Diekirch covering the north of the country. Currently there are six regional subdivisions. But the report also calls for a new image for the police, which could mean a new design for uniforms and livery for vehicles, as well as a fresh approach to communications to reposition the force as a “responsible actor in society.”

LVI Olivier Minaire Charles Caratini Police Grand-Ducale

POLICE AUDITED


DOPING ALLEGATIONS

Two senior members of the CSC pro­ fessional cycling team were in charge of running a doping centre out of a Luxembourg apartment in 2000, says a fresh report by Denmark’s anti-doping agency, ADD. Former Luxembourg resident Bjarne Riis, who won the 1996 Tour de France while living in Steinsel, was the CSC team manager at the time and, according to the report he “at least had knowledge of doping on the team but failed to intervene.” Riis, also a Dane, has previously admitted to doping while a rider, and he was written out of the Tour de France record books and later reinstated as the 1996 winner. The latest allegations, from the ADD, will further tarnish his reputation even though the agency will not be pressing any charges since the statute of limitations has expired.

FILM FINANCE

In May the Luxembourg Film Fund granted close to 6.5 million euros in funding of various sorts to 12 film projects, including feature length animated movie The Breadwinner by Nora Twomey (who co-directed the Oscar-nominated The Secret of Kells), Rudolf van den Berg’s A Real Vermeer from Tarantula productions and horror thriller Girls with Balls from Deal Productions.

CARTE BLANCHE

COMMITMENT TO EUROPE British ambassador to Luxembourg Alice Walpole says her country is ambitious to build the best possible European Union. The 1992 Maastricht Treaty, which laid the groundwork for the European Union as it exists today, was the culmination of a trend towards greater European integration that started in the aftermath of the Second World War. In fact, some historians place the origin of that integration with Winston Churchill. In 1946, Churchill gave a speech advocating his remedy for destructive conflicts in Europe. “It is to recreate the European family, or as much of it as we can, and to provide it with a structure under which it can dwell in peace, in safety and in freedom. We must build a kind of United States of Europe.” And so, in 1950, the first formal steps towards integration were taken with the Schuman Declaration, proposed by French foreign minister Robert Schuman--born, of course, here in Luxembourg City. No one who has even the smallest understanding of twentieth-century European history can doubt my country’s commitment to a peaceful and prosperous European continent. Twice, in 1914 and 1939, the British people came to the aid of European allies, at great personal cost, with the intention of restoring peace and security. That commitment to Europe has not diminished. One of the reasons that Britain is sometimes a demanding partner in negotiations among European states is that we are ambitious to build the best possible European Union. An EU that is a world leader in trade and economic growth, in international development co-operation, in the promotion of human rights and the rule of law, in scientific and medical advances, in the consolidation of international peace and security. I would argue that no country is more interested, nor more actively engaged, in the future of Europe than the United Kingdom. Indeed, many of the ideas

that our prime minister shared in a speech at the start of last year, on areas for EU reform--increasing European competitiveness through reducing bureaucracy and completing the single market; bringing European decision-making closer to its citizens through greater consultation; increasing EU democratic accountability by enhancing the role of national parliaments--are now passing into the mainstream of thinking in Brussels. An article in the Financial Times a fortnight ago urged David Cameron to adopt “a Walpole-like determination to maintain British engagement in Europe.” The article reflected on Britain’s long-standing commercial and political relationship with our continental partners. The Walpole to which it referred was my ancestor, Robert Walpole, Britain’s first prime minister, who was a keen European--so keen, in fact, that he had a sequence of Flemish and French wives and mistresses. He saw engagement and collaboration with our continental partners as the key to Britain’s prosperity and peace. The article urged our current prime minister to follow in the steps of his predecessor--in terms of engagement with Europe, I mean, not regarding the wives and mistresses. I am confident that he will. I know that Britain will be a committed player in the modernising and reshaping of our European Union. And I look forward to working towards shared objectives for Luxembourg’s EU presidency, which I expect to be a resounding success. In the meantime, for my own part, I can assure you that I myself will indeed adopt “a Walpole-like determination to maintain British engagement in Europe.” This is an edited version of a speech delivered to mark the celebration of the official birthday of Queen Elizabeth II in June. Summer 2015


CURRENT AFFAIRS

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SNAPSHOTS

Text by AARON GRUNWALD

Photography by STEVE EASTWOOD

SMILES ON SOGGY DUKE’S NIGHT

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n ill-timed deluge caused a bit of worry for National Day Eve celebrations, but those who braved the elements still managed to pull off some smiles. While 23 June is the Grand Duchy’s official National Day, the night before is marked by a huge street party and fireworks display, called “Duke’s Night” by Luxembourg’s international community. Asked if it was a little wet out, AnneLaure of the not-for-profit RIFF replied: “A little?!” Nevertheless she and fellow volunteers toughed it out to promote her group along with the NGO Food for your Senses at a shared stand. Next door was Rokku Mi Rokka, selling handicrafts to support its centre for handicapped children and adults in Senegal. (Find all these groups on Facebook.) Francisco and Anello from Mexico were on a business trip and stumbled onto the festivities. They certainly enjoyed the music, food and beer, but were disappointed by the early evening slim crowd. Yet they decided to stay on a bit longer. Fortunately the weather cooperated just enough for the “big show”. Wendy Winn summed it up: “Beautiful display tonight in Luxembourg City.”

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DUKE’S NIGHT A. Indy Whiting and Karen Jemmison during National Day Eve celebrations in Luxembourg City on 22 June B. Annabel De Jäger and Stella Freyberg C. Karen McCrone, Stevye Ellman and Saga Sundman D. Paula Rodriguez and Marko Anyfandakis E. Lorraine About, Mélodie Dalbergue and Damien Le Gall F. Anne-Kristine Floden, Christine Ferreira, Laura Rita and Melina Wujanz G. Yen, Pa and Meaw H. Getting into the spirit of things: DJ Ipek & Middle Eastern Soundsystem on the Holy Ghost stage

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Summer 2015

MORE PHOTOS:

WWW.DELANO.LU/ DUKESNIGHT2015


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CURRENT AFFAIRS

EDUCATION

Text by NEEL CHRILLESEN

Photography by GAËL LESURE

FINDING A SCHOOL THAT FITS Deciding which school is best for your child is difficult, especially if you’re unfamiliar or unhappy with the system. The educational offer in Luxembourg is expanding, but the choice between state and private schools remains a central question.

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s a parent you have many wishes for your children. Giving them the tools to accomplish whatever they set their mind to--just like you’ve always told them they could--is usually one of them. And to provide your offspring with as many opportunities and choices as possible in life, making the right educational choice for them is a good beginning. This has however become an increasingly difficult part of parenthood. It’s no longer enough to ensure that your kids get a diploma. There are many other variables to consider if you want to get the equation right. There are teaching methods to consider, school culture and environment, safety and organisation, curriculum and extra-curriculum… because not only do you want your kids to get good results, you also want the school to fit their personality, handle their strengths and weaknesses properly, develop their creativity and, above all, be a place where they are happy. Many expats arriving with children to Luxembourg are told the local multilingual system is too hard and that opting for an international school is the best option. If they are lucky enough to get a spot there and have the sufficient financial resources or an employer willing to pay the school fees, chances are they will look no further. Whether they are doing what’s best for their child or not is up for discussion. Every case is different. “Our daughter was 7 when we moved to Luxembourg. We never really thought about sending her elsewhere than to the local school,” says Maureen,

Summer 2015

a Brit. “My husband and I only speak English so giving our daughter the opportunity to learn Luxembourgish, German and French seemed incredible. It wasn’t easy for her though. In fact we had a really horrible first year. I even thought of moving back home with her. But then it all just seemed to fall into place: the languages, the homework load, the friends.”

PUBLIC ADVANTAGES Bláthnaid O’hAnnracháin, who is a volunteer at the Luxembourgish Schools Support Group, which provides information to parents about the local system, admits to not understanding why parents would chose to put their young children in international or European schools. “You’re making your children feel like expats instead of giving them the chance to learn three languages and be fully integrated. It’s so much easier to get involved locally, in sports, music or whatever, if you speak the language. Plus when you’re in a state school, your friends live nearby. I went to the European school myself as a child and once classes were over, you couldn’t just pop in to see your classmates; they rarely lived next door.” Both her daughters went to Luxembourgish primary school. Now teenagers, they are in state secondary schools, one in the Lycée Aline Mayrisch and the second in Lycée Technique Michel Lucius, where a (non-paying) English section was created in 2011. Classes are taught in English and prepare students for international GCSE, AS and A-level exams. “We decided to move her to Michel Lucius because she wasn’t as comfortable with languages as her sister. It’s great because she’s still in a Luxembourgish school and she doesn’t loose her languages as they are all taught at different levels to fit the students.” As for those who argue that it’s hard to communicate with teachers in the local system, O’hAnnracháin

BLÁTHNAID O’HANNRACHÁIN Sending kids to local schools means they won’t feel like expats


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CURRENT AFFAIRS

EDUCATION

CONTINUED

says it’s all about dialogue. “First of all, I’ve never met any teacher here who doesn’t speak English and I find them very open and supportive when you ask questions. What you have to remember is that you’re in Luxembourg and it may be culturally different from where you come from, so be sensitive to the way you approach teachers.”

" IN LUXEMBOURGISH SCHOOLS, PARENTS AREN’T REALLY INVOLVED AND THE WAY OF LEARNING THROUGH REPETITION AND MEMORISATION SEEMS OLD-FASHIONED." SANDRA Summer 2015

PRIVATE ADVANTAGES Kristina, who is Luxembourgish and has no communication issues, has nevertheless chosen to put her two sons in the International School of Luxembourg. “My eldest started out in the local primary school but we moved him in the middle of third grade. During those first three years, he had five different teachers and the last one was constantly absent. In Luxembourg, primary schools don’t have any director, so your only real contact person when there’s a problem is the teacher. There’s also a tendency to put all students who are learning Luxembourgish in the same class, which is the class no teacher wants,” she said. “We’ve never regretted putting our kids at ISL. For my eldest it was difficult in the beginning because he had to learn English and make new friends, but the [English as an Additional Language] programme is very good. There’s also a different approach to teaching there. In the Luxembourgish system, the teachers would shout a lot and tell the children they were stupid. At ISL, it’s much more positive and my son who is dyslexic gets the support he needs. In the local system, he would have been put in modulaire class [the track leading to trade school] by now.” Sandra, who is Portuguese and married to a Swede, also decided to take her children out of the local system. She has one son at ISL and another in the Swedish section of the European school. “My eldest was bullied in the local school and when we addressed the issue, nothing was done about it. He was doing well, but wasn’t happy at all. Even though he had to learn English when he arrived at ISL, it went smoothly. His younger brother went to a local kindergarten, which we were very happy about. However, we didn’t want to put him in the same primary school his

older brother had been to and we couldn’t afford to have both boys at ISL. He had an easy transition to the European school and he’s really blossoming. I’m glad both our boys started in the local system and speak Luxembourgish; it’s important for integration. But I’m also happy they are now both in systems where they learn respect, curiosity for the world and where there’s space for creativity and self-development. In Luxembourgish schools, parents aren’t really involved and the way of learning through repetition and memorisation seems old-fashioned. The only thing I regret is that there is a lot less diversity in the private schools and the kids can be very spoilt and take everything for granted. I really don’t like that. I also think it’s a shame more languages aren’t taught and Luxembourgish should definitely be part of the curriculum.” John, an American, has two sons in the local system and one at St. Georges International School. “Our two youngest were 3 and 7 when we arrived so naturally we put them in a local school. In both cases, it went painlessly and it’s really helped us parents feel as ‘locals’. However, my company accepted to pay private school fees for one of our children, so our eldest, who was 12, went to St. George’s. Personally, I prefer the teaching style there and I feel he’s getting a more ‘rounded’ education. Our second son will probably transfer there too, as soon as he reaches secondary.” There are just as many reasons for choosing the state schools as there are for preferring the international or European ones. The advantage with Luxembourg is that in any case your child will be educated in an international environment (over 60% of students in secondary state schools are of non-Luxembourgish origin) and will obtain a diploma readily accepted in universities worldwide, be it A-levels or a baccalaureate. Your choice largely depends on your child’s personality, your own expectations and your financial resources--though there are more and more free English-speaking school options available too. The best advice is to take the time to “shop around”, get advice and most importantly, listen to your gut.


ENGLISH-LANGUAGE SCHOOLS IN LUXEMBOURG

USEFUL CONTACTS

ENGLISH SECTION AT THE EUROPEAN SCHOOLS

LYCÉE TECHNIQUE MICHEL LUCIUS

The secondary state school opened a successful Englishspeaking section in 2011, which prepares students for IGCSE and A/AS levels. Students follow different subjects, especially languages, according to their level. www.ltml.lu

There are different levels of admission to the different sections in the European schools. Recently, more spots became available in the English and French sections for children whose parents do not work for European institutions. All sections prepare for the European baccalaureate. www.euroschool.lu

Luxembourg Education Ministry Search for “Schooling of children with a foreign mother tongue” brochure www.men.lu CASNA Reception desk for newly arrived pupils between 12 and 17 years old casna@men.lu Luxembourg Schools Support Group Information and practical help on the Luxembourg education system lssg94@hotmail.com Passage Parent support for English-speaking community in Luxembourg passage.parents@ gmail.com

ATHÉNÉE

The oldest and most reputed secondary school in Luxembourg also has 4-year international programme, taught in English and leading to the international baccalaureate. Students have to pass an admission test. www.al.lu

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF DIFFERDANGE

The fee-free international state school is to open its first classes in 2016 and will offer sections in English and French and follow the European school curriculum. The permanent building will reach completion in 2020 and have a total capacity of 1,400. www.men.lu

ST. GEORGE’S INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF LUXEMBOURG

St. George’s follows the national curriculum of England and Wales and accepts children from early years through key-stage 5, preparing students for IGCSE and A/AS levels. Teaching language is English; students entering early years are not required to have English skills. www.st-georges.lu

The over 50-year-old ISL runs from preschool to grade 12, preparing for IGCSE and the international baccalaureate. Teaching language is English and an English as an Additional Language programme is available for non-native learners. www.islux.lu

Summer 2015


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EDUCATION

Text by ALIX RASSEL

Photography by MIKE ZENARI

BUILDING THE FUTURE FROM LUXEMBOURG’S PAST The University of Luxembourg has officially decamped its main campus from the capital to the south of Luxembourg. What awaits thousands of students who head back to school in the autumn?

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he first of June was a significant milestone in the University of Luxembourg’s development, as its president, Rainer Klump, an economics professor, and his management team and administrative staff moved from their former home in Limpertsberg in the capital to the Maison du Savoir (knowledge house) in Esch-Belval. Logistics firms had started coordinating the move in July 2013. During the last weekend of May 2015, more than 1,400 boxes had to be transported, 80 PCs installed and configured, and 350 manhours invested to ensure that work began as normal come Monday morning (aside from students hired to hand out “welcome kits” to arriving staff). “Many members of the university faculty had been concerned about the reaction to the move,” said the institution’s communications chief, Britta Schlüter. “Logistically there will always be an impact, depending on where you live, but in the whole the response has been favourable; it’s such a beautiful building.”

CAPITAL CAMPUS The complexity of the move to the new site has meant that university departments have transferred over several stages. The IT department was the first to move, partially in January 2015 and then finishing this summer. HR, finance, accounting and international relations are scheduled to relocate to the new campus over the coming months. The first 2,000 students will arrive on Monday 14 September for the start of the new semester. According to the university, the “first phase” of building work at the campus Summer 2015

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will conclude in late 2019 when the site will house approximately 7,000 students and some 3,000 teaching staff and researchers. However, Schlüter was keen to point out that the university will always be a two campus model. “All bachelor studies will take place in the new Esch campus whereas some masters and PhD courses, particularly those in banking and law, will remain in Luxembourg City.” For that reason some students will continue to utilise one of the existing campuses in the capital, although at this stage it is still uncertain which one (the other is in Kirchberg; in addition there is a campus in Walferdange). It was back in December 2005, when the university was a mere two years old, that the government decided to relocate the main parts of the campus to the Cité des Sciences (science centre) on the site of former steelworks in the southwest of the country. Belval is considered to be one of the largest and most ambitious urban renewal projects in Europe, incorporating business, educational and research facilities alongside residential, retail and entertainment complexes.

THE MOVE SOUTH For the university, the decision to move to Belval created a multitude of benefits. In addition to gaining modern digs, it integrates students who were previously spread across numerous geographical areas in and near the capital. “Belval offers the possibility for the students to integrate and collaborate,” said Schlüter. “Unlike many universities, buildings are not separated by faculty. This promotes cooperation between the students and their relevant disciplines.” This is a view shared by many academics including Wolfgang Krohn, a professor at Bielefeld University and a leading science philosopher. He wrote: “The most important problems facing this world cannot be solved by one discipline

OFFICIAL SITE: WWW.UNI.LU

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NEW DIGS A.The university’s spokeswoman, Britta Schlüter, shows off the “Maison du Savoir” B. Administrative and management staff moved into their new offices on 1 June

alone anymore.” The University of Luxembourg is one of the first academic organisations to promote this approach to interdisciplinary knowledge. From a non-academic perspective, the new campus allows more social interaction between the students. There are already ten official student associations within the university as well as a student union and the first “freshers’ week” is planned for the new semester.

CENTREPIECE Students were amongst the first to be impacted by the move when many were housed in new residences that opened last December. So how do they feel about their new home? “Previously the campus sites were separated in different areas and there wasn’t ever a real sense of a university lifestyle,” said Francesca, a student who has just finished her first year. “Having all the fields of studies gathered in one place makes the south of Luxembourg feel more alive. From public transport to leisure activities, everything is nearby and easy to access.”

The Cité des Sciences encompasses 20 new buildings, amongst them will be the state of the art library designed by organic structure specialists Valentiny architects, which is due for completion in spring 2017. However the pièce de résistance is undoubtedly the Maison du Savoir with its 18 floors, designed as an homage to the steel mills left over from the industrial era. Following an international competition, Baumschlager Eberle, in cooperation with Christian Bauer & Associés Architects, were chosen to design the landmark building, which acts as the focal point for the university. The tower is home to management and staff, whilst the horizontal structure houses lecture halls, seminar rooms and workshop spaces. The Maison du Savoir will also be used for external and public events and many of the conferences during Luxembourg’s presidency of the EU will be held here later in the year. A fitting location, which symbolises the history and the future of the Grand Duchy. Summer 2015


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DELANO ADVERTORIAL

"ESPRIT LIVRE" EXPANDS FOR ENGLISH READERS With over 125 years’ experience, Ernster recently opened its first all English bookshop in the heart of the city centre. We speak with Fernand Ernster & Tania Steffen about its success. C ongratulations on the opening of your new “All English Bookstore”! How long has this been an idea in the making? Fernand Ernster: “I’ve actually been thinking about doing this for more than ten years. One of our German book suppliers has excellent logistics, and he had made an offer to me for selling English books. I’d always liked places such as the Orell Füssli English bookshop in Zurich, and I really wanted to create a similar place in Luxembourg. When we had the opportunity to rent the space on rue de la Reine, I proposed the idea to my employees but at the time not everyone was ready for the concept. But the timing now was right, and our employees backed me in this very important step. English speakers -- be they from England, the U.S. or elsewhere -- often have their own well-established communities, and we need to create entrances into those communities through things such as reading circles. We also find we have non-native English speakers coming to the bookshop as well, since many use English as a second language. And with our central location we are also seeing a good number of tourists in the shop. People have been happy to come to a place where they can find books in a language they are fluent in.” Tell us a bit about the collection of books you offer. Are there any special editions or other speciality items available? F.E.: “We do have special suppliers for coffee table books, of course, but we also have what we call ‘special interest books’ such as books on design, lifestyle, history and art. Furthermore, we’re Summer 2015

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A. Fernand Ernster & Tania Steffen inside the bookshop B. A wide range of titles and genres is available C. Clients include native and nonnative English speakers D. The store is conveniently located in the city centre E. Visitors are encouraged to browse and discover new genres

well connected with distributors, and if we don’t have a title in our shop, if it is available within our network, we can normally get the book within 24 hours -- that’s faster even than most online services these days.” Tania Steffen: “We are trying to expand the non-books section as well and are always open to customer feedback and recommendations. With the Christmas markets approaching in a few months, we also will be offering ideas for gifts. We’ve been exploring the idea of offering teas, for example, as we think it’s great when customers can stay

and browse a bit; sometimes they even discover a new genre they may not have previously been interested in.” Mr. Ernster, your family has a long history in the bookselling business. What, in your opinion, makes a great bookshop? F.E.: “A great bookshop is a place where people would prefer to buy books in person over purchasing them online. It’s a place that attracts people with similar interests -- and a passion for books should be common to all of us. If you have planned a get together with friends, instead of meeting at a


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COMING SOON: WWW.BOOKSTORE.LU BOOKSHOP.LU

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" WITH THE INTERNET THESE DAYS WE HAVE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE WITH OUR CUSTOMERS ON THE EMOTIONAL LEVEL, CREATING A REAL SHOPPING EXPERIENCE." FERNAND ERNSTER

café, why not meet at a bookshop? That way if one person is late, the others can browse in the meantime. With the Internet these days, we have to make a difference with our customers on the emotional level, creating a real shopping experience.” What’s the personal joy for you, working around books? Have you received customer feedback so far? T.S.: “The most frequent comment we receive is, ‘It’s about time!’ The English-speaking community has been happy to be able to browse freely in an entire bookstore instead of being restricted to two small shelves hidden away among other language books. I’m an avid reader myself and read mainly in English, so when I had the opportunity to move from our other central shop to this one, it was really a dream come true. There is a joy in having books surrounding me every day.” Could you tell us a little more about your plans for the future? T.S.: “We’re currently exploring what is possible, but the English book and author events will definitely take place here. We’re also thinking about having a book club, story time for children, and

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other activities -- but the bookshop is a work in progress. We’ll adapt constantly to meet our customers’ wishes and changing needs. Now, for example, people are asking for English greeting cards, so we will be offering this.” F.E.: “Our market is changing every day, and the main competitor of reading is the Internet. People read all the time online -- but they aren’t necessarily reading books. People spend so much time exploring multimedia, and they admit they are wasting time doing so. Why not pick up a book and read instead? We are just beginning in this market, so it is crucial for us to have an excellent communication and exchange with our customers in order to go in the direction they want. The success we’ve already had as a company over the last 125 years is due to a very good and strong relationship with our customers. When the company first began, these relationships were fostered through the family, but now we rely on our very committed staff of nearly 80. Tania and her colleagues serve as ambassadors for the company, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished so far.”

WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING “Very convenient location in the city center. Interesting variety of English books, and moreover I ordered a book that was received 24 hours later. Thumbs up!” Chris NOT YOUR AVERAGE BOOKSHOP You’ll find passionate people who like discussing and recommending books. Have feedback? Share it with the staff. The bookstore is a work in progress-all ideas are welcome. PLANNING YOUR VISIT Located between place Guillaume and the Grand Ducal palace at 4 rue de la Reine, the shop is open Monday, 12:00-6:30 p.m., and Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Phone: 22 50 77 - 280 Summer 2015


CURRENT AFFAIRS

20

SNAPSHOTS

Text by ALIX RASSEL

Photography by STEVE EASTWOOD

MARATHON FEVER SWEEPS CAPITAL

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he 10th edition of the ING Night Mar­athon brought a contagious par­ty atmosphere to the capital on 31 May. João, originally from Portugal, was run­ning the half marathon for the second time. “There is just a buzz about the city tonight,” he said. “It’s a really great, lively party mood,” added Julie, originally from New York but now resident in Norway. To raise funds, Luxembourg scouts took part in several team runs to aid disaster relief in Nepal, whilst Erica Bastian said Think Pink Luxembourg ran for cancer research in Kirchberg. With over 11,000 participants (a record) from at least 39 countries the marathon has firmly cemented itself on Luxembourg’s cultural calendar. www.ing-night-marathon.lu

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MORE MARATHON MOMENTS: WWW.DELANO.LU/ 2015MARATHON

FUN ON THE GO A. Luxembourg scouts team B. Mathilde Welter and Kimberley d’Huart C. Samba reggae group Badauê was one of the musical acts urging the runners on and entertaining spectators D. Herbert Noppeney, Günther Dieplinger, Asha Noppeney and Dietmar Mücke (“Pumuckl”) in support of Médecins Sans Frontières E. Thousands of supporters lined the marathon route F. Erica Bastian, Agnes Harakaly and Amy Nelson G. Carlo Cravat H. I. The race route began at LuxExpo, headed into the city centre and then wound its way around the capital


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22

CURRENT AFFAIRS

POLITICS

Text by STEPHEN EVANS

Photography by GAËL LESURE

WHAT DID THEY MEAN BY THAT? Economic pressures, not xenophobia, doomed the government’s failed plebiscite, says a sociologist.

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he massive referendum result against foreigner voting shows that even though Luxembourg has changed in recent decades, it remains a conservative place. To understand some of the lessons from the vote, Delano spoke to Fernand Fehlen, senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Luxembourg. Stephen Evans: How did the government misjudge the public mood so badly? Fernand Fehlen: Saying “no” was difficult at the start when there were few voices expressing this opinion. Most opinion leaders were for a yes: media, unions, cultural associations, even to some extent the church. The politically neutral grassroots initiative of the Nee2015 Facebook page changed everything. Given the strength of opinion, it is remarkable that opposition was not expressed more strongly. Why was this? Luxembourgers like consensus and compromise. The different communities live side by side and everyday life goes along pretty smoothly, but voters saw the risk that latent conflicts could emerge sometime in the future. What does this say about public opinion? I really don’t think there is any real xenophobia, but there are concerns about economic and social change. These voices were not being listened to by the media, who are largely influenced by the business lobby. There is a real cultural gulf between those Luxembourgers who have studied or lived abroad and those who have stayed all their lives in their tiny country. What does it say about the political system? The coalition has suffered a perceived lack of legitimacy from the start, because Summer 2015

the largest party [the CSV] is in opposition. The referendum result could paralyse a weakened government. The referendum was part of a long process to renew the constitution, and this will be put to another vote. If this fails, twelve years of work would be for nothing. How do Luxembourgers see their country? An opinion poll asked people to explain what the unofficial national

slogan “Mir wölle bleiwe wat mir sin” (We want to remain what we are) meant to them. For 34% it means adapting to a changing world, for 24% it means preserving the current situation, 23% wanting a return to the “good old days” and 19% gave other replies. In short, a third are open to change, a quarter are conservative and a quarter are nostalgic. Is this the mix that makes the national cocktail?

VOTERS’ VOICE The result of the three referendums was a humiliation for the three party coalition government. 78% voted against their plan of giving long-term non-citizen residents the vote in national elections, 81% were against giving the vote to 16 year olds and “only” 70% were against 10 year ministerial term limits. There was universal surprise at the size of the defeat for the emblematic foreigner voting proposal, but the signs were there. After being neck-and-neck, the occasional opinion polls broke sharply to “neen” in April (40%/53%) and this trend continued to just before the 7 June vote when the antis were polling 64%. This has damaged individual governing politician’s ratings even further. When Xavier Bettel became prime minister in late 2010, 80% of those polled said he was “competent” but the latest survey put the figure at 49%.

FERNAND FEHLEN Luxembourg faces a mixed mood


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24

CURRENT AFFAIRS

MIGRATION

Text by ALIX RASSEL

IT COULD BE ME; IT COULD BE YOU I 

n June the UN’s refugee agency and the Luxembourg Reception and Integration Agency (OLAI) held a joint event at Luxembourg’s central train station to educate commuters on what it means to be a refugee and how people can help refugees in their local communities. As the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, was clear to point out in his World Refugee Day (20 June) address: “These are not economic migrants looking for a better life. These are victims, who have been forced to leave their countries through fear.” Although the work carried out by the UNHCR relies almost entirely on

donations, the event in the Grand Duchy focused on practical ways that we can help refugees integrate into society.

SAFE HAVEN “Luxembourg is multicultural,” said the UN agency’s Vanessa Saenen. “It is unique, in terms that many of its inhabitants’ know what it’s like to be a stranger in a new country. Whether it’s providing practical support to refugees living near you, welcoming them with a smile or helping them learn a new language, there are many ways that the public can help.” According to the UN’s 1951 convention: “A refugee is someone outside his or her own country and unable to return as a result of a well founded fear of persecution on grounds of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a social group.”

As of December 2014, there were 1,108 refugees living in Luxembourg, with the majority being resettled from Syria, Iran, Iraq and Eritrea. These refugees are initially housed in the Foyer Héliar in Weilerbach, on the German border, where OLAI, the Grand Duchy’s migration agency, provides four to six weeks of orientation. This can be anything from how to use the telephone to shopping for groceries. OLAI also provides financial aid, provision of food and clothing, language courses and schooling, as well as covering medical fees. After their initial orientation is completed, OLAI partners with other bodies, such as Caritas, to find refugees more permanent accommodation and, where possible, job opportunities within the Grand Duchy. “It is important that refugees feel welcomed,” said Saenen. “They are not a threat; they are threatened.”

REFUGEE FOCUS Suheil, his wife and children were one of four Syrian families welcomed to Luxembourg in April 2014. A former Syrian karate champion, Suheil was forced to leave Syria because of the crip­pling civil war and imminent danger to his and his family’s lives. Initially, like many Syrians, he and his family fled to nearby Jordan where they lived for almost two and a half years. He was fortunate enough to be contacted by a UN refugee worker who told him that he and his family had been accepted by Luxembourg. “When I was told about Luxembourg, I didn’t know anything about the country,” Suheil said via the UNHCR, the UN’s refugee agency. Suheil’s children are enrolled in school, whilst he and his wife attend daily French language and integration classes. And Suheil helps train young karatekas with the Luxembourg Martial Arts Federation. He says: “You brought me here and I will do something for Luxembourg. I will give Luxembourg sports champions.”

UNDER PRESSURE A migrant aided by Médecins Sans Frontières, an NGO that has criticised the “inaction” of European countries in the face of the growing humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean (see next story). Summer 2015

Médecins Sans Frontières

World Refugee Day was marked in Luxembourg, and in over 100 countries, to raise awareness of the 55.9m people who have been displaced globally.


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CURRENT AFFAIRS

EUROPE

Text by BJARKE SMITH-MEYER

LUXEMBOURG FACES EU MIGRATION MINEFIELD As the Grand Duchy takes the European chair, it will seek to mediate an accord on Europe’s Mediterranean maelstrom.

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SOLUTION TO CRISIS? Irregular migration increased dramatically in 2014, which saw over 220,000 refugees arrive on Greek and Italian shores. That number has already been surpassed this year, with over 1,800 deaths in the Mediterranean having been recorded--a twenty fold rise on the same period last year. Juncker’s response to the ongoing crisis has been to propose a mandatory redistribution quota, which would require European countries to take in 40,000 asylum seekers who have arrived in Italy and Greece since May. If agreed, the plan would see the migrants relocated across the union’s 28 member states depending on the size of a country’s economy, population and unemployment rate. A few countries, like the UK, would not be forced to participate in the redistribution plans, but they would have to take their share Summer 2015

European Commission

he European Commission has called on Luxembourg to fight for its new controversial migration policy, as the country prepares to take on the EU’s six-month rotating presidency on 1 July. “I will be counting on the Luxembourgish presidency to drive forward the proposals for greater solidarity amongst member states the commission has put on the table,” Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, told Delano. “It is not enough to shed a tear when watching the tragic news of deaths in the Mediterranean and give speeches about Europe needing to do more.” The call comes after a record-breaking number of refugees have attempted to enter the EU through perilous journeys across the Mediterranean or through Turkey.

of the next 20,000 refugees that are expected to arrive in Europe. As Luxembourg takes on the presidency it will be expected to facilitate legislative coordination between EU countries. And they have their work cut out for them.

"MEMBER STATES HAVE BEEN VERY RELUCTANT AND HOSTILE." SWEDISH LIBERAL MEP CECILIA WIKSTRÖM

European states have shown strong resistance to the commission’s plan. Countries like Spain and the UK have already dismissed the redistribution plan out of hand. France and Germany have called for a correction to the quota system, while Poland has announced it will only take in Christian refugees, if any. Meanwhile the Italian government has threatened to start issuing temporary Schengen visas to migrants to travel into neighbouring countries if an agreement is not reached--a threat which has not been well received.

But the political quagmire has not deterred Luxembourg’s determination, with its prime minister reassuring European lawmakers he will do his upmost to see the bill through. “Member states have been very reluctant and hostile,” Swedish Liberal MEP Cecilia Wikström told Delano. “[But] I met and spoke with the Luxembourgish prime minister Xavier Bettel, and he said he’d do his upmost. Bettel agreed it’d be a nightmare, but he backs the plan.” Yet Luxembourg is also aware that the scheme can only be applied to refugees who are legally entitled to political asylum, which rules out economic migrants. “We cannot accept all refugees who want to come to the EU but we must provide for those who have a political need of it,” Luxembourg’s permanent representative in Brussels, Christian Braun, said when asked about the challenges on migration. “Sometimes it is difficult to draw a line from those who should have a benefit of protection and those who should be returned.”

EU PRESIDENCY Each of the EU’s 28 countries chairs the European Council (the body of member state leaders) by turns for half a year. Luxembourg last had the role in 2005, when Jean-Claude Juncker (pictured in Schengen) was prime minister. Through December expect to see a flurry of visiting government chiefs and ministers, and their entourages, whizz through the capital.

OFFICIAL SITE:

WWW.EU2015LU.EU


cercle cité

EXHIBITIONS CONFERENCES - AFTERWORKS CONCERTS ROUNDTABLES - READINGS the cultural rendez-vous in the city centre

CECIL’S AFTERWORKS

NEXT EXHIBITIONS

SAVE THE DATES

Every last Wednesday of the month, CeCiL (Cercle Cité Luxembourg) invites you, around 18:15 to a cultural afterwork in the heart of the city. Have a drink and gather with an urban crowd while discovering or taking part in original creations, visual and sound acts by luxembourgish artists.

Luxembourg - une histoire européenne Kirchberg, porte de l’Europe 11.07.2015 > 13.09.2015 Photothèque de la Ville de Luxembourg’s annual historical photography exhibition.

09.11.2015 Émergences : Prélude Discover the works of young emerging choreographers. In collaboration with the 3C-L

Je est un(e) autre 25.09.2015 > 08.11.2015 With European contemporary women artists.

08.11.2015 & 06.12.2015 Thé dansant Dance the samba, English and Viennese waltz, the cha-cha-cha, tango, rumba, paso doble, slow fox or quick step at this event for all ages. It takes place in the the Cercle Cité’s ballroom (considered the Salon de la Ville), the perfect place to reconnect with tradition, the tea dances of the 50s-60s.

artists’s works? Convergence(s) 20.11.2015 > 17.01.2016 A selection of artworks from the European Investment Bank’s collection. In the frame of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2015.

www.cerclecite.lu

Cercle Cité Place d’Armes • L-1136 Luxembourg info@cerclecite.lu • T.+352 47 96-51 33

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MEDIA

Text by WENDY WINN

Photography by LALA LA PHOTO

NEW LOCATION, SAME PASSION Luxembourg’s only independent radio station has just moved to the revamped Rotondes. Much has changed for the station, but not its dedication to giving everyone a voice.

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alk about ideal location! It’s like a surfboard shop on the beach, or a Sephora next to a girl’s school. Moving Radio Ara into the new Rotondes cultural complex in Bonnevoie couldn’t be more perfect. Concerts, performances, art, a restaurant and café--all next to the studios, making it easy to promote shows, invite musicians over for interviews, do live broadcasts, and even help bands to get local gigs. “It’s a great chance for us all, for Graffiti, for Ara and for Luxembourg,” said Manon Bissen, a social worker at Graffiti, whose job is to help young people learn about media, find their own voice, master the technology and step up to the responsibility of broadcasting. These young DJs put out about 70 different regular shows a month. “In truth, Graffiti is the one who was asked to move here, but we can’t live without the rest of Radio Ara.”

CHANGE OF VENUE Graffiti, supported by the ministry of education and family, was asked to move to the Rotondes along with other youth oriented projects. It’s a bit like a talented teen being asked to move to Hollywood to star in films and the whole family getting to relocate. Radio Ara owns the equipment, so the whole shebang--apart from the admin offices-moved along with Graffiti. “This is a great opportunity for even more collaboration,” said Ara City’s station manager, Lisa McLean. “At Ara City, we’ve always tried to help integrate locals into the community by letting them know about events before they happen, and focusing on local news and political and economic developments. That’s one thing that sets us apart. Sam Steen, for example, showcases Summer 2015

artists coming to the Rockhal, Atelier and Exit07 on the morning show. We hope to get even more involved, invite artists performing at the Rotondes on to our shows, co-sponsor gigs, help pass on contacts that we have with bands to get them shows in Luxembourg.” Ara City broadcasts in English from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., serving up hot breakfasts and satisfying lunches of chat and tunes and local news. “The new 102.9 frequency will be stronger and more stable, so we are delighted that it has come through for us,” says McLean (it still also broadcasts on 105.2 FM). After Ara City’s DJs go off air, it’s the students’ turn. Sandra Laborier is the social worker who has been with Graffiti the longest, and while many DJs were sad to leave the old studios in the city centre, she was thrilled. “The old place had its charm, but not if you worked there every day. The new studios are like a breath of fresh air, a new beginning.” After 6 p.m. Ara is manned by passionate freelancers, like musician Ron Tuffel, whose earthy voice and vast knowledge of the blues, jazz and rock have been delighting listeners for

LISA MCLEAN The Ara City Radio chief says the new venue allows more cultural collaboration

decades, and Asghar Sherwani, whose “Desi Vibes” Indian music show has faithful fans in London as well as Luxembourg. From Latino music to indie and hip-hop, Ara’s mix is as eclectic as the county, broadcasting loud and clear the message that everyone can take part in life in Luxembourg. Ara City Radio, Graffiti and Radio Ara are all on Facebook


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Pierre Gramegna, Luxembourg’s finance minister, speaking with his Greek counterpart, Yanis Varoufakis, in Brussels on 24 June. Two days later, after talks between EU leaders and Athens broke down, Gramegna told the press: “The Greek delegation left the table in the middle of negotiations when the prime minister decided on a referendum.”

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Six out of ten workers in the Grand Duchy have tertiary education qualifications, the highest rate in the world, ahead of Singapore (54.7%), Switzerland (51.3%) and Israel (49.7%), according to data from the World Economic Forum and International Labour Organization.

"WE ARE VERY PROUD OF OUR LONGSTANDING PRESENCE HERE."

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The number of companies applying to participate in the government’s shorttime working schemes beginning in July. Adem, the state jobs bureau, said that number of applications “has stabilised in recent months at a relatively low level.” Summer 2015

Jay Hooley, chairman and CEO of US-based State Street, marking the financial firm’s 25th anniversary in the Grand Duchy. He added: “Luxembourg has been and continues to be key to our growth across Europe, Middle East and Africa, and a strategic centre for our offshore activities.”

Oswald Schröder, former communications director of the European Patent Office, joined Maison Moderne (Delano’s publisher) as head of the company’s communications agency. >>> The independent law firm Wildgen launched a German Desk, “a multidisciplinary team” of lawyers who provide advice “on Luxembourg law for its German-speaking clients.” >>> Satellite giant SES said it would issue €11,250,000 in new shares to finance a stock options programme. >>> Moody’s confirmed its top notch AAA credit rating on Luxembourg state debt citing the strong economy, but said the pension system needs reform. >>> The number of employees in Luxembourg grew 2.5% between the first quarters of 2014 and 2015; Statec said the rate of cross-border and non-EU nationals grew faster. >>> The European Court of Justice in Kirchberg ruled, against a German campaign, that the European Central Bank could buy euro area government bonds. >>> The nearby European General Court ruled that Lego could trademark the shape of its famous figures. >>> The foreign ministry said BMW, in a “partnership”, would be the “official vehicle” used by delegations during Luxembourg’s European Council presidency. >>> Net assets in Luxembourg domiciled investment funds rose 14% between the fourth quarter of 2014 and first quarter of 2015, said the Efama trade group. >>> Euro area GDP will rise 1.6% this year and 1.9% next year, according to the EY Eurozone Forecast.

State Street Corporation Maison Moderne Studio European Council

TICKER


JOE HUGGARD The chair of the Irish Luxembourg Chamber of

7TH CHINESE BANK IN SIGHT?

Luxembourg could catch something of a coup, attendees heard at the 2015 Renminbi Forum. Full report: www.delano.lu/RMBForum2015

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RMB TALK A. Chen Fei (speaking), Antonio Rodriguez and Philip Stafford B. Li Bing and Richard Hua Tang C. Nicolas Mackel, Claude Kremer and Stéphane Karolczuk D. From left (foreground): Nicki Kayser, Sissi Zhao, Jane Jiang and Andrew Malcolm

CATCHING UP WITH…

Commerce wants to continue innovating as the chamber enters its fourth year in the Grand Duchy.

