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EXPAT GUIDE

TEAM SPORTS, AIRLINE CONNECTIONS, HEALTH SERVICE, VOLUNTEERING, STARTUPS, HOUSING

CURRENT AFFAIRS Free speech?

BUSINESS Luxembourg’s pro-bitcoin stance

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EDITORIAL

Text by DUNCAN ROBERTS

HISTORIC DECISION LEAVES BITTER AFTERTASTE Several days after the United Kingdom voted by a slim majority to leave the European Union, the future is still unwritten. t seems that the full consequences of the historic referendum decision will not be known for some time. British politicians are embarrassingly dragging their feet on triggering Article 50 proceedings on the UK leaving the European Union. Maybe the result will bring about some much needed reform of the EU--Luxembourg prime minister Xavier Bettel has already said that the 27 other member states need to take a hard look at how the union works and also improve how it promotes itself. And maybe in the long run the UK, or what is left of it in a few years’ time, really will manage to negotiate its own bilateral free trade deals. But for now the result has as its immediate consequences domestic political turmoil and market upheaval. Coupled with the notion that it has emboldened unsavoury xenophobic, and some downright racist elements in England and on the continent to raise their heads above the parapets, it leaves a bitter aftertaste.

DISAPPOINTMENT AND ANGER The taste is one of uncertainty, disappointment and anger among the vast majority of British citizens living in Luxembourg. They are uncertain about their future, even if Bettel has said they will always be welcome in Luxembourg and their outgoing prime minister has reassured Brits living abroad that for the moment nothing about their status or rights has changed. But in the long run, the legal status of British expats living in the European Union will be part of a negotiation that the UK will have to have with the 27 remaining member states. Social

HAPPIER TIMES Xavier Bettel and David Cameron in Luxembourg in June 2015. The British prime minister has since said he will resign over the Brexit referendum defeat

media on the Friday morning of the referendum result was awash with British residents pledging to begin application procedures to obtain Luxembourg citizenship. The disappointment is in those of their compatriots who did vote for leave and in the politicians who so divided the country. They are ashamed of the rhetoric used by both sides of the campaign. Ashamed of the blatant lies that were peddled by the Leave campaign--and the unrealistic sloganeering, much of which they now seem to be reneging--to an electorate unfamiliar with the intricacies of the way the European Union works. Ashamed of the ineffectiveness of the Remain campaign. Many are embarrassed by the shrivelling regard in which Great Britain is now held by some of their fellow Europeans--their work colleagues, team mates, friends.

Above all, a great number of long-term residents--those that have been away from Great Britain for more than 15 years--are angry that they were not allowed to vote in a referendum whose outcome would directly affect them. The final result was a million votes or so in favour of the Leave campaign, but a very substantial number of the estimated two million expat Brits living abroad in the EU were barred from voting under the 15-year rule. And they are angry that all this came about because the Conservative Party was so divided prior to the last general election that its leader, David Cameron, played a dangerous short-term game in order to win votes by promising the referendum on EU membership. That short game has not only led to Cameron’s own demise, but has led to an irreversible decision by the British people that they, and others, may yet regret for generations to come.

Christophe Olinger (archive)

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Project developed by

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READER SURVEY

COMPLETE AND WIN

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF DELANO? Delano celebrated its fifth anniversary this year. While we mark that milestone, we are always seeking to improve the magazine, website and weekly newsletter. Head to our website and start giving us your feedback. www.delano.lu

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Each year we launch a reader survey, gather the results and use data and the best comments and suggestions as the basis for adjustments to the editorial line, to improve the design and readability of the magazine and to make our website and newsletter more relevant to the international community that we serve. This year’s survey has now been launched on the Delano website. It is easy to use and should take less than 10 minutes to complete. As well as gathering some information about our readership, which will help us maintain Delano as a commercial venture, readers will be asked a series of questions about their relationship with Delano and what they think of the magazine, website and newsletter. Naturally, answers and information provided will be kept confidential. And there is a reward for those who complete the survey in the form of a draw for some pretty cool prizes.

Summer 2016

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THE WAY TO FASHION YOUR GARDEN.

ALZINGEN 586, route de Thionville T. (+352) 36 00 36-1 info@hoffmanns.lu HOFFS0388_210x265.indd 008_PUB_HOFFMANNS.indd1 8

MERSCH 4, allée John W. Leonard T. (+352) 26 32 31-1 www.hoffmanns.lu 27/06/2016 29/06/16 13:19 16:34


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Write to PO Box 728 L-2017 Luxembourg Offices 10 rue des Gaulois, Luxembourg-Bonnevoie ISSN 2220-5535 Web www.maisonmoderne.com Founder and CEO Mike Koedinger Administrative and financial director Etienne Velasti Innovation, quality and operations director Rudy Lafontaine

CONTENTS

DELANO SUMMER 2016

PUBLISHER Phone (+352) 20 70 70 Fax (+352) 29 66 19 E-mail publishing@maisonmoderne.com Publisher Mike Koedinger Editor in chief Duncan Roberts (duncan.roberts@maisonmoderne.com) Desk editor Aaron Grunwald (aaron.grunwald@maisonmoderne.com) Contributors Wendy Casey, Neel Chrillesen, Jean Comte, Stephen Evans, Martine Huberty, Kasia Krzyzanowski, Marina Lai, Elodie Lamer, Alix Rassel, Tonya Stoneman, Wendy Winn Editorial intern Imane Moustakir Photography Julien Becker, Sven Becker, Marion Dessard, Steve Eastwood, Jan Hanrion, Anna Katina, Lala La Photo, Mike Zenari Proofreading Pauline Berg, Muriel Dietsch, Sarah Lambolez, Inès Sérizier DESIGN Phone (+352) 20 70 70-200 Fax (+352) 27 62 12 62-84 E-mail studio@maisonmoderne.com Director, Maison Moderne Studio Guido Kröger Creative director Jeremy Leslie Art director Cassandre Bourtembourg Studio manager Stéphanie Poras Layout Sascha Timplan (coordination), Monique Bernard, Sophie Melai, Zoë Mondloch ADVERTISING Phone (+352) 20 70 70-300 Fax (+352) 26 29 66 20 E-mail regie@maisonmoderne.com Director, Maison Moderne Advertising Sales Francis Gasparotto (francis.gasparotto@maisonmoderne.com) Sales director Luciana Restivo (luciana.restivo@maisonmoderne.com) Account manager Anca Marinescu (anca.marinescu@maisonmoderne.com) SUBSCRIPTIONS For subscriptions, please visit www.delano.lu Luxembourg (shipping included) 1 year / 8 issues / 25 euros 2 years / 16 issues / 50 euros Europe (shipping included) 1 year / 8 issues / 31 euros 2 years / 16 issues / 68 euros Printed by Imprimerie Centrale Distribution by Valora Services Luxembourg

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

CURRENT AFFAIRS 12

COVER PHOTO

Mike Zenari shot Tim Andrews and Ananth Srisailapathy at the Pierre Werner Cricket Ground in Walferdange. NOTE TO OUR READERS

The next print edition of Delano will be published on 7 October. For updates, commentary and our weekly what’s on guide, visit www.delano.lu.

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HOUSING Time to buy?

LIFESTYLE 80

SNAPSHOTS Beads, bubbles and all that jazz!

Irish Club glams up for a good cause. 84

The KJT family support line has some advice on how to say a good “goodbye”. 22

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TRAVEL Findel connections

Some think there’s a property bubble; others reckon real estate remains a good investment. Here’s how to decide for yourself. 54

58

STARTUPS Hatching a plan

GETTING INVOLVED Where to volunteer

Have some free time? Here are 10 organisations that need your help. 102

Getting home, or getting away, is getting easier for Luxembourg residents. 26

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)

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UPFRONT Carte blanche

BUSINESS

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HEALTHCARE Navigate the system

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COVER STORY One for the team These programmes are hoping to attract more international entrepreneurs to the Grand Duchy. 64

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HR Training across cultures

From a “caisse” to emergencies, what expats need to know.

Luxembourg’s international community plays an active role in organising a wide variety of team sports. Here are six of them that range from high maintenance to ultra cheap, and which can all be played in the Grand Duchy this summer and beyond.

How to raise awareness and settle conflicts in an international workplace.

Summer 2016

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We don’t want to spend our whole holiday searching for WiFi

Free summer package

Free calls and texts

for Orange customers

to and from Europe

2 GB free in Europe

Activation of the package in shops or on 800 61 606 from June 15th to August 31st 2016.

Offer valid for all subscriptions except Welcome and Connect. One activation only per customer. Fair Usage Policy: 1,000 call or text units. Conditions on orange.lu

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CONTENTS

CONTINUED

CURRENT AFFAIRS 14

SNAPSHOTS 91 new graduates

Congratulations to the International School of Luxembourg’s class of 2016. 16

BUSINESS

LIFESTYLE

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82

SNAPSHOTS Business ball

GETTING INVOLVED Friskis&Svettis

The Luxembourg-Poland Business Club organised its first summer gala. 48

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JOURNAL Dispatches from Delano writers

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ECONOMY Boost or shock?

How the recent wave of refugees will impact Luxembourg’s bottom line. 50

DIGITAL HIGHLIGHTS: WWW.DELANO.LU

These volunteers get “hot and sweaty,” and you can too. 86

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SUMMER GUIDE Hot days & nights

DOWN THE DRAIN

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Restaurant water petition failed: Search for “Tap closed on water proposal”

FINANCE Brexit Quick weekend getaways, day trips in the Greater Region and staying in the city… Delano has a few suggestions to check out.

A European schoolbook solution; what students get out of an Erasmus exchange; grieving in Luxembourg; raising a rainbow flag; does the press really serve Grand Duchy residents; and who is Bob Jungels?

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The good and bad news about Britain’s EU vote for the Grand Duchy’s banking and fund sectors.

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LEGAL Free-ish speech

60

FINTECH Blockchain approval

RETAIL Book Loft

An airy but cosy place to browse and read. 98

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SPORT & FITNESS “Coaches”

GRANTING AID

Stepchildren considered children, says EU court advisor: Search for “Uni aid for stepkids”

From anti-immigration leaflets to tax whistleblowers, what are the limits to free expression? Bitstamp gets first-of-a-kind license in the EU.

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IN FOCUS Mandala in Merl

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FUNDS Unhappy compromise

Anyone can be claim to be personal trainer. One MP wants to give ‘em a workout. 100

HEALTH Fat advice

Natural ways to protect your skin during the sunny season. 114

Families gathered for International Yoga Day.

MY FAVOURITES Parks for children No one is really satisfied with new EU money market rules.

MCDONALD’S TAX BREAK

A three-letter word may have helped: Search for “May be worth millions in fiscal savings”

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MY OTHER LIFE Gone with the wind

This bar owner can jump 20 metres, perform back loops and ride big waves.

CORRECTIONS Due to editing errors, we omitted the name of photographer who snapped Luc Frieden on page 3 of the June edition; it was Steve Eastwood. We also misnamed the photographer who took a picture of Matt Dawson on page 33; it was Marion Dessard.

The children’s coordinator for the British Ladies Club knows where you can take the kids for a spin.

NGO ANNIVERSARY

Luxembourg group supports education in developing world: Search for “Bringing together 25 years”

Jenny Downing (CC BY 2.0) sprklg (CC BY-SA 2.0) McDonald’s Europe Unity Foundation

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UPFRONT

CURRENT AFFAIRS CAPITAL OF CULTURE Esch-sur-Alzette has been shortlisted to represent Luxembourg as European Capital of Culture in 2022 following a meeting with an EU jury panel.

DRUG BAN T71 Dudelange basketball player Christopher Jones has been handed a 9-month suspension following a positive test for a cannabis substance after the cup final against Walferdange in March.

Opinion polls conducted on behalf by TNS Ilres in May showed a continued fall in support for two of the three coalition parties across the country. The poll asks voters in each of Luxembourg’s four constituencies for their voting intentions if an election were to take place the following Sunday. The results prove alarming for Xavier Bettel’s Democratic Party in the Centre constituency, traditionally a stronghold. If an election were to take place now, support for the DP in the Centre would fall to just under 16% and the party would lose three seats in parliament. The socialist LSAP, led by Étienne Schneider, would

NATIONALITY REQUIREMENTS POLL

A recent Politbarometer poll indicated that 57% of residents think there should be no change to the requirements of level A2 in oral expression and B1 in comprehension. But a majority (59%) are in favour of reducing the residency criteria of applicants from seven to five years, and even more (77%) agree that children born in the Grand Duchy of non-Luxembourg parents should be able to take up nationality.

also suffer a 2% decline in its share of the vote, though it would retain its three seats. The Greens, the third of the so-called Gambia coalition parties, would actually gain one seat in the Centre. The trend continues in the South, where the LSAP vote would be four percentage points down in its working class strongholds, resulting in a loss of two seats. The DP would also suffer, with its vote falling just enough to lose it one seat. The Greens would retain their two seats. The “lost” seats would be divided equally among the CSV, ADR and Déi Lénk parties. In the East as well, the LSAP would lose one seat-as would be the DP--and in the North the DP would also lose one seat with the populist right-wing ADR gaining a seat.

For Against Don’t know

EIB INVESTIGATES The EIB has launched an investigation into how an employee, convicted earlier this year of possessing child pornography, was able to install a camera in female changing rooms.

INTERNATIONAL ARREST A Kosovan wanted by British police in connection with the murder of an elderly couple in Suffolk in June has been arrested in Luxembourg after being recognised by a staff member at a hostel.

FOX HUNT BAN The administrative court has upheld the decision by the ministry of the environment to ban fox hunting following an appeal by the Fédération Saint-Hubert hunting association.

Change to language level

Residency requirement from 7 to 5 years

Birth right

Christophe Olinger (archives) Marie Hale/Creative Commons > Benjamin Champenois

COALITION SUPPORT SLIDES

FREE TRANSPORT A new MyCard Élève pass will allow secondary school students free access to all public transport in Luxembourg, starting in October this year.

Summer 2016

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Reports in the media suggest that train journey times between Luxembourg and Brussels could be cut to just two hours. Infrastructure and sustainability minister François Bausch says he spoke with his Belgian and Swiss counterparts, as well as representatives of the Swiss railways. Belgium and Switzerland have been in the process of discussing a rail link between Brussels and Basel for some years, but previous reports have suggested the route would not be financially viable-even if it were to include stops in Luxembourg and Strasbourg. Bausch said that discussions are only just being relaunched, but that he would like to see a new cost study carried out. The route would be operated by Pendolino trains, which are currently built in France using the original Italian technology that allows trains to tilt when travelling at speed around curves on the track.

Villeroy & Boch

MORE CITY HOUSING

The site of the former Villeroy & Boch production plant in Rollingergrund is to be turned into a new neighbourhood featuring housing, shops and restaurants. The City of Luxembourg has signed an agreement to buy the land. The château and outlet centre on an adjacent site will remain intact. Reports suggest some 500 new residential units could be built.

CARTE BLANCHE

THE IMPORTANCE OF SAYING A GOOD "GOODBYE" Moving is inevitable, but there is a way to lessen the stress on your kids, says Barbara Gorges-Wagner. With the end of the academic year, and as is the nature of life in Luxembourg, many students and their families will move away over the summer. This can be a particularly stressful time for your child, whether they are leaving friends behind or in fact staying but waving goodbye. Where we live, our community of friends is as much a part of our identity as our family or where we come from. This is especially true for older children and teenagers. Leaving friends and moving home can be devastating to them and can lead to a breakdown in communication in the family and even depression. This is often connected to their feelings of powerlessness, because they feel as though they have no choice in the necessity to move. In reality this is a fact of life, but as parents we can acknowledge and validate these feelings. We can also be proactive in supporting them in planning and preparing for goodbyes, because good endings help us to move on. The most important way we can support our families and ourselves in this process is to allow time to talk, and actively listen. This means finding someone who can be trusted inside the family, a friend or an outside person who will listen non-judgmentally to how each member of the family is really feeling about moving and losing contact with close friends. In the international community, close networks of support are often created by families and when they move adults and children can be affected. Feelings of excitement about a new start may be mingled with sadness and even

grief about leaving. At the same time friends that are staying may even have feelings of abandonment. If you are leaving, preparing for good endings can include organising a goodbye party to celebrate your time and the friendships in Luxembourg. For older children and teenagers this can be a significant event, which includes a chance to take photos or videos, exchange presents with special friends and make plans to keep in contact. For a very special friend, like the one your child has grown up with, you might want to create a book of memories including pictures of shared events. Exchanging gifts like these can be helpful as transition tools, and if both leavers and stayers contribute they are all the more significant. Although you may intend to keep in touch, it is important to still mark this time as an ending because relationships change over long distances. This is a valuable lesson for your children to learn and a good time to model how to say goodbye. If you can, talk freely about how you feel and encourage them to do the same. You or your child may have had to say “goodbye” to several homes and friends already along the way, but do not underestimate how important this process is. Grief is cumulative and if it not expressed, it can cause problems later in life. Barbara Gorges-Wagner is a manager at Kanner Jugend Telefon, which provides confidential support in English to children, teens and parents. www.kjt.lu

Lala La Photo

BRUSSELS IN UNDER TWO HOURS BY TRAIN?

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SNAPSHOTS

Text by MARINA LAI

Photography by LALA LA PHOTO

GENEROSITY OF SPIRIT

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ope and eagerness filled the Grand Théâtre when 91 students from the International School of Luxembourg celebrated their graduation in an official ceremony. “Decide what you stand for and stand for it all the time,” Kevin J. Ruth said in his address. After the formal programme ended, Charlotte Bowen was relieved that she was

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finally finished: “The IB [international baccalaureate] is really hard work!” Tessa Charnaud, who is a teacher at the school, told Delano that this graduating class was unique: “Normally it is the students who thank the teachers, but I wanted to thank them for having such generosity of spirit, it’s been an honour to work with them.”

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MORE GRADS AT: WWW.DELANO.LU/ ISLCLASSOF2016

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GRADUATION DAY A. Christina Hadjichristou, the faculty elected student speaker, and Hannah Neugebauer during the ISL (www.islux. lu) graduation ceremony at the Grand Théâtre in June B. Christine and Sean Johansson, and Anders Holzner C. Elisa Serra, Charlotte Bowen, Victoria Lee and Maddy Mantsch D. Isabella Schönborg with her family E. Sharon, Isabella and Oliver Werka F. Jordan and Cara Davila G. Erik Hallerström with his parents H. Kevin J. Ruth of the European Council of International Schools giving the graduation address I. Congratulations to the International School of Luxembourg class of 2016

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Kitchen, dressing room and custom design

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CURRENT AFFAIRS

A TEXTBOOK SOLUTION Why this former European school student started selling secondhand schoolbooks.