The ILCC, founded under the auspices of the former Irish ambassador to Luxembourg, Diarmuid O’Leary, turned three in June. “At the time [of its creation], we were a bit sceptical because the Irish business community isn’t huge here in Luxembourg. But as we started talking to people, we realised there were really strong business connections,” Joe Huggard says. The Irish community has, of course, changed over the years, particularly with the growing connections between the Irish and Luxembourg banking sectors. There have been 20 events run solely by the chamber, although the ILCC coordinates with other chambers on additional events. It also hosts what he calls “unusual, novel events”. For example, during one event the ILCC teamed up with the Red Cross to focus on the business of charity. Another was the Dragons’ Den innovation event, which “started small but has turned out to be more significant each year. I think the fact that so many have approached us asking to participate is indicative of just how successful it has been.” The ILCC was even singled out by Luxembourg’s foreign minister, Jean Asselborn, for the initiative, and the next one, planned for October, will likely be even bigger. Since its founding, the ILCC has had three clear objectives: to provide networking opportunities; to invite key individuals to provide valuable insights to members, be they from Ireland or the local Irish-Luxembourg community; and to promote a bilateral recognition of similarities between Luxembourg and Ireland--namely the fact that these are two small, open economies. For a relatively new and small chamber (less than 50 members), the organisation punches well above its weight. Huggard attributes this to several factors. “We try to get the most senior people on our board, and we have many Irish and Luxembourgish members... we have a number of stalwarts who are really supportive.” So what does the future hold for the ILCC? Huggard says: “We hope to see more membership so we can get new ideas in. [The ILCC] shouldn’t just be a business chamber. We want to continue challenging ourselves to be innovative and creative with our events.” www.ilcc.lu Text by NATALIE A. GERHARDSTEIN Photography by ANNABELLE HATHERLY Summer 2015


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Text by WENDY CASEY

Photography by LALA LA PHOTO

AMCHAM TURNS 20

MORE CONGRATS: WWW.DELANO.LU/ AMCHAM20TH

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he American Chamber of Commerce in Luxembourg celebrated its two decades of international business networking in June. Amcham chief Paul Schonenberg gave a rousing speech outlining the chamber’s history. Twenty years ago they were a bilateral chamber made up entirely of American companies. Following a process review, they became “a little bit more international” and adapted to the Luxem­ bourg model that embraces diversity and inclusion--“which incidentally fits very well with Americans, because America’s a melting pot too.” Since then, Amcham has grown into “the largest private chamber of commerce in Luxem­ bourg with around 350 members.” “Amcham brings together many aspects of Luxembourg business,” Alison Shorter­ Lawrence of the American embassy told Delano. The Irish chamber’s Joe Huggard added: “As a new chamber, we see Paul as setting the bar very high--a standard to which we all aspire.” Schonenberg finished his speech by saying: “It is not my chamber, it’s your chamber and the purpose of tonight is to say thank you.” www.amcham.lu

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INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT A. Paul Schonenberg celebrating Amcham’s 20th anniversary at the Domaine Thermal in Mondorf B. Guy De Muyser, Alex Pirotte, Marisol Florentiny and Philippe Florentiny C. Hakan Sekülü and Brigitte Hennemann D. Michel GrevesseSovet, Marcel Bruijn, Nathalie Wagner, Jed S. Grant and Neirouz Lahmadi E. Isabel Fereira, Jorge Rodrigues and Ricardo Oliveira F. Jean-François Terminaux and Melanie Delannoy G. Lars Goslings and Laura Foulds H. Arlene Van Oekel and Philippe Van Oekel I. Rolf Tarrach sitting at table with Marc Angel MP and Dr. Christian Barkei


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Text by NEEL CHRILLESEN

Photography by MIKE ZENARI

NAVIGATING A MULTICULTURAL OFFICE Are special competencies needed to fare well in Luxembourg’s unique multicultural and multilingual work environment?

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efore Paul reaches his desk every day, he has said “good morning” in at least three different languages and has listened to several conversations he didn’t understand around the coffee machine. There are six different nationalities represented in the audit department he works in and everyone speaks English together--even though it’s no one’s mother tongue. “It took me some time to get used to the diversity,” he admits. “Before I came to Luxembourg I also worked for a multinational company but I never really heard any other language than Dutch on a daily basis in the office. It brings a positive dynamic to have so many different cultures working together. Admittedly, I worry that I’m missing out on something important when my colleagues speak Spanish next to me and I still don’t get all the jokes my Belgian boss tells. But to be honest, the only time we really focus on our nationalities, is when there’s football going on!” According to a 2011 survey by Berlitz Luxembourg, Quest Market Research and Luxembourg for Business, more than four languages are used daily in over half of Luxembourg-based businesses. Overall, French is the dominant language used, followed by Luxembourgish, English and German.

TOWER OF BABEL? Most of the companies consider the country’s multilingual, multicultural workforce to be an advantage. It makes customer relationship management easier, facilitates international business development and even helps attract talent. However, working in such an environment can also be challenging. It is rare that everyone masters the vehicular language equally and intercultural Summer 2015

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LET’S GET TALKING A. Ingrid de Saint-Georges: Take time to understand and be understood B. Richard Veneau: Be flexible but stay yourself

misunderstandings can also have a negative impact. As it is often the case, communication and flexibility are key components to success. “To communicate efficiently in a multilingual working environment, it’s important to say the same ideas in different ways. It helps to repeat oneself, to summarise the essential and to check that you’ve been understood by asking questions. Backing up important conversations afterwards with a short email can also be a good idea,” says Ingrid de Saint-Georges, associate professor at the University of Luxembourg and

course director of the master’s in learning and communication in multilingual and multicultural contexts--a trilingual master followed by students of 35 different nationalities. “Learning to listen attentively is essential too. Not everyone has the linguistic resources to deliver a message in the way you would expect, and not everyone exchanges information in the same way. Instead of getting on your high horse straight away, always keep in mind that it’s easy to misread attitudes. Try not to be too sensitive. It works the other way round too: think about how the way you speak


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might be perceived and adapt your communication accordingly.” Richard Veneau, principal advisor at the European Investment Bank and who has worked for European institutions for 20 years, agrees: “Even when people master the vehicular language well--and most people do--you’re speaking a language that’s bereft of nuance, both when you’re making compliments or criticising. The role of HR is therefore to reintroduce nuance, to help add subtlety to the language so everyone has the same level of it. When making evaluations

for example, we have a special glossary we use to this end.” Cultural differences however seem to be less of an issue. “I suppose the biggest problem is lunch,” says Veneau. “People don’t eat lunch at the same time according to where they come from, and it’s a habit that isn’t easily changed! But other from that, nationalities and the stereotypes that accompany them aren’t palpable in the European institutions. People are here because they have the vocation to work in a multicultural environment. They know how to be flexible.” “I’m always reluctant to identify cultural differences as a source of problems as it mostly leads to unproductive caricatures,” says de Saint-Georges. “Of course, there are different ways of negotiating, of carrying out a project, of communicating... and one should be aware of that.” Whereas in many countries, businesses regularly train their staff to enhance intercultural competencies, it’s interesting to note that this is rarely the case in Luxembourg. One issue often raised in multilingual working places is the “clustering” of employees whose main language is the same. “I think it’s normal to seek out people who speak your first language,”

says Paul. “In my department, there’s a micro group of French speakers whom I work directly with. In the beginning I felt left out and was afraid they were undermining me, but my manager caught up on it and we all had a discussion. Now when they talk about work, even between themselves, they switch to English.”

BREAK HABITS “I don’t see the national groupings as a problem,” adds Veneau. “In fact, in our case it has had an unexpected advantage: it enhances cross-department communication. When the Nordics or Latins get together for special occasions for example, they talk to colleagues from departments they normally wouldn’t interact with.” As for those who feel that using another language than their own at work prevents them from doing their best, they’ve have got it all wrong. “Studies have shown that using other languages improves creativity,” says de Saint-Georges. “When you shift from your mother tongue, you get new ideas and uncover new solutions. That is why multilingual work environments are often perceived as the most innovative and productive ones.”

USEFUL TIPS TO GET AHEAD Keep cool. Remember that communicating in a language that is not your own takes away a lot of nuances. This leaves space for misinterpretations. So don’t get upset if you get disconcerting messages from your colleagues. Take time to try and understand correctly. Communicate efficiently. Get to the point, repeat the important details, ask questions to make sure you’ve been understood-or that you yourself have understood correctly. Summarising conversations in emails is also a good option. Use humour sparingly. Humour, as well as cynicism, does not always cross borders very well. To avoid misunderstandings, don’t try too hard in this field. “And don’t try to vary your humour to fit the person either!” says Richard Veneau. It rarely works. Improve your language skills. The lingua franca of your workplace should be your priority, but don’t stop there. The more language competencies you have, the better you will be as a colleague. Plus, it will also make you more valuable on the job market. Summer 2015


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Text by AARON GRUNWALD

Photography by MIKE ZENARI

THE €2BN QUESTION

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Employee absenteeism is just a sign and you can’t just ask staff if they’re happy, says this professor. But he does have some other questions bosses can try.

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taff missing work drags Luxembourg’s economy down by between €400m and €450m per year, plus an additional €250m to €300m burden on the national health system, says Marcus B. Müller. He is a management professor at Sacred Heart University’s Luxembourg campus. And he says employee absenteeism is merely a symptom of the wider problem of employee engagement--or rather, lack of it--which Müller hopes to help change. Only 13% of the world’s workforce is “engaged” with their jobs, that is to say “emotionally invested in and focused on creating value for their organisations every day,” according to Gallup, a big international pollster. Denmark (21%) and the UK (17%) were among the countries on the higher end of this scale in Europe. At the same time, 26% of workers in France and in the UK were “actively disengaged” from their jobs (the Grand Duchy was not one of the 19 European countries covered by Gallup.) Müller estimates that in Luxembourg low employee engagement adds up to roughly €1.5bn in lost productivity for firms. Adding in those absenteeism costs brings the total to around €2bn, “around 20%, 18% to be exact, of Luxembourg government gross debt.”

HOW YA FEEL? The root cause? “Feelings”, reckons the professor, a Saarland native who worked in finance in Germany and the UK and then for an Australian university before joining SHU two years ago. But emotions are hard to quantify. “You can benchmark costs but you cannot benchmark people’s feelings.” How content or stressed are employees at competitive firms and in other sectors? It turns out there have been limited tools for bosses Summer 2015

to see how their outfits stack up. So the first six months of this year Müller and colleagues ran a scientific study (that could ultimately be published in an academic journal) on more than 3,000 participants in Australia, Canada, Luxembourg, the UK and US. To effectively measure employee feelings, “you cannot ask, ‘how happy are you?’” or ask workers how many days they were absent due to low moral. So the study asked staff to take detailed surveys, and then employers provided, via a confidential code, data on how many days and many times employees were absent over a 12 month period. “The project is specifically designed to investigate drivers of absenteeism and engagement.” But he also wanted to give managers some practical tools to use the research. So he created “the first terminology that people can use to communicate, a language, so to speak,” to ensure mutual understanding. He wants workers to measure their “mental vitamins” A, B and C. The code words may just be “packaging”, he says, but “I can tell it works.”

MARCUS B. MÜLLER Managers had lacked real benchmarks on employee sentiment

While the scientific study has closed, the researchers have launched a website (see bubble), where “people can check out the basic principles and collect the standard feedback on their ‘ABC mental vitamins’ after filling out a free questionnaire.” Why try to shake things up now? “We have high wages in this country, so we need people who are creative and innovative and not only ‘do what I’m told’,” says Müller. Perhaps, with its small, open economy, “that is more important in this country” than elsewhere.


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Text by NEEL CHRILLESEN

Photography by MIKE ZENARI

TIME TO BRUSH UP YOUR LANGUAGE SKILLS It is said that the best way to learn another language is to have a romantic relationship with a native speaker. Not everyone has that option though. Here are some other ways of getting ahead linguistically.

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o matter how many excuses you have for not learning a new language or not brushing up one you were once taught on a school bench, you can be sure of one thing: they are all bad. In fact, if you were to pick one of the many training or coaching offers out there, language improvement should be it. Especially in our globalised day and age and especially if you’re living in Luxembourg, where multilingualism is the norm. Research shows that learning an additional language improves your employment potential and leads to a 10-15% increase in salary. Being multilingual also increases your brainpower and cognitive abilities, makes you a better decision-maker and problem-solver and even delays the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Not forgetting that it enhances open-mindedness, makes social interaction easier, facilitates integration and gives a better understanding of others. As the king of the Franks, Charlemagne, once said: “To have a second language is to have a second soul”--and he united most of western Europe during the Middle Ages. Most people like the idea of speaking several languages, but the effort needed to assimilate a new tongue puts many off. Truth be told, language learning has an appalling abandonment rate, most frequently because expectations of progression and reaching fluency aren’t met. “When I arrived in Luxembourg six years ago, I had the firm intention of learning French,” says Simon. “The bank where I work provided a 30 hour course and I managed to fit in one session per week with a Summer 2015

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TONGUE TIPS A. Fernand Wolter: Lessons once a week are not enough to make progress B. Stephen Farmery: Mix things up and keep your ears open

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teacher coming to my workplace. She was really good, but every lesson I felt like I was starting over. It was too difficult and to be honest I’ve found I can get along fine with just English here. Once you’re an adult, it’s really hard to learn languages from scratch.”

AGE NO BARRIER Contrary to popular belief (and Simon’s), the key to success is not young age but motivation (recent studies actually show that there is no direct link between age and the ability to learn). You need a reason to take lessons that is important

enough for you to stay committed. Learning a language isn’t difficult (another myth) but it takes time and perseverance. The rule of thumb is that around 300 to 400 hours are necessary to become what is known as an “independent user” of a new language, which means you’re able to interact with a certain degree of fluency and spontaneity. For some however, it might take a shorter time. “The more languages you know, the quicker it takes to learn another,” points out Fernand Wolter, director of Prolingua Luxembourg, who recommends a minimum of two weekly lessons no


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matter what. “It’s important to revise what you learn and of course, the more you talk, the better you’ll get.” In other words, you can’t simply take one lesson a week and expect tangible progress, and even less so if you don’t do homework or practise. Of course, using newly acquired words and sentences in public means that you have to stop being self-conscious. “When I was learning German I decided the only way to improve was to make a fool of myself,” says Anita. “I tried out new vocabulary on our poor Luxembourgish neighbour every day

and she politely and patiently listened to my gibberish. I went to shops where I knew they spoke German and when people there answered me in English, I continued in German.”

LEARN IN "REAL LIFE" Living in the Grand Duchy gives you a real advantage as a language learner: you can quite easily practise French, German and Luxembourgish in “real life”, and even if you’re learning another one, chances are you have a native acquaintance with whom you can practise just about any language. Experts

also recommend reading children’s books or comics and watching children’s TV, and there are of course a great deal of apps, podcasts and online courses that can help you along the way. Other tips include speaking with yourself (or an imaginary foreign friend), watching your favourite series or movies (where you know the script by heart) in the language you’re learning or even labelling every object in your house. There are many different language schools in Luxembourg, offering various methods. A popular and very reasonably priced choice is the Institut National des Langues. “It’s a great place if you don’t mind a rather academic approach,” says Francisco Malpica, who learnt Luxembourgish there. “The classes tend to be large in the beginning of a semester, but there are always people who drop out, generally because they lack motivation. You really need to put effort into it yourself and also show up for every lesson. When I started, I went three times a week at lunchtime. I was lucky that my employer, Visual Online, made this possible.” Even after reaching the level required to acquire Luxembourgish citizenship, Malpica continued his lessons at INL two more years. “It’s important for my work and my life here to speak the language. I’ve reached a level now where I don’t suddenly fall behind in a conversation and I can sit in hour-long meetings in Luxembourgish without having to stop people and ask questions.” Not everyone has as much self-discipline and drive though. If you need a more “personalised” treatment to keep you motivated, getting a private tutor or taking lessons at a reputed language school might be a better, albeit more expensive, solution. At Prolingua for example, which is EAQUALS certified, you can chose between individual or group courses, intensive or extensive ones, with fixed schedule or a more flexible one. “We also offer tailor-made 

TRICKS OF TONGUE - Set goals but be realistic so you don’t lose motivation - Take lessons (minimum 2 per week) and stick to them - Revise your lessons; do your homework - Practise speaking every day, even if it’s to yourself - Immerse yourself: listen to the radio, watch TV, read, listen to other people speaking - Leave your comfort zone: talk whenever and wherever you can without lingering on mistakes you might make - Find a fun learning app and search online for other ways of practising and acquiring more vocabulary -A  sk a native speaker to talk with you and correct you when needed - Don’t get put down by grammar or pronunciation, focus on using the language LANGUAGE TRAINING Audio-Lingua www.audio-lingua.lu Berlitz www.berlitz.lu Cap Langues www.caplangues.lu Inlingua www.inlingua.lu Institut National des Langues www.insl.lu Languages.lu www.languages.lu Lingua Britannica www.linguabritannica.lu Mastercraft www.mastercraft.lu Prolingua www.prolingua.lu Tower Training www.ttc.lu

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courses for specific needs or different professions and have created our own specially adapted material for this. In this way, our work has evolved at lot, it’s become more precise, better adapted,” explains Wolter.

FLEXIBLE PATHS The growing trend in language training of specifically adjusted lessons is a positive change and one you should seek out, as it also helps keep enthusiasm up. “We of course have books for beginners, but once our students reach a certain level, we tend to move away from them and use other material to keep them motivated,” says Stephen Farmery, senior trainer and quality manager at AudioLingua. “That’s why we are very specific with our teachers. They have to be creative, innovative and passionate so they can generate interest in students, discuss any topic and adapt to all needs.” Audio-Lingua is also the only language school in Luxembourg licensed to use the “Tomatis” method, based on sound perception training. “Each language has a different frequency pattern. Adults have a constant referral to the frequencies of their mother tongue, which can make it harder for them to learn a foreign language. By using specific audio and electronic equipment, we can help students perceive new frequencies better, which leads to quicker integration and improved speech, pronunciation and comprehension.” No matter which method you chose however, one thing is certain: nothing will come automatically. Even the best teachers and best methods will only get you that far. You have to work for it too. This doesn’t necessarily mean reciting French verbs incessantly or loosing sleep over German grammatical genders. It means making the decision to learn and taking every opportunity to practise. But it’s all worth it and it really will change a lot in your life. As the Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein said: “The limits of my language are the limits of my universe.”  Summer 2015

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C. Francisco Malpica: Stay motivated

" YOU REALLY NEED TO PUT EFFORT INTO IT YOURSELF AND ALSO SHOW UP FOR EVERY LESSON."


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Text by STEPHEN EVANS

Photography by LALA LA PHOTO

INSPIRATION FOR TECH START-UPS

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earning, experimenting and networking to bring technology-based ideas to life is what Luxembourg Startup Weekend has been about since it was founded in 2012. The latest event was based around the idea of the “internet of things”. Startup Weekend is a global movement founded in the US that brings entrepreneurs together to experiment and discuss. The ultimate aim is to bring products and services to market with short product development cycles in order to reduce risk and cut the need for large investment. Anyone is welcome to pitch their start-up idea; this time over 60 bright ones were aired. Teams then formed around the most popular ideas (a vote is taken) followed by 54 hours of creative discussion, coding and designing. On Sunday evening, the nine best were presented to a jury of local business people who offered further constructive criticism and selected their favourites. Most participants are based in Luxembourg, but some travelled specifically to the country for this event. luxembourg.startupweekend.org

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BRIGHT IDEAS A. June’s Startup Weekend was held at the Technoport in Esch-Belval B. Jan Glas asking a question C. Jean-Jacques Boudort and Bastien Caspani Dobby D. Emil Kos and Arnaud Prigent E. Benjamin Djidi, David Maroko and Rebecca Maroko, working on the Scrmbld app, which won the “jury’s choice” prize F. The business model prize went to the Smart Inbox, which sends you an email when “snail mail” arrives G. Creativity and design winner was Connected Rope, a security app for boat owners H. Internet of things MVP was the Easy Parking app, which finds empty parking spaces

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INNOVATION

Text by AARON GRUNWALD

Photography by SVEN BECKER

DO I LIKE THIS HERE?

VISUALISE IT YOURSELF:

Collectors no longer have to wonder how a painting will look on their wall, if they use a new app developed in Luxembourg.

WWW.ITONDO.COM

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rt buyers typically face the same primordial question: what will the piece they are considering really look like when it is installed in the space they are considering? It is a challenge that Dirk and Karen Zadra tried to address hundreds of times during the decade they ran Galerie Zadra, which specialised in fine Aboriginal art, in Adelaide. “I used to spend hours on the phone with clients talking about what could work,” recounts Karen. “It’s a very time consuming process. Or if they’re local, arranging for delivery and that’s expensive.” Sometimes clients “sent us photos and we photoshopped [images of artwork] in, but it was never right,” explains Dirk. While searching for a product they could use at their gallery, they found “augmented reality” software and realised the technology was “much bigger than us; it’s a contemporary art solution. So we sold everything” to start a firm called itondo.

TEST LIKE GOLDILOCKS The startup makes an application that lets art shoppers view what a piece will look like in any given spot on an iPad or iPhone screen. They can do this while moving around the room in real time, and they can also save still images to consult later or share on social media. That means users, for example, “can see that work is too big for that particular space” or check if a smaller piece by the same artist would fit instead, reckons Karen. The husband and wife entrepreneurs only moved from Australia in January to launch the app and website out of the Technoport in Esch-Belval, and itondo officially went live on 1 July. Summer 2015

ITONDO IN ACTION Does this match the décor?

It is free for consumers but when users first select an artwork, galleries or self-represented artists get charged “a very small amount”, says Karen. However “there’s only one charge for each painting,” regardless of how many times an art shopper views or shares it, states Dirk. “It’s a sales tool for galleries. They don’t have to pay a subscription fee or commission, which competes with [them]. We give them a different way to sell.” Itondo is “a curated site, we’re checking if there’s a good standard of work” and they only work with professional galleries and artists, not hobbyists, she says. The firm launched with 11 “partners” (galleries and artists) in five countries, including the Krome Gallery in Luxem­ bourg City (www.krome-gallery.com). Karen and Dirk first want to build up their presence in the four main European art markets--Paris, London, Germany and Switzerland--before taking on New York and using their Australian connections to expand Down Under.