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uri Moseinco says of his parttime startup: “It was more of a friend’s idea.” He and his pal--then students at the European School Luxembourg, in Kirchberg--“were complaining” about the lack of used schoolbook options in the Grand Duchy “and he mentioned that ‘there

should be a website’”. After thinking it over, Moseinco launched Eurobooks, now in its third year. The idea is deceivingly simple. At the end of the school year, students and their families drop off used textbooks (and calculators) on consignment. “You can come by my shop, which is my living room, really, and I store all the books there for the whole summer holidays. Then at the end of the year, you can come

pick up the books which weren’t sold, and pick up the money for the books which we did sell,” he explains. At the same time, shoppers “can buy their books online. During checkout they select a pick up date on which they can come pick up their order at my place. Otherwise, people can just come during the opening times and buy books on the spot.” Eurobooks is not affiliated with the European schools, but “they have helped me many times”. He receives copies of the official book lists that are released in June for the autumn term, checks titles against the publisher’s official website, and then “I take a percentage off of that,” says Moseinco, who was

Mike Zenari

THE JOURNAL

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born and raised in Luxembourg and holds a Belgian passport. “I took a lot of time to find the b e s t balance, pricewise, to find something that is not too expensive to buy secondhand, but is not too cheap that you don’t get any money back from selling it.” Naturally he keeps a small margin, which is “not much at all, really. I’m not really doing this for money. Obviously money’s great to have, but if I [only] wanted money, I could have gotten a summer job for a couple months and gotten paid five times as much” as he makes running Eurobooks, states Moseinco, who just finished his first year studying film in London.

WORD OF MOUTH Out of the 15 different language groups at the Bertrange and Kirchberg campuses, “I do notice that there are some sections that are much more popular than some. I’m not really sure why that is. For example, the Dutch speaking section, they are quite into using Eurobooks. Maybe it’s because I was in the Dutch section, so I got access to people more easily.” He likewise has a loyal following among Swedes, following a positive review from members of the Swedish women’s club. “The Swedish community is relatively small in Luxembourg, so I guess news travelled fast.” The English, French and German sections are also “quite popular,” “but then you’ve got sections like the Hungarian section that’s very small, so then it’s very difficult to be able to sell things,” he explains. “If two or three students [enrolled in each year] don’t sell their books, then it’s end of story; there’s no books to sell.” He hopes the virtuous circle continues to grow. “The European schools have about 4,000 students, so if all of them sold their books, there’d be more books to sell, so there’d be more books for other students to buy,” Moseinco reckons. “I hate telling people, ‘I’ve got this one, but I don’t have this one, I’m really sorry’. I’d love to be able

to have every book for everybody but unfortunately that’s not always the case.” Eurobooks, in Uebersyren, will be open most Wednesdays and Sundays between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. through the beginning of September. www.eurobooks.lu

Reported by AARON GRUNWALD

ERASMUS EXPERIENCE Why 509 University of Luxembourg students left the Grand Duchy this year.

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lorence Fournel says: “Studying about history and art in Paris was the perfect thing for me.” She is a European culture student at the University of Luxembourg who went on an Erasmus exchange this academic year. In fact, hundreds of local students go abroad each year using the Erasmus programme, an EU initiative that launched in 1987. “Erasmus is the biggest channel from which we send our students,” says the university’s head of student department Eric Gary. There are two other options offered by the institution: the Global Exchange Programme, which sends students to schools in the Americas and Asia; and the “free mover” scheme. But Gary explains that “Erasmus is the most successful programme because it’s the only one that offers a scholarship.” The students generally receive €500 a month while abroad. That is an amount of money that some judge insufficient in comparison with the bursaries offered by other European countries. Still, Erasmus gives students a valuable, and different, perspective. “I liked learning about the French culture and subjects like French history,” says Yasmine Belkeiri, another student at the University of Luxembourg, who spent six

months studying French literature in Aix-en-Provence. The young women were not the only ones who chose France, which is the second largest Erasmus destination for Luxembourg students after Germany. During the most recent winter semester, from September 2015 to January 2016, a total of 249 students went abroad via Erasmus. During the same period, 136 Erasmus students came to Luxembourg, led by Germans and French. Fournel and Belkeiri were both pretty satisfied with their Erasmus experience. “I really liked visiting the Versailles museum, as part of the Erasmus events,” says Fournel. In addition to the social aspect, Erasmus offers students the opportunity to be more open-minded. Fournel feels “there was more freedom to speak” at the Sorbonne. “In Aixen-Provence, we had a discussion about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” says Belkeiri. “Everyone was free to express their own opinion without any judgement.” She claims that this is less likely to happen in Luxembourg, where some of her classmates can be less open-minded. Like any experience abroad, the students faced some difficulties. “It’s not easy to find a university and an apartment alone,” notes Belkeiri. Fournel was in Paris during last November’s terror attacks. “I was alone and that was a difficult time,” she says. Despite this, the students admit they were quite sad to finish their Erasmus séjour. Summer 2016

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THE JOURNAL

CONTINUED

“It’s true that Paris is a very expensive city for students, but I got used to the city’s fast rhythm and to living alone,” says Fournel. When Belkeiri came back to Luxembourg in February, she promised to visit her friends in France soon. “Last week, I was in Aix-en-Provence and I stayed there for nine days. The atmosphere even encouraged me to think about living there in the near future.” www.uni.lu

Reported by IMANE MOUSTAKIR

GRIEVING THE LOSS OF A LOVED ONE Loss of a loved one is an inevitable part of life, and grief is a natural part of the healing process. For those living abroad, grief can be a particularly difficult experience often manifesting into a sense of shame and guilt for being so far away.

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mélie Zeimet (pictured) says: “There is no right or wrong way to grieve.” She is a psychologist who practices in Merl. “Grief is experienced differently by everyone and linear models of a lived experience will never encompass the complexity of life.” Individuals find many different approaches to cope with grief such as yoga, meditation, religion and journaling. However, for individuals who are struggling for any manner of reasons, grief counselling can be a useful tool, especially if feelings of emptiness and despair become constant and lead to depression. Whilst Luxembourg’s main health insurer, the Caisse Nationale de Santé, covers the cost of psychiatrist visits, it does not cover psychologists or psychotherapists. However, a new law has been proposed to change this (at press time, the Chamber of Deputies had not set a date to debate and vote on the bill). Grief counselling does not focus on

feeling better fast, but rather allowing the bereaved to express the difficult emotions that arise within their own time. Trauerwee is a Luxembourg non-profit organisation that focuses specifically on children and teenagers in grief. “Our role is to open a door to the adolescent in grief,” states Simone Thill. “We reach out a hand and walk part of the journey with them; we do not show them the way.” At Trauerwee, children meet in groups and, depending on their age, express themselves through paintings, music, nature or by playing games. “When a close relative dies in a family, children

often see their parents crying or depressed and they hide their grief so not to cause further upset,” she explains. “In a group situation, with other children, they feel safe and more able to communicate.” Dr. Zeimet agrees: “Grief counselling offers a safe place where frustration, anxiety, anger and sadness can be shown and felt. It provides support and aims to help the individual feel not only more empowered but also to find a sense of serenity and meaning.” Unfortunately, in today’s society we often view the emotional discomfort of grief as a weakness and try to hide from it. For Jane Duncan Rogers, author of Gifted by Grief, this approach is counter-productive. “Let your emotions flow, no matter what they are,” she advises. “Open the door, even though you realise it will be painful. Yes, you will receive the rawness of the emotion, but you will have received it well.” “Practice compassion for yourself,” adds Zeimet, “and if you are feeling isolated, visit your general practitioner or see a counsellor, help is available.” When it comes to grief, there are no time frames, rights or wrongs, prescriptions or magical cures, expert says. Grief is as unique as each individual. Listen to your own grief and trust it. www.trauerwee.lu

Reported by ALIX RASSEL

Mike Zenari

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ORLANDO TRAGEDY OVERSHADOWS LGBT PRIDE Despite changes in legislation and growing support over the past 20 years, Luxembourg’s LGBT community still faces discrimination.

Steve Eastwood

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wo flags were lowered to half mast at the US embassy in Luxembourg on the morning of 13 June. The US stars and stripes and the LGBT rainbow flag had been proudly flying together for less than a fortnight after being hoisted on 1 June to mark the start of LGBT Pride Month. US ambassador David McKean had been joined by representatives of local LGBT rights group Rosa Lëtzebuerg, including its president, Gabriele Schneider, that morning. Twelve days later Schneider and around 25 other members and friends from Rosa Lëtzebuerg were laying wreaths, lighting candles and leaving messages of condolences in a show of solidarity with the victims of the mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando on 12 June. “Special thanks to Mrs. McKean who once again welcomed us in a very warmhearted way. This means a lot to our community!” the group wrote on its Facebook page. In 2015 the US embassy became the first in Luxembourg to fly the rainbow flag during LGBT Pride Month--June was chosen to celebrate Gay Pride, as it was then known, following the infamous Stonewall riots in June 1969, when members of the community protested against a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City. This year’s ceremony also marked the 20th anniversary of Rosa Lëtzebuerg, which was founded in 1996 as an advocacy group for gay rights and against discrimination of the LGBT community, and to support their friends and family. The group has a number of English speaking members, particularly women from

the European communities, says Schneider. More recently, several initiatives have been launched to assist LGBT asylum seekers in Luxembourg, many of whom use English to communicate. These include workshops to help staff and volunteers working in reception centres. In 2002 the group launched the Cigale information centre for gays and lesbians. Staffed by social educationalist Roby Antony and Enrica Pianaro, Cigale has official backing from the ministry of family and integration. It provides assistance to anyone with questions about sexual orientation and identity, helps prepare people who want to “come out”, offers consultations and information on LGBT rights and also raises awareness of LGBT issues. And although gay marriage was legalised last year and messages of condolence were received from all quarters following the Orlando shooting, Rosa Lëtzebuerg says

members of its community are still confronted with homophobia in the Grand Duchy. It can range from comments on news websites to bullying in the workplace and even physical violence. Some members say they want to take their protest to the streets to decry this discrimination. www.rosa-letzebuerg.lu

Reported by DUNCAN ROBERTS

MEDIA DIVERSITY IN LUXEMBOURG Is the press really serving Grand Duchy residents?

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recent report by the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (cmpf.eui.eu) and the University of Luxembourg highlights three risks to the diversity of the media in this country. One risk is the high concentration of media ownership and cross-media ownership. Kim Nommesch, who co-wrote the study, observes: “While we have a great diversity in the print media, we don’t have it in the audio-visual media.” RTL Group dominates both TV and radio, and while there are

six daily newspapers, they only belong to two publishers, Editpress and Imprimerie Saint-Paul. “These three groups receive a lot of public subsidies, while smaller papers with less than five accredited journalists receive no funding at all,” she says. At the same time, the study shows that political independence of the media is very low, and Nommesch has found that it has even decreased. She wonders: “While we have media pluralism, do we also have a plurality of opinions? The negative aspect of the depoliticisation of newspapers, ironically, is that they seem to defend the same positions. We often talk

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Reported by MARTINE HUBERTY

BOB JUNGELS

EXPRESS BIO Born 22 September 1992 in Rollingen Career highlights 2009: junior Luxembourg time trial and road race champion 2012: Luxembourg time trial champion 2013: turns professional with RadioShack-Leopard 2013 (and 2015 & 2016): Luxembourg time trial and road race champion 2014: signs for Trek Factory Racing 2015: first Tour de France (finishes 27th) 2016: signs for Etixx-Quick Step 2016: best young rider and 6th place finish at Giro d’Italia

WHO’S WHO?

I’M NOT TRYING TO WALK IN ANYONE’S FOOTSTEPS. I’M JUST DOING MY THING AND WE’LL SEE HOW FAR WE GO." The first Luxembourger since the legendary Charly Gaul to wear the pink jersey at the Giro d’Italia defended his national champion title at the end of June. Some 57 years after a Luxembourger, the legendary Charly Gaul, last sported the pink jersey in the Giro d’Italia, Bob Jungels managed to wear the leader’s jersey for five days during the second week of the Grand Tour in May. He eventually finished sixth overall, but also claimed the white jersey of the best young rider. At the end of June, he successfully defended the Luxembourg time trial and road race titles he won last year. Jungels, aged 23, made his debut in the Tour de France last year placing 27th overall and 5th in the young riders category for competitors under the age of 26.

He will not ride in this year’s Tour. Jungels has been exciting observers of pro-cycling since winning the 2010 World Junior Time-Trial Championships. But it was his maiden Tour de France performance, including a 13th place at the notorious Alpe d’Huez, which led team Etixx-Quick Step to sign Jungels from Trek. The move left Cycling News writer Daniel Benson wondering if it was “the transfer of the season”. Andy Schleck has also spoken of his admiration for his young compatriot, and has said that although he is not a great climber, he is a fine all-round rider in the style of the great Miguel Indurain.

Illustration by Jan Hanrion

about the media being influenced by politics, but we don’t talk enough about the influence of commercial interests.” The media is dependent on advertising, and this question is often overlooked. Another risk is social inclusiveness in terms of foreign residents’ access to national media. As the study is based on the definition of minorities established by the Council of Europe, Luxembourg’s international community is disregarded and the results are therefore misleading. Nommesch argues that they nevertheless should be included. The study recommends that public service media should be in three national languages. Eric Hamus, a journalist at RTL Radio, says that for the English-speaking population, “the media landscape was expanding, albeit belatedly and too slowly.” He mentions Delano, the English version of the Wort, which is geared towards expats, but misses an English radio station. Hamus wonders: “Is there a market for this, as most expats listen to internet radio?” The constitution does not mention a right to full information and there is an overall lack of legislation relating to a fundamental and coherent right to information. “So far, this has been less of a problem as most information was still available to journalists through personal contacts,” says Nommesch. Hamus says that access to information from the state has always been a problem, but with the latest government coalition it has become more difficult. Both Nommesch and Hamus have criticised the latest “circulaire Bettel”, a memo which stipulates that civil servants should only give out information when their minister or superior has agreed. Furthermore, all media requests should be done through the press officer. Hamus argues that this new guideline seriously impedes his work. The government is in the process of revising its subsidies to media, so we can expect another hot debate on this topic.

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Text by DUNCAN ROBERTS

AIRPORT BOOM MAKES GETTING "HOME" EASIER When Ryanair and Flybe begin services from Luxembourg on 1 September, they will be the fourth and fifth new airlines to fly scheduled routes from Findel this year.

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am O’Dea, managing director of Sunflower Montessori Crèche, is delighted that Flybe is to start twice-daily scheduled flights to her native city of Manchester on 1 September. “Previously we drove via Dover or flew from Charleroi. Neither of these options was ideal,” she explains. O’Dea says she will return to Manchester more frequently and is also sure her 83-year old mother will take full advantage of the direct flight. “It will also be nice for my children to fly back and visit their relatives independently, which for an expat family is really important.” Flybe will also start to operate a daily service to Birmingham on the same date. Vincent Hodder, Flybe chief revenue officer, says: “We are opening up yet another key business and tourist destination to travellers outside of the M25 corridor and look forward to welcoming all our new customers on board in September.” After months of rumour and speculation, in May budget airline Ryanair also announced it will commence flights from Luxembourg on 1 September. The airline will begin by serving two destinations, London Stansted with a daily flight and Porto with flights five times a week.

MORE ROUTES TO FOLLOW Ryanair currently enjoys a 15% share of the European passenger airline market and the airline’s chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs, says it estimates the new connections will swell passenger traffic at Luxembourg airport by some 200,000 passengers a year.

Dublin 1 1 1 1 1

1

Manchester 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 Birmingham 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

London – Stansted 2 2 2 2 2 2 2

London – Heathrow 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

London – City 7 7 7 7 7 7 7

London – Gatwick 1 1 1 1

Barcelona 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Porto 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Lisbon 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Madrid 1 1 1 1 1

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Stockholm – Arlanda 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

FLYING HOME FROM LUXEMBOURG Scheduled airline services from Findel airport as of 1 September 2016 (valid as of 30th june 2016) Destination M T W T F S S

Copenhagen 2 2 2 2 2 1 1

Hamburg 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 Amsterdam 5 5 5 5 5 4 3

Berlin – Tegel 2 2 2 2 2 1 1

Prague 1 1

Frankfurt 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

Warsaw 1 1 1 1 1

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1

Ryanair British Airways Flybe KLM Luxair Tap Vueling Lufthansa Easyjet Swiss Airlines Turkish Airlines

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Luxembourg Munich 4 4 4 4 4 2 3 4 4 3 4 4 2 2

Vienna 3 2 2 2 3 2 3

Zurich 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 Geneva 3 3 3 3 3

1 Milan – Malpensa 3 3 3 3 3 1 2 1 1 1 1

Venice 1 1

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Rome – Fiumicino 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Istanbul – Ataturk 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

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On social media several comments suggested Luxembourg’s expat travellers were disappointed with Ryanair’s choice of routes. However, Jacobs says that the airline will be looking to expand its network from Luxembourg in the near future--an announcement of new routes for the 2017 summer schedule could be made in the early autumn. Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester are among the destinations that could being considered, according to Jacobs. One local resident has already started a petition to encourage Ryanair to consider a direct flight from Luxembourg to Bucharest Otopeni. “There are many Romanians in Lux and the only option is to go to Brussels, three hours by bus,” writes Leonardo Licciardello, who had gathered more than 1,000 signatures by 27 June. Such action does sometimes prove effective--just ask Hilary Fitzgibbon who was behind the ultimately successful campaign to get Luxair to reinstate its service to Dublin. She now travels to Dublin four or five times a year instead of just at Christmas. “Also what is important to note is that I have had a lot more visitors from Ireland since the Luxair flight restarted,” she says. Fitzgibbon is pleased that Ryanair is coming to Luxembourg--“I’m a firm believer in competition”--but says she might still use Luxair if the budget airline starts a service to Dublin, if only because she has a Senator status Miles & More card, which gives her business lounge access and fast track security as well as extra luggage provision. “So, if I was going back to Ireland for longer than a week, I’d still probably choose Luxair. However, for a cheeky weekend back in Dublin, I would definitely go with the cheaper option.” Fitzgibbon also notes that many of her expat friends would like to see a direct flight to Scotland.