That is one reason “why we chose [to set up in] Luxembourg,” he says. “We needed to be somewhere central, where there’s IT and there’s culture, and somewhere considered neutral” to avoid regional rivalries within the industry. Plus there are plenty of other international couples living here too (she’s Australian; he’s German). At the moment, itondo works with two-dimensional work, such as paintings and photographs, although “we are hoping in the future to implement 3D so we could take on sculpture but it’s a question of the right technology,” says Karen. It is more time intensive and complex to scan pieces in 3D and end-users will need special software, which the firm is still developing, ­explains Dirk. The ultimate goal is to “get more people living with art and giving them the confidence to buy original pieces of art,” says Karen. Because “a life without art to me is completely inconceivable.”


BUSINESS

TECHNOLOGY

Text by AARON GRUNWALD

HACKER HEAVEN?

EXCLUSIVE

Luxembourg has high rate of “DOWNAD” infections, says a computer security firm, even though a solution has been available for the past… seven years.

HAZARDOUS SITES Computer users in the Grand Duchy were three times more likely to visit dangerous internet links than those in other EU countries during the first quarter. According to Trend Micro, Luxembourg represented 0.48% of the hits to malicious URLs (sites hosting malware) that it detected among its customers in Europe. But the Grand Duchy’s daytime population (including cross-border commuters) is only about 0.14% of the EU total. On the other hand, the computer security firm said that Luxembourg hosted a very small portion of internet addresses sending spam emails and of “ransomware infections” (hijacking a computer and demanding payment to unlock it).

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he Grand Duchy has a huge number of malware infections due to the apparently widespread use of outdated software, Delano has learned. Malware is, broadly speaking, illicitly installed computer programs that spy on users or covertly diverts computing power to other uses. The Grand Duchy accounted for “0.15% of all detections” in the EU during the first quarter of this year, according to Abigail Pichel, a researcher with Trend Micro, one of the world’s largest computer security firms. The data was provided exclusively to Delano. Pichel said “the top malware detections” among the firm’s Luxembourg users were DLOADR and DLOADER (both viruses that help download other viruses, which were first detected in 2006 and 2007, respectively), and DOWNAD, “also known as Conficker, this worm remains one of the most lea­ ding threats for the past several years.”

IT LEADERSHIP What stood out in the researcher’s mind was: “The fact that DOWNAD is one of the top malware for the country, given that Luxembourg is positioning itself as one of the leading countries in Europe for IT.” “DOWNAD is often found in unpatched computers and computers running on Windows XP are susceptible to this threat. DOWNAD is known to exploit a vulnerability that has been patched since 2008, which implies that there are users (and possibly, businesses) with computers still running on older and unpatched systems in the country. This simply highlights the risks in using (now) unsupported [operating systems] and applications, as Summer 2015

NOT UP-TO-DATE Outdated Windows XP and other “unsupported software” is the hacker’s friend

well as forgoing regularly applying security patches. It’s certainly curious to see that malware that has been around since 2008 can still be in the 2015 landscape,” noted Pichel. Indeed market researchers do not even keep tabs on how many computers run that operating system any more. “I don’t have any country specific or hard worldwide data now,” said Annette Zimmermann of Gartner, a big technology research outfit. “We don’t track it anymore. However, I don’t think there are that many left after a major move from Windows XP in 2014… maybe 5% of all business users and low single digits for consumers” globally.

The Trend Micro researcher stressed that her firm’s data: “isn’t necessarily indicative of the population of Luxem­ bourg and Europe. The percentage is reflective of our customers, not the actual population.” A spokesman for the company could not reveal the number of users it has in the Grand Duchy. However several marketshare reports place it among the top five security software vendors worldwide. So perhaps there are just a few bad IT environments in Luxembourg skewing the infection figures. But the data serves as a reminder to all types of organisations to keep computer systems up to scratch.

European Commission

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48

49

BUSINESS

PERSONAL BUSINESS

Text by STEPHEN EVANS

Photography by MIKE ZENARI

WHERE TO FIND A BARGAIN IN THE REGION Consumer prices are often lower in adjoining countries, according to an official Grand Duchy report. But prices are not cheaper across the board. So where should Luxembourg residents look for a good deal?

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upermarket shoppers pay prices at the upper end of the regional average, with German shops having the best value. So said a recent government-commissioned survey. The survey compared average prices of identical goods found in 22 hypermarkets in Luxembourg and the regions of neighbouring countries, up to 30-50km from the border. Overall the study found that Belgium was more expensive (+2.1%) than Luxembourg but that France (-4.2%) and Germany (-9.5%) were quite a bit cheaper. When looking at the details, German prices are substantially lower for all grocery items with the exception of drink. The picture was more patchy for France, but everything was more expensive in Belgium. It is likely that the prevalence of hard discounters in Germany pulls down prices in standard supermarkets.

DIFFERENT CATEGORIES, DIFFERENT VALUE Five categories of items are looked at. For long life foods (such as rice, dried fruit, chocolate, jam, cereal and so on) Belgium was more expensive (+0.7%), while France (-6.2%) and Germany (-8.2%) were less expensive on average than Luxembourg. In the drink category (which includes soft drinks, all types of alcohol, water and syrups) Belgium (+7.7%), France (+1.5%) and Germany (+1.9%) were all dearer. In the drugstore, perfumes and hygiene section (for example, cleaning products, razors and paper towels), Belgium was a bit pricier (+1.4%), but both France (-2.4%) and Germany (-20.9%) were cheaper. Summer 2015

A

A. David Koehl: Buys suits in Saarland and hits the sales B. Katerina Kapsani: Good deals can be found if you know what you’re looking for and where

For perishable food (like meat, milkbased products, frozen products, and bakery items) again Belgium was pricier (+2.2%) and both France (-9.1%) and Germany (-6.9%) were cheaper. Finally, for other goods (various supermarket items such as tights, batteries, tools, plant food and IT equipment), both Belgium (+9%) and France (+0.7%) were more expensive, while Germany (-8.1%) was cheaper than the Grand Duchy. The study also looked at the prices of identical items found in exactly the same chain of supermarket (without specifying which). They looked at six

shops across the border and found that four were between 2% and 8.8% more expensive than here, while two were 6.7% and 2.3% cheaper. This survey was conducted in November 2014 and February 2015. Prices rose 0.35% in the region and 0.43% in Luxem­ bourg. This was at a time when VAT rose in Luxembourg, meaning this country missed out on a chance to become slightly more attractive to shoppers.

BARGAINS ONE HOUR AWAY So if you have the energy to seek out some great deals, they are there just across


FIND STORE LINKS: WWW.DELANO.LU/ GREATERREGION BARGAINS15

The Style Outlets in Zweibrücken is another popular spot. “I have been going there about two or three times a year for the last five years because I can get the best quality and style at good prices,” said David Koehl, who lives in Metz and works at a major financial institution in Luxembourg. He is looking mainly for work suits and shirts that will look good but won’t be excessively flashy. “The fashion might be a year or two old, but 30-50% discounts do it for me. In the sales you can get 70-80%,” he added. “I have recommended the shopping centre to a few people, both women and men, and every time they bought more than they had originally planned,” he added. If you are prepared to make a day out of your shopping expedition, then there are more wide ranging options further afield. Kapsani is particularly taken with the Maasmechelen outlet shop in Belgium, a two and a half hour drive to a place up and across the border from Maastricht in the Netherlands. The same retail group also runs La Vallée Village which is just this side of Paris. The concept is the same, but with slightly more high-end brands than Maasmechelen. For sports equipment, Decathlon near Thionville, France is also popular. B

the border. “When we arrived from Athens I made the decision that I would not concentrate my shopping in the city but focus across the region,” said Katerina Kapsani, a Greek citizen who came here a couple of years ago with her husband Spyros. “I really enjoy shopping and in Athens it is normal to have to drive about an hour to get good deals, so it is not a problem for me to go to neighbouring countries,” she added. Her experience matches the survey. She finds that Germany is the place for non-perishable groceries, particularly drugstore goods. “I like visiting Germany

anyway, and once a month I will stock up on items that can be dramatically cheaper. Some things can be more than half the price,” she noted. There are also good deals in France if you know what you are looking for, with Katerina particularly interested in the lower cost for identical brands of cosmetics.

OUTLET SHOPS NEVER FAIL Outlet stores are also popular, particularly Marques Avenue in Talange near Metz in France. It is stacked with dozens of well known, mid-range brands at knockdown prices.

REASONABLE PRICES, FOR A CAPITAL But in all of this, this is not a comparison of like with like. Luxembourg is a capital city with one of the most important financial centres in the world. Price comparison firm ECA International looks at almost the entire expatriate spend (but excluding things like housing, utilities, car purchases and school fees) in dozens of business cities around the world. In a survey published in June they found that Luxembourg City ranked 24th most expensive of all the European business capitals they covered, around the same as Antwerp, Dublin, Munich and Marseille.

IS GETTING A BARGAIN ADDICTIVE? When we see something we want to buy the brain’s pleasure centre (nucleus ambens) is stimulated. Then the pain of the price kicks in when the pain centre (insula) reacts to the cost. A cognitive battle ensues, and if the pleasure is significantly higher than the pain then we will find the offer too good to miss. These were the conclusions of a study (“Neural predictors of purchases”) using brain scanning technology by researchers from Standford, MIT and Carnegie Mellon in 2007. So if your nucleus ambens gets turned on more than others, or you have an over-active insula, this will have a huge bearing on whether you want to devote time to hunting down good deals. Also, finding a bargain brings pleasurable “smartshopper feelings”. These give shoppers a feeling of being in control and, to a certain extent, that they are “beating the system”. This might work for everyday items, but it often breaks down for status items. So for every shopper at an outlet delighted with their 80% discounts there is someone thrilled by the idea of paying a high price.

Summer 2015


50

51

BUSINESS

HOUSING

Text by STEPHEN EVANS

Photography by GAËL LESURE

SHOULD YOU RENT OR BUY YOUR HOME? It sounds simple enough but the question gnaws away at us. We balance the fear of missing out with the potential for buyer’s remorse relating to the biggest thing we are ever likely to buy in. Despite higher-than-ever prices, it appears that there is no speculative housing bubble in Luxembourg. So should you or shouldn’t you?

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nvestment price bubbles are odd. The more expensive things become the more we feel we want to buy them. House price bubbles are odder still. “Housing is the biggest investment on a family’s balance sheet,” pointed out Ulf von Lilienfeld-Toal of the Luxembourg School of Finance, part of the University of Luxembourg. “Moreover this investment is big and illiquid [i.e., not easy to sell]. You can sell stocks easily if they go bad,” he added. That said, it is not “wrong” to buy a home at an over-inflated price if that is where you want to live, the place has the amenities you want, and you are pretty confident you can afford it long term.

IS THERE A HOUSING BUBBLE HERE NOW? So is there a housing bubble now in the Grand Duchy? The Luxembourg Central Bank doesn’t think so. Its Annual Stability Review, published in May, commented: “The risk of a sharp fall in property prices in Luxembourg is probably limited, at least in the short term, notably due to demand well supported by strong population growth and limited supply.” They went on: “The situation in the residential property market in Luxembourg seems to be less problematic than in a good number of other European countries.” This broad view has been backed up in recent studies by the European Commission, the IMF and the OECD. Nevertheless, the central bank advised Summer 2015

“prudence” as you never know what might be around the corner. Bubbles are generally associated with speculative building funded by borrowing, but there is scant evidence of this happening here. Nevertheless, prices are rising strongly. Between 2000 and 2007 real, inflation adjusted prices rose on average by 9.0% here compared to 3.9% in the euro zone, said the central bank. Prices fell slightly between 2008 and 2009, but since 2010 prices are up 2.4% per year on average above inflation. Average prices were 11% higher in real terms in 2014 than in 2007.

YOU CAN’T BE SURE It is impossible to know for sure if an unsustainable bubble has formed in this or any market. However economists have devised a couple of measures that give some clues. One can compare prices and household spending power (disposable income) and see how this changes over time. This will suggest if it is becoming more or less relatively expensive to buy. Comparing rent with prices should also give some clues, as there should be no reason why one should be more expensive than the other over time. The central bank looked at these measures in the Annual Stability Review and found that both the prices to income and prices to rent ratios were about 20% higher last year than the long term average. These figures “could be interpreted as a sign of a possible over evaluation of property prices,” said the report, “however, other factors can also explain this increase.” DEMAND IS HIGH, SUPPLY LOW Demand for property is high. Interest rates are the second lowest in the EU, particularly given the preference in this country for variable rate loans. Also banks have tended to extend the length of housing loans. All of this makes it more affordable to take out bigger

FRÉDÉRIC FLORIN Banker believes it is better to buy your abode


Summer 2015


52

53

BUSINESS

HOUSING

CONTINUED

loans. Moreover, government policy incentivises purchasing. Mortgage repayments can be written off against income tax and housing taxes are low. In fact, a recent report by the European Commission said that Luxembourg gives the most help to buy of all the EU member states. At the same time, the population is booming, increasing by 2.4% every year since 2011, about 1% higher than the pre-crisis level. At this rate, the population would double in just 30 years time. Supply, though, is not keeping pace with demand. Statec, the national statistics office, reckons 27,000 apartments and houses were built between 2001 and 2011, but at the same time there were 37,000 more families living in the country. Moreover, the rate of building has fallen since then, with just 4 homes being built annually per 1,000 residents in recent years, down from 5 per 1,000 pre-crisis. The central bank also pointed out that rental values have tended to not keep pace with purchase prices because the rental market here is one of the most regulated in Europe.

" OUR RENT HAS STAYED THE SAME ALL THE TIME WE HAVE BEEN HERE AND WE LIKE THE HOUSE WHICH IS A SHORT WALK TO TOWN." SHEILA FOSTER Summer 2015

A GREEN LIGHT THEN? So if you have found a place you want and you are sure enough you can afford it, then the green light is on. Banks are keen to lend, even if they are not quite as enthusiastic as they were pre-2008. “At ING we think it is better to buy,” said Frédéric Florin, a product manager at ING Luxembourg. “Yes payments can be high, but compared with rent this broadly works out to the same monthly bill. Even if people do not stay then it is possible to sell or rent the property,” he added. It seems people have been following this advice. He said credit granted by ING Luxembourg rose 12% last year compared to 14% in 2013. Not everyone is as sanguine. “We were nervous about buying and renting out later,” said Sheila Foster, a Canadian resident of Luxembourg for 13 years. “We have had friends who have had to face court action and pay thousands in compensation because they failed to understand the law,” she noted. There are laws in Luxembourg against “excessive” rents. That is, those which are substantially in excess of mortgage

payments. So Sheila and her husband John decided to carry on renting their home in Gasperich. “Our rent has stayed the same all the time we have been here and we like the house which is a short walk to town,” she explained, adding: “In the end we decided to buy in Canada where our children live.” Eleanor and Marc Summers, originally from San Diego, took the alternative view. Nine years after arriving they finally decided to buy a place in Strassen. “We thought it was silly to be paying rent when we could be building up equity and receiving income tax breaks, as well as the psychological aspect of this being our home,” Eleanor said. Plus “no landlord telling you to cut the grass or how to park your car in the drive,” she added. They were happy to buy even though mortgage repayments were about 50% higher than the rent they were paying. “Yes there is a risk of prices falling but Strassen is a solid area in demand, so even if we get back what we paid that would be ok,” she explained.

HAVE A BALANCED INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO There are still some causes for concern. A price crash or a large increase in interest rates could have a widespread effect, crimping domestic spending power. Moreover, only five banks are responsible for most mortgage lending, meaning a price fall could have a heavy impact. House buying is an investment and as a rule we should have balanced, diversified investment portfolios. If one market goes down, then it can be kept afloat by others. Earning your money here and investing here means that if things went badly in Luxembourg then you might be exposed. Nevertheless, if the price seems OK to you (the website www.houser.lu tracks price movements), the location is good and you have the financial wherewithal, buying makes sense. Things might change, of course. For example the central bank report recommended: “reforms such the level of tax on property investments.” Could it be that if housing loan tax breaks were phased out the price would become too steep for you? Now that would drive you mad.


PRICE COMPARISON

Just for illustrative purposes, we compare average rent and average prices from different places around the country. All figures are averages from 2014 and were calculated by the Habitat Observatory, based on figures from agencies and in newspapers (see observatoire.ceps.lu for more information). We compare average monthly rent with mortgage payments as calculated using ING Luxembourg’s housing loan simulator on their website. We use the per square metre price for a 100 square metre apartment and a 150 square metre house. We assume 10% of the loan cost is paid upfront and that the monthly payment is fixed over 20 years with a 2.85% interest rate.

CLERVAUX: IN THE NORTH

Price per notional 100m2 flat: €345,000 - 29% less expensive than the national average. Price per notional 150m2 house: €436,650 - 22% less expensive than the national average. 20 years of mortgage repayments would be €1,708 and €2,159 for this apartment and this house per month, payments which are respectively 40% and 60% more than monthly rent.

STEINFORT: IN THE WEST

Price per notional 100m2 flat: €426,600 - 12% less expensive than the national average. Price per notional 150m2 house: €592,050 - 6% more expensive than the national average. 20 years of mortgage repayments would be €2,109 and €2,924 for this apartment and this house per month, payments which are respectively 28% and 72% more than monthly rent.

GREVENMACHER: IN THE EAST

ESCH-SUR-ALZETTE: IN THE SOUTH Price per notional 100m2 flat: €415,300 - 14% less expensive than the national average. Price per notional 150m2 house: €477,750 - 14% less expensive than the national average. 20 years of mortgage repayments would be €2,054 and €2,361 for this apartment and this house per month, payments which are respectively 27% and 40% more than monthly rent.

LUXEMBOURG CITY: THE CAPITAL

Price per notional 100m2 flat: €659,800 - 36% more expensive than the national average. Price per notional 150m2: €768,300 - 38% more expensive than the national average. 20 years of mortgage repayments would be €3,258 and €3,792 for this apartment and this house per month, payments which are respectively 44% and 61% more than monthly rent.

Price per notional 100m2 flat: €404,300 - 16% less expensive than the national average. Price per notional 150m2 house: €498,150 - 11% less expensive than the national average. 20 years of mortgage repayments would be €2,000 and €2,462 for this apartment and this house per month, payments which are respectively 41% and 38% more than monthly rent.

DOES BUYING A HOME DRIVE YOU MAD? “Even the sanest people become unhinged when it comes to buying and selling,” pointed out the Financial Times columnist Lucy Kellaway recently. “If animal spirits move markets, the animal spirit in the property market is like a maternal Canada goose on the rampage to protect her young,” she added. We should (but don’t) treat home buying like any other purchase. Basic questions like “do I want it” and “can I afford it” get twisted as we seek to avoid regret and accumulate pride (also known as keeping up with that braggart at work). We act irrationally because the property market is so odd. The main concern is that the places we want to buy come around apparently so infrequently. Or maybe we only end up buying something because the estate agent was good looking or the sun was out when we visited. If you are renting a place you like, that is well located, with a fair rent and a pleasant landlady, it is far from “stupid” to stick with what you have.

Summer 2015


54

BUSINESS

MONEY

Text by STEPHEN EVANS

Photography by LALA LA PHOTO

SHOW YOUR LOVE FOR ONLINE CONTENT

Free information on the internet is threatening the survival of publications around the world. The University of Luxembourg may have found a part-solution.

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rint advertising revenue has fallen by three quarters since 2000 (says the Newspaper Association of America) and this sharp downward trend has gathered pace with the advent of tablet computers. Online ad sales compensate for only a fraction of this and there aren’t many people willing to take out e-paper subscriptions. Until now no easy ways have been developed to reward online content, but a new discovery by Alex Biryukov, a professor of computer science at the University of Luxembourg, might be a way forward. Users could choose to donate a small amount of their PC’s spare computing power when they like or comment on a page. This would be bought by virtual currencies (such as Bitcoin) who need this processing capability to run their systems. They pay in virtual currency, which can then be exchanged into dollars, euros or whatever. But how to make this process completely anonymous and secure, enabling

users to avoid being identified or hacked after participating? Professor Biryukov points out that when the computation is completed, a verifiable “proof of work” certificate could be generated in an anonymous way. The content provider then gets paid in virtual currency for the amount of computation performed by the user. “Each transaction would only be a micro-payment of a fraction of a cent, but this could become an important source of revenue for very popular content providers,” notes Biryukov, a specialist in cryptology and security of information systems. There is still a long way to go before this theoretical discovery could have practical uses. However, it shows an easy way for readers, viewers and gamers to reward the online content they enjoy. 

THE BUCK STOPS HERE

MORE MONEY NEWS:

WWW.DELANO.LU/ PERSONAL-BUSINESS

Did he just say, “that cost me 20 bucks” when he was referring to 20 euro? Yes, sporadically, some people are using the slang word for dollar to refer to the euro. Brits and Irish can say “quid” (the slang for the pound/punt) either in error or out of inertia, but where does bucks come from? When notes and coins were introduced in 2002, Germans used to joke about the “teuro” (a blend of the word for expensive, “teuer”, and euro) inspired by the mistaken impression that the single currency caused inflation. The French and Walloons still use “balles” (bullets) as they did for their francs. But in Luxembourg nothing much has emerged, although some kids have been heard to say things like “Kanns du mir 10 Ö léinen?” (can you lend me 10 Os).