TERMINAL B SOONER Flybe and Ryanair bring to five the total of new airline to be added to the Luxembourg airport schedule since the start of the year. Hop, Lot, and Aegean Airlines have already started

CONTINUED

direct flights from Luxembourg to Lyon, Warsaw and Athens respectively. The accelerated growth in passenger numbers and requests from airlines to operate out of Findel was the catalyst behind a decision by Lux-Airport, at the request of François Bausch, the minister of sustained development and infrastructure, to bring forward the rescheduled opening of Terminal B from 2018 to 2017. The Terminal B building and its apron areas will be modified to accommodate regional aircraft, such as Luxair’s Q400. It will only be used for destinations within the Schengen zone. Airlines will save costs as passengers will be able to access the aircraft directly from the terminal without having to board a shuttle bus, which incurs charges from the ground handling company. Terminal B, which only opened in May 2004, has been isolated and unused since new airport’s main building opened four years later in May 2008. However, Lux-Airport boss Johan Vanneste was pleasantly surprised by the good condition of the Terminal B building--much of its existing equipment is ready to use. The terminal has ten departure gates and will add around 700m2 in additional waiting area to the airport. Plans are afoot to install a coffee and snack bar near the entrance to the new terminal, which had been connected to the old main building via a travellator. Half of that walkway still exists and it will be connected to Terminal A via an extension with access from the departure lounge area. The total cost of the project will run to around €4.5m. Bausch says that although the airport’s capacity is limited by the fact that it has only one runway--there is no room to build a second--it could handle up to four million passengers a year once Terminal B is operational. The airport currently handles some 2.69m passengers a year. That is an increase of close to one million passengers since the new airport opened in 2008 and the numbers are expected to continue to grow this year.

JOHAN VANNESTE The Lux-Airport director says the arrival of Ryanair attracted almost as much attention as the opening of the first Starbucks in Luxembourg

Mike Zenari (archives)

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HEALTH

Text by ALIX RASSEL

Photography by MARION DESSARD

A GUIDE TO LUXEMBOURG HEALTHCARE FOR EXPATS One of the most daunting challenges facing anyone relocating to a new country is learning how to navigate the local healthcare system.

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he quality and coverage of healthcare in the EU is often as diverse as the countries themselves. So how does one successfully manoeuvre through the Luxembourg healthcare system with ease? The good news is that, according to the Healthcare Management Organisation, an EU agency, Luxembourg has one of the best state-funded healthcare systems in Europe and ranks in the top five countries for per-capita healthcare expenditure. Luxembourg’s health care system is based on three fundamental principles: compulsory health insurance, free choice of provider for patients, and compulsory provider compliance with the fixed set of fees for services. The majority of expats are covered by the National Health Fund (Caisse Nationale de Santé, www.cns.lu).

REIMBURSEMENTS The Luxembourg healthcare system works on a reimbursement basis. You are responsible for submitting receipts for consultations, treatment and medicines to your caisse (insurance fund) for reimbursement at the appropriate rate; this varies from 80 to 100 percent depending on the nature of treatment. It is important to remember that not all medical consultations, such as psychologist or dietitian appointments, are reimbursed, so clarify with the CNS prior to submitting any medical bills. “In Luxembourg, the onus is very much on the patient to take responsibility for their healthcare,” explains Dr. Susie Tunstall-Pedoe, who has been practising as a primary care physician in Luxembourg for almost

SUSIE TUNSTALL Patients have a big role in managing their own healthcare in Luxembourg

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five years. “As there is currently no centralised database, it is advisable for the patient to keep a folder containing their relevant medical history, including blood tests, X-rays and any other pertinent information.” “The absence of an integrated medical database means that the current Luxembourgish healthcare system can be quite fragmented,” adds Tunstall. “That, of course, increases the risk that patients may ‘shop’ for a doctor who prescribes them their preferred diagnosis.” The eSanté project (www.esante.lu), launched by the Luxembourg government in 2006, aims to eradicate this hazard by consolidating information and sharing it securely amongst medical professionals. However, the system is currently only operated on an elective basis with future developments in the pipeline, including the availability of integrated IT systems. The “primary care physician” reform introduced by the CNS in January 2011 aims to provide continuity of care across the different medical professionals. The current system allows patients to see any medical specialist without first consulting their primary care physician. “I would advise anyone to ensure they have a primary care physician or paediatrician,” recommends Tunstall. “It provides patients with a single point of contact to coordinate their individual needs as well as managing preventive care, such as reminders for vaccinations and collective health testing.” Access to healthcare remains fundamentally important and the doctena.lu website launched by IT entrepreneur Patrick Kersten in September 2013 provides quick and efficient access to medical professionals, including GPs and dentists. “Doctena allows you to search for a doctor based

PATRICK KERSTEN His online appointment booking site verifies medical credentials

on the language spoken and location or availability,” he says. “Regardless of your choice, it will always help you see a doctor faster, which is especially important for those who have just relocated to Luxembourg.” Since the beginning of 2015, use of the online platform has grown by 50% and currently 15% of Luxembourg doctors are registered on the website. “All doctors on the platform have been qualified by Luxembourg’s health ministry,” Kersten is keen to add. “And Doctena does check the database before setting up any new accounts.”

EMERGENCIES When it comes to urgent health care, “it is vital that anyone new to Luxembourg knows how to access the emergency services,” Tunstall stresses. “The 112 telephone system offers comprehensive information to anyone who needs urgent care, so it is important

that newcomers are aware of the service and utilise it.” Not all hospital accident and emergency facilities are open all the time, so 112 provides details of your nearest facility (www.112.public.lu, in French, click on “Urgences et garde”). For families, the Kannerklinik (children’s emergency clinic) located at the CHL in Strassen is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (kannerklinik.chl.lu, in French, click on “Urgences”). Likewise, it is important to know that most ambulances in Luxembourg are staffed by volunteers, not paramedics, and are therefore prohibited from providing medication. “It is extremely important to ensure that you ask for an emergency doctor [use the term “Samu” in French] if you know that immediate medical attention is needed,” emphasises Tunstall. “It can often make the difference in a life or death situation.”

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LEGAL

Text by STEPHEN EVANS

Photography by SVEN BECKER

FREE-ISH SPEECH “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression,” states the European Convention on Human Rights. But in Luxembourg, as elsewhere in Europe, recent cases have demonstrated this right is not absolute.

UPHOLDING FREEDOMS The Luxembourg people rejected a move to ban the Communist Party in a 1937 referendum. The rejection of the so-called “muzzle law” (Maulkuerfgesetz) has acquired highly symbolic relevance for the country and its national identity, as an affirmation in its belief in the right to political self-expression.

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ierre Peters received an eightmonth prison sentence in May for inciting racial hatred by distributing strident anti-immigration leaflets. Also, the LuxLeaks court case saw a prosecution around the revelation of details of international tax avoidance schemes. These vastly different cases highlight how democracies seek to define the borders of freedom of expression. “There can be no doubt that the destruction of our country is a consequence of the mass of foreigners,” exclaimed Peters’ leaflet, which was distributed to letterboxes in Rumelange, Mamer and Luxembourg City last November. “Life has become more expensive. More and more taxes are imposed. All of that is due to massive immigration of foreigners,” he went on. Peters, aged 62, is a man with a history of far-right political activism, having founding the National Bewegong (National Movement) party in the late 1980s. His website calls for Luxembourg to leave the EU and end immigration, and promotes “social and natural protection policies against the dictatorship of Brussels and the USA.” He received a 30-month suspended sentence in May 2012, and in March 2013 had a prison sentence commuted to 160 hours of community service, both following convictions for inciting racial hatred. Peters’ lawyer, Marguerite Biermann, said they would appeal nationally and at the European level. “It is clear that the leaflet

LUXLEAKS TRIAL A press scrum inside the central courthouse in Luxembourg City on the first day of proceedings, in April

criticises our government’s immigration policy and is not a pamphlet against foreigners,” she said. Biermann herself was successfully prosecuted under race-hate law in 2010. The LuxLeaks case drew international media coverage, with some commentators interpreting it an attempt to breach human rights. “The whistle-blowers and journalist face ferocious criminal sanctions for embarrassing an accounting conglomerate and its clients,” thundered Nick Cohen in the UK’s Spectator magazine. He criticised the use of criminal law in this case, rather than

milder civil procedures. The crux of the case is the defence to the principal of professional secrecy. Advocates of this law argue that there should be limits on the extent to which the public and the state have access to personal information when no laws are being broken. Corporations are collections of individuals, so do they too not have rights? It is accepted that doctors and priests should keep personal secrets safe, and most of us wouldn’t want our financial affairs widely known. But how far does this extend to the secrets of groups of people?

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SNAPSHOTS

Text by DUNCAN ROBERTS

Photography by LALA LA PHOTO

CELEBRATING A FAMOUS 90TH

MORE PARTY PICS: WWW.DELANO.LU/ QUEENS90TH

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n 15 June British ambassador John Marshall hosted a reception to mark the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. The occasion fell just eight days ahead of the UK referendum on remaining in or leaving the European Union. Marshall explained that government guidelines meant he had to disappoint anyone attending who hoped he might “have something interesting to say” about the referendum, but that he would “recover his voice on behalf of the government after the 23rd of June.” Addressing the crowd in very accomplished Luxembourgish without notes, the ambassador, who has been in post just three months, said he had received a warm welcome and hoped Luxembourgers would “stay as you are.” He also told his audience how much he admired the queen, and said he was surely not alone in being in awe of her reign, which has seen Britain from the age of empire to the digital age. The British Embassy Luxembourg is on Facebook

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OFFICIAL CELEBRATION A. John Marshall, UK ambassador to Luxembourg B. James Cooper and Kevin Cardiff C. Mars di Bartolomeo, speaker of the Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies, and Jerry Lenert D. David McKean, US ambassador to Luxembourg, Christian McKean and Kathleen Kaye E. Aliona FeiderZander and MarieHélène Ehrke-Harf F. Arjan and Anouk Kirthi Singha G. Isabelle Delas and Max von Frantzius H. Andrew Notter and Janine Notter I. Thomas Flammant and Carla Rosen-Vacher

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IN FOCUS

Photography by SVEN BECKER

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CIRCLING THE SQUARE INTERNATIONAL YOGA DAY, 11:34 A.M. Yoga Family Luxembourg hosted a family friendly yoga festival on 26 June at Lycée Michel Rodange. This shot was taken as around 250 people participated in the last group exercise, a mandala, before breaking up into several smaller courses. Participants ranged from young kids to older people, observed Delano’s photographer, Sven Becker. “It was a peaceful atmosphere, where everybody was equal even if they were not on the same level of yoga know-how.” The event was free but organisers sold homemade vegetarian lunch plates and water, with proceeds going to the International Bazaar’s Indian Stand and Life Project 4 Youth Luxembourg. AG

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UPFRONT

BUSINESS

ECJ SIDES WITH BRITAIN IN WELFARE CASE The EU’s top court sided with the UK in its dispute with the European Commission over child benefit payments. The commission had received complaints from non-British EU nationals living in the UK who had been refused social security benefits and tax credits “on the grounds that they did not have a right of residence in” Britain, according to the ruling. EU rules allow limitations on social insurance payments to “economically inactive persons”. But the commission charged British authorities with adding residency requirements that were contrary to European freedom of movement rights. In June, the European Court of Justice,

in Kirchberg, decided in favour of the UK. “There is nothing to prevent the grant of social benefits to EU citizens who are not economically active being made subject to the requirement that those citizens fulfil the conditions for possessing a right to reside lawfully in the host member state,” the court ruled. While this may be somewhat discriminatory towards EU expats, protecting national finances is a “legitimate objective”. The commission can not appeal the decision. The ruling was issued the week before June’s Brexit poll. Last year the ECJ said the UK could limit unemployment insurance payments to EU nationals.

30% NEW BIG 4 HOME

Lydie Polfer, Luxembourg City mayor, Étienne Schneider, deputy prime minister, and Pierre Gramegna, finance minister (3rd, 4th and 6th from left, respectively) ceremonially laid the first stone for Deloitte’s new HQ under construction in Cloche d’Or.

The increase in UK residents’ searches to move abroad on the Friday and Saturday following the Brexit vote, according to Expatistan, a cost of living comparison website. “The higher the percentage of the ‘Remain’ votes in a city, the more interest there was in moving abroad from that city in the two days immediately after the referendum,” compared to the week before, said a spokeswoman.

Credit ratings agency Fitch said it expects the asset management “industry to grow at slower pace than the 10% observed in 2015, assuming” lower returns and inflows. >>> China Minsheng Investment Group took a one-third stake in the business jet firm Luxaviation; the capital will fund international expansion. >>> LuxConnect opened its 4th data centre, dubbed DC1.3, in Bettembourg, increasing its “total IT surface” by more than a third. >>> The number of people working in Luxembourg during the first quarter of the year was up 3% compared to the first quarter of 2015, said the national statistics bureau Statec. >>> Technoport, a startup incubator, inaugurated its 2nd Fab Lab, or digital fabrication centre, at the 1535° creative hub in Differdange. >>> A new creative industries cluster, a public-private support initiative, will launch next year; it will be based in Differdange. >>> Apple’s European iTunes HQ , which employs around 20, will relocate from the Gare district to Dublin, following changes to EU VAT rules. >>> Apateq, a water treatment technology firm based near Findel, was named one of 30 “Technology Pioneers 2016” during a World Economic Forum event in Tianjin, China. >>> The government approved seven requests for short-time work aid; the 314 employees will work part-time in July with the state topping up their pay.

Benjamin Champenois Deloitte Luxembourg Luc Deflorenne (archives)

TICKER

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BLOCKCHAIN ON THE HORIZON

Innovate or die. That was the takeaway message during the 6th annual Horizon Conference, organised by the consulting firm Deloitte Luxembourg. See the report at: www.delano.lu/Horizon2016

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FINTECH SUMMIT A. Benjamin Collette (speaking) B. Hugues Delcourt, Benjamin Collette, Pierre Gramegna, Petra Hazenberg and Pascal Martino C. Federico Giuntini D. Pierre Castagne

CARLO THELEN Defending the interests of more than 50,000 CATCHING UP WITH…

member companies is all in a day’s work for the chamber chief.

As director general and chief economist of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, it is fair to say Carlo Thelen’s days are fuller than most. The chamber’s membership represents 80% of Luxembourg GDP and 75% of total employment. “We’ve many different nationalities within our business creators, 74% of whom are not Luxem Luxembourg nationals, so we’ve a very international and multicultural business environment, which is quite unique in Europe.” Having worked with the chamber for more than 20 years, Thelen has witnessed first-hand a number of profound changes in line with the economic and political climate. “We are primarily a service provider, and in that sense we need to constantly adapt our services to the needs of the future.” He cites by example a number of new megatrends such as digitalisation, decarbonisation, and the sharing and circular economies. In order to address such chal challenges, it entered into a partnership with the ministry of the economy and IMS last year to launch the “Third Industrial Revolution” project, based upon the theories of the economist Jeremy Rifkin. “Accompanying our members in their transition towards new economic models is one of our priorities. We constantly strive to improve the national business climate for the benefit of existing and future entrepreneurs.” The outfit has numerous projects in store this year, the highlight being the assislaunch of its new one-stop-shop providing assis tance to businesses and project initiators within the House of Entrepreneurship. “The aim is to provide added value by integrating public and private stakeholders in the process of business creation and development--to offer a fully-fledged and customer-oriented solution to businesses.” The new one-stop-shop will be officially inaugu inaugurated during the chamber’s 175th anniversary celebration: the “30th September 2016 is going to be a great, festive evening with an internationally renowned keynote speaker, in the presence of His Royal Highness the Grand Duke, government officials and many of our members--not all of them of course, because we cannot fit 50,000 into one room.” And Thelen’s one wish for the future? “That we will have more young people who dare to pursue innovative ideas, go off the beaten track and start their own businesses.” Text by WENDY CASEY Photography by LALA LA PHOTO Summer 2016

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Text by WENDY CASEY

Photography by LALA LA PHOTO

BUSINESS BALL MARKS INTERNATIONAL LINKS

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he Luxembourg-Poland Business Club hosted the first edition of its Summer Business Ball with a lineup of entertainment that saw politicians and the business community let loose on the dance floor. Artur Sosna, LPBC president, opened the evening by introducing the event sponsors and the team behind the organisation of the gala, which was announced late last year. “We decided back then to be even more international than we are now and invited Paul Schonenberg, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce, to join us.” Schonenberg then said: “Luxembourg is a little like a Harry Potter movie; you have the muggles and the wizards. Ladies and gentlemen, we are the wizards and we help to make Luxembourg the best place in Europe to set up in business and have economic success.” Sosna took great pleasure in announcing the “Business Ambassador of the Year” award, which went to Poland’s ambassador to Luxembourg, Bartosz Jałowiecki, for his continued support over the last three and a half years of the club’s existence. “I really wasn’t expecting this; if I was, my wife would be here,” joked Jałowiecki. The ambassador noted that the ball was taking place on the 27th anniversary of the first free elections in Poland under Communist rule. Jasiek Mela, president of the charity Poza Horyzonty (Beyond the Horizons), explained how he had overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles, including the loss of two limbs, to rack up a phenomenal list of achievements. More than 180 people attended the ball, which took place under the patronage of the deputy prime minister and minister of the economy Étienne Schneider, the Polish embassy in Luxembourg and the Luxembourg embassy in Poland.

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SUMMER GALA A. Ania and Christian Muller, Bartosz Jałowiecki, the Polish ambassador to Luxembourg, and Agnieszka Tymofiejewicz, attending the Summer Business Ball, organised by the Luxembourg-Poland Business Club (www. lpbc.lu) and partner associations, and held at the Cercle Cité in June B. Nathalie Reuter, the RTL presenter and journalist, served as master of ceremonies C. Georges Faber, Luxembourg ambassador to Poland D. Artur Sosna, president of the LPBC E. Arkadiusz Hojny, Jochen Richter, Iwona Komor and Paulina Hojny F. Jasiek Mela and Agnieszka Dziekan of Poza Horyzonty, a charity supported by the ball G. Paul Schonenberg, Mathilde Hildenfeldt and Bakhtiyar Mammadov

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Text by STEPHEN EVANS

Photography by MIKE ZENARI

TIME TO BUY A HOME? Is this a good time to buy a home in Luxembourg? By how much are prices rising and is there a property bubble? Is it a good investment, as well being a way to satisfy the nesting instinct?

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he price of buying a home is increasing, but perhaps not as much as you might think. Housing prices were up 3.6% in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to the same period of 2014. Over the same period apartments under construction were 5% more expensive, with prices of existing houses up 3.1% and a 2.4% rise for flats. These national average figures come from a May 2016 report by the government-backed Housing Observatory and the national statistics office Statec. They are based on the transactions recorded by notaires (the lawyers who handle property conveyance) at the time of purchase.

AVERAGE PRICES The national average purchase price for existing flats throughout 2015 was about €200,000 for a place smaller than 50 square metres, through to €425,000 for one measuring between 90 and 110 square metres, up to €615,000 for large property of 130 square metres and over. A square metre of pre-existing apartment space in 2015 costs (on average nationwide) from nearly €5,000 for small places, to €4,000 for flats over 130 square metres. Add about €1,000 to that for properties under construction. The national average per square metre was €4,471 and €5,589 for existing and future builds, with about €1,300 per square metre more in the centre of the country, about €1,000 less in the North, with the rest of the country a couple of hundred under this national average. As for houses, the national

average (median) for existing properties was €575,646 (see box on page 44). Even more detailed information is provided by a new set of online tools from the real estate agency and tech startup Nexvia.lu. “You punch in the property’s details--size, location, number of rooms, garden size, garage availability and so on--and it gives you an estimation of the price based on official data,” explained the founder and CEO, Pierre Clement. He does not claim that the information is definitive, but it gives an idea of property values. Available free of charge in English and French, the service is designed to attract people to Nexvia’s real estate agency business. “We are pleased with the algorithm we created, and from the feedback we receive the figures are broadly correct, but we know this tool can’t replace a physical visit by a professional,” he added.

AFFORDABILITY Obviously the first step towards buying is knowing if you can afford the payments now and in the future. Nexvia has a tool to analyse this too, taking into account all costs including ongoing taxes and fees. Tap in the amount you want to borrow, the expected interest rate, the size of the deposit, etc., and it will estimate monthly reimbursements. It is also possible to run scenarios, seeing the impact an increased interest rate can have on monthly reimbursements. “Property isn’t just a question of purchasing assets, but also involves complex financial and fiscal questions regarding the largest investment most people will take. Would-be householders need professional expertise and better access to information to help them take the right decisions,” said Clement. The tools are equally interesting for purchasers and those thinking of buying.

"WOULD-BE HOUSEHOLDERS NEED PROFESSIONAL EXPERTISE AND BETTER ACCESS TO INFORMATION TO HELP THEM TAKE THE RIGHT DECISIONS." The site also helps people look at the question from another angle, with home-hunters able to model whether they would better off buying or renting. Then the “Accessibility Calculator”is a tool to give you a view of how much of your income would go on housing costs in both cases. It takes all mortgage-based tax breaks into account. There is also a guide for new arrivals, with an illustrated guide of the different residential neighbourhoods. The tools were developed by Clement, who was previously a financial advisor with the consultancy PwC. He uses financial models and Luxembourg-specific particularities such as the tax code. “We hope that Nexvia will make the sale and purchase of home easier for people to understand,” he said.

PIERRE CLEMENT Buying property is not only a question of the purchase price

PRICE BUBBLE? As a rule of thumb, many advisers suggest that we should not spend much more than a third of household income on a housing loan. So after having ascertained how much a household can afford to borrow and repay, there is then the worry that prices could fall and stagnate. So is there a housing bubble in Luxembourg? There can be no definitive answer to this, as we can never know for sure if

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JULIEN LICHERON Average sales prices can sometimes be misleading

" IT’S IMPORTANT TO INTERPRET THE NUMBERS WITH PRUDENCE." an asset is irrationally overvalued. Economists have tried to come up with measures, and the Luxembourg Central Bank has run five tests using different methodology in their recent annual financial stability review. All five seemed to give a similar result: prices have a tendency to be overinflated, but it is likely that there is not a bubble. Banque internationale à Luxembourg came to a similar conclusion with its Immo index published in May. Of course, the key factor for anyone is, will it be possible to sustain payments over the long term? That of course depends on whether a household can maintain its income over 20-25 years. One of the central bank measures seeks to model this, comparing average disposable income with home prices. This ratio has risen from around 67 in 2000 to about 125 in

2015, figures which are thought to not point to a bubble. However, in this small country it can be tricky to get correct averages, as a few extreme figures can push things awry. “Ratios such as these are a very good starting point and better than looking at nothing, but it’s important to interpret the numbers with prudence,” said Julien Licheron of the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research and coordinator at the Housing Observatory that helps to produce official house price figures.

DEMAND VS. SUPPLY Prices are rising because supply isn’t keeping up with demand. The population has grown by around 3% every year since 2011, but the amount of new housing has not kept pace because building land is difficult to come by. Fewer than 3,000 homes

are being completed each year, with some estimates saying double this number is needed to stabilise prices. “Landowners can be reluctant to sell because they say ‘what will I do with the money?’,” remarked Olivier Bastin, chief executive of the real estate developer Allfin Luxembourg. “It can be a problem for us to convince them to sell the land, and permits are not easy or quick to acquire.” Given the strong demand, contractors like them are eager to build. For example, Allfin are set to construct Luxembourg’s first residential tower on the Kirchberg opposite the Philharmonie. Yet even a major development like this can only put a dent in the overall demand, as its 25 floors will eventually contain 150 studios and apartments of from 43 to 300 square metres. Bastin explained that building is due to start next spring,

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A C Q U I S I T I O N S I S A L E S I R E N T A L S I E V A L U AT I O N S I I N S U R A N C E I R E A L E S T AT E C O N S U LT I N G

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OLIVIER BASTIN Buying and developing land in Luxembourg is complex and timeconsuming

with delivery in 2019. It is part of a project which will include 23 retail outlets and 6,800 square metres of office space. It has been a long process getting this far though. “The initial competition took 18 months and there were extensive administrative steps to be taken,” he said. There are still more hoops to jump through, meaning the planning and approval process will have taken about two and a half years before the first digger can start to work.

INVESTMENT VALUE So if the fundamentals point to rising house prices, isn’t it a green light to buy? Probably yes, not least thanks to the low interest rates and tax breaks on offer to support home owners. However, a wise home buyer might also like to look at the question in the round and consider the income they would forego. If you have a good

rental deal, you might be better off sticking with that than taking out a long-term loan. History suggests that earnings upwards of 3.5% per year are achievable through investments in shares, bonds, mutual funds, pension funds and so on. Generally economists say that home prices will rise in line with national income over the long term, and this appears to be the case in Luxembourg. Housing prices have doubled in real terms from 2000-2014, said the central bank, but so has the economy over this period. From 2000-2007 annual price growth was 9% on average, at a time of strong economic performance. Prices fell back from 2008-2009 during the recession, and since then they have grown at 2.4% on average, just below the rate of economic expansion. Thus for every €100,000 borrowed to buy a home, at least €3,500 could be earned on that per year with an

interest rate of 3.5%. Then you have to think of the costs of maintenance and replacing things like the roof, water heaters, taxes and so on, as well as having the hassle of having to fix things yourself. On the other hand, mortgage payments will end after 20 or 25 years, allowing you to live rent free. There is the other concern that property can be hard to sell if the market goes bad. It is easier to cut your losses with other types of investment.

A TOUGH JOB MEASURING PROPERTY PRICES It isn’t easy measure housing prices anywhere, and Luxembourg presents special challenges. This is a problem because it makes it trickier to judge if there is a speculative property price bubble. Care is needed as location and quality varies so greatly. Average (mean) apartment prices per square metre ranged from €8,074 in Luxembourg City to €1,852 in Wiltz. As for houses, in and around the capital the average (median) price is about €825,000, with €667,000 in the Capellen/ Mersch region, €605,000 in the East, €480,000 in the South, and €405,000 in the North. Building land ranged from about €80,000 per are (10m x 10m) in the capital, €72,500 in Esch, €65,000 in Capellen, €55,000 by the Moselle, €45,000 in Diekirch and €22,000 in Clervaux. To build a house one generally needs at least two ares (200 square metres), but probably more if a garden is required. Good luck making an “average” out of that lot.

HEAD AND HEART These dry calculations ignore many people’s reasons for wanting to buy: having a place of one’s own and investing in an asset that can be passed on to future generations. Heart often rules the head, but that isn’t always wise. Buying a home means, in effect, starting your own real estate business with you as the sitting tenant. Are you ready for that?

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Text by STEPHEN EVANS

MINING ASTEROIDS… FROM LUXEMBOURG

SPACE PROGRAMME: WWW.SPACERESOURCES.LU

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ean-Jacques Dordain, director general of the European Space Agency, told the Financial Times in February: “We know how to get to asteroids, how to drill into them and how to get samples back to Earth.” You might expect a publicly funded agency to promote good ways to spend taxpayers’ money, but the private sector is also on-board. Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources are two US-based firms that are committing venture capital investment, with the latter backed by, amongst others, Larry Page and Eric Schmidt of Google owner Alphabet, and Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson. For example, these organisations speak of a 500m wide asteroid being able to yield 175 times annual terrestrial output of platinum worth $3bn. This costly material is central to the production of electronic devices, including transportation. Ice could also be mined as a fuel for the hydrogen powered space vehicles of the future, or metals used to make spacecraft.

INSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGES Technology and funding are obviously major challenges, but so is the legal situation. By international treaty, beyond-Earth natural resources are designated as common heritage of humankind. However, the status of asteroid resources is unclear. This is why it makes sense for a country like Luxembourg to get involved. As a full member of the European Space Agency, the EU and others, it can use its small, but not

negligible institutional influence to get Europe to support a project which has been a largely American effort until now. SpaceResources. lu is the Luxembourg state supported initiative through which this effort is being coordinated, and the government has earmarked €200m in co-funding for interesting projects. Some of this is to be committed to research, development and manufacture of Prospector-X, an experimental investigative spacecraft to be built partly in Luxembourg in cooperation with Deep Space Industries. It will test the ability of high-performance electronic components to withstand the harsh radiation encountered in space. As well, 50 jobs are set to be created after the state investment bank SNCI takes a minority stake in a joint venture with Planetary Resources. Étienne Schneider, the deputy prime minister and minister of the

BLAST OFF A SpaceX rocket launches the SES-9 communications satellite into orbit from Cape Canaveral in Florida, in March

economy, said: “Our ambition is to become a European hub for the exploration and use of space resources.” SES in Betzdorf is now a world leading communications satellite firm following a public-private venture founded in 1985. So Luxembourg has a track record of making the improbable possible.

SES

If it is possible to mine asteroids for minerals, then this is just the kind of niche activity that excites the Grand Duchy’s policy makers. So is this a metaphorically or literally farfetched idea?

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Text by STEPHEN EVANS

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2010 TOTAL IMMIGRATION AND ASYLUM APPLICATIONS, 2010-2020 Asylum seekers from ex-Yugoslavia Other asylum seekers Other immigration

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impact,” said Adam. In a recent study in their regular economic report Note de conjoncture, Statec estimates a total of 4,000 net new arrivals between 2014 and 2020. This would add 0.6% to the population, 0.1 of a percentage point to the number of people employed, and 0.2 of percentage point to the unemployment rate. Adam pointed out that these were estimates and the picture could be more positive, because generally immigration creates positive effects with increased demand and the influx of productive workers. Statec also estimated how much extra the state is having to spend to process asylum seekers. They estimate this will have been €36m last year, peaking at €57m this year. This amounts to about 0.3% of total public expenditure. Refugees are able to work after being in the country for six months, even before their asylum case has been ruled upon. However, they have to receive a special work permit first, often with a job already lined up. No more than

2017

2018

2019

2020

40 to 60 people a year receive this permit, with most preferring to wait until the end of the asylum process, which generally takes 12 to 18 months. Finding a job can be tricky because even if they have skills, they may not have the correct qualifications.

LONG-TERM OUTLOOK Given long-term trends, Statec estimates that the annual number of asylum seekers arriving could fall to the low hundreds or 2% of the population by 2020. The question is, will things go back to normal? The killing continues in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, even if the migratory flow has slowed for now. A longer-term concern is how climate change could affect people around the world. Extreme weather conditions could fuel hunger, war and thus migration as people continue to flee for their lives. Europe, and thus Luxembourg, will continue to be attractive options for people in search of better lives, whether they are called expats, immigrants or refugees.

Source: Statec

SIMILAR CHALLENGE Even at the height of the crisis last year, the net number of asylum seekers in Luxembourg (arrivals minus departures) represented less than one in seven of total net immigration. Last year 2,447 asylum seekers arrived, of whom about 1,000 were from ex-Yugoslavia, with the majority of the rest from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Exactly 853 left, mostly because their asylum application had been rejected. Thus the net total of arrivals at 1,594 was 14.3% of all net immigration at 11,159 (23,803 arrivals minus 12,644 departures). “The recent wave of refugees is no larger than that we saw in Luxembourg after the wars in the Balkans,” noted Ferdy Adam, an economic adviser at the national statistics office Statec. In the past, only 15-20% of asylum applications proved to be successful. Given the extreme long-term difficulties faced in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, it has to be expected that this figure will rise. So how will the latest wave of immigration change things? “There will be a weak macro-economic

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he United Nations estimates that 400,000 people have died in the Syrian war since 2011. No wonder Europe has seen the worst migration crisis since the 1940. How has this affected Luxembourg’s economy and society? Luxembourg is just above the EU average as a destination for refugees. There were around three people applying for asylum per thousand inhabitants from November 2014 to October 2015, compared to about two per thousand in the EU as a whole, say Eurostat and the International Monetary Fund. The country is 7th in the EU.

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Is the recent wave of asylum seekers an economic boost or an unemployment shock for the Grand Duchy?

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THE IMPACT OF REFUGEES

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FERDY ADAM

WHAT DOES THE COUNTRY THINK? We don’t know for sure what voters think of the situation, as opinion surveys have only been conducted on samples of the entire resident population, including nonLuxembourgers. In October 2015 a TNS Ilres survey for the family ministry asked: “Is it a moral duty for Luxembourg to accept refugees?”, to which 76% agreed against 21% who didn’t. Then 47% said Luxembourg should take more asylum seekers, with a quarter thinking the country has taken enough, and one-eighth saying too many are here already. More generally, the regular Eurobarometer poll by the European Commission asked in autumn 2014 a sample of Luxembourg’s population whether immigration evokes positive or negative feelings. For migrants from the EU, the split was 72% positive and 26% negative. This put Luxembourg as the third most positive country along with the Nordic countries. However, when asked about immigration from outside the EU, the split was 44% positive and 51% negative, making the country 8th most positive in the EU.

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Text by AARON GRUNWALD

Photography by MIKE ZENARI

THE BREXIT BUS HAS LEFT THE STATION What does the British exit from the EU mean for the Grand Duchy’s financial sector?

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he pollsters and bookies blew it. As voting ended on Thursday 23 June, YouGov said “Remain” would win by 52%; Ipsos/Mori said 54%. “A Remain verdict was rated about a 90% certainty” by Ladbrokes. Yet when the results came in, the British had voted--52% to 48%--to “leave” the EU. The Brexit will take, at a minimum, two years to negotiate. At press time, most details of the process, and what exactly it means for the European economy, remained unclear. However, the initial fallout has already registered in Luxembourg. When Delano spoke with Thierry Lesage, a partner at the law firm of Arendt & Medernach, on Friday 24 June at 9:30 a.m., he had already received “many calls, many emails” from clients and colleagues around the world. “It’s obviously a shock for everyone… a disappointment.” While predictions about the nature of the future relationship between the UK and the rest of the EU “is just speculation” at the moment, “the question for Luxembourg is to see now how it can make the best of the situation” that it did not even want (see the Delano February 2016 cover story).

MOVING TO LUXEMBOURG? Uncertainty prior to the Brexit poll had already led some transactions to be delayed, Lesage said. Following the leave vote, “there could be further delays” before dealmaking and investment levels return to “normal”. The medium and longer term could be a bit more promising for the Grand Duchy. Alternative investment funds--a fast growing segment generally sold to savvier investors--are likely to migrate from the UK to

NEW DESTINATION The Luxembourg Routemaster club’s original London bus parked in Kirchberg earlier this year

inside the EU. “Assuming that London will lose its current access to the single market, or even the uncertainly linked to that access, that may benefit Luxembourg to a certain extent. I don’t see how players that need to set up an [alternative investment fund] now could choose in favour of London; that would not be a sound business decision in my view. Luxembourg definitely has a card to play here.” Likewise, many non-EU banks might want to move their European operations from London into the eurozone, also to maintain access to

the single market. Lesage said, “to be realistic” global giants would not relocate to the Grand Duchy--which, in any event, could not handle such a massive influx--but many smaller or medium sized banks surely could. “Obviously we have to respect the majority decision of the UK to leave the EU, but personally I am very disappointed and very shocked, actually,” Denise Voss, chair of the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry, told Delano, also speaking the day following the vote. That said, “we do need to work on practical solutions to implement” the changes

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that lie ahead. The stakes are big: at the end of March, 16.5% of total assets in Luxembourg funds were run by UK asset managers, she noted. While many issues are specific to each asset manager’s business model, Alfi will now look at how it can “help the industry cope and deal with” Brexit, said Voss. “The challenge is that it’s going to be an ongoing process and a very bumpy road ahead of us.” Much will depend on the pace of talks between Brussels and London. “For us, it’s essential that the period of negotiation is not prolonged and takes place as soon as they can take place.” “From our perspective, the financial centre, we regret that this

happened,” Tom Theobald, deputy CEO of Luxembourg for Finance, a state-supported industry promotion group, told Delano. “The EU needs international financial centres, like the UK and Luxembourg, and obviously it would have been much better if we had kept a united front and competed internationally in financial services” together.

POLITICAL TALKS In negotiating Britain’s new links with Europe, the Grand Duchy is likely to insist that the UK continue to observe EU rules in any deal granting Britain access to the common market, according to Martine Huberty, an academic researcher

with the International Association for the Study of German Politics (and a Delano contributor). “It would be worrying for Luxembourg if the UK were to establish more competitive/less regulated rules in financial services,” she wrote in an article published in May by the Centre for European Reform. At the same time, “this might become an opportunity to strengthen its position in asset management. Clearly, Luxembourg has an important bargaining chip here: it can insist on the UK respecting the acquis and EU financial regulations, or else threaten with lobbying the EU and the commission that all euro transactions be settled within a eurozone country.” Speaking after the Brexit vote, Huberty noted that the British prime minister, David Cameron, had resigned and would only be replaced during a Conservative party conference this autumn. What the new government then does “is going to determine how the EU and how Luxembourg will react.” But “the British government is unable to take any action till the leadership contest in October. The irony is that people didn’t want to be led by unelected officials and now they’ll have an unelected prime minister.” “Now the real focus should be on strengthening the EU single market, in this case without the UK,” Theobald added. At the same time, Luxembourg needs “to continue working with the UK and ensuring that Europe remains competitive” globally. Voss likewise hopes to keep ties warm within the fund sector: “The fact that UK asset managers use Luxembourg to set up and distribute funds globally, we would like that to continue to happen and to make that work. Our long term goal is to work with our UK partners.”

DENISE VOSS Not the line she was hoping to catch

BREXIT

BRITISH IN LUXEMBOURG There were 6,100 UK nationals living in the Grand Duchy as of 1 January, reports the national statistics agency Statec. Around 400 work for EU institutions, according to a Delano estimate. About 2,200 were employed in the private sector at the end of 2012, says Luxembourg’s Inspectorate General of Social Security. ECONOMIC RISK In early June, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s ranked the Grand Duchy third in its “Brexit Sensitivity Index”. Only the economies of Ireland and Malta--like Luxembourg, small, open and geared towards the financial sector-were more “susceptible to any trade and migratory aftershocks from a decision by the UK to leave.”