ALEX BIRYUKOV Would “like” to help newspapers

"ONLY ONCE WE SEE CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT INFLATION HAS RETURNED SUSTAINABLY TO LEVELS IN LINE WITH OUR OBJECTIVE WILL WE BE ABLE TO DECLARE SUCCESS." Luxembourg’s Yves Mersch, member of the European Central Bank’s executive board, on continuing its “asset purchase programme” until the euro zone inflation rate tops 1.5%, which he estimated would continue “until end-September 2016.” Summer 2015

Luxembourg for Finance > TaxRebate.org.uk

ON TWITTER: @ALEXCRYPTAN


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Dete I mad about soul

DÉBUT : 9 novembre 2015


56

BUSINESS

MOBILE PAYMENTS

Text by STEPHEN EVANS

Photography by MIKE ZENARI

CASH ON YOUR PHONE Will paper cash ever die out? A Luxembourg firm has an electronic solution it hopes will change the way we pay.

LUXEMBOURG FOOD TRUCK ASSOCIATION: ON FACEBOOK

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here is nothing like a nice greasy sausage for a quick snack, but for lunch you’ll want something more refined. This is where food trucks come in. They are mobile restaurants offering well prepared, well cooked fast food made from wholesome, fresh ingredients. Preparation is carried out either entirely or partially onsite. “Currently we have five fixed locations per week in and around Luxembourg City,” said Greggory Hell of So Food. Mainly his food truck serves business parks such the Kirchberg, the Cloche d’Or and Bourmicht, offering high quality burgers with home made sauces and refined cheeses. “So you see we have nothing in common with bakeries on wheels or hot dog stands,” he commented. Right now there are five food trucks in this country, and Hell believes that number will increase over coming years because demand is strong. Already So Food will be adding a second food truck in the autumn, with this one offering high quality Vietnamese cooking plus also wraps and crêpes. For somebody passionate about cooking but with a yen to get out of the kitchen, this is the ideal solution. Hell is such a fan of the concept that he founded the Luxembourg Food Truck Association. “Our aim is to simplify getting permits because at the moment we are not allowed to park in public locations,” he explained. “Another important aim is to create a quality charter to protect the image of the food trucks from those who would offer inadequate food,” he added.

E-CASH SYSTEM Security is also another concern for his industry, particularly the temptation Summer 2015

MOBILE DINING Quality (and paying) can be quick and convenient

to thieves of a truck with a till full of cash. This is one reason why Hell is a fan of the Yapital e-cash system. Customers create an account online and then top it up with a credit card. To pay, they simply scan a QR code on the till with their smartphone and the cash is then credited to the vendor’s account. This system is quicker than previous e-cash systems. Yapital is a Luxembourg firm, with the service available in outlets here and in Germany. As well as liking the security and convenience for his own business, Hell likes using it when out shopping. “Like most men, I never have any

change on me,” he joked. “So, for small amounts, it really annoys me when I can’t pay with my card and have to go to the nearest cash machine. That’s why I chose to accept Yapital as a payment option because I know my customers also want that flexibility.” He prizes flexibility because that is at the heart of his business. “I sometimes dream of setting up my food truck in the capitals of the world, such as New York, London, Hong Kong or Bangkok,” he said. “And because I come from the south of France and I’d love to have a food truck facing the sea one day.”


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58

BUSINESS

FUNDS

Text by STEPHEN EVANS

Photography by LALA LA PHOTO

RENEWAL AND CONTINUITY AT ALFI Luxembourg’s investment industry group unveiled its five year roadmap and its new board chair.

G 

iven the growing size of the industry and the importance of investment funds as a way to save for retirement, the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry has never had a more important role.

Summer 2015

It has renewed its focus with its “2020 Ambition” programme, and elected Denise Voss as its new chairwoman (see box). Her role is to manage and organise the aspirations of the association’s agenda-setting 24-member board. Voss is now also the organisation’s main public face, and she works with ALFI’s 28 employees, guiding the execution of policies. She cited some challenges as being particularly acute: “The greying of the

“2020 AMBITION” PAPER: WWW.ALFI.LU

population and more and more individuals being responsible for funding their own retirement, to the growth of digital technology, which means that buying habits are changing dramatically.”

FIVE AMBITIONS There are five broad goals set out in “2020 Ambition”. The first is largely about making sure that practices, products and services really match the needs of investors. Much of this includes working with supervisors and lawmakers to make sure regulations match their purpose. Voss expressed her satisfaction that the new European commissioner for financial services Jonathan Hill has pledged to only seek to legislate when strictly necessary. Another on-going process is the explaining of the role of funds for the long-term funding pensions, financing innovation and infrastructure, and contributing to growth. This will include further development of the “Understanding Investing” online tool (www.understandinginvesting.org), which explains why and how to invest. Luxembourg is a cross border fund centre, so taking the message of this country’s unique abilities remains another key priority. The fourth ambition is to “ensure Luxembourg remains the fund centre of choice for asset managers” by working so that the right infrastructure, regulation, taxation and skills are all in place. Finally, ALFI wants to stimulate innovation, research, education and talent development, including the creation of new retail investor technologies and applications. This is of particular concern regarding attracting investors from the tech-savvy Generation Z. That this “new” vision sounds much like the old one should not be a surprise, particularly as Voss has been ALFI vice-chair for the last four years. In a country and a world that is coming to rely on this industry, the need for success continues to increase.

NEW CHAIR Denise Voss, a conducting officer at the US-based fund firm Franklin Templeton Investments, now chairs the board of the trade group ALFI. Voss said she saw her role as: “To focus on these issues [see main article] and to ensure that the Luxembourg fund industry continues to play a key role in driving the development of the industry worldwide, encouraging economic growth and providing long-term financial security for individuals.” Voss was elected for a two-year term at the association’s annual general meeting in June, a vote which made her the first woman to take this role. She felt this “gave her added responsibility” because this “gives an example to women that they can do jobs such as these.” She replaces Marc Saluzzi who had completed two two-year terms in the chair. Voss is the second American to take this role.

DENISE VOSS Fund industry needs to remain spry as globe grows older


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BUSINESS

AGENDA

TEN EVENTS

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

ELECTRONIC SECURITY Sat 18 July

Digital Privacy Salon www.privacysalon.lu

Mon 13 - Wed 15 July ECINEQ

www.ecineq.org

The 6th summit of the Society for the Study of Economic Inequality “provides a forum for a rigorous analysis of inequality, welfare and redistribution issues.” Participants include the EIB’s Luisa Ferreira. University of Luxembourg, Kirchberg campus, all day

A free event “to teach people the basic ways of protecting themselves and their data from intrusive surveillance” at all levels of technical experience. Plus “CryptoKids activities, videos and free pizza”. Level2, Luxembourg-Bonnevoie, 10:30

IT’S ALL ABOUT DELIVERY

Tue 21 July

Mon 14 Sept

Geek Girls Carrots

British chamber

The Luxembourg branch of the international club for women in IT hosts Lucia Mazzucato, communications consultant and creator of her own milk carton CV, during its monthly meetup. Level2, Luxembourg-Bonnevoie, 19:00

The BCC kicks off its autumn calendar with a luncheon featuring John Parkhouse, who will be in the midst of his third month as managing partner of the Big Four consultancy PwC Luxembourg. La Table du Belvédère, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, 12:00

www.geekgirlscarrots.org

ROBOT RESEARCH

Thu 16 July

AWS User Group

www.meetup.com/AWSLuxGroup

The club for Amazon Web Services customers in Luxembourg holds its first workshop, on how to “build a PHP application using the SDK” (software development kit). Amazon, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, 19:00

SPEECH SKILLS

www.alfi.lu

Tue 8 - Fri 11 Sept IEEE

Mon 20 July + 3 Aug + 17 Aug Toastmasters

www.district59.eu

Greenhearts is one of nine Toastmasters public speaking groups in Luxembourg that each meet two evenings a month. No need to be a native Anglophone. Click on “Go to…” on website for venues and times

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers holds its Conference on Emerging Technologies & Factory Automation. Speakers include Lionel C. Briand of the University of Luxembourg. Alvisse Parc Hotel, LuxembourgDommeldange, all day

More than 800 delegates from across Europe, Asia and the US are expected to attend the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry’s Global Distribution Conference to talk international asset management. Philharmonie, LuxembourgKirchberg, all day

NI HAO

Mon 21 - Fri 25 Sept

Luxembourg for Finance www.luxembourgforfinance.lu

NORDIC FUND FORUM Mon 14 Sept

www.nobelux.se

The Nordic chamber’s investment fund conference. “A selected number of Nordic investors and asset managers will present their fund to a selected number of distribution partners in Luxembourg.” Légère Hotel, Munsbach, 14:00-18:00

The official promotion body organises a financial sector roadshow to the Middle Kingdom’s three economically most important cities. Seminars and networking luncheons will be hosted in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. China

YOUR EVENT MISSING? Think your organisation’s future event belongs on this page? Send details in advance to: news@delano.lu

your FARE real estate partner sales · rentals · commercial · residential www.FARE.LU · t. 26 897 897

Summer 2015

MOIEN

Tue 15 - Wed 16 Sept

Nobelux

FA_AD_Delano_136x27,5_A2.indd 1

www.bcc.lu

ALFI

www.etfa2015.org

SCRIPT DEVELOPMENT

HELLO

3/3/15 3:42 PM

Lucia Mazzucato

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Meeting the growing training needs of a cosmopolitan working population OCT 08th 2015

Accounting and finance

Accounting crash course

NOV 13 2015

Accounting system and software – Introduction to SAGE BOB 50

SEP 30th 2015

Company law crash course

NOV 09th 2015

Labour law

OCT 28th 2015

Economy

Exploring the social, political and business environment of Luxembourg

NOV 09th 2015

Introduction to Luxembourg VAT

NOV 13th 2015

Payroll essentials

th

Law

Tax

EXPLoRInG tHE SoCIaL, PoLItICaL anD BUSInESS EnVIRonMEnt oF LUXEMBoURG The LSC, the Chamber of Commerce’s training institute, is partnering with the American Chamber of Commerce in Luxembourg (AMCHAM) and the “Office Luxembourgeois de l’Accueil et de l’Intégration” (OLAI), to offer a series of courses on Luxembourg’s economy and its institutions. This evening class will start on October 28, 2015, and meet on a weekly basis. The course is especially targeted at foreign residents and professionals with English as first or second language who are interested in a better understanding of Luxembourg’s economy and the national economic news. Particular emphasis will be put on critically assessing the results, i.e., the outcomes and impact of the national policymaking process. Where possible, considerations as to how the current institutional settings affect policy outcomes will be made. The detailed programme is available on the website www.lsc.lu/economy

Human Resources and training

ContaCt 7, rue Alcide de Gasperi L-2981 Luxembourg

t (+352) 42 39 39-220 F (+352) 42 39 39-820 W info@lsc.lu

Information and registration: www.lsc.lu


62

BUSINESS

Text by TONYA STONEMAN

Photography by MIKE ZENARI

A PALACE IN OUR BACKYARD Financial sector executive Germain Birgen talks about his favourite house.

G 

ermain Birgen has ushered visitors through his favourite house anywhere from 20,000 to 25,000 times. Thirty-five years ago, when he was a student, he worked in Luxembourg’s tourist office and studied to become an official guide for the Grand Ducal palace. Upon graduation, he took a job with the Luxembourg Stock Exchange in the public relations department. From there, he transitioned into investment funds where he continues to work today. But his fondness of the palace and its many treasures never left him, and he has continued faithfully to go there on weekends during the summer to share his knowledge and enthusiasm with visitors. Birgen began guiding tours in the 1980s when Grand Duke Jean decided to open the palace to the public while the royals were away on holiday. “At that time, the visitors were mainly locals,” Birgen recalls. “This was when the Grand Duchess Charlotte was still alive. When I would speak of her, people often cried.” Birgen has met all of the monarchs and insists he doesn’t have a favourite, but one encounter remains special for him: “Once when I was young, I was speaking to a touring group. Grand Duke Jean walked in and stood right next to us. No one realised it was him, and I didn’t tell them. I just continued with the tour.” While he appreciates all of the royals equally for their casual demeanour, he does have a favourite room: the salon de roi. “In this space, I get to explain the historical connection of the Dutch kings and the dynasty of Luxembourg,” he says. Two paintings in particular hold special significance for him. “The painter took two years to paint Grand Duchess Charlotte and her husband Prince Félix. Summer 2015

MY OTHER LIFE

The portraits were made in the early 30s and they are extremely nice.” A native Luxembourger, Birgen embraces the opportunity to share his country’s history with foreigners. People come from all over the world and most view the monarchy as a kind of fairy tale, which isn’t entirely untrue. Nobody lives in the palace, but it is used for state visits. When Crown Prince Guillaume married, kings and queens arrived from the Netherlands and Belgium, the crown prince of Spain arrived, and 30 monarchies were represented. The palace hasn’t changed very much over the years--after the Nazi occupation, there was a renovation and another in the 1990s--and, naturally, the history remains the same. So what is it that keeps Birgen coming back year after year to repeat his performance? “It’s never the same,” he says, wistfully. “I guide one generation to the next. And the younger generation are more interested than I would have thought. They ask funny questions like, ‘How did the grand duke get elected?’ and ‘Can I have the email address of the prince?’.”

BOOK YOUR TOUR NOW Palace tours offered every day except Wednesdays from 13 July to 6 September. Tickets are only available from the Luxembourg City Tourist Office. www.lcto.lu


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64

65

BUSINESS AND LIFESTYLE

TRAVEL

Text by AARON GRUNWALD

Graphic by MAISON MODERNE STUDIO

TRAIN & PLANE CONNECTIONS What’s the best way to launch a trip from Luxembourg, be it to visit back home, discover a new spot for a weekend getaway, or meet up for business?

O 

ne of the Grand Duchy’s advantages is its central location in Europe. Whether it’s for business or for pleasure, most residents will hit the skies or the rails throughout the year. But where to set off from? The choice of flights and trains can be overwhelming. To help sort through the choices, Delano presents a brief guide to popular international train lines leaving Luxem­ bourg City and airports in the Grand Duchy and Greater Region, and a selection of the destinations they serve. A few important notes about this guide: All travel times are calculated from the place de la Gare, in front of Luxembourg’s central train station. Driving times are estimated for non-commute hours and without accounting for traffic conditions.

Public transport travel times are rounded and based on a sampling of departure times. Unless otherwise noted, train tickets can be purchased on www.cfl.lu (click on “Online ticket” not “Tickets”). However, connecting bus or shuttle tickets (particularly those making the last leg to the airport itself) may have to be purchased at a transfer station, so check these details carefully on the airport’s website. And a final note about train service to France: earlier this year the Grand Duchy’s transport minister said travel time between Luxembourg and Strasbourg would be cut in half with the launch of a new TGV (French high speed train) line in May 2016. Journeys to the south of France could also be shortened by about one-fifth, although those details had not yet been confirmed at press time. Bon voyage!

BRUSSELS AIRPORT

www.brusselsairport.be i 2½ hours j + j 3½ hours Brussels Airlines: good links to Africa and the US Jet Airways: non-stop to Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi, and to Newark and Toronto Thai Airways: direct to Bangkok 3 times a week

BRUSSELS SOUTH CHARLEROI AIRPORT

www.charleroi-airport.com i 2 hours 8 3 hours (www.flibco.com) j + j + 8 3½ hours Jetairfly: service to numerous Mediterranean vacation spots Ryanair: destinations from Barcelona to Budapest and to Dublin, Edinburgh and Manchester Wizz Air: flights to several cities in Hungary, Poland and Romania

LUXEMBOURG FINDEL AIRPORT

LEGEND i Car 8 Bus j Train j Shuttle

www.lux-airport.lu i 15 minutes 8 27 minutes Luxair: more than 35 European destinations such as Helsinki and Heraklion and Lisbon and London City EasyJet: serves Lisbon, London-Gatwick, Milan-Mapensa and Porto Flights to big international connection hubs: British Airways to London-Heathrow, KLM to Amsterdam, Lufthansa to Munich, SAS to Copenhagen, Swiss to Zurich and Turkish to Istanbul-Ataturk

PARIS-VATRY AIRPORT (SOUTH OF REIMS)

www.vatry.com i 2¼ hours j + j + j + i (Taxi) 4 hours Jetairfly: Ajaccio, Malaga and Nice Ryanair: Marrakesh and Porto

Summer 2015


MAASTRICHT AACHEN AIRPORT

LUXEMBOURG CENTRAL TRAIN STATION

www.maa.nl i 2½ hours j + j + 8 4½ hours Ryanair: budget hops to Alicante, Bari, Faro, Girona and Porto Wizz Air: twice a week to Budapest and Katowice

FRANKFURT-HAHN AIRPORT

www.hahn-airport.de i 1½ hours 8 2¼ hours (www.flibco.com) Ryanair: London-Stansted, Vilnius and several spots in Morocco, Spain & Portugal SunExpress: multiple destinations in Egypt, Morocco and Turkey Wizz Air: Gdansk, Katowice and Vilnius

Austria: Vienna (sleeper trains with 2 connections take around 15 hours, www.bahn.de or www.oebb.at) Belgium: Brussels-Midi (direct service every hour from 5 am to 9 pm, travel time 3¼ hours); Knokke (5 hours, 1 connection); Liège (2½ hours, direct) France: Lille (5 hours, 1 or 2 connections); Marseille (6½ to 8½ hours, 1 or 2 connections); Nice (9 to 10 hours, 2 connections); Paris (2¼ to 3 hours, direct or 1 connection); Strasbourg (2 to 3¾ hours, direct or 1 connection) Germany: Berlin (9 hours, 2 connections); Cologne (3½ hours, 1 connection); Düsseldorf (4 hours, 1 connection); Hamburg (8 hours, 1 connection); Koblenz (2½ hours direct); Munich (7 hours, 2 connections) Italy: Milan (9 to 10½ hours, 2 connections) Netherlands: Amsterdam (5½ to 7 hours, 1 connection) Spain: Barcelona (8 hours, 1 connection, www.voyages-sncf.com) Switzerland: Basel (3½ to 4¾ hours, direct or 2 connections); Geneva (8 hours, 1 or 2 connections) UK: London-St. Pancras (4½ to 6 hours, 1 or 2 connections)

FRANKFURT-MAIN AIRPORT

www.frankfurt-airport.de i 2½ hours 8 4 hours (www.flibco.com or www.delux-express.de) j + j 4 hours Air China: direct service to Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai Lufthansa: flights to more than 150 airports around the world (including domestic destinations) plus seasonal services Qatar Airways: daily to Doha TAM Airlines: service to São Paulo

BADEN-AIRPARK

www.baden-airpark.de i 2¾ hours j + j + j +8 5 hours Germania: direct to Tel Aviv Ryanair: London-Stansted, Rome-Ciampino and vacation spots in Croatia, Greece & Spain TUIfly: popular spots in Egypt, Greece and Turkey

METZ-NANCYLORRAINE AIRPORT

www.metz-nancy-lorraine.aeroport.fr i 1¼ hours j to Metz + j 1¾ hours Air Algérie: Algiers and Oran Hop! (part of Air France): serves major French cities including Bordeaux, Lyon and Nice Jetairfly: Casablanca and Marrakesh

STRASBOURG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

www.strasbourg.aeroport.fr i 2½ hours j + j 3 hours Air France (including Hop! subsidiary): service to Amsterdam, Paris-Orly and southern & western France Ryanair: flies to London-Stansted and Porto Volotea: flights to southern & western France and Italy

Summer 2015


UPFRONT

LIFESTYLE

66

67

s g n i n e p o w e N clusively on re, an outlet focused ex A new English book stod new fashion shops for men and women. Luxembourg goods an

THE SCHUEBERFOUER STANCE

GRAND DUCHY FILES

ERNSTER ENGLISH The bookstore chain has opened a new shop dedicated to English language books in the former location of its Erny kids book store. The shop stocks everything from best sellers to literary classics and a wide range of non-fiction and biographies. Where: 2 rue de la Reine, Luxembourg-Centre Info: www.ernster.com

LUXEMBOURG HOUSE Selling nothing but specialities from the Grand Duchy, this new shop opens it time for Luxembourg’s EU Council presidency. It stocks local food and drink, clothing, local design products and souvenirs. Where: 2 rue de l’Eau, Luxembourg-Centre

PALLADIO This new store features bespoke men’s suits, jackets, coats and accessories from Italian fashion houses Fratelli Tallia Di Delfino, Dormeuil and Pal Zileri among others. Customers can choose from 500 fabrics. Where: 16 rue des Capucins, Luxembourg-Centre Info: www.palladio.lu

MINELLI French shoe and accessories chain Minelli has opened its first store in Luxembourg in the Auchan shopping centre. It sells shoes, including exclusive Anne Valérie Hash collections, for both women and men. Where: 5 rue Alphonse Wecker, Luxembourg-Kirchberg Info: magasin.minelli.fr

Summer 2015

t may be relatively small, but no event in Luxembourg attracts more visitors than the annual funfair. Believe it or not, over two million people spend some time at the fair during its 20-day residency in the Glacis. Famously, the fair was originally a livestock market held on the St.-Esprit plateau in the 14th century. Its founding father was John the Blind, King of Bohemia and Count of Luxembourg. A street in Limpertsberg, near the modern day site of the funfair is named after him--Jean l’Aveugle en français, Jang de Blannen op Lëtzebuergesch. The fair began on the eve of St. Bartholomew Day (24 August) and lasted eight days. Nowadays the fair lasts more than twice as long and the only livestock you will see are the sheep that accompany the band at the traditional opening ceremony and some sad looking donkeys taking kids on a ride. It is primarily a family day out, and not cheap when parents add up all the rides, food and drink they have to fork out for. The sound of thrilled shrieks, the hiss of hydraulic brakes and the repetitive thump of loud music, the smell of fried food and the dazzling lights are an assault on the senses, but should be experienced at least once every summer--if only for the people watching. The traditional meal is fish and chips, and a take away portion of Grompererkichelcher, fried potato cakes, is obligatory. But these days visitors are just as likely to wolf down a pitta kebab or a pot of Thai stir fry as munch on a Luxembourg sausage, burger or pork chop. The grilled meat options are notorious for dripping fat and mustard or ketchup all down the diner unless they are wised up enough to take the Schueberfouer stance, which involves standing with feet apart, leaning the body forward from the waist at a roughly a 60 degree angle, stretching arms out in front and biting from the meat sandwich thus allowing the offending juices and sauces to drip harmlessly onto the floor. It’s the only way some visitors manage to keep their gold embossed, virgin white t-shirts so pristine. Info: www.fouer.lu

Julien Becker Benjamin Champenois

I 


Perfect weekend t e g d u b a n o s ie il m a f for

summer in Luxembourgt ed, spending some of the nn pla is ion cat va s to do that won’t ea a ng if thi Even here are three So s. ilie fam ny ma for is inevitable into the holiday budget.