Summer 2016

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BUSINESS

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Text by KASIA KRZYZANOWSKI

Photography by MIKE ZENARI

HATCHING A PLAN FOR STARTUPS The Grand Duchy’s government wants the country to become an international startup hub. These innovation nurseries could help make that happen.

T

he past year has been full of new developments and announcements for Luxembourg’s burgeoning startup scene. This spring alone, a group of four incubators and acceleration platforms launched, joining established incubators such as Technoport, Lux Future Lab and Nyuko in providing support to startups through their first months and years.

AN INCUBATOR FOR MOBILITY ALD Automotive, a subsidiary of the French bank Société Générale, is a fleet management and car-leasing company active around the world. Interested in gaining more agility and recognising the opportunities that working with startups could offer, it launched the new startup incubator called Shaker, in partnership with Technoport, at its Luxembourg location in May. Shaker will provide incubation to three mobility-focused startups at a time, offering private offices for a small rental fee, access to company facilities, and customised support in product and company development. A unique feature is that

the startups will be fully integrated into company life. “This is already having a big impact on our company culture,” says Pierre-Yves Meert, marketing and innovation manager for ALD Automotive Luxembourg. Each startup can stay for up to two years, giving them time to run a pilot, get their first results and launch on the market. The first two startups, CarCoach and CarPay-Diem, have recently moved in, and although both offer car-related services, Meert emphasises that alternative mobility is also a key focus of ALD, as it works to diversify its offering. “It’s important to think outside of the box and come up with new solutions, as we can’t keep putting a maximum number of cars on the road,” he explains. Although starting out small, Meert sees Shaker becoming an international network of incubators, as ALD entities across the globe begin to show interest, and he also hopes to see the creation of a local association of Luxembourg-based incubators in the near future.

BUILDING ON INDUSTRY Another example of the new trend towards diversification of the startup ecosystem is InCub, from the international industrial engineering firm Paul Wurth. Building on a long

tradition of innovation, the company also launched the initiative in partnership with Technoport. Aimed at small companies and startups in industrial technologies (#indutech, as coined by the company), it offers private offices at an affordable price located next door to Paul Wurth headquarters in Hollerich, as well as standard business consulting and coaching package provided by partners and tailor-made support from the firm itself. “It’s more of an accelerator than an incubator, as the goal is to validate and fine-tune an industrial prototype or concept,” explains Sébastien Wiertz, InCub general manager. “If a startup has only an idea, they will first go to Technoport before joining InCub.” Once the startup has a proof of concept ready, Paul Wurth will help to accelerate their go-to-market, involving different engineers within the company. “There are five different topics in the call [for submissions], all within the domain of Paul Wurth, but they are different worlds,” explains Wiertz. InCub announced the results of its first call in mid-June, accepting more than a dozen startups active in the “smart buildings”, “energy related technologies” and “advanced logistics” spaces, among others.

SÉBASTIEN WIERTZ Benefits flow in two directions

2007 CASE STUDY

TALKWALKER How one local startup successfully graduated from its incubator

Thibaut Britz starts working on a new social media monitoring tool in Zurich.

THREE MONTHS LATER

Britz is joined by future co-founder Christophe Folschette and moves back to Luxembourg. “For me, the choice was clear to set up in Luxembourg. Administrations are proactive, people are very international, it’s wellconnected and very central,” says Britz.

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2009

Company founded under the name of Trendiction.

STILL IN 2007

They move into the Technoport incubator in Esch-sur-Alzette. “The main challenges as a startup are to build a product, get your first clients and get investment. Joining an incubator helps you with all of these and gives you credibility,� says Britz.

2010

Robert Glaesener joins as CEO.

2011

Talkwalker social media monitoring tool begins beta testing. Summer 2016

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With the companies starting the programme later this month, Wiertz is looking forward to the mutual benefits: “We will provide them with credibility on the market, as we can judge the risk they’re taking in R&D, while our engineers can benefit from a new way of thinking. There will be synergies in both directions,” he says.

VIRTUAL SATCOM INCUBATOR SES, an international leader in satellite communications (satcom), is similarly interested in sharing its expertise with a new generation of startups. Earlier this year, it launched a project known as Satlas through the European Space Agency, in partnership with two Belgian companies, Newtec and SatADSL, and the support of Technoport. A virtual incubator for startups developing satcom applications, Satlas provides satellite connectivity, equipment, software and services to allow them to develop and test their ideas. “We identified a need in the market,” explains Manuel Antonio Cuba Cavero, Satlas idea manager at SES Techcom Services. “We saw that startups and SMEs had ideas for ICT services that require satellite communications, but faced barriers such as limited resources, knowledge and industry expertise.” The project launched its first call in April, and this month four companies will be selected to join the pilot starting in October. Startups are expected to come from within the ICT services, including the “internet of things”, agricultural technologies, surveillance

services, and fintech, and can be at the idea stage or have already carried out some product development. The project has already received interest from companies from around Europe and as far afield as South America. Cuba sees Satlas meeting a special need in the local startup ecosystem, which he is very positive about. In particular, he points out the strong support from the government: “When you have prime minister Xavier Bettel and minister of the economy Étienne Schneider being so passionate, it’s a message to the whole world: Luxembourg is open to your startup,” he says.

Luxembourg, organising several days in which they can discover the country and meet key stakeholders. “Luxembourg is a great place to kick-off your business as it’s small with very strong proximity between different actors,” says Eischen. Once the startup is ready to make the move, InnoHub provides them with a soft landing, coordinating their relocation and then helping them to find investors, partners, and customers.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES InnoHub is another new initiative, officially launched in April of this year, that aims to fill a niche in the startup ecosystem. A collaboration between three companies, Ines Media, Exxus and MindForest, InnoHub provides professional services to innovative companies to help them develop their business. It sees itself as complementary to other outfits on the scene. “We recognised the need for special kinds of services for startups,” explains InnoHub’s president, Daniel Eischen. “We saw that many startups had funding but lacked a framework in which to develop their business idea.” Rather than provide hosting or funding, InnoHub works in phases to provide coordination, coaching and targeted networking. It focuses on attracting foreign startups to

Like InCub, the platform also offers service packages through its partners, include legal and intellectual property advice, and change management. The company is already working with 21 startups, with a major success being the relocation of award-winning animation and game startup Slightly Mad Studios from London and Singapore to Luxembourg.

"WE WILL PROVIDE THEM WITH CREDIBILITY ON THE MARKET." SÉBASTIEN WIERTZ

STARTUP GOALS These initiatives join a group of more established programmes, from new public-private funding partnerships like the Digital Tech Fund for ICT startups to the many competitions and initiatives offering funding and support, including Fit for Start and the Fintech Lion Awards. That gives promotion agencies more ammunition in the hunt for startups looking for an international base.

FOUR NEW INCUBATORS InCub Sectors: industrial technologies, logistics, sustainable mobility, energy, smart buildings Backer: Paul Wurth Key partner: Technoport Info: www.incub.co InnoHub Sectors: all Backers: Exxus, Ines Media and MindForest Key partners: Banque Internationale à Luxembourg, Muller & Associés, Interact, among others Info: www. facebook.com/ innohub.lu Satlas Sector: satellite communications Backers: European Space Agency, SES Key partners: SatADSL, Newtec, Technoport Info: www.satlas.lu Shaker Sector: mobility Backer: ALD Automotive Key partner: Technoport Info: www. aldautomotive.lu

JUNE 2016

SUMMER 2012

Technoport becomes an independent entity and moves to Belval; Talkwalker moves to the Lux Future Lab startup incubator in Luxembourg City. “It was important to grow and have more space when we needed it,” says Britz.

2015

The company counts around 60 employees and moves to its own offices in Luxembourg City.

The company has grown to around 100 employees, with 10 in the US, from over 20 countries. It counts 1,600 servers processing posts and articles in 187 languages from over 150 million websites every day.

JANUARY 2012 Talkwalker officially launched on the market.

2014

Talkwalker selected to be part of the Twitter Certified Products Program.

FEBRUARY 2015 Talkwalker expands to the US and opens an office in New York City.

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58

SNAPSHOTS

Text by AARON GRUNWALD and THIERRY RAIZER

Photography by ANNA KATINA

GOVERNANCE.IO WOWS LION JUDGES

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egulatory compliance startups were the big winners at the first ever Fintech Lion Awards. The competition, organised by KPMG Luxembourg, aimed to identify and support outstanding financial technology outfits with a connection to the Grand Duchy. The contest went from 80 applicants in April, to 15 semifinalists in May, to the ten finalists who pitched at the grand finale in June. Governance.io was named “Fintech startup of the year”, winning €50,000 and four months at the Technoport incubator. The company facilitates compliance in the fund sector. Scaled Risk’s Hervé Bonazzi was named “Fintech entrepreneur of the year”, earning a week of networking in Silicon Valley. Its technology lets financial firms tap big data for risk and compliance functions. The “Best pitch” award went to Neurodecision, which got a year’s membership at the KPMG Hub for Entrepreneurship. The firm uses “behavioural finance to assess investor personalities.” Maison Moderne, the company that publishes Delano, was an official partner of the competition.

A

GRAND FINALE A. Xavier Bettel, the prime minister, speaks at the Fintech Lion Awards (www.kpmg.lu/ fintechawards) in June B. Tiphaine Saltini of Neurodecision C. KPMG Luxembourg chief Georges Bock (second from left), Luxembourg finance minister Pierre Gramegna (third from left) D. A jury member listens to the pitch by Gilles Moro of EMP Corp, one of the finalists E. Networking at the “KPMG Plage” while the jury deliberates F. Pierre Gramegna and Hervé Bonazzi of Scaled Risk G. Bert Boerman (centre) and Governance.io colleagues next to jury member and Alfi chair Denise Voss (right) H. Pierre Gramegna presents the “Fintech startup of the year” prize

MORE HIGHLIGHTS: WWW.DELANO.LU/ FINTECHLIONS16

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FINTECH

Text by KASIA KRZYZANOWSKI

Photography by MIKE ZENARI

BLOCKCHAIN STARTUP EARNS FIRST APPROVAL

MORE INFO:

WWW.BITSTAMP.NET

Europe’s first licensed bitcoin exchange launches in Luxembourg.

B

itstamp has just become the first nationally regulated bitcoin exchange in Europe, with a license granted by the Grand Duchy’s government to operate as a “payment institution” (on par with Visa or Maestro cards, for example). Bitcoin is a decentralised peer-to-peer digital currency, which allows users to make transactions without an intermediary, with all transactions recorded in a public ledger known as the “blockchain”. Founded in Slovenia in 2011, Bitstamp identified Luxembourg as the best place to move back in 2014. “With our company growing quickly, we thought we needed more regulatory oversight, so we started looking into various jurisdictions and Luxembourg stood out by a huge margin,” recounts Nejc Kodric, the firm’s co-founder and CEO. “I had a two-day trip in Luxembourg to meet with all of the key stakeholders like [the promotion group] Luxembourg for Finance, CSSF [Luxembourg’s financial regulator] and the ministry of finance, and I was very amazed by the high level of understanding they had about bitcoin. Whoever I spoke with knew all about blockchain, mining and decentralised ledger,” he says. Due to Luxembourg’s pro-bitcoin stance, Bitstamp didn’t need to worry about convincing stakeholders of the virtual currency’s value, but rather needed to demonstrate that they were a company that would be able to meet the strict regulatory requirements. “There was lots of dialogue with the CSSF about what should be the best industry practice for virtual transactions; that was the challenging part,” says Kodric. The result of this twoyear process is their national license as a payment institution, which not

only allows them to carry out trading in Luxembourg, but across all 28 EU member states. In developed countries like Luxembourg, bitcoin is seen as another asset class. “People may invest some of their savings to gold and bitcoin is often seen as virtual gold; it has similar characteristics and is very complementary.” However, it represents an important alternative in developing countries, where it is more widely used. “In countries like Argentina, Venezuela or the Philippines, where people may not have access to banking products, or their currencies are being devalued, it represents a straw value, an alternative monetary system that protects the value of their savings,” states Kodric. Bitstamp is now settling into its new headquarters in Luxembourg

City, where its management team, soon to grow from three to five people, is located. Operational staff will remain in Slovenia. Kodric sees the recognition of Bitstamp as a financial institution as forward thinking. “At the very beginning, when none of the other countries are taking an industry seriously, Luxembourg is already finding ways to prepare so that companies in these new industries can have a secure, supportive environment in which to grow their business.” He predicts that Luxembourg will grow as a fintech hub through the arrival of a new group of companies active in bitcoin and blockchain. “Others are looking at our use case and migrating here. A microclimate is already forming around blockchain in Luxembourg.”

I WAS VERY AMAZED BY THE HIGH LEVEL OF UNDERSTANDING THEY HAD ABOUT BITCOIN."

NEJC KODRIC Crypto currency companies are watching the climate in Luxembourg

BITCOINS Where to buy Through bitcoin exchanges, including Bitstamp, Kraken and Bitfinex Uses Online and offline retail transactions Donations to non-profits Investment Peer-to-peer transactions Advantages Privacy Very low transaction fees Very quick transfers Disadvantages Not yet widely used Volatile value Still in development

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BUSINESS

FUNDS

Text by JEAN COMTE and ÉLODIE LAMER

A COMPROMISE THAT LEAVES EVERYONE UNHAPPY New European money market fund rules, nearly three years in the making, have been agreed by EU governments. None are fully satisfied.

I

n June, EU finance ministers reached a long-awaited deal on a draft law regulating money market funds. The European Commission had initially proposed the bill in September 2013, as part of a comprehensive effort to tackle “shadow banking” (lending by investment funds), but it took more than three years for EU governments to reach an agreement. Why did it take so long? Because EU countries were split on how to regulate constant net asset value funds, or CNAVs, a specific type of money market fund that seeks to maintain a constant price of €1 per share when investors redeem or buy shares into them. Because of this stable price, this product is widely used by non-financial companies as an alternative to bank accounts. But the €1 guarantee can also make CNAVs dangerous, if the fund can’t live up to its promise. That creates panic among investors, who all want to redeem as fast as possible, known as “breaking the buck”. Luxembourg is home to one of Europe’s biggest CNAV markets. As of April there were 47 of them here, with total assets of €151.8 billion, according to the national supervisor CSSF. Under the European Council compromise, most of Europe’s CNAVs will be phased out and transformed into low volatility net asset value funds, or LVNAVs, which move in value with market conditions and do not create the problematic illusion of a constant price. CNAVs will only be allowed to operate in the EU if they invest more than 99.5% of their assets in public debt, or if they are offered to retail clients located outside

PIERRE GRAMEGNA Luxembourg’s finance minister speaks with press prior to a European Council meeting

of the EU. This second exemption was specifically asked by Luxembourg, which sells a number of such products to clients all over the world. For several EU governments, the compromise can seem disappointing. Luxembourg, the UK and Ireland didn’t get what they wanted, i.e., no regulation of CNAVs. France and Germany had to accept letting some CNAV-like products survive; both countries were in favour of a total ban on this type of fund. “We’ve tried to be constructive,” Luxembourg’s finance minister, Pierre Gramegna, told reporters after the June talks. The financial sector did not welcome the new set up very warmly. “The proposed LVNAV structure is not an adequate substitute for the CNAV product,” the Institutional Money Market Funds Association said in a statement. “We are creating a new and complex product,” Benoît Sauvage, from the Luxembourg Bankers’ Association, told Delano.

“We can not predict whether there will be investors’ demand or not.” But “this compromise makes nobody happy, so it’s probably a good deal,” a financial sector source told Delano. The law-making process is far from being over. The European Council and the European Parliament must now reach a compromise on a common text. A Luxembourg finance ministry spokesperson said that the council’s text has a number of shortcomings, “notably, but not only, in the area of liquidity requirements of MMFs”. And Petr Ježek, the Czech MEP who conceived the LVNAV idea during the negotiations in the EP, told Delano that he wants the “sunset clause” inserted by other MEPs, which phases out LVNAVs after five years, to be removed. Neena Gill, the British MEP who is lead lawmaker on the bill, expects the three way talks to begin before the summer, with the aim to get a deal in the autumn.

European Council

MONEY MARKET REGULATIONS

Summer 2016

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HR

Text by WENDY CASEY

Photography by JULIEN BECKER

TRAINING ACROSS CULTURES Is it possible to have meaningful multicultural awareness in the workplace?

L

uxembourg’s deep-rooted mix of nationalities, cultures and languages has produced an inherently rich society, not just in terms of wealth. Managed well, this unique cultural and linguistic blend carries a multitude of benefits including heightened cultural awareness, increased tolerance and facilitates multifaceted approaches to problem-solving and innovative strategic direction. Mismanaged however, and the result can be quite the reverse. Immense focus is placed upon managing diversity in Luxembourg in order to embrace, understand and leverage our multicultural and multilingual (M&M) variances. While this makes working in the Grand Duchy both liberating and enlightening, it is not without its challenges. Training in an M&M business environment requires prudent management to ensure communication is clear and that input from all nationalities is actively encouraged, heard and understood. Sandrine Gashonga is an intercultural trainer with a very unique perspective on the sensitivities. She arrived in Luxembourg 18 years ago as a Rwandan refugee, obtained her Luxembourg citizenship in 2006 and is now well-integrated into the community. “I’m very grateful to be here, especially given the current refugee crisis,” she says. Having completed her masters in mediation at the University of Luxembourg, she proceeded to study intercultural communication in Brussels, and then joined Cefis, the Grand Duchy’s centre for intercultural research and training, in 2011. “My interest in mediation was very much linked to my past in Rwanda and the conflict in which I’d lived.” She believes culture is not always used positively, but as an alibi. “It’s

TRAINING

often not the reason for conflict; most are due to interpersonal differences. At Cefis we use a method called ‘culture clash’ in which people talk about a clash they’ve experienced and we analyse it. In 90% of cases it is an interpersonal clash and not a cultural one at all.”

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS When it comes to training, Gashonga believes that rather than focussing on culture, it’s best to look at the multiplicity of the attendees. “Adapt to the diversity of the personalities and remember that even within a single culture, you’ll have many personalities and ways to learn and engage.” She’s found that while some training courses and projects can fail, it’s down to the way in which they are managed. “Conflict is not a bad thing, but the way in which it’s managed can be negative, and if M&M isn’t taken into account then of course there will be failure! There has to be communication--asking questions allows the resolution of most conflicts. People feel respected, heard and included so we need to ask questions and take into account the answers.” Petra Buderus, an independent trainer and coach, is in complete agreement. “Communication is everything, isn’t it; even outside the M&M context.” She believes that while trainers require excellent verbal skills, they should “learn to talk less and to create spaces for interaction--for mutual and collective learning.” She points out that an M&M audience has different “understanding skills” based upon their language capabilities and their cultural values. “We don’t all understand words in the same way. Trainers should be aware of this and create regular spaces to clarify understanding.”