FRIDAY 24.07 – 8 P.M.

SEE CINEMA IN THE OPEN AIR… … outside the Grand Ducal palace where the Cinémathèque hosts its City Open Air Cinema With Orange @ Palais programme featuring blockbusters and popular family films. Where: rue de l’Eau, Luxembourg-Centre Info: www.cinematheque.lu

Idil Sukan Jessica Theis Luc Deflorenne

Diary

EDDIE IZZARD EN FRANÇAIS The biggest star on the UK stand up circuit brings his Force Majeur-Tout en Français show to the Théâtre National du Luxembourg courtesy of Konrad Comedy Club. Izzard has done shows in French before, but this time he is performing 16 dates in Europe as part of his record-breaking world tour. When: 28 & 29 September Info: www.comedy.lu

SUMMER AT THE A Den Atelier’s summer programme is packed like never before. Highlights include the return of the John Butler Trio and a gig by Mark Lanegan Band. But the real treat will be the Luxembourg debut of TV On The Radio, whose live shows have been hailed by critics and fans alike. When: July, August, September Info: www.atelier.lu

ENJOY VILLA GARDENS There are plenty of reasons to visit the sumptuous gardens of the Villa Vauban this summer as the art museum hosts a programme of activities for children as well as knitting workshops with Mamie & Moi and Woolinspires and a series of classical concerts. When: 1 July to 31 August Info: www.villavauban.lu

PLAY OR TAKE A SEAT The Kinnekswiss meadow in the city park (near the Glacis) is once again hosting free sports activities and its “movable seating” project. Visitors can hire all manner of sports equipment for free and also make use of the “upcycled” chairs created by kids at Capel activity camps. When: 29 July to 13 September Info: www.vdl.lu

SATURDAY 25.07 – 7 P.M.

HEAR MUSIC UNDER THE STARS... ... at the hugely popular Blues’n Jazz Rallye in Clausen and Grund. The crowds can be overwhelming in some areas, but this is a great festival of free music that can be enjoyed on a balmy summer night. Where: open air stages, cafés, bars and restaurants, Luxembourg-Grund and Luxembourg-Clausen Info: www.bluesjazzrallye.lu

SUNDAY 26.07 – 1 P.M.

SEE ART AND PICNIC... ... by heading up to the Parc des Trois Glands and visiting the fascinating Eppur si muove (And yet it turns) exhibition at Mudam in Kirchberg, then grabbing a picnic basket and sitting on the ancient fortifications behind the museum looking across to the city. This is also a great place for kids to play. Where: Parc des Trois Glands, Luxembourg-Kirchberg Info: www.mudam.lu

Summer 2015


68

LIFESTYLE

SNAPSHOTS

Text by ALIX RASSEL

Photography by STEVE EASTWOOD

All the fun of the fair

MORE FAIR HIGHLIGHTS: WWW.DELANO.LU/ CHURCHFAIR2015

W 

ith tea and scones, strawberries and cream, snail races and magicians, there was certainly plenty to keep visitors amused at the annual Anglican Church Fair in Useldange. The Church Fair has been taking place in the grounds of Chris and Anna Audrey’s home for over 27 years now, although it was originally the precursor of sorts to the highly popular International Bazaar. This year the fair supported World Vision Romania, Stëmm vun der Stroos and COPE in Laos, which provides prosthetic limbs to victims of land mines. “All the monies raised at the Church Fair go towards supporting the different charities directly,” said the event’s coordinator, Clive Munn. Whilst the main aim of the Church Fair has always been outreach and fundraising, the social aspect is most definitely the highlight for many visitors. “It’s a great opportunity to meet friends in a relaxed atmosphere,” said Evelyn, originally from Ireland but resident in Luxembourg for over 17 years. “It reminds you of your childhood,” added Sue, who has also been living in the Grand Duchy for over a decade. Younger attendees had their own selection of highlights. “I like everything,” said Joshua, a 9 year old scout. “But my most favourite things are the toys and DVDs.” “I love the duck race,” said Prathna. “I haven’t won it yet, but I try every year, just for the fun!” www.anglican.lu

Summer 2015

FAMILY FRIENDLY A. This year’s best cake was the “strawberry gateau” made by Beatrice Munn B. Gea Mägi, Katherine Rochefort and Ashley Smith C. Maria Schmidt, Cole Kibbey, Noel Schmidt, Helena Benko and Sophia Benko D. Scouts sell ducks for the Telstar Duck Race E. Isabelle Page and Emma Paul with Sienna (sleeping) and James F. Matthew, Aria, Lucy, Sally Genazzi G. Sophie Seale and Rev. Chris Lyon H. Race ya! I. Tony and Pat Heath, and Berny Alexander A

B

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C

F

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D

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I


TEMPORARY EXHIBITION

© photo : Christof Weber

SIGNS A LANGUAGE WITHOUT WORDS 13.05.2015 > 03.01.2016

Temporary exhibition Absence of Subject August Sander / Michael Somoroff

© design : apart / photo : Andrés Lejona

24.04.2015 > 13.09.2015

Culture & leisure Explore works of art, chill out and enjoy the atmosphere

Villa Vauban Luxembourg City Art Museum is surrounded by a beautiful park …

Lovely!

and located in the heart of the city


70

LIFESTYLE

GETTING INVOLVED

Text by DUNCAN ROBERTS

Photography by MIKE ZENARI

Helping women to help themselves ntrepreneur Luisella Moreschi was naturally apprehensive before her first visit to Rwanda in February 2006. She was travelling to see for herself what was required to help the widows of victims of the genocide that had decimated the country some 12 years earlier. But despite her unease about mosquitos and standards of comfort and hygiene, it was a trip she had to make. Just 16 months earlier Luisella had been so moved by a meeting with Rwandan priest Abbé Pierre that she decided to help the survivors of the genocide. Abbé Pierre was a survivor himself, and now is the parish priest in Mersch. In the end Luisella had no need to worry about the trip; it simply inspired her to increase her efforts, as co-founder of the Femmes Développement charity, to raise funds and set up programmes to allow the widows to get microcredits. “It was a poignant and extraordinary experience,” she says of the trip. “I was seized by the beauty of the country, the kindness of people and the dignity of the survivors.” She returned to Luxembourg and launched the first major fund-raising effort, a charity dinner. “It was immediately a success,” Luisella explains. “We had 120 guests.” The following year the number of guests almost doubled, and now, for its 10th anniversary on 15 October well over 400 people are expected to attend. “People understand what we do, and we get some really nice sponsors for tombola prizes,” says Luisella. “We are lucky

in Luxembourg that people are so generous.” Such has been the success that Luisella was named Rwanda’s honorary consul to Luxembourg. The association is now organising annual trips to Rwanda for donors so that they can visit the projects that Femmes Développement is supporting. They get to meet the women who have taken out microcredits and are financing their own businesses. An impressive 95% paid back their loans within the 18-month deadline. “It is important to show the people that every euro of their donation is spent in Rwanda. We are all volunteers, so we have no administration fees,” she explains. FEMMES Among those who have visited Rwanda DÉVELOPPEMENT: Former Luxembourg are Luxembourg star chef Lea Linster WWW.FEMMES resident Magaly Carroll and Xavier Bettel--the prime minister DEVELOPPEMENT.ORG helps organise the annual was the MC at the first eight charity gala dinner, which takes dinners, before he took up the leadership a different theme each year of the government, and is an honorary and features entertainment member of Femmes Développement. in the form of dance and opera excerpts The association quickly expanded from as well as a fashion show. The tombola prizes raising money for microcredits and university Luisella mentioned are fabulous, indeed, scholarships for students, to financing and include vouchers for top class restaurants, infrastructure projects such as a school luxury hotel stays and exclusive jewellery. in Nyanza for 1,800 students and a Village “Word of mouth means we have lots of people d’Enfants. Work is underway to build a health reserving in advance.” centre--an access road has already been constructed and equipment purchased. “Our goal has always been to help educate The 10th annual Femmes Développement youngsters and enable women, the widows gala dinner takes place at the Casino 2000 of the genocide, to become literate.” in Mondorf-les-Bains on 15 October.

k o o b e t o n y t Communi

NEW EXPAT GROUP

CAPITAL HONEY

FRIDAY NIGHT FEVER

CONCOURS D’ÉLÉGANCE

SLOVENIAN SOCIETY IN LUXEMBOURG Launched on 18 June, the club aims to “connect Slovenians living and working in the country and surrounding area.” Info: www.cos-consulting.eu/slolux

BEE TOGETHER Can you taste the difference between honey made in Cents and in Kirchberg? That was one challenge during June’s Nature Festival. Info: www.delano.lu

INTERNATIONS The expat social club meets several times a month, but holds its first ever Friday night event 7 August at the Magnum Club in Limpertsberg. Info: www.internations.org

MAKE-A-WISH All of the money raised during this classic car show, 29-30 August in Mondorf, goes to help grant wishes to seriously ill children. Info: www.concours-mondorf.lu

Summer 2015

Luigi Rosa (CC BY-SA 2.0) Bee Together Charles Caratini Adam Taranis (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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COVER STORY

Text by DUNCAN ROBERTS

Thérèse Collins, Paul Schonenberg and Marie-Hélène Ehrke-Harf Summer 2015

Photography by JULIEN BECKER


W here t he l a n o i t a n r inte s r e h t a g y t i commu n

ational community. es of Luxembourg’s intern ath sw money ge lar t rac att ts se social gatherings raise ents of all sor Throughout the year ev volunteers putting in countless man-hours, thep and play a vital role in bringing Reliant on hundreds of for good causes, put Luxembourg on the ma er. We speak to the organisers. for charity or awareness the local and international communities togeth Summer 2015


INTRIGUING Someone relatively new to these trials and tribulations, and the triumphs, is Thérèse Collins. She has been president of the Luxembourg Rose of Tralee committee since taking over from Deirdre Ecock two years ago. She is now starting to prepare for the 2016 Rose Ball, which will be the 15th held in Luxembourg. “It’s not a beauty pageant, so people are intrigued by the concept that we are choosing a young woman to be an ambassador for Luxembourg.” Like all Irish girls, Thérèse grew up with the Rose of Tralee watching it on television and revelling in the glamour of the event. Current Luxembourg Rose Aedammair Ní Chiardha says: “It’s a great way to celebrate being Irish as well as the Grand Duchy. You will meet so many great people along the way. It will be full of surprises and you’re guaranteed to have fun.” The girls who enter all make friends with each other, so the Rose helps newcomers to Luxembourg integrate and widen their social circle. “We always say there are no losers at the Rose. Aedammair this year was representing not only Luxembourg, but also the other four Roses who entered here.” The Luxembourg Rose Ball may be the highlight of the year, but the Rose committee also organises other events such as a Boogie Nights 70s and 80s disco, an après-ski party, and a bus tour of the country for the participants to show the Roses more of the Grand Duchy. BUSINESS AND PLEASURE The Rose has been hosted by a number of different MCs over the years, including Paul Schonenberg who, in his role as chairman and CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce for Luxembourg, hosts perhaps the highest profile Thanksgiving dinner in the Grand Duchy. The dinner is usually graced by a high-ranking government official who delivers a keynote speech (last year it was deputy prime minister and minister of the economy Étienne Schneider). But although it is traditionally a time Summer 2015

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iary dates have been marked for a year, all other obligations cancelled and there is a sense of anticipation in the air. The organisers of numerous annual events in the international community calendar are dedicated all year round to ensuring guests and visitors, as well as their own team of enthusiastic volunteers, get the most out of the occasion. For many, the months and months of planning, contacting sponsors and finding venues, writing press releases and spreading the word, culminates in a flash--the moment swallowed up in an adrenalin rush and a flurry of activity that all too briefly allows the organisers to enjoy the moment. The reward comes later, when they are able to sit back and reflect on the proceedings, take pleasure in a job well done, listen to the words of thanks from participants and the recipients of funds, and for a few moments, relax before preparing a debriefing and starting to plan next year’s event.

Collins

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COVER STORY

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ROSE OF TRALEE The gala event to select Luxembourg’s representative at the Rose of Tralee has been held every year since 2002. It now attracts over 200 guests. Luxembourg’s most famous representative, Nicola McEvoy, won the Rose of Tralee in 2012. Now the committee is looking for young Irish women to take part in the 2016 event. Full details of eligibility are listed on the Luxembourg Rose website. www.rose.lu

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A highlight of the holiday calendar in the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated here by the American Chamber of Commerce in Luxembourg with a grand gala dinner. A high-profile keynote speaker is invited, and guests enjoy a traditional dinner, dancing and a tombola for charity. www.amcham.lu


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En id Isa ac

Luxembourg’s biggest charity event is held at Luxexpo over the weekend before St. Nicklaus Day (6 December). Stands representing more than 50 countries sell food and drink specialities and gift items. It raises some €600,000 for around 90 charities, both domestic and international. This year’s Bazar International will take place on 28 and 29 November. www.bazar-international.lu

BLC CAR BOOT SALE The British Ladies Club of Luxembourg first launched its Car Boot Sale in 1992. Held in late May or early June, the Car Boot Sale is open only to private vendors, who get to keep the proceeds of their sales, the event raises money for local charities supported by the Office Social of the Ville de Luxembourg via the fees charged to participants. www.blc.lu

for reflection it is also, says Paul, a gathering of friends and colleagues to take a moment to celebrate together. The British Chamber of Commerce in Luxembourg also hosts a hugely popular gathering a few weeks later. Its Christmas luncheon is the best-attended event of the BCC year and is also addressed by a keynote speech, traditionally from the incumbent British ambassador. This year, on 18 December, will be the last time Alice Walpole addresses the chamber in that role, and it is sure to be a moving and memorable occasion. It will also mark the first Christmas dinner at which Alison MacLeod will attend as BCC chairman. Some might think that raising money for charity has become more difficult since the financial crisis hit in 2008, but president of the Bazar International, Marie-Hélène Ehrke-Harf says that her organisation has seen a gradual rise in receipts over the last six years. Running Luxembourg’s biggest charity event takes a dedicated committee, which is composed of a very international group of women that reflects the cosmopolitan nature of Luxembourg’s population. Marie-Hélène explains the wide appeal of the Bazar comes from the fact that it raises money for projects in countries all over the world--the heads of the stands nominate good causes of which they have personal knowledge. “There is hardly any country we haven’t helped,” she says. “With our connections within the community, we can reach specific projects in far away countries.”

WAITING LISTS What is important is that the 1,000 or so volunteers who contribute to the Bazar in some form or other continue to do so and that eager visitors continue to part with their money in the spirit of the season of good will. Such is the Bazar’s popularity that the committee must handle a permanent waiting list of countries wishing to have a stand--last year China, Croatia and Ukraine were represented for the first time, for example. Other events, too, are enjoying the luxury of being the victim of their own success. Anyone wanting to book a slot for the annual Car Boot Sale run by the British Ladies Club of Luxembourg, for example, is advised to submit an application within days of the launch of registration. “It can sell out within a week,” says organiser Sue Sanderson, who runs the sale together with Enid Isaac. “We could easily double the size to 300 slots, or hold a second event.” But the Car Boot Sale already relies on the good will of the Ville de Luxembourg, which provides 

"WITH OUR CONNECTIONS WITHIN THE COMMUNITY, WE CAN REACH SPECIFIC PROJECTS IN FAR AWAY COUNTRIES." MARIE-HÉLÈNE EHRKE-HARF, BAZAR INTERNATIONAL Summer 2015


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"THE ARTIFICIAL BARRIERS WE CONSTRUCT ARE NOT PRESENT... IT IS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW THINGS COULD BE IN ‘REAL LIFE’."

BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS “The atmosphere and the witness statements show that it really is worth all the effort to hold the event. It provides people with a feeling that they are not alone. Cancer doesn’t recognise nationality or language, the people who attend have one thing in common. They either have been affected or know someone who has been affected by cancer.” The weekend is really a mirror of Luxembourg society, says Martine. There is healthy mix of languages spoken not only among the volunteers helping out at the event, but also among the teams and visitors. “The artificial barriers we construct are not present at the Relais pour la Vie. It is an example of how things could be in ‘real life’.” Summer 2015

RELAIS POUR LA VIE The annual weekend relay at d’Coque sees teams of between 20 and 40 jogging or walking around the track for 12 or 24 hours. The relay teams help raise money for the Fondation Cancer’s information, support and research projects, but the focal point is the show of solidarity that includes a “survivor and caregiver tour” of the track and a moving candle lighting ceremony. www.relaispourlavie.lu

Luc Deflorenne > Steve Eastwood

SOLIDARITY Martine Neyen at the Fondation Cancer faces a similar problem to the Car Boot Sale. Each autumn the organisation opens up registration for its Relais pour la Vie event the following March, and each year the team slots are pretty much filled within a matter of hours. “People sit at their computers at 7 a.m. on the day registration opens,” says Martine. For its tenth edition this year the event welcomed a record 1,088 participants in 375 teams, but only after the hosts at d’Coque added one lane to the running track. “But this is really reaching the limit. We need to keep some space in the stands for visitors, not just for participants in the relay.” The concept comes from the United States, where the Relay for Life events are used as fundraisers. But in Luxembourg, and throughout Europe, the event is more about raising awareness and information, as well as showing solidarity with patients and their families. Martine explains that the idea that being diagnosed with cancer is akin to a death sentence is still prevalent in many people’s minds, even though there is more and more success in treating various forms of the disease.

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a reserved space on the Glacis car park as well as logistical assistance every year. Even so, the organisers have hardly any time to catch their breath after the final cars have packed up and left at the end of the sale. “We have to apply for a date on the Glacis one year in advance,” says Enid. If the event began as a mainly British expat phenomenon--locals were apparently confused by the title and would ask whether boots or cars were being sold--it now attracts a truly international crowd. Indeed, some regulars travel down from Brussels to take part and professional flea market buyers can be found hovering around as early as 7 a.m. waiting to snap up the first bargains.

e Neyen

MARTINE NEYEN, RELAIS POUR LA VIE


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LIFESTYLE

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SNAPSHOTS

Text by WENDY WINN

Photography by STEVE EASTWOOD

A perennial winner

MORE HIDDEN TREASURES: WWW.DELANO.LU/ CARBOOTSALE2015

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ain or shine, buyers and sellers head to the Glacis in June to participate in the annual Car Boot Sale organised by the British Ladies Club of Luxembourg to raise funds for charity through the modest fee it asks for a spot at the sale. “I’m a junkie,” confessed Scott Perdue, participating for what he guessed was his 10th time. “And people love it. I’ve got a little bit of everything, and it’s all in a mess, so people like to look through it.” Although you never know what you’ll find at the sale, people do count on seeing one thing every year: people they know. Nikki Hollis Berry sets up pitch every year and said that “seeing friends and acquaintances” is a huge part of the attraction. Word to the wise: book ahead! www.blc.lu

COMMUNITY STAPLE A. Scott Perdue selling some “screaming 70s” stuff B. Laura Foulds and Bridget Connolly C. Paolo and Mikkel Panbianco, Nikolaï Berg, Bettina and Oliver Panbianco D. Madeleine Bryan-Orr, Amigo, and George Bryan-Orr E. Scarlett Chapman, Philippa Wilson and Miriam Scargall F. Susanne van den Biezenbos with Ivar, Mats and Finn G. Ros Mason and Hana Mason H. Shelly Parker, Kerry, Gemma and Rebecca Trantor I. Tim, Rachel, Georgina and Isabelle Ward A

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QUICK GUIDE

Text by DUNCAN ROBERTS

Fresh arrivals

DEALING WITH BUREAUCRACY Despite an unfair reputation for employing curmudgeonly civil servants, Luxembourg bureaucracy is actually quite easy to negotiate--as long as you make sure you have the right information. Nowadays most civil servants who have to deal with the public speak a fairly high standard of English, however, speaking Luxembourgish, even just a few words, can help open doors or at least get a smile out of the civil servant you are dealing with. On the other hand, the government’s MyGuichet project has made life a lot easier for certain administrative formalities. Using the LuxTrust certificate, the website allows registered visitors to complete forms online or offline without physically having to deal with a civil servant. Unfortunately, while the business portal is available in English, much of the “citizen” part of the site is only available in French or German. Info: www.guichet.public.lu

Summer 2015

JUST ARRIVED Now in its sixth edition, the bilingual (French and English) guide to settling down in Luxembourg offers readers information on bureaucracy, tips on integrating and advice on personal business as well as sections on leisure activities. www.justarrived.lu

FAMILY GUIDE Now published by Maison Moderne, which also publishes Delano, this is a practical and comprehensive guide to everything from education and sports to leisure and shopping. www.livres. maisonmoderne.lu/ familyguide

UTILITIES Contact your local council (commune) to have your water turned on. In Luxembourg City, www.vdl.lu or 47 96 28 95. For electricity, contact Enovos at 8006 6000.

TAXES New residents must request a tax card from the Bureau d’Imposition. www.impotsdirects. public.lu

VEHICLE REGISTRATION This must be done within six months of your arrival and it involves numerous steps, so prepare to devote a day to the process. www.snct.lu

PARKING Get a residential parking vignette from your local commune. This will allow you to park for free in the area where you live. Most communes offer 1 or 2 per household for free, with a nominal surcharge for further permits. In the capital, www.vdl.lu

FAMILY BENEFITS Register with the Caisse Nationale des Prestations Familiales and find out what benefits you are entitled to (such as birth, prenatal and postnatal, back-to-school, etc.). www.cnpf.lu

EXPAT MEETUP This group arranges to meet at a wide range of activities--from participating in sports to visiting castles to after work drinks--already planned by others. www.meetup.com

INTERNATIONS The international meet up group for expats has a vibrant Luxembourg branch that hosts regular events at bars and restaurants. It is a great way to meet others from the international community. www.internations.org

LUXMEETGREET DISCOVER GROUP This group aims to introduce every aspect of Luxembourg to international residents, by sharing local culture and traditions with expats eager to integrate. www.luxmeetgreet.com

INTEGREAT Run by long-term residents Charlene Fideler and Sherry Sideris (photo), originally from the USA, Integreat has put together a team of expat consultants with international experience. Where: 19 avenue du Bois, Luxembourg-Limpertsberg Info: www.integreat.lu

ACTIVE RELOCATION LUXEMBOURG Luxembourger René Meyer and his team offer a complete range of personal and tailor made relocation plans to help ease procedures and allow newcomers to focus on settling in rather than dealing with formalities. Where: 1 rue Comte de Ferraris, Luxembourg-Dommeldange Info: www.arlux.lu

EUROPEAN RELOCATION SERVICES With more than 20 years experience, Sylvie Schmit’s company says it “will help you discover the rich tapestry that life here has to offer.” It provides services for HR departments and private individuals. Where: 87 rue de Luxembourg, Bertrange Info: www.erslux.lu

Steve Eastwood Luc Deflorenne LaLa La Photo

shly arrived expats. intimidating place for freselec tion of expat an be n ca rg ou mb xe Lu ers on what to read, a es . Here are a few tips, point of top relocation ser vic list a meet up groups and


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MADE IN LUXEMBOURG

Text by NATALIE A. GERHARDSTEIN

Photography by GAËL LESURE

Shop like a local

created exclusively in the ourg theme, or products many of them come from mb xe Lu a h wit t gif re, and ironically Looking for a fitting plenty of ideas out the Grand Duchy? There are re’s a short list. non-Luxembourgers . He

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lever statements like “The gas is always cheaper on the other side” and “Big in being small” adorn the “Souvenirs from Luxembourg” line of T-shirts, made by Linda Bos of the design studio Pretty Forest. Bos admits she didn’t set out to create T-shirts--the statements actually came from a survey of expats living in Luxembourg and foreigners living outside the country, a sort of “reversed design approach to nation branding.” Instead of emphasising the normal stereotypes and clichés, each phrase highlights something positive about the Grand Duchy. Bos has been happy with the positive feedback she has received so far; now she’s hoping the shirts will soon be available at a few physical sale points in addition to her website, where you can already order online. She anticipates the collection will eventually include tote bags and cups as well. Having been in Luxembourg for over a decade, Bos has noticed that the attitude of expats and overall climate for entrepreneurs has changed for the better. “As an expat, you have to start at zero anyway--you take risks and aren’t sure whether they will pay off. In Luxembourg, I find the connections are a bit shorter so you don’t have the same fear you might in a larger country.” It was with this frame of mind and the desire to walk the “unpaved road” that led to the development of the Lët’z go local market in 2013, which Bos started with Karolina Szatna, the “Pepper” of the Ben & Pepper Boutique. The community of approximately 130 members aims to increase visibility of local designers, service providers and producers via

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Summer 2015


a platform of exchange and potential collaboration; the next market in October will take place in the new Rotondes space. Luxembourg continues to inspire Bos. “Having come here quite a bit when I was younger, I have memories of Luxembourg being picturesque and almost fairy-tale-like. Growing up, of course, I heard the stereotypes about the banking and secrecy but I find that when you finally live here, you realise it is a normal country, only that it’s small. But there are so many interesting cultural things you don’t hear or see--when I originally heard the story about Melusina, I was shocked there wasn’t a statue!”  There is, of course, now a statue coming along the banks of the Alzette. But if you want a smaller version of Melusina, consider purchasing one of the handmade dolls from the Popup Studio. Each doll is individually crafted with a mix of new and up cycled materials and are available for purchase online or at Ben & Pepper Boutique or the gift shop inside the Musée national d’histoire et d’art in Luxembourg City. And a fun side note: if you take photos with your doll in Luxembourg or another interesting location and send it in, you just might find it posted on the online gallery. Popup Studio also has a collection of other soft toys for kids, men’s and women’s accessories and home furnishings. Another company that has linked up with the Lët’z go local community is Essential Factory, the first cosmetic brand created and produced in the Grand Duchy. The founders, Anna Dannfelt and Philippe Briot, met in the UK on a separate project on car scenting and recently launched three face creams: delicate cocoshea, their

lightest cream; classic avocado, for mixed and oily skin types; and rich mango, for dry and mature skin. While the ingredients in the creams are 100% natural and botanical, it was most important for the duo to make sure each ingredient also follows the highest ethical standards. Their sunflower oil and beeswax are sourced in Luxembourg, and for other ingredients they take great care in making sure that the supply and manufacturing are ethical. Dannfelt, having worked in aroma­ therapy and coaching for roughly 30 years, had already been sampling creams on clients, both men and women, and takes feedback into account, changing the formulas as necessary. She says: “Luxembourg is a brilliant place to start. You can get immediate feedback here. At the same time, you have to be really careful not to mess up because it is such a small place.” According to Briot, one of the most positive experiences about launching the products and working with the Lët’z go local community is “we’re surrounded by good people we can trust. We want to work with people who are just as passionate about creating--the people we work with fit who we are.” If you’re looking for something more traditional or want to go a bit further afield, the 100% Luxembourg shop, located in Grevenmacher, specialises in products from the Grand Duchy-from porcelain, teas and gourmet foods to books, local wines and spirits. The shop has also recently started selling the new Ramborn cider. Whether you are looking for some Kachkéis or simply want to find a calendar of Luxembourg as a souvenir or a gift, it’s hard to leave empty handed.

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LOCAL SHOPS 100% LUXEMBOURG

Info: www.100-luxembourg.lu BEN & PEPPER BOUTIQUE

Info: www.benandpepper.com ESSENTIAL FACTORY

Info: www.essentialfactory.com GOOD IDEA

Info: www.goodidea.lu LËT’Z GO LOCAL

Info: www.letzgolocal.lu POPUP STUDIO

Info: www.popupstudio.eu SOUVENIRS FROM LUXEMBOURG

Info: On Facebook

A TOUCH OF THE GRAND DUCHY A. Linda Bos, photographed at Rotondes B. Souvenirs from Luxembourg Summer 2015


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FOOD & DRINKS

Text by AARON GRUNWALD

Get  yer fix S 

World markets

ometimes you just want a Bolands biscuit, a bowl of Lucky Charms cereal or a proper cuppa (although perhaps not all at the same time). Many local supermarkets--notably Alima, Auchan, Cactus and Delhaize--have “international” aisles with a selection of popular items. But that doesn’t always fit the bill. So it’s good news that food and drink distributor ÉireLux (40 rue des Bruyères, Howald, www.eirelux.com) recently opened a retail shop featuring brands from Ireland such as Batchelors canned goods, “no fewer than 12 varieties of the Tayto range of crisps,” and Irish ciders, beers and whiskies. Meanwhile Little Britain (1C route d’Arlon, Capellen, www.littlebritain.lu)

NORDIC REGION The shop at the Danish Deli (www.danishdeli.lu, photo) offers national specialities from herring and sausages to beer and sparkling tea. ScanShop (www.scanshop.lu) sells groceries and gifts from all 5 countries. Sweets shop Lakri-Lux (on Facebook) carries Icelandic liquorice, and fishmongers Atlantic Union (www.poissonneriearctic.lu) features fresh Icelandic fish. Summer 2015

MEDITERRANEAN From stuffed grape leaves to ouzo, the tastes of Greece can be found Au Gourmet Grec (www.augourmetgrec. com, pictured). Pick up Italian classics at either Aldo Bei & Fils (Zone Industrielle Lëtzebuerger Heck, Schifflange) or at Enoteca Italiana (www.enotecaitaliana. lu), and shop for Spanish staples at La Rioja (www. larioja.lu) and Vincente & Fils (www.vinosvicente.lu).

EAST AND SOUTH ASIA Asia Market (www.asiamarket. lu) has products from Japan, Philippines and Thailand. Mangoo Supermarket (6-8 rue de Strasbourg, Luxembourg-Gare) is a good source of Chinese items. For south Asian groceries, check out the Bengal Store (telephone +352 26 84 56 83) and Tandoori Market (onlinestore.lu), which carries more than 3,000 products.

stocks everything from marmite and Cadbury chocolates (the British sorts) to Weight Watchers meals and a huge range of teas. The spot also features a tea room and British bistro. Plus Little Britain (pictured) has a nice choice of English language publications. Then there’s Luxembourg-based Americana.lu, which delivers US favorites [sic]--like Campbell’s soup, Kraft mac’n’cheese, A&W root beer, and all sorts of BBQ and hot sauces--right to your door. Or try the “Britannia shop” on Luxcaddy.lu, an internet supermarket. And if that still doesn’t satisfy all your cravings, you can always wait for the annual International Bazaar (see cover story). That’s when groups representing dozens of nationalities sell authentic fare from their cultures. Volunteers from American Women’s Club of Luxembourg staff the US stand, for example, offering imported and homemade goodies. Gudden Appetit!

OTHER INSPIRATIONS Kathy’s Deli & Cupcakery (www.kathys.lu, photo) is the spot for homemade cupcakes and brownies, which can be enjoyed there or to go. Beerclub.lu delivers brews from Belgium, the Czech Republic, UK, US, among other places. And better known as a décor boutique, Mélange (www.melange.info) also carries a stylish range of Indian teas.

Lala La Photo Mike Zenari David Laurent Benjamin Champenois

While there’s plenty to explore culinary here in the Grand Duchy and the Greater Region, every now and again you can’t beat comfort food from home. Here’s a brief look at where to stock up.


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LUXEMBOURG SECRET SPOTS

Text by NATALIE A. GERHARDSTEIN

Photography by LALA LA PHOTO

More to explore Did you know you can find top quality Italian wines, pasta and beans in a boutique tucked away in Osweiler, or taste superb wines from California and Oregon that you won’t find anywhere else in Europe in a cellar hidden away in the Munsbach industrial estate? Delano takes you off the beaten path.

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500g package of Fagiolo Zolfino di Reggello (what appears to be plain white beans to the nonconnoisseur) sells for around €25 at Taverne Beim Baron in Osweiler, but for good reason. These beans are taken care of at each stage of development, from birth until they are harvested, all through the strictest hand selection. The brand, Agostinelli, is almost maniacal when it comes to its products: these beans are subject to rigorous microbiological analyses in order to keep the beans absent of any residues. “I only want to cook using original products, avoiding anything industrial,” says Beim Baron owner and chef Ernesto Prosperi. “I like to cook as seasonal and regional as possible. We are lucky we have some great local, organic farmers in the area.” Prosperi opened his restaurant, originally on the ground floor, in 1994. Later he moved the restaurant to the first floor and converted the downstairs into an épicerie fine and vinothèque for only two types of wines--“the good and very good”--along with assorted pastas (including those for people with gluten sensitivities), olive oils and other products. Traveling to Italy each year allows him to connect with local farmers and suppliers as well. “There was a simple reason behind opening my restaurant: I wanted to connect my job with my hobby,” he says. At Beim Baron, you don’t even have to order off a menu--Prosperi is known for approaching tables and rattling off mouth-watering recommendations. Frequently the evenings at the restaurant end with Prosperi and guests singing and dancing. Summer 2015

Want another taste of Italy (or Rome, rather) in Luxembourg? History lovers will appreciate one of the country’s southwestern gems. The town of Dalheim is the site of a former Gallo-Roman vicus established during Emperor Augustus’ reign. It was established as a strategic point on the Roman route from Metz to Trier. There are ruins of temples and an amphitheatre believed to have had a seating capacity of approximately 3,500. A visitors’ centre is open during select hours on Saturdays and Sundays in June through September, with paying tours also available (be sure to check the website before your visit). Numerous other tours exist in the Grand Duchy as well. You may have done the Luxembourg City Tourist Office’s popular Wenzel Circular Walk, but what about the Latin Inscriptions tour? Or the Goethe Circular Walk, which shows highlights of the author’s stay in Luxembourg? If you aren’t up for walking, you could consider a Segway tour--you might be surprised to learn as well that these tours aren’t limited to Luxembourg City. You can take a Segway around Belval, Schengen or Mersch, for example. Many of the tours mentioned here require small or large groups to reserve and are by request only; others are open to individuals. The summer months are also the peak time to enjoy the Moselle region, which, with its slopes and vineyards, offers some of the most picturesque views in Luxembourg. The Mediterranean Garden in Schwebsange, open upon request from May to September, takes

advantage of the valley’s microclimate to grow tropical and subtropical plants, among others. Originally designed by Charles Roovers and Dieter Lingen, it boasts 15 acres of 1,000 species and varieties. Four people maintain it now. Visitors are encouraged to contact the site via email or telephone to arrange a meeting. While you are in the Moselle region, there are plenty of wineries to choose from--but for something a bit offbeat, you might want to consider a tasting of select American wines at Amcellars. The new tasting room opened in February 2015 (although Amcellars has been around since 2011), and tastings can be arranged for small groups. The wines come predominantly from the Napa and Sonoma valleys in California, and Willamette Valley and Dundee Hills in Oregon. “We are trying to educate people here about American wines,” says its CEO, Simone Lullingen-Weber. “Unfortunately, many in the past only saw the cheap American wines in supermarkets. Now I think it’s changing: people are traveling to the US and seeing the quality for themselves.” Amcellars sells to several high-end restaurants in Luxembourg, and Lullingen-Weber is often able to secure rare stock for customers due to the long-term relationships she has with the winery owners. They carry Peter Michael, Silver Oak and Iron Horse labels, to name only a few. And for Lullingen-Weber, part of the pleasure of leading a tasting is telling people the stories of where the wines come from.

" WE ARE TRYING TO EDUCATE PEOPLE HERE ABOUT AMERICAN WINES." SIMONE LULLINGEN-WEBER


ERNESTO PROSPERI IN HIS OSWEILER BOUTIQUE

LAYOUT B FIND THESE SPOTS

AmcellarsÂ

Info: www.amcellars.com Dalheim Ricciacum

Info: www.ricciacus.lu

Luxembourg City Tourist Office

Mediterraner Garten

Info: www.mediterraner-garten.lu

Segway Tours

Info: www.mobilboard.lu Taverne Beim Baron

Info : www.ernesto.lu

Summer 2015

Amcellars Staff Mediterraner Garten Mobilboard Luxembourg

Info: www.lcto.lu


LIFESTYLE

TRAVEL

Text by AARON GRUNWALD

Ten weekends getaway idea Delano’s Need a break ? Here are

BLACK FOREST

Need to sate your wanderlust? Then get into the great outdoors in the Schwarzwald. There are hundreds of kilometres of excellent walking and hiking trails plus postcard picture perfect villages aplenty. Visit for the traditional Carnival in spring, wine festivals in autumn or delightful Christmas markets.

top picks for 48 -72 hour

BRUSSELS

The polyglot European capital can sometimes seem walled off, but warmer weather breathes life into the city, which is choke full of sidewalk cafés, squares and parks. People watch at the GrandPlace or place du Luxembourg, take a tour of the Royal Palace, and then hit one of the town’s fab flea markets.

trips.

BURGUNDY & CHAMPAGNE

Skip the region’s big towns like Dijon and Reims and head straight to the areas around Beaune or Troyes (which is also a factory outlet store hotspot). In Beaune the hospice is worth a visit but watch out for restaurants gouging on local vintages. Delano prefers good Burgundy crémant to bad champagne.

Car: 3 hours

Train: 3¼ hours Car: 2½-3 hours

Car: 3-4 hours

Year round

Summer

May to October

DUTCH COAST

Talk about off the beaten (cobbled stoned or sandy) path. Visitors to Zeeland, near the Netherlands’ border with Belgium, are usually regional. But Middelburg has charming little lanes and cute canals perfect for leisurely bike rides. The North Sea coast has stunning dunes. Both have romantic and family appeal.

FRANKFURT

Another financial centre with under-noticed culture: 14 museums flank both banks of the Main, plus there’s excellent opera and live music, theatre (in English) and galleries, and a top zoo. Sample the smoked sausages and apple wine; there are also 9 Michelin starred and 3 Bib Gourmand restaurants in town.

Car: 4-5 hours

Train: 4-5 hours Car: 2½ hours

Spring to autumn

Summer

Summer 2015

FIND LINKS: WWW.DELANO.LU/ WEEKENDGETAWAYS15

GENT

The Gentse Feesten (Gent festival) is certainly something to experience; the city centre is literally one giant street and music fair. The Gravensteen (count’s castle), Belfry tower and 45 minute canal cruise (the trilingual tour guides will remind you of somewhere) are good for all ages and totally worth it. Train: 4½ hours Car: 3-4 hours 21-31 July (festival) May to September

COLOGNE

The famous cathedral is not overhyped and never fails to impress. The pleasant string of restaurants, cafés and hotels along the Rhine, and the squares just off the river, are super stuff. It may seem like a touristy idea but the view from atop the Cologne Tower truly is amazing. Good city to explore on foot. Train: 3½ hours Car: 3 hours Carnival September to New Year’s

NORMANDY

France’s west coast is not all that far away. In Rouen check out the Musée des Beaux-Arts, have an apéro in rue Eaude-Robec and do the Sunday morning market in place Saint-Marc. Explore Caen’s architecture on foot. The stretch from there up to Cherbourg and back down to Granville is lovely year round. Train: 5-8 hours Car: 5-7 hours Any time

DUBLIN

Spend some time in Temple Bar, the area home to some of Ireland’s best culture venues, pubs and restaurants; try its Food Market on Saturdays. Stroll though St. Stephen’s Green, probably the largest city square in Europe (and next to prime shopping). Take the Guinness tour, even if you don’t like beer. Flight: 1¼ hours Autumn

PARIS

You can never do it all in Paris, so Delano’s advice is to make a list of things you want to do there and then cross most of them off the list. Also don’t use the Métro, because Paris is a city best experienced on foot. Did that shop assistant really not say a single word or make eye contact? Bien sûr, mon chéri. Train: 2¼ hours During French school holidays

Guillén Pérez, Verena Weiden (CC BY-ND 2.0) Philip Larson, Josh Evnin, Paul, Dennis Jarvis (CC BY-SA 2.0) psyberartist, Rob Oo, Thomas Quine, Vincent Anderlucci (CC BY 2.0)

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

CONGÉS ANNULÉS

Text by DUNCAN ROBERTS

Motley crew

the Klub ve nu e s ho me in Bo nn evoie, al with another de ton Ro w ne its o int tiv fes Settl ed rates its Congés Annulés (formerly Exit07) celeb . brilliantly eclec tic line up

FULL PROGRAMME: WWW.ROTONDES.LU

What the critics say

© Prenom Nom

KLAUS JOHANN GROBE “…inviting, bizarre, and brilliant. There’s a slight despair in Klaus Johann Grobe’s music that makes us connect with it from a beatific, spiritual dimension, awakening parts of our brain that we didn’t even know we had.” Ana Leorne, The 405

ne of the highlights of staying in Luxembourg in the summer is the annual Congés Annulés festival organised at the (Carré)Rotondes. Marc Hauser and his team have been hosting the festival since 2010, but for 2015 have a brand new venue in which to stage a motley programme of indie music gigs, film screenings and even children’s theatre. The festival lasts throughout August and kicks off on the first of the month with a double bill featuring Swiss duo Klaus Johann Grobe, whose infectious Kraut rock inspired groove has had the likes of Pitchfork drooling, and Clap! Clap!, a new African inspired project from Italian producer C. Crisci. The festival takes a classical twist a day later when Ukrainian Summer 2015

pianist Lubomyr Melnyk performs his beautiful “continuous music”. Another early highlight is a visit from Irish all male outfit Girl Band, whose post-hardcore shtick recalls Clinic at their most abrasive-Pitchfork’s Stuart Birdman has special fondness of singer Dara Kiely’s “split personality”, which he describes as “part arch absurdist, part panic-attacked nervous wreck.” British “SynthPunkNoiseCrunk” outfit AK/DK bring their bouncy electro dance to the Klub on 7 August, followed the next day by the more ambient Rival Consoles. The recent penchant for psychedelic beats is represented by American Tim Presley’s White Fence, whose music is rather more poppy than the glam rock stylings of LA band Wand.