SANDRINE GASHONGA Culture does not cause most clashes

In her view, cultural diversity is a market and client-driven force. “An enormous amount of money is spent on marketing this, but if it’s written on the website and not lived, then it will fail. It’s the role of middle management to make it live.”

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"CONFLICT IS NOT A BAD THING, BUT THE WAY IN WHICH IT’S MANAGED CAN BE NEGATIVE." Summer 2016

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"I DON’T THINK YOU CAN BE A GOOD MANAGER OR TRAINER IN A MULTICULTURAL ENVIRONMENT IF YOU HAVEN’T BEEN TAUGHT ABOUT THE VALUES OF DIFFERENT CULTURES." FABIENNE DASNOY Language is only part of a culture

She recommends implementing a voluntary ambassador system across all levels of an organisation to embrace diversity and recognise those for walking the talk. “I wouldn’t create a hierarchical structure as that’s anti-inclusiveness and externalises personal responsibility; and adding a layer of additional top-down training can be perceived as an attempt to brainwash. It’s also important to find the right mix and team capacity in order to absorb the diversity and facilitate a mingling of staff. Creation of separate groups within a team can have a very negative impact.”

"PERSONAL VARIATIONS" So significant has been the increase in the global exchange of people,

goods and ideas that the University of Luxembourg introduced a new programme in 2007, entitled master in learning and communication in multilingual and multicultural contexts. Around 120 students have graduated to date; 75 more are currently enrolled in the two year programme and 32 nationalities are represented within the 48 second year students alone. “I think we need to move away from stereotypical diversity training which singles out individual cultures, and consider a more refined and dynamic approach,” reflects the course director and an associate professor, Ingrid de Saint-Georges. “People cannot be fitted into boxes and while there can be cultural trends

in behaviour, there are also many personal variations.” De Saint-Georges thinks that “case study-based training” focussed on concrete topics such as drafting a CV will work far more efficiently than reflecting upon theoretical ideas. “One can ponder how each would craft this CV similarly or differently and why--based upon their own experiences of living and working elsewhere. That’s a lot of intercultural learning right there and this dimension can be built upon to cover any topic that’s relevant to the workplace; from private banking and digital communication to audit.” She also believes courses should be designed around a project in which the multicultural dimension becomes a key to achieving a real-life goal. “In this way, the participants enjoy an equal relationship. The training is not so simplistic that it cannot be taken seriously, nor so far removed from the participants’ needs that it becomes hard for them to connect.” The Luxembourg Diversity Charter encourages employers to go beyond what is legally required, and take proactive steps to embrace diversity. BNP Paribas was recognised by LDC for its awareness of the fight against discrimination in 2015. “We’ve put in place a lot of actions to make employees and managers aware of the importance of inclusivity,” explains Fabienne Dasnoy, head of diversity and inclusion for all the BNP Paribas entities in the Grand Duchy. “The diversity award recognised a mandatory training programme we devised for our team managers. It used three sciences to demonstrate that we all discriminate, and at the end of the training, the tutor provided tools to stop the brain using subconscious shortcuts.”

DIFFERENT PERCEPTIONS Dasnoy’s comfort with science comes as no surprise given her academic background; she is in fact a qualified bioengineer. “At university I was taught how biodiversity will ensure the earth remains a viable habitat for humankind.

Summer 2016

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EXPAND EXPAND YOUR YOUR LANGUAG E LANGUAGE SKILLS! SKILLS!

LEARN Luxembourgish • French LE ARN Luxembourgish • French german engLish • Portuguese g erman • • e ng Lish • Portuguese itaLian sPanish ita Lian • • sP anish • • cchinese hinese INS TITUT NATIONAL S LANGU ES INSTITUT NATIONAL DE DES LANGUES

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ORIENTATION AND INSCRIPTION DAYS FOR TERM: INL -AUTOMN Luxembourg - Kirchberg th th 11 July 2016 / 15th - 20th September 2016 INL--13 annexe Mersch

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SEMESTRIAL LANGUAGE COURSES FOR ADULTS IN A MULTINATIONAL AND MULTICULTURAL ENVIRONMENT Weekdays - from 8am to 9pm - A1 to C1 - Registrations open - courses starting 28th September 2015

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BUSINESS

HR

CONTINUED

"WE DON’T ALL UNDERSTAND WORDS IN THE SAME WAY."

And now, 30 years later, I work to preserve diversity in our workplace; to ensure we remain competitive in the long term,” she muses. Originally from Belgium--“not far in distance, but far culturally”--Dasnoy arrived in Luxembourg back in 1998 and is clearly passionate about her role. “I make sure that our HR processes avoid conscious and unconscious discrimination. I help our workforce to mirror the customers we serve and the community we are based in; that’s the ‘diversity’ part of the job,” she explains. “But diversity without an inclusive mindset leads to chaos. So my mission is also to build a culture of inclusiveness, encouraging different ways of thinking and of solving problems so that we value our differences as a means of achieving a common goal.” How does training at BNP Paribas need to be adapted to an M&M environment? Dasnoy believes technical training and soft skills need to be differentiated. “A technical process or point of law is a series of facts, and teaching these in a common language should work. Training a soft skill such as leadership is much more complicated though, because it touches on the deeper values of a culture and there can be significant and yet unconscious cultural differences in perception.” So is it possible for a project or training programme to suffer because of the M&M mix of staff? “Of course it is!” she affirms. “And the issue isn’t a language difference, but whether the staff, managers and trainers have the ability to listen beyond words--to the cultures. I don’t think you can be a good manager or trainer in a multicultural environment if you haven’t been taught about the values of different cultures.” She is also of the firm belief that you need to take care when linking M&M together. “Language is a part of culture, but it doesn’t make a culture. Learning a language doesn’t teach you about the culture and sharing the same mother tongue is

PETRA BUDERUS Talk less; interact more

RESOURCES BNP Paribas Search for “corporate social responsibility”: www.bnpparibas.lu Petra Buderus Consulting & Coaching Search for “training”: www.buderusconsulting.com Cefis Search for “formation” (information in French): www.cefis.lu Diversity Charter Search for “good practices”: www.charte diversite.lu House of Training Search for “exploring the social, political and business environment of Luxembourg”: www.house oftraining.lu Olai Search for “Welcome and Integration Contract”: www.olai.public.lu University of Luxembourg Search for “master in learning and communication in multilingual and multicultural contexts”: www.uni.lu Zegtraining Search for “multiculturalism”: www.zegtraining.com

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kosmo.lu

DelanoAP_intensif 210x265 07.2016_Mise en page 1 24/06/16 09:54 Page1

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ANNE LEURS Some common language is important

"PARTICIPATION IS A KEY FACTOR IN INTEGRATION." not sharing a culture. The French, French-speaking Belgians and residents of Quebec all speak French, but they are very different culturally.”

COMPANY CULTURE The same, of course, can be said of all those speaking, or in the process of learning Luxembourgish and while knowledge of the language will definitely give you a leg up, Dasnoy believes that in order to succeed as an expat, you need to learn about the culture of the company you are joining. “Working for a German, French or US company will be completely different, even if they are all located in Luxembourg.” Well aware of the M&M challenges faced by expatriates in the Grand Duchy, Olai, Luxembourg’s foreigner integration office, launched a government-backed “Welcome and

Integration Contract” in 2011. Open to any “foreigner” aged 16 or over, the contract is geared towards those Luxembourg residents wishing to remain on a permanent basis, both new arrivals as well as those who have been living in Luxembourg for many years. Composed of three services, the programme offers a language training course, a citizenship training course and an orientation day. Anne Leurs, head of the programme, explains that her biggest challenge is “to continue what’s good, improve what can be improved and know the difference between the two.” Boasting not one, but two native Luxembourg parents, Leurs began working with Olai in 2006 and jokes that she’s one of the last true Luxembourgers. “Our law states that participation is a key factor in integration. But in

order to participate, you need a certain level of knowledge [about] the host society and you also need to have a common language, which is the basis of the contract. A strong grasp of these two aspects is important in order to participate not just socially, but economically and politically too.” The rationale appears justified: there are currently in the region of 2,500 active contracts, while 1,037 foreign nationals have received their final certificate. If residents would like to participate politically and have been living in Luxembourg for five continuous years, then Leurs recommends registering at their local commune, in order to vote in the local elections on 8 October 2017. “Exercise your right to vote and influence decision making on a local level!”

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Your summer, your story. Tell it to her in German!

Save

20 %

by booking before July 31!

Summer discount on Berlitz Individual Instruction Whether in conversation with international business partners, during the next journey abroad, or in countless other situations, you’re sure to have a lot to tell. A foreign language need no longer present an obstacle for you! Book your Berlitz Individual Instruction now in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German or Luxembourgish! Until July 31, there is a 20 % summer discount on the fees for your intensive, customized language training program. Find more information online www.berlitz.lu/summer-special or contact us: Berlitz Luxembourg 89 - 93, Grand-Rue 1661 Luxembourg Tel. +352 26 38 32 48 info@berlitz.lu

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BUSINESS

Text by AARON GRUNWALD

Photography by JAN HANRION

ON THE MOVE

LUXEMBOURG CITY The commune that saw the highest number of net migrants (19,570), 2001-2010. It was followed by Differdange (2,794), Eschsur-Alzette (2,415) and Hesperange (2,120) [1].

REAL INFO Roughly one in ten Luxembourg residents has lived in their home for less than a year, according to the last national census in 2011. 34% had lived in their home for less than five years [1]. While summer is a popular time to move, it is not always because of school holidays. Out of the 229,100 total households in the Grand Duchy last year, 66% had no children and 39% consisted of single adults [2]. Here are some more moving facts.

63% Share of the population living in single family homes, 2011. The other third lived in flats [1].

DUDELANGE The commune that saw the lowest number of net migrants (it lost 178 residents), 2001-2010. It beat out Septfontaines (14 fewer residents), Consdorf (which gained 30 inhabitants) and Mondercange (up by 34 people) [1].

130,091 Residential buildings in the Grand Duchy, 2011. Detached houses were most predominant (38%), followed by single family semidetached houses (25%), single family row houses (21%) and apartment buildings (13%) [1].

GET THE PICTURE

11,159 Net migration into Luxembourg in 2015. The figure has been more than 10,000 people annually since 2011 and positive overall since the 1970s [1].

69% Percentage of Luxembourg residents who are homeowners, 2011. 28% are renters and 3% live rent-free [1].

25,562 Number of real estate transactions recorded nationally, 2015 [3].

FRANCE The country where the most people (2,283) moved from last year. It was followed by Portugal (1,560), Italy (1,040) and Belgium (761) [1].

Sources: [1] Statec; [2] Eurostat; [3] Luxembourg Land Registration and Estates Department

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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. TRUMP TALK

SPEECH SKILLS

Tue 12 July

Mon 18 July + Wed 10 Aug

Indian Business Chamber www.ibcl.lu David Schrieberg of Vital Briefing gives a talk entitled “Donald Trump, Thought Leader? How bad information leads to bad decisions”. Trump (pictured) is a controversial US presidential candidate. BGL BNP Paribas, LuxembourgKirchberg, 18:30

Toastmasters www.district59.eu There are eight Toastmasters public speaking groups in Luxembourg that meet two evenings a month. No previous experience required, and no need to be a native Anglophone. Click on “Go to…” on website for venues and times

MARKETING WORKSHOP

ARCHITECTURE & MIGRATION

Amcham www.amcham.lu This lunchtime workshop “looks at using Facebook to market one’s organisation, products and services, and showing how important it is to be clear on the story you want to tell.” Elvinger Hoss Prussen, Luxembourg-Centre, 12:00

University of Luxembourg www.uni.lu The Schengen Summer School course looks at the impact of migration on urban planning, and how architects and city planners can facilitate the integration of migrants and refugees. Register by 31 July. Youth Hostel, Schengen

Wed 13 July

Thu 1 - Sat 10 Sept

FINTECH TALK

Tue 13 Sept Startup Grind www.startupgrind.com Raoul Mulheims, CEO of Digicash Payments and cofounder of the Nvision digital media agency, addresses the Google-backed networking group. The “fireside chat” is followed by networking. Nyuko, Luxembourg-Hollerich, 18:00

YOUNG JOBSEEKERS Fri 23 Sept

University of Luxembourg www.unicareers.lu A job and internship fair for recent graduates (“up to 5 years of professional experience, from a bachelor degree to PhD”). Advance registration mandatory. European Convention Centre, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, 10:00-17:00

WELCOME CLASS

FUND CONFAB Sat 24 Sept

Tue 20 - Wed 21 Sept Alfi www.alfi.lu The trade group’s annual Global Distribution Conference attracts hundreds of fund execs and policymakers from around the world. Speakers include Claude Marx, head of Luxembourg regulator CSSF. European Convention Centre, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, all day

BUZZWORD BREAKDOWN Tue 20 Sept

www.paperjam.club What is a disruptive startup? François Vaille of Sogeti conducts a workshop entitled “Drawing the line between disruptive technologies and simple innovations”. Neimënster, Luxembourg-Grund, 14:00-17:15

Amcham www.amcham.lu The chamber holds “Newcomers orientation courses for thirdcountry nationals” recently arrived in Luxembourg. Free, but advanced registration is required. Chamber of Commerce, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, 09:30-16:30

10X6 COMMUNICATION Wed 28 Sept

www.paperjam.club Rebranding, digital media, going international… ten communication directors have six minutes each to share a success story. Presentations made in French or English. Tramsschapp, LuxembourgLimpertsberg, 18:30-22:30

Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0) > Maison Moderne archives

74

SUBMIT YOUR EVENT FOR FREE If your organisation’s upcoming event belongs on this page, let us know the details two to four months in advance. Agenda listings are selected by Delano’s editorial department, so there is never any charge for organisers: news@delano.lu

Summer 2016

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LUXEMBOURG LIFELONG LEARNING CENTER

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF 45 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN ADULT EDUCATION

ENROL TODAY IN OUR ENGLISH-SPEAKING PROGRAMS EVENING COURSES

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• IT and Office Programs • Accounting and Compliance • Luxembourg Taxation • Luxembourg Company Law

with the IGR-IAE of the University of Rennes I

SEMINARS • Economics, Finance and Accounting • Personal and Professional Development • Human Resources Management and Further Education • Management - Marketing • Information and Communication Technologies

IT CERTIFICATIONS AND PROFESSIONAL LICENSING Online testing

• European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) • Pearson VUE IT certification and professional licensing • Kryterion

NUMEROUS TRAINING PROGRAMS IN FRENCH AND GERMAN: • EVENING COURSES • SEMINARS • BACHELOR’S AND MASTER’S DEGREES • SPECIALISED TRAINING PROGRAMS

OBJECTIVES : • Aims to train financial managers to acquire the skills to be able to combine financial strategy and financial analysis. • Offers a combination of advanced knowledge allowing for skills development in two complementary competency domains : financial analysis, valuation and financial engineering, in an international environment. • Allows students to evolve in the labour market and constitutes a trampoline for a dynamic career.

TARGET POPULATION : Structured financing analyst, credit analyst, LBO analyst, financial analyst, risk analyst, capital investment analyst, merger and acquisition analyst, credit manager, specialist in financial communication, auditor, company project manager, corporate restructuring advisor, financial strategy advisor…

SCHEDULE : Fridays and Saturdays during the day START : Spring 2017 DURATION : 18 months

FOR FURTHER DETAILS : WWW.LLLC.LU

13 rue de Bragance L-1255 Luxembourg T +352 27 494 600 F +352 27 494 650 formation@LLLC.lu

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BUSINESS

Text by TONYA STONEMAN

Photography by MIKE ZENARI

GONE WITH THE WIND Henrik Jensen escapes from his fabulous job to even more fabulous kitesurfing.

MY OTHER LIFE

S

ome people would say Henrik Jensen is the last person who needs to get away from work: as a bar owner, he has the enviable job of “keeping everybody happy.” But the laidback Dane has found something he enjoys even more than his day job--wind and waves. It took him a while to discover his passion for kitesurfing, but when he did he became a self-proclaimed addict. “It’s something you do till you die,” he says. “It lasts forever.” Jensen was 22 years old when he moved to Luxembourg and met Tim Probyn, who put out the idea of starting a bar together. The two became partners and have been in the business together for 17 years. But before settling in to his new career in Luxembourg, Jensen decided to see the world. He visited Fiji, Indonesia, Australia, the US and Thailand--where he learned to kitesurf. He spent a month on the beach there learning to control the wieldy sail and navigate the current. He became fascinated with weather conditions, the wind and the tides. After a year on the road, Jensen returned to Luxembourg and opened a bar called The Elevator, which he ran with Probyn for nine years. The pair met with enough success to pursue another venture, and called their new bars the (now defunct) Q45 in the Utopolis cinema complex and Q42 on rue de Strasbourg. Four years ago, when the Oscar Wilde went out of business, they added that to their repertoire, redubbing the bar in the Grund Oscar’s. In 2014, they changed Q42, a sports bar, into a restaurant/ bar. In keeping with the Oscar’s motif, they renamed it Oscar’s Diner. The two also added a third partner to their line-up, Sergio Costa. Now Jen-

HENRIK JENSEN Kitesurfing offers amazing freedom, says the bar owner Oscar’s & Oscar’s Diner on Facebook

sen focuses mainly on building, renovating and fixing things when they break. He designs the bars from the bottom up, building everything from the kitchens to the cabinets to the sofas and floors. “I do most of my work when the bars are closed,” he quips. When he’s not preoccupied with the two Oscar’s, Jensen gravitates towards the water. He doesn’t surf competitively, but can jump 20 metres, perform back loops and ride big waves. “Kitesurfing is an amazing freedom,” he says. “If you go really fast, you don’t hear anything, you just feel it. If the water is totally flat and you go really fast, you just hear the ‘shhh’. When you learn to go over the big waves, it’s like flying. You can jump in the air and move around and do anything. It’s an adrenaline kick.” Jensen has kitesurfed in Fuerteventura, the Canary Islands, the French coast, Holland, Denmark, Portugal and San Francisco, going where the wind takes him--but he really wants to surf Sri Lanka. As far as his plans for the future are concerned, that too depends on how the wind blows.

Summer 2016

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THINKING RELOCATION? THINK SANTA FE. We make it easy

Relocation | Moving | Immigration | Expense Management

Santa Fe Luxembourg T: +352 48 44 22 E: luxembourg@santaferelo.com www.santaferelo.com 077_PUB_SANTA FE.indd 77

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UPFRONT

LIFESTYLE NAUGHTY BUT NICE A restaurant named after Wilhelm Busch’s pubescent anti-heroes Max and Moritz may cause patrons familiar with the cautionary tale to wonder if a prank is going to be played on them. But they needn’t worry; all that they will experience is home-made international cuisine including salads, pizzas and burgers and a suggestion of the day for lunch. The restaurant and bar are open until midnight. Where: Max + Moritz, 2-4 avenue X Septembre, Luxembourg-Centre Info: www.maxmoritz.lu

GLAM CLUB Gotham is the name of the newest nightclub in town--well, new in the sense that it is a redesigned and fresh concept for what used to be Magnum. The club is big on open space that allows punters to see and be seen. It is billing itself as a glamourous and decadent venue, hosts special events and a regular Wednesday Dirty Dancing night, as well as serving food late into the wee hours. Where: Gotham, 14 avenue de la Faïencerie, Luxembourg-Limpertsberg Info: www.gotham.lu

BAKER Tartefine is a traditional bakery recently opened in Bonnevoie by former air hostess Anne Matinet. She bakes bread and baguettes using red label flour, as well as a range of delicious cakes and tarts. Everything is made on site and the bakery also has a small seating section where customers can enjoy products, starting at breakfast time and also at weekends--the bakery is even open all day on Sunday. Where: Tartefine, 42 rue Demy Schlechter, Luxembourg-Bonnevoie Info: on Facebook

PLUCKY BUT TRUE CONTENDERS eam Lëtzebuerg athletes will no doubt suffer the ignominy of being patronised to death by sports commentators from the major networks at this summer’s Olympic Games. “Plucky” or “valiant”, some will say. And at least one commentator will compare the country to the size of Rhode Island. Mention of Luxembourg athletes will also give broadcasters and reporters a chance to remind their audience about the “true” spirit of the games as entrenched in the famous quote by the founder of the modern Olympics, Pierre de Coubertin. “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part.” The team of fewer than 10 athletes from the Grand Duchy will not care a jot, of course. For some, like 800-metre runner Charline Mathias, Rio will be a first Olympics and the experience is reward for years of hard work and dedication. For others, such as swimmer Raphaël Stacchiotti, the 2016 Games are a third Olympics even though he is just 24--he became the Grand Duchy’s youngest ever competitor at the age of 16 in Beijing in 2008. He is joined by fellow swimmer Laurent Carnol, also in his third Games. But their achievements are dwarfed by veteran table tennis player Ni Xia Lian. At the age of 53, she will be competing in her fifth Olympiad. Two competitors who made names for themselves in events in the UK in June are also bound for Brazil. Tennis player Gilles Muller (pictured above) reached the quarter finals of the Queen’s Club tournament, and cyclist Christine Majerus won the first stage of the Aviva Women’s Tour. And there is still one men’s cycling spot open for Team Lëtzebuerg, which could go to someone like Bob Jungels, the recent star of the Giro d’Italia (see page 21). These are not the stories of “plucky” athletes from “tiny Luxembourg” merely making up the numbers, but of genuine contenders on the world stage. www.teamletzebuerg.lu

T

Mike Zenari Olivier Schank Jan Harion Olivier Minaire (archives)

SUPERFOODS Supermarket chain Delhaize has launched a new range of “superfoods” packaged individually or as healthy mixes. The range includes everything from trendy chai seeds and goji berries to quinoa and dried cranberries. They are all rich in essential nutrients such as vitamins, fibre, minerals, omega 3 and antioxidants. The supermarket has also featured superfood recipes on its website and in-store magazine. Where: Delhaize supermarkets Info: www.delhaize.lu

GRAND DUCHY FILES

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. . . s n o i t s e u q r u o We w a nt y r o n a e l E e i t n u A r o f ...

Diary PACKAGE FREE STORE

The Ouni cooperative is actively seeking a location for Luxembourg’s first package free retail outlet after a successful appeal for funding via membership. Over 400 people have signed up, including 200 active members who not only pledge money but have committed to dedicating time to help staff the store. The aim is to start operating in late summer, though a location has not yet been finalised. www.ouni.lu

DOUBLE WINNER

PUBLIC BOOK SHELF Luxembourg’s first “Bicherschaf” (book case) has opened on the place du Théâtre. It is essentially a free book exchange, allowing users to take and donate books at any time. www.vdl.lu

One lucky punter at the Casino 2000 in Mondorf-lesBains celebrated two big jackpot wins on the slot machines within a week, the casino reports. First the man, a Luxembourger in his fifties, won 203,800 euros. Invited a week later to celebrate his win, the man decided to have another crack and ended up with an even bigger jackpot of 460,638 euros. www.casino2000.lu

SIGN UP FOR MARATHON

Steve Eastwood (archives) Ville de Luxembourg Bill Debevc (Creative Commons)

RUGBY SUCCESS

Rugby is a growing sport in Luxembourg, and one that is enjoying on-field success. First the national team under the stewardship of Jonathan Flynn won promotion to Division 2B of the European Championship following a 29-10 victory over Slovenia. Then Rugby Club Luxembourg won promotion to the 1st division of the German Bundesliga with a play-off win over Munich. www.rugby.lu & www.rcl.lu

SKATERS’ DELIGHT!

The new open-air skate park in the Petrusse valley opens officially on 22 July. Built by the Ville de Luxembourg, the skate park features bowls, a cradle, a variety of ramps, rails, stair sets and a street area. www.vdl.lu

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The 2016 ING Night Marathon at the end of May saw John Komen break the course record and a record number of runners start the race. Registrations for the 2017 marathon open on 1 September for anyone wanting to get in on next year’s action. www.ing-night-marathon.lu

LUXEMBOURG IN AMERICA

The Luxembourg American Cultural Society in Wisconsin hosts its annual Luxemburg Fest over the weekend of 12 to 14 August. Fun and games for all the family, music and entertainment, information on Luxembourg heritage, lashings of Bofferding beer and a treipen (blood pudding) eating contest. Park Street, Belgium, Wisconsin, United States. www.lacs.lu

VIVA LAS VEGAS!

This year’s Femmes Développement charity dinner at Casino 2000 in Mondorf has a Viva Las Vegas! theme. The popular event raises money for the charity which helps microfinance and building projects in Rwanda aimed at helping women and children. There are some fab tombola prizes up for grabs, a great dinner and entertainment featuring performers singing Sinatra, Elvis and Céline Dion. www.femmesdeveloppement.org

Have you ever wondered why local drivers cannot negotiate roundabouts properly? How the Luxembourg language has still failed to find an accurate phrase for “I love you”? Which Luxembourger is regarded as the father of science fiction? Where the royal family takes its summer holiday? Or what exactly goes into the making of a Rieslingspaschtéit? Well, we have found someone who can answer all those questions and more. Starting in the next edition of Delano, published on 7 October, Auntie Eleanor will be replying in print to questions submitted by readers about facts and figures and life in Luxembourg; its quirks, anomalies and foibles. Send your question, no matter how serious or silly, to us at the email or postal address below, marking the subject field or envelope “Ask Auntie Eleanor”. The editors will decide which questions to put to Auntie Eleanor. Please indicate whether or not you are happy for Delano to publish your name alongside your question. Email address: news@delano.lu Postal address: PO Box 728, L-2017 Luxembourg

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SNAPSHOTS

Text by WENDY WINN

Photography by STEVE EASTWOOD

Beads, bubbles and all that jazz!

T

he Irish Club of Luxembourg put on the Ritz at their annual summer party. Men came in suits and tuxes, women came in beaded dresses, wearing hair ornaments and strings of pearls, and everyone put on a good mood for the night. Irish Club president Deirdre Joyce reminded guests that the event was more than a great party, but also the opportunity to support two worthwhile charities, Stëmm vun der Strooss (www.stemm.lu) and Novas (www.novas.ie). She had spent that afternoon handing sandwiches and drinks out to Luxembourg’s homeless. “A lot of people don’t even know that we have homeless people here.” Ireland’s ambassador, Peadar Carpenter, said: “It makes me proud to see Irish people helping others. If we remember our own history, it’s especially appropriate that we should do so.” The Irish Club is open to all nationalities and boasts nearly 300 members.

C

WWW.DELANO.LU/ ALLTHATJAZZ16

ANNUAL FUNDRAISER A. Ora McCarthy, Deirdre Joyce, Mimmi Oedman, Fiona Mulhern and Carrie Milne, members of the Irish Club of Luxembourg (www.irishclub.lu) committee B. Ora McCarthy, Tessa Collins and Roger Pettinger C. Ronan Carroll, Thérèse Collins, Joanna Hein-Hartmann and the Irish ambassador Peadar Carpenter attending “All that Jazz” at Le Sud restaurant in June D. Christina Chalmers-Steele and Ross Steele E. Clare Abbott and Carole Miltgen F. Siobhain Engman and Fredrik Engman G. Béranger Theisen and Helen Nesbitt H. Oisin Dolly, Becs Binks, Naomi Dolly and Jon Binks I. Marco Bravaccini and Gemma Vaughan

A

B

MORE FLAPPERS AT:

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LIFESTYLE

GETTING INVOLVED

Text by ALIX RASSEL

Photography by LALA LA PHOTO

Exercise for everyone Founded in Sweden in 1978, Friskis&Svettis (“hot and sweaty” in English) launched its Luxembourg chapter 16 years ago. Now rebranded the “Swedish workout club”, the group’s aim is to make exercise inclusive to all regardless of an individual’s abilities, fitness level and financial circumstances.

F

riskis&Svettis’ philosophy is a million miles away from the majority of fitness centres and gyms you find in Luxembourg, explains Susanne “Suski” Ahonen, the group’s president (photo, left). “We believe that exercise should be fun and encourage a sense of community. We hope that our members not only ‘want’ to come to classes, but smile when they are taking part.” It is a non-profit organisation and all trainers and hosts volunteer their free time to motivate others through exercise. Instructors receive training in Sweden and are regularly advised and updated from the organisation’s headquarters. “The instructors, including me, really love what they do,” says Suski. “Otherwise they just wouldn’t turn up. It’s not a job, but a hobby and a passion which spills over into the classes.” In Luxembourg, the outfit has over 400 members of varying nationalities and all age ranges; starting at three years old and going right up to the late seventies. Unlike at most conventional fitness courses, Friskis&Svettis

HOT AND SWEATY INFO: WWW.FRISKIS.LU

classes are taught in a circle with the instructor in the middle, and there is an absence of mirrors. “It’s not about comparing yourself to your neighbour or ensuring you have the trendiest fitness wear,” says Kathy Liput (photo, right). “We promote exercise for everyone and encourage all varieties of individuals to participate.” The types of exercise classes on offer range from barbell intervals to outdoor running, from yoga to the extremely popular aerobics class. “The family class held at the École française on Sunday mornings is probably our most attended class,” Suski says. “Unfortunately the École française is moving, so we are actively looking for new premises, something that’s never easy to find in Luxembourg.” Classes currently take place in a variety of locations, including the European School in Mamer and the International School Luxembourg, but Suski, Kathy and the rest of the board are eager to find a more permanent home. Whilst exercise is the foundation of the organisation, the “social” aspect is something that is particularly important. “If you are new to Luxembourg, it’s a great place to meet people,” adds Suski. “I think most of my close friends here are people I’ve met through Friskis&Svettis!” Each year the club holds a big Christmas party, as well as smaller events throughout the year. On 3 June members were invited to a free “Afro Tonic” workshop, for example, and on 22 and 23 October there

will be a “Boot Camp” style event in Echternach with overnight accommodation. Throughout their 16 years in Luxembourg, Friskis&Svettis has always taken part in charity events including the ING marathon and Relais pour la vie. This year the team have partnered with the Don Bosco asylum and refugee centre to offer a weekly aerobics class for female residents. “It’s something we have just started to do and we are fortunate that one of our hosts is an asylum seeker himself,” explains Suski. “We are really looking forward to working with the Croix-Rouge on the project as it really is testament to our mission statement: ‘offering fun and accessible high quality workouts for everyone.’”

k o o b te o n y it n u m m o C

POLO CLUB AUCTION

WILD BEE EVENT

WEEKLY SESSION

NEWCOMERS’ COFFEE

LUX CHARITY A charity auction to benefit organisations including Fondation Cancer and SOS Sahel held at the Polo Club in Luxembourg-Merl, 9 July. Info: www.lux-charity.com

BEE TOGETHER Learn more about Luxembourg’s natural pollinators, near Remich, 17 July, 2 p.m. (tentative time). Info: www.eventbrite.com (search for “Bee Together Luxembourg”)

CODERDOJO LUXEMBOURG Intended to get 12-18 year olds into computer programming. Thursday evenings in July, August and September, 6-8 p.m. Info: www.coderdojo.lu

BRITISH LADIES CLUB “Everyone welcome to join Evelyn for coffee” to meet new and old members, and find out about BLC activities. 23 September, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Info: www.blc.lu/newcomers-event/

BurnAway (CC BY 2.0) natur&ëmwelt Lala La Photo Steve Eastwood (archives)

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Met Opera Cover

SUMMER ENCORES ON SCREEN AT CINÉ UTOPIA

VENDREDI 01 JUILLET

Tosca - Puccini

VENDREDI 08 JUILLET

L’Elisir d’Amore - Donizetti VENDREDI 22 JUILLET

La Boheme

- Puccini

VENDREDI 05 AOUT

Così Fan Tutte - Mozar t Séances à 19:00 • Ciné Utopia Tarifs: Normal 21€ • Réduit 16€

www.utopolis.lu

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GETTING INVOLVED

Text by IMANE MOUSTAKIR

s e i t i n u t r o p p o n Te to volunteer y would like to ’s international communit Many in the Grand Duchy aid a worthy cause here in Luxembourg, need an idea of give some of their time to question of language or but sometimes face the ten English-friendly outfits to check out. where to start. So here are

01

CCPL

They represent the Portuguese community in Luxembourg, but Anglophones are welcome to get involved. “We want volunteers to engage in social activities, to help with IT and to handle event organisation,” such as one for youth facing school difficulties, says José António Coimbra de Matos. The group also gives French classes to Syrian refugees. www.ccpl.lu

CCPL Luxembourg

02 FONDATION AUTISME

Supporting the rights of those with autism is one of the main goals of this NGO. They need help with translation and event organisation. For the next World Autism Awareness Day (this year’s, on 2 April, pictured), “we will need around 50 volunteers to help out with sales, stand animation and children’s entertainment,” says Catherine Fouss. www.fal.lu

Fondation Autisme Luxembourg

The foundation has been supporting families of children with cancer and life-threatening diseases for more than 25 years. “We need volunteers to help with administrative work and public relations,” says Veerle Dierick. Over 50 volunteers helped put on the recent family “Summerfest”, for example. www.fondatioun.lu

Fondatioun Kriibskrank Kanner

04 EEN HÄERZ FIR KRIIBSKRANK KANNER

They help families of children with cancer through psychological, palliative and practical support. Activities involving art are a big part of the programme. “We need people who can translate our flyers into English [and] make sure our website’s texts are correct,” says Marie-Marthe BruckClees.

06 OMEGA 90

Omega 90 is looking for volunteers to help care for people with cancer or other life-threatening diseases, or who can support people in grief. The NGO prefers volunteers who can speak multiple languages. Or participate in an affiliated fundraiser, like the annual summertime Kick Cancer Into Touch tournament (2012 edition pictured).

www.omega90.lu Kick Cancer Into Touch

07 RED CROSS

“With the refugee crisis, we need more people to work with newcomers,” says Djuna Bernard. Speaking French or Luxembourgish is a big advantage. Or join the NGO’s English-speaking “international section”, which organises the Triple C and Afterwork Swimming (2013 edition pictured) sporting fundraisers, among other events.

www.croix-rouge.lu Croix-Rouge luxembourgeoise

By granting wishes to seriously ill children, the NGO aims to empower them and their parents. Fundraisers, such as the Skyball gala in 2014 (pictured), help make these dreams come true. “We need help with translation, and we also want people to represent us in events like the ‘Fête de l’été’ that we organise,” says Marcel Hagendoorn.

www.make-a-wish.lu Make-A-Wish Luxembourg asbl

Since 1956, the national animal shelter has been caring for homeless cats and dogs. In 2015, it took in 848 animals--more than 460 canines among them--who have to wait for adoption. The shelter needs volunteers to take dogs out for a walk, from Monday to Friday between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. The dogs don’t care what language you speak.

www.deierenasyl.lu Déierenasyl Gaasperech

10 TRISOMIE 21

Known for its battle for people with Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), the NGO organises multiple cultural and sporting events throughout the year. “We need people who can represent our association during our awareness weeks in place d’Armes,” says Jeanne Zuidberg. Trisomie 21 also needs help with IT and translation from French and German.

www.trisomie21.lu Trisomie 21 Lëtzebuerg asbl

www.kriibskrankkanner.lu @k_kanner

05 MAKE-A-WISH

09 DÉIERENASYL

08 SPORTUNITY

This NGO uses sports to boost Luxembourg youth from disadvantaged backgrounds. They also set up training sessions for refugee children that are coached by champions who first came to Luxembourg as refugees. “We need volunteers in our operational team and during our big sporting events such as the ING Night Marathon,” says Irina Aleksandrova.

www.sportunity.org @sportunity_org

CCPL FAL Kriibskrank Kanner asbl Fondatioun Kriibskrank Kanner Steve Eastwood Julien Becker Pixabay Trisomie 21

03 FONDATIOUN KRIIBSKRANK KANNER

Summer 2016

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Kehlen

Walferdange

LUXEMBOURG Strassen Bertrange

Gare

Bonnevoie Cents Alzingen Gasperich

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Text by IMANE MOUSTAKIR

Photography by LALA LA PHOTO

w e n a d n u o r a Cruise ) o w t r o ( y a d a country for where to head? taway, but have no idea tasty meals, ge nd eke we ick qu or Want to go on a day trip stinations where you can have a good walk, eatto travel less Delano selected a few ded let the kids run loose. And you will only need enjoy cultural venues an than three hours by car.

O

ne of the unique things about Luxembourg is that it’s at the crossroads of Europe, so why not make the most of it? Summer is a great time to visit one of the Grand Duchy’s neighbouring countries. Whether you have kids, enjoy history or prefer to sample local cuisine, here are some of the best destinations to do one of these activities or all of them.