British brothers Michael and David Champion, aka Champs, deliver a more dreamy sort of pop, while another Brit, acclaimed electro synth pop artist Ghost Culture (photo), is also on the bill. Montreal expat band Ought play what has been described as “art rock”. Fellow Canadians Viet Cong “tap into the primal impulses of true post-punk” according to Ian Cohen’s review of this year’s self titled album. The live music comes to a crashing end on 27 August with garage trash duo The Hussy. It also includes film screenings of Amy Winehouse documentary Amy, Industrial Soundtrack For The Urban Decay (featuring avant gardists from Can to Throbbing Gristle) and B-Movie (about music in West Berlin in the 1980s).

GHOST CULTURE “The pleasure, and it’s considerable, is in the detail. It takes a lot of skill to make something this painstaking sound so smooth.” Killian Fox, The Guardian VIET CONG “With deep forays into demonic white noise… clanging postpunk… and psychedelic/progrock… they’re expanding into adventurous new directions.” Rob Webb, NME

WIN TICKETS Subscribe to Delano’s newsletter for a chance to win tickets to all Congés Annulés gigs www.delano.lu

Jenna Foxton

O 

LUBOMYR MELNYK “While there is a wealth of detail, there is no sense of gratuitous extravagance. This is grace and beauty moving forward with conviction but never with aggression or undue showiness.” Ray Honeybourne, The Line Of Best Fit


Les Jardins de la musique S.a.r.l.

Budding musicians crèche, for children 0-6 years

5 minutes from Kirchberg Daily violin and cello lessons Educational and play activities Starting at 3 half-days per week Large, well equipped garden

1

Les Jardins de la musique 163, rue de Cents L-1319 LUXEMBOURG Tél. (352) 422985 E-mail:lesjardins.delamusique@pt.lu

www.lesjardinsdelamusique.com

Vers Kirchberg

rue de Neudorf

vers aéroport

Les Jardins de la musique

r. de Cents N1

Irrgarten Val de Hamm

Rte de Remich

A1


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ON STAGE

Text by DUNCAN ROBERTS

e r t â é h T d n a Gr special

TICKETS: WWW.THEATRES.LU

PIRATES OF PENZANCE Anarchic wit Acclaimed film director Mike Leigh directs one of the Savoy opera’s most popular works. A co-production with English National Opera --The Pirates Of Penzance premiered in May this year at the Coliseum in London--this version sees Leigh playing it straight, as Fiona Maddocks writes in The Observer. But that allows the director to “lay bare the work’s anarchy, savagery and wit.” Leigh, of course, made a fine film about the composers, Topsy Turvy, in 1999. The operetta includes one of the most enduring songs written by Gilbert and ­Sullivan--‘I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General’--and was praised upon its first performances in both London and New York for being “fresh, bright, elegant and merry.” When: 16 & 18 October 2015 Summer 2015

MAMA MIA! Infectious hits The Grand Théâtre has a relatively new tradition of staging a family show over the new year period, and more recently started staging hit musicals. Now the two are combined in an extended festive period run for the hit musical based on the songs of Swedish pop combo ABBA. The 17-night run at the theatre is in English with German and French surtitles. Mama Mia!, which originally opened in London in 1999 and went on to play in over 400 cities worldwide, centres on the quest of Sophie, a young bride-to-be, to find the identity of her father on the eve of her wedding on a Greek island. The ABBA songs, every one a familiar hit, are cleverly woven into the story as Sophie’s mother is confronted with three men from her past. When: 16 December to 3 January 2016 (no show on 24 December)

AN INSPECTOR CALLS Tense commentary Bringing J. B. Priestley’s classic, set in 1912, bang up to date by staging it as a play being watched by an audience in 1945 (the year it was written) was a stroke of genius that made Stephen Daldry’s name as a director in 1999. Priestley’s entertaining thriller is also a fine piece of social commentary about class in England, but now in Daldry’s hands it can also be read as a critique of the greed of financial institutions. The plot revolves around the wealthy Birling family who are questioned by a police inspector about the suicide of a young working-class woman. Daldry heightens the tension by introducing a set that mirrors German expressionism cinema and a score that recalls Hitchcock. When: 28 to 30 January 2016

Robert Day Tristram Kenton Brinkhoff-Mögenburg

h-­ able programme of Englis Théâtre delivers a remarkourg theatre debuts of two d an Gr the at son sea t the Luxemb Tom Leick ’s firs ’s “The Pirates of The highlights include language productions. tors-- Mike Leigh takes on Gilbert and SullivanPriestley ’s “An InB. ec J. dir of on film laimed versi major British sical “Mama Mia!”. en Daldr y stages his acc Penzance”, while Stephof year show is also a stunner in the shape of mu h a production of spector Calls”. The end audience favourites Cheek by Jowl returns wit On a more serious note, Globe Theatre presents “Hamlet ”. “Winter’s Tale” and The


WINTER’S TALE Cutting edge Bard Innovative London theatre company Cheek by Jowl returns to the Grand Théâtre with its production of William Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale. A lesser performed work, but nevertheless considered among the greatest in the Bard’s canon, Winter’s Tale is about the consequences of the jealousy that consumes the king of Sicilia. As usual, Cheek by Jowl’s Declan Donnellan directs while fellow founder Nick Ormerod is responsible for the design. When: 2 to 4 March 2016

ALL NEW PEOPLE Witty discontent Written by actor and film director Zach Braff (from Scrubs), All New People comes to Luxembourg with a cast of international and local actors, including the wonderful Jules Werner and Larisa Faber (photo). The play has been called “a study of personal discontent” and looks at the contemporary 30-something generation and an interrupted suicide attempt. Tom Lamont in The Guardian wrote of the original production (starring Braff himself) that it was “a tight, touching comedy.” When: 14, 18 & 20 April 2016

AM I Universal identity Renowned Australian choreographer Shaun Parker’s Am I is staged as part of the Luxem­ bourg Festival. The show, premiered in Sydney in January 2014, has been acclaimed for its balance between dance and music, composed by Nick Wales. Seven dancers pose questions about identity that are far from inward looking, but connect with the audience. Vicky Frost writing in The Guardian says: “Am I submerges you in its universe completely but leaves plenty to ponder.” When: 24 & 25 November 2015

HAMLET Stripped bare prince Perhaps the most famous play ever written, Hamlet comes to Luxembourg as part of a world tour by Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. The play has been written about and analysed to death, but still has the magic and poetry to inspire new productions and attract fresh audiences as well as those familiar with the plot, the famous soliloquy and the tragic denouement. The stripped down production has received rave reviews for its clarity and briskness. When: 16 March 2016

MAP/FOLDING Chinese master Shen Wei was the creative force behind part of the opening ceremony at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. His Dance Arts company comes to Luxembourg with two of the choreographer’s most powerful works. Map features minimalist composer Steve Reich’s Desert Music, one of his most expansive works, and explores the theme of circularity. Folding has been described as “mesmerizing, subtle and slow” and is set to music by John Tavernier and Tibetan Buddhist Chants. When: 11 & 12 May 2016 Summer 2015

Bronwen Shap Julien Becker Prudence Upton Zen Qiang

PRIVATE VIEW Voyeuristic isolation An opera in four acts by Annelies van Parys with a libretto by Jen Hadfield, Private View tackles themes of voyeurism and social isolation. It is set in a block of flats whose residents keep to themselves and don’t mix with their neighbours. The prize-winning opera--a co-production by the Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg--is performed in English by the Asko|Schönberg Ensemble with singers from the Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart. When: 27 November 2015


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LIFESTYLE

ON STAGE

Text by DUNCAN ROBERTS

7 concerts at the Phil

FULL PROGRAMME: WWW.PHILHARMONIE.LU

certs by renowned season is packed with conchberg venue. From w ne ie’s on rm ilha Ph e Th familiar faces at the Kir artists, many of whom areorchestras and top notch stars of jazz, the d” star soloists to “gran eclectic array of talent. Here we pick seven programme features an r months. highlights of the first fou

HITCHCOCK’S THE LODGER New score The Luxembourg Festival continues with this production with the Cinémathèque. Luxembourg based composer Tatsiana Zelianko, originally from Belarus, has created a brand new score for the film, which will be played by United Instruments of Lucilin. The Lodger is one of Hitchcock’s earliest films, yet already features some of his trademark techniques and, says The Guardian, “anticipates some of the director’s best known trope.” When: 25 November Summer 2015

CHILLY GONZALES Spellbinding hilarity Canadian artist Chilly Gonzales has built a reputation in Germany and France especially (he has lived in both countries) for his brilliant juxtaposition of exquisite musicianship and humorous and charming performance. He has worked with the likes of Feist and Peaches and mixes classical, pop and rap elements into his songs and engages with the audience. He appears here with the Kaiser Quartett, courtesy of the Rockhal. When: 5 December

DIANA KRALL The jazz singer Canadian singer Diana Krall brings her Wallflower world tour to the Phil, a venue she has performed at several times. The album features a slew of cover songs from the lovelorn chapters of the pop canon, including ‘California Dreamin’’, ‘I’m Not In Love’, ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ and the title track by Bob Dylan. The Telegraph writes that “Krall’s low, sensuous voice is to the fore, delivering each song with mellow tenderness.” When: 12 October

LA CHAMBRE PHILHARMONIQUE Brahms evening Moldovan-Austrian violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, one of the most imaginative violinists around today, joins the Chambre Philharmonique for an evening of Brahms. The former musical director of the OPL, Emmanuel Krivine, is the conductor for the performance. The programme includes Brahms’ violin concerto, considered one of the four great German violin concerti. Also on the programme is the German composer’s third symphony. When: 12 December

TOKYO METROPOLITAN SYMPHONY Star violinist The Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kazushi Ono performs a mixed programme as part of the Luxembourg Festival line up. Vadim Repin, who was praised by Yehudi Menuhin as “the best and most perfect violinist” he had ever heard, performs Prokofiev’s second violin concert, while sopranos Susanne Elmark and Ilse Eerens are the soloists for Toshio Hosokawa’s Nach dem Sturm. Works by Ravel and Debussy also feature. When: 17 November

SIMÓN BOLÍVAR SYMPHONY

Three-night residency The world famous Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra from Venezuela returns to the Phil with its musical director Gustavo Dudamel for three performances. The first sees Yuja Wang return on piano and Cynthia Millar on Ondes Martenot playing Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie. The second evening features a mixed programme of works by Paul Desenne, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Maurice Ravel. The final evening is dedicated to Stravinsky. When: 10, 11 & 12 January 2016

Bill Swerbenski Harald Hoffmann Alexandre Isard Ramón Jacques

SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY Wang’s Bartók The San Francisco Symphony returns to the Philharmonie with star pianist Yuja Wang performing Béla Bartók’s second concerto for piano and orchestra. Wang is also a familiar face who has a reputation as one of the best--and certainly the fastest-piano soloists around. Here she tackles one of the most difficult pieces in the repertoire. Michael Tilson Thomas conducts and the programme also features Tchaikovsky’s fifth symphony. When: 12 September


EPPUR SI MUOVE

ART AND TECHNOLOGY, A SHARED SPHERE A COLLABORATION WITH THE MUSÉE DES ARTS ET MÉTIERS - CNAM, PARIS

09.07.2015 – 17.01.2016 MUDAM LUXEMBOURG

Exhibition under the High Patronage of Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister On the occassion of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second semester of 2015 MUDAM LUXEMBOURG | MUSée D’ART MODERNE grand-DUC JEAN 3, PARK DRÄI EECHELEN | L-1499 Luxembourg info@mudam.lu | www.MUDAM.lu Painting of a phenomenon of interferences realised by Pierre Ernest Peuchot in 1882 (détail) © Musée des arts et métiers – Cnam, Paris / Photo: Aurélien Mole

Media Partners

Exhibition Partners Fonds National de la Recherche Luxembourg, The Loo & Lou Foundation, under the aegis of Fondation de Luxembourg, CFL - Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Luxembourgeois.

2015_06_EPPUR_Delano.indd 1

6/29/15 4:59 PM

When you are 10 years old, you really know what kids want. On sale at your bookstore 10 years, 5th edition 700 activities, advice and useful addresses 304 pages EN, FR or DE 21,90 €

Order now via our e-shop at www.maisonmoderne.lu

FamilyGuide for delano_EN_1/2 page.indd 1

5/12/15 10:32 AM


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LIFESTYLE

KIDS

Text by WENDY WINN

Go play outside! NIGHT OF MARVELS The Parc Merveilleux near Bettembourg always pleases, but on 11 July professional street artists make it even more magical! Info: www.nuitdesmerveilles.lu ALL THE WORLD’S YOUR PLAYGROUND Well, at least the Place Guillaume II on 31 July and 1 August, when “Kanner in the City” is staged there with special activities and cool games. Info: www.summerinthecity.lu STREET A(RT)NIMATION Hard to believe but Streeta(rt)nimation celebrates its 20th birthday this year. Come be amazed and amused on 8 and 9 August. Info: www.lcto.lu

F 

orget about “Blueberry Hill”: you can get plenty of thrills by taking a day trip in the Greater Region. In Germany, there’s the brand new Kletterhafen climbing park (www.kletterhafen.de), where kids can even rent a GoPro camera and film their adventures. It’s less than an hour away, and there’s a trampoline park and an indoor/ outdoor swimming pool nearby in Merzig (www.merzig.de), as well as fast food and restaurant options. Of course Germany is also home to the fabulous Europa Park (www.europapark.de) and boy does this place (pictured above) Summer 2015

give you a ride for your money. It’s comparable to Disney and as clean and attractive but cheaper and more manageable in size. It’s a long day trip, but it’s doable! Much closer, quieter and calmer is the charming Eifelpark (www.eifelpark.com), a beautiful place in the woods, perfect for younger kids and soothing for parents. Another amusement park geared more to the younger crowd is Plopsa-Coo in Belgium (www.plopsa.be), about an hour and half drive from here. Again, the shady setting is a plus for more enjoyable rambles and it won’t overwhelm you with its size. Speaking of shade: beat the

heat inside the Cave of Han (www.grotte-de-han.be). The 1.5 hour underground tour is worth the hour’s drive and there’s a nature reserve, an old tram and playground too. Walygator in France (www.walygatorparc.com) used to be known as a little kids’ park, but they’ve added very cool rides that are truly thrilling for big kids too, so now the teens won’t complain if you want to take their younger siblings there. And speaking of gators, there are plenty of other wild animals at the nearby Amnéville Zoo (www.zooamneville.com), which is one of Europe’s largest. The brand new “Tiger World” has just opened.

NEAR AND NATURAL Wild riverbanks, picnic tables, bridges, skater park and more are worth parking it at Hesper Park. Info: www.hesperange.lu

Europa Park

TAKE A DAY TRIP, JUST FOR THE "THRILL" OF IT

NIEDERANVEN SKATE PARK Yep, the long-awaited skate park, with a huge basin and eager fans is finally open this summer. Wear your helmet and knee pads dudes! Info: www.skatepark.lu


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Text by AARON GRUNWALD

Photography by MIKE ZENARI

Expat encounters

MY FAVOURITES

Arsenal South London native and“always es on ti-J Lia ha tas Na fan xembourgvisited a lot” to see her Luter ’s two d sis living parents, sister an to be a proper d nte wa lly rea “I . ren ild ch with them. It got auntie and spend time goodbye.” She say harder each time to chy after she moved to the Grand Du“I thought, what re. was offered work he e Luxembourg have I got to lose? I lovgood go.” Three anyway, so I’ll give it a time DJ on Ara years later she is a lunch5.2 FM) and a Cit y Radio (102.9 and 10 nsultant (“Liati weddings and events coHere she shares Events” on Facebook). to meet expats. three favourite locales

THE TUBE “I really like the guys who’ve taken over” this upper town mainstay, one of the capital’s oldest expat bars, which changed hands at the beginning of the year. “Every time I used to visit [Luxembourg] I would just go there to party. Now it’s to go and watch Arsenal matches,” Natasha says. The new owners are making a good impression. For example, The Tube now puts together events with “different themes to appeal to everybody,” from Scottish nights to hosting the Arsenal supporters group. “It’s just got a good vibe, and a big TV which is important when you’re watching football.” Where: 8 rue Sigefroi, Luxembourg-Centre Info: www.thetube.lu Summer 2015

NIRVANA CAFÉ

Natasha is a fan of this newish lounge, “reasonably priced” vegetarian Indian restaurant and yoga spot located near the viaduct bridge. “There are not loads of vegetarian cafes around. I’m not a vegetarian; I love a good steak! I am just trying to be more conscious about my health and I think it’s good to get more vegetables in me. Loads of people do yoga there and I think there’s a demand for somewhere like that.” The place attracts expats and native Luxembourgers alike and she says: “It’s very cosy, they’re friendly, they’re attentive,” and they speak English. Where: 1 avenue de la Gare, Luxembourg-Gare Info: “Nirvana Café” is on Facebook

OSCAR’S “Oscar’s in the Grund, that’s my second home,” says Natasha of the modern pub. “When I first moved here in 2012, someone said Oscar’s is having a karaoke night… a group of us went down and it kinda became a regular thing.” Beyond that “it’s a great place to meet every nationality or go with family,” several “mates have had parties upstairs,” and “it’s a good place on a Sunday for some good grub. I’m not a girl who wants a healthy breakfast… when I want a proper breakfast I go there.” Plus she often finds herself bumping into someone around town that she first met at Oscar’s. But what is the best thing about the spot? “It’s the terrace; I really like their terrace and their lovely staff.” Where: 9 Bisserweg, Luxembourg-Grund Info: www.oscarsbar.lu


OPERA & MUSICAL

OCTOBRE 2015 FRIDAY 16 AT 8PM & SUNDAY 18 AT 5PM

THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE

SIR ARTHUR SULLIVAN

CONDUCTOR TIMOTHY HENTY I DIRECTOR MIKE LEIGH I ORCHESTRA ORCHESTRE PHILHARMONIQUE DU LUXEMBOURG I CHORUS SAARLÄNDISCHES STAATSTHEATER SAARBRÜCKEN

NOVEMBRE 2015 FRIDAY 27 AT 8PM

PRIVATE VIEW

ANNELIES VAN PARYS

CONDUCTOR ETIENNE SIEBENS I STAGE & VIDEO DESIGN 33 1/3 COLLECTIVE DIRECTION & DRAMATURGY TOM CREED I ENSEMBLE ASKO | SCHÖNBERG ENSEMBLE SINGERS NEUE VOCALSOLISTEN STUTTGART

DECEMBRE 2015 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 26, 29 & 30 AT 8PM / 20 & 27 AT 11AM & 5PM / 25 & 31 AT 7PM JANUARY 2016 1 & 2 AT 8PM / 3 AT 11AM & 5PM

JUDY CRAYMER, RICHARD EAST AND BJÖRN ULVAEUS FOR LITTLESTAR IN ASSOCIATION WITH UNIVERSAL STAGE ENTERTAINMENT AND NGM PRESENT

MAMMA MIA! THE SMASH-HIT MUSICAL BASED ON THE SONGS OF ABBA

MUSIC & LYRICS BY BENNY ANDERSSON & BJÖRN ULVAEUS AND SOME SONGS WITH STIG ANDERSON / BOOK BY CATHERINE JOHNSON

DIRECTED BY PHYLLIDA LLOYD I CHOREOGRAPHER ANTHONY VAN LAAST

THEATRE

JANUARY 2016 THURSDAY 28, FRIDAY 29 & SATURDAY 30 AT 8PM AT THE GRAND THÉÂTRE

J.B. PRIESTLEY’S CLASSIC THRILLER

AN INSPECTOR CALLS

IN ENGLISH, WITH FRENCH SURTITLES

MARCH 2016 WEDNESDAY 2, THURSDAY 3 & FRIDAY 4 AT 8PM AT THE GRAND THÉÂTRE

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

IN ENGLISH, WITH FRENCH SURTITLES

MARCH 2016 WEDNESDAY 16 AT 8PM AT THE GRAND THÉÂTRE

SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE PRESENTS

HAMLET BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

IN ENGLISH

APRIL 2016 THURSDAY 14, MONDAY 18 & WEDNESDAY 20 AT 8PM AT THE THÉÂTRE DES CAPUCINS

ALL NEW PEOPLE ZACH BRAFF

CRÉATION

IN ENGLISH

DISCOVER OUR ENTIRE SEASON AT WWW.LESTHEATRES.LU

AN INSPECTOR CALLS © ROBERT DAY FEATURING THE 2011-12 TOURING CAST

WINTER’S TALE


Profile for Maison Moderne

Delano Summer 2015  

Delano Summer 2015