BASTOGNE, BELGIUM To start off, head about one hour northwest of Luxembourg City to the historic town of Bastogne (www.paysdebastogne.be). “It’s a city that was rebuilt after the Battle of the Ardennes,” explains Olivier Delmée, a guide and manager of the Maison du tourisme, a company in Doncols (www. maison-du-voyage.com). “Bastogne is completely oriented on this event’s tragic memory.” Delmée suggests visiting the War Museum of Bastogne (www.bastognewarmuseum.be). “It’s the place” to experience, he argues. This museum was built in 1976 close to the war memorial and opened its doors again in 2014. “The Bastogne War Museum uses modern technology, special effects and scenography to put the visitor in the era’s atmosphere,” Delmée points out. Bastogne is also a good place for an electric bike ride (www.visitbelgium.com). “It’s a city in the countryside”, he says. “Take the bike from the Gare du sud, then catch the road from Bastogne to Wiltz in Luxembourg, then head to Houffalize,” 20km north of Bastogne. If you have kids, venture over to Animalaine, a park totally dedicated to wool (www.animalaine. com). “As a family, you’ll be spoiled there!” says Delmée. “There are multiple Ardenne species of sheeps and goats. There’s a wool museum, a restaurant and quite nice attraction for kids. You can taste jam, honey and apple juice.”

“There’s a collection of 600 pieces of impressionist and classical art. For instance, they have Picasso. There are 13 other museums around this one and most people prefer the Städel museum. For good reason, because you can choose to be guided by artists, or topics… It’s so interesting that you can easily spend a day there.” If you happen to like gardens, the guide recommends visiting Frankfurt’s botanical garden (www.frankfurt.de), which holds tours and lectures. Beichert says that “there are a lot of tropics, palm trees and plants from different continents.” In fact, you can find over 5,000 types of outdoor plants there. “Plus, it’s not so far, you can take the subway easily.” The Frankfurt Zoo (www.zoo-frankfurt.de) is always a family favourite. In the Exotarium (aquarium and reptile house), you can take a look at snakes, fish, penguins, sea horses, and crocodiles, all moving about. “In the zoo, they have a playground for the kids and big animals. It’s very interesting also because it’s in the centre of the city. It’s definitely a mustsee,” says Beichert.

OLIVIER DELMÉE The Bastogne War Museum puts visitors in the era’s atmosphere

DAUN, GERMANY If you want to wander around an immense natural area with the kids, visit the Wild Park Daun, around two hours northeast of Luxembourg (www. wildpark-daun.de). The park is set on 220 hectares among the woodlands and grasslands in the heart of the Eifel region (www.gesundland-vulkaneifel.de). You can take a tour with your own car and watch wild animals, which are free to move around the private reserve. If you and the kids are thrill seekers, don’t miss the great toboggan run which is only open in the summer.

"IT’S A CITY IN THE COUNTRYSIDE."

FRANKFURT, GERMANY To visit an impressive art museum, head northwest to Frankfurt (www.frankfurt-tourismus.de), which will take roughly three hours by car (depending on traffic, of course). The Städel museum (www. staedelmuseum.de) is definitely a must-see in the city, says Huanhuan Beichert, a Frankfurt tour guide (www.frankfurter-gaestefuehrer.de). Summer 2016

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CONTINUED

THE MARDASSON MEMORIAL Located near the Bastogne War Museum, this monument honours American soldiers who died during WWII’s Battle of the Bulge

TRADITIONAL EATS

While on a day trip, you might also want to taste some of the local fare.

About 15 minutes from the park, you will find a group of three crater lakes (www.geoparkvulkaneifel.de). You can walk around the beautiful Gemündener Maar, which is the smallest of the three Daun maars. This crater is around 30,000 years old and 325 metres long. It was originally formed by a volcanic steam explosion. The footpath around the maar is dotted with Devonian rocks. Then take a dip in the lake, in a special section blocked off for bathing. If you are interested in learning more about the geology of the Eifel region, head over to the Volcano Museum (www.vulkaneifel.de). There, you can view active volcanoes using special fluorescent lights. In the “Eifel Volcanism” exhibition room, you can re-create a volcanic eruption using a cinder cone. Then, to really stretch your legs, check out the cycling and hiking paths in Eifel National Park (www. nationalpark-eifel.de).

MAASTRICHT, NETHERLANDS If you like historic architecture, definitely check out the Basilica of Saint Servatius (www.sintservaas.nl) in Maastricht (www.vvvmaastricht.nl), around two and a half hours north of Luxembourg City. Saint Servatius, the city’s patron saint who died in the fourth century, is buried there. The hybrid architecture assembles a mix of Romanesque, Baroque and Gothic styles. While you’re in Maastricht, which is twenty centuries old, take a city walk around the historical centre of the town; it takes approximately an hour and a half. Explore the city walls and meander

around the Vrijthof, the beautiful square in front of the cathedral. It’s paved with old cobblestones and surrounded by trees and restaurants. If you want the kids to be happy, you can also visit the Gaia Zoo (www.gaiazoo.nl) about half an hour east of town. There, your children can run around, and through giant dinosaurs at “Europe’s largest indoor Dino Play Park.”

METZ, FRANCE If you want to have a shorter trip, take a one-hour drive south to Metz (www.tourisme-metz.com). From the motorway, you can easily catch sight of the Saint-Étienne cathedral (www.cathedralemetz.fr), which has the third highest nave of any church in France. It’s one of the most beautiful monuments of Europe, reckon locals. Many are impressed by its majesty and its glazed surface. This cathedral represents a pearl of gothic art, including several stained glass windows installed by Marc Chagall in the late 1950s. The town also hosts a botanical garden (www. metz.fr); which is equivalent to four hectares of nature. Excellent for a family stroll, the garden hosts magnificent trees like the ginkgos and sequoias. Marvel at the rose garden and the tropical trees. Little ones will enjoy the little train that tours the park all summer long. About halfway between Luxembourg City and Metz is Amnéville Zoo (www.zoo-amneville.com), another great outing for kids. It’s one of Europe’s largest and is open every day. Above all, don’t miss the “Tiger World” show. It’s unique in the world and aims to be a tribute to big cats.

BASTOGNE Olivier Delmée, an area tour guide, suggests Ardennes ham, which “has been made since the Middle Ages. To taste it, go to the first floor of the Maison du tourisme, or to the pork museum nearby [search for ‘Le Musée du cochon’ on Facebook]. There, you can taste the ham from a local producer. Also, in every restaurant there’s one or two ham dishes on the menu,” he says. FRANKFURT Huanhuan Beichert, also a tour guide, suggests sausages with grüne soße (green sauce), accompanied by apfelwein (cider). Green sauce is made from sour cream, boiled eggs, spices and seven types of herbs. “It’s a special tradition here. It’s served in restaurants in the Frankfurt style.” DAUN Try Döppekuchen, a potato flan dish from the Eifel region. It’s made with grated potatoes, onions and bacon, all baked in a cast-iron pot. MAASTRICHT Locals tout bitterballen, deep fried crunchy meatballs served with mustard. METZ Quiche Lorraine is an essential staple of French cuisine: eggs, cream and bacon (and sometimes more) baked in a pie crust.

Summer 2016

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LIFESTYLE

QUICK GUIDE

Text by IMANE MOUSTAKIR

A festive summer

residents Summer in the Cit y offers Through 7 September, of open air shows, concerts, enlightenment and visitors a wide range are a few highlights from the programme, and enter tainment. Here spending summertime in the capital. plus a few more ideas for

COMING OF AGE This year, the Summer in the City programme celebrates its 18th birthday. Organised by the Luxembourg City Tourist Office, Summer in the City brings together culture and tourism to provide a series of events and activities that can be enjoyed by visitors to the capital city as well as locals. It features everything from world music concerts to street art performances by clowns and acrobats, from the country’s biggest funfair to guided tours of the palace. Each year, Summer in the City attracts a bigger audience. Last year, around 2.5 million visitors attended events organised as part of the festival. To appeal to tourists, the 2016 Summer in the City pocket guide is published in three languages, French, German and English. The guide, which details the three month programme, is available for free at the Luxembourg City Tourist Office on place Guillaume II. Info: www.summerinthecity.lu

MEYOUZIK The popular world music festival takes place on three stages based on place Guillaume II, place Clairefontaine and in rue du Saint-Esprit. The place Guillaume II’s big stage will welcome headline acts like Tritha Electric, Soweto Soul and Shantel. The place Clairefontaine will host a MeYouVillage featuring entertainment for kids and food stands serving world cuisine, while the Saint-Esprit stage is the place to be to hear more obscure artists playing electroacoustic music. When: 16 July Where: place Guillaume II, place Clairefontaine, rue du Saint-Esprit Info: www.meyouzik.lu

ROCK UM KNUEDLER For rock lovers, this festival is a must in Luxembourg. This year, Rock um Knuedler celebrates its 26th anniversary by welcoming headline act Marlon Roudette and 17 Luxembourg artists including Go by Brooks, The Filthy Broke Billionaires, Fox and Versus You. When: 17 July Where: place Guillaume II, place Clairefontaine, rue du Saint-Esprit Info: www.rockum knuedler.lu

BLUES’N JAZZ RALLYE This is a hugely popular event, especially among expats. Every year, more than 20,000 music fans head down to the Grund and Clausen to hear more than 50 jazz and blues shows. They take place in cafés and restaurants, but also on eight outdoor stages in the valley, making for a magical evening. When: 23 July Where: Grund and Clausen Info: www.blues jazzrallye.lu

STREET A(RT)NIMATION For its 22nd edition, the Streeta(rt)nimation festival welcomes more than 20 international theatre companies and street art performers. Audiences will be treated to no fewer than 80 shows, some of which are in dedicated performance spaces, while others are free to wander the city centre streets and get closer to their audience. When: 13 and 14 August Where: city centre squares and streets Info: www.street artnimation.lu

GRAND DUCAL PALACE If you want to know more about the life of Luxembourg’s royal family, or simply have a desire to marvel at the VIP lounge decor, book a guided tour of the royal palace with the LCTO. Tours in English are available every day except Wednesdays at 10 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. When: 16 July to 4 September Where: Grand Ducal Palace, rue du Rost Info: www.lcto.lu

CITY PROMENADE Take a tour of the city centre in two hours. Strolls guided in English start at 2 p.m. When: daily Where: meet in front of the LCTO Info: www.lcto.lu

BOCK CASEMATES Explore the subterranean fortifications of Luxembourg’s premier tourist attraction between 10 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. When: daily Where: Bock Casemates, montée de Clausen, Luxembourg-Centre Info: www.lcto.lu

SCHUEBERFOUER No event attracts more visitors to the city than the annual funfair. Rides for the brave and the young, games of skill and chance, entertainment, and lashings of fast food and drinks make for a great evening out. When: 19 August to 7 September Where: Glacis car park, LuxembourgLimpertsberg Info: www.fouer.lu

PUBLIC SQUARES

PLACE GUILLAUME II One of the most important squares in the capital, it hosts numerous big stage events over the summer. Its popular name is Knuedler, which comes from the Luxembourgish word for “knot”, invoking the knot in the belt that Franciscan friars wore; their monastery occupied the site until 1797.

PLACE D’ARMES This Luxembourg square is located slap in the centre of the city. Flanked on two sides by restaurants, it houses a bandstand where groups entertain diners in the spring and summer. It derives its name from the time that the square served as a parade ground for the troops barracked in the city.

PLACE CLAIREFONTAINE In the middle of government ministries, the square has as its focal point a statue of the much loved Grand Duchess Charlotte. Its location means it is often used as an ending point for protests and rallies that want to attract the attention of the government.

Harald H. Schroeder Claude Piscitelli/LCTO José-Noël Doumont/Cour Grand-Ducale > Robert Boberian Nikilux/Creative Commons bubudu57/Creative Commons Cathy Giorgetti/LCTO

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FESTIVAL

Text by DUNCAN ROBERTS

r e m m u s t a h T feeling

gust it is this, y in Luxembourg in Au sta to n so rea e on is re If the lés festival at Rotondes. the annual Congés annu

WHAT THE CRITICS SAY

MORGAN DELT/4.8.2016 Tim Sendra, All New Music: “A lot of people have done the same kind of excavation and restoration work he has, but few have done it as memorably. Almost no one has done it with songs as good as these.”

DIE NERVEN/07.08.2016 Ulf Kubanke, laut.de: “While the sounds provoke gut-reaction ecstasy, one can hardly listen to the lyrics without your brain engaging in brooding, reflection and questioning… they won’t leave listeners cold.”

trio Die Nerven. The band’s second album, Fun, was hailed by Spiegel Online as one of the best and most relevant German-speaking albums of this decade. Latest album Out features lead track ‘Barfuß durch die Scherben’, which has become a Delano favourite of 2016. They are followed by Liima, a joyful percussion based pop band from Finland and Denmark. Also on the bill is American singer-songwriter Kevin Morby (photo), whose latest album, Singing Saw, received a rave review from Pitchfork. Super cool LA based R&B, rap, jazz, and electronic act The Internet plays on 17 August and more chill-pop sounds come courtesy of Icelandic trio Vök the following night. Soulful Danish singer Alex Vargas will attract a sizeable audience on 20 August, and the following night it is the turn of Japan again with math-rock exponents Toe. Finally, Berlinbased political-journalist-turned-musician Anika brings her new experimental rock project Exploded View to Rotondes on 24 August. What: Congés annulés When: 29 July to 26 August Where: Rotondes, place des Rotondes, Luxembourg-Bonnevoie Info: www.rotondes.lu

THE INTERNET/17.08.2016 Craig Jenkins, Pitchfork: “The Internet’s songs have always felt like scenes of salaciousness happening just out of earshot. Ego Death finally pulls us into the maelstrom.”

VÖK/18.08.2016 Pressplay.com: “From the joyful interplay between songs to the way each member of the band loses themselves to their own beat, theirs is the sort of crackling connection that makes you want to get on stage to join the party.”

Patrick Herzog Rotondes

T

he summer programme at Rotondes features a host of excellent international and local acts performing on stage inside and outside the Klub venue, as well as an array of music related events, parties and film screenings. Some highlights of this year’s line up have already been announced, and hats off to booker Marc Hauser and his team for producing a thrilling programme that rivals the best the festival has offered so far. The festival opens with local act Mutiny On The Bounty headlining a show that also includes Philadelphia based producer/ drummer NAH and Luxembourg visual artist Sh’napan playing a hip-hop showcase. Japanese quartet Goat (not to be confused with the hip Swedish act of the same name) are also on the bill in the first week of the festival. Acclaimed psychedelic pop artist Morgan Delt, admired by The Flaming Lips no less, plays with support from San Francisco punks Useless Eaters. The festival turns back to Europe with a double headlining gig by Norwegian electro-disco artist André Bratten and French synth-pop new wave kid Flavien Berger. The first week ends with a real highlight in the shape of German post-punk Summer 2016

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ROCKHAL, ESCH/ALZETTE (LUX) // INFOS & TICKETS: (+352) 24 555 1 FREE PUBLIC TRANSPORT WITH YOUR CONCERT TICKET TO AND FROM THE SHOW: WWW.MOBILITEIT.LU

‘ HITS TO BLUES ’ TOUR 2016/2017

24 OCT ROCKHAL ESCH/ALZETTE (LUX)

The ultimate tribute to one of rock and roll’s most remarkable groups

26 OCTOBER R OCKHAL ESCH/ALZETTE (LUX)

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Rockhal, Esch/Alzette (LUX) // infos & tickets: (+352) 24 555 1 Free public transport with your concert ticket to and from the show: www.mobiliteit.lu

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT ROCKHAL.LU

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Rockhal, Esch/Alzette (LUX) // infos & tickets: (+352) 24 555 1 Free public transport with your concert ticket to and from the show: www.mobiliteit.lu

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12 NOV 2016 ROCKHAL / ESCH/ALZETTE (LUXEMBOURG)

THE LUMINEERS JAKE BUGG NAO × TUYS × CLEVELAND × LAKE JONS AND MANY MORE

30 NOV ROCKHAL

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Rockhal, Esch/Alzette (LUX) // infos & tickets: (+352) 24 555 1 Free public transport with your concert ticket to and from the show: www.mobiliteit.lu

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LIFESTYLE

THEATRE PREVIEW

Text by DUNCAN ROBERTS

Stars come out for new theatre season

TICKETS: WWW.THEATRES.LU

KISS ME, KATE Porter’s Bard musical The musical highlight of the autumn is a production of Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate. This is especially apt in the year celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, as the musical is famously based on The Taming Of The Shrew. Porter provided the music and lyrics to Samuel and Bella Spewack’s show, which ran for more than 1,000 performances on Broadway starting in 1948. It has enjoyed several Broadway and London revivals and in 1953 was made into a film starring Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel. When: 15 & 16, 18-20 October Where: Grand Théâtre

LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING Tough eloquence Luxembourg director Anne Simon, whose excellent version of Zach Braff’s All New People was a sellout at the Capucins, will direct a production of Joe Penhall’s Love and Understanding starring Larisa Faber and Nickel Bösenberg. The play received several rave reviews when it first opened in 1997, including the Sunday Times which wrote: “This is one of the best plays I’ve seen, ever, at this powerhouse of new writing... tough, eloquent, bruising.” When: 28 February & 2-4 March 2017 Where: Théâtre des Capucins

ARTHUR MILLER Genius work A short season of performances plays homage to American playwright Arthur Miller. Douglas Rintoul, familiar to Luxembourg audiences, will direct a production of The Crucible, the masterful allegory of the McCarthy era played against the backdrop of the Salem witch trials. Later in April, at the Capucins, Thierry Mousset will direct actors in rehearsed readings by locally based actors in English of some of Miller’s lesser known works under the title Brooklyn Boy Made Good. When: 6 & 7 April 2017 (The Crucible); 25 & 26 April 2017 (Brooklyn Boy Made Good) Where: Grand Théâtre & Théâtre des Capucins

OBSESSION Law love triangle Jude Law will star in a production by Ivo van Hove of Obsession, after the film by Luchino Visconti over three performances at the Grand Théâtre in June 2017. It is a welcome return for van Hove, who directed Juliette Binoche in Antigone last season. The work in progress is based on the 1943 feature film Obsession, itself based on James M. Cain’s novel The Postman Always Rings Twice (which was filmed twice in Hollywood, in 1946 and 1981). Law will play the vagabond who is hired to work in a diner but begins a fatal affair with the owner’s wife. When: 23-25 June 2017 Where: Grand Théâtre

Marie-Noëlle Robert David Laurent (archives) Greg Williams

la Ville de the 2016 -17 season at the Théâtres de Jude Law is one of the main draws for by the director of the two theatres Tom Leick is Luxembourg. The programme unveiled lish-language shows. We have picked 11 highlights. packed with promise and plenty of Eng

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THE LAST HOTEL Searing opera A new work by Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh, The Last Hotel premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in 2015. It is a dark drama set in a shabby hotel where guests come to die. The “potently compact, searingly powerful” chamber opera was described by The Guardian as “heartbreaking in its portrayal of loneliness and loveless relationships” with a score that is “propulsive, gritty and rich”. When: 10 & 11 January 2017 Where: Grand Théâtre

SOUND THEATRE WITH CROCODILES Hybrid experiment An experimental piece by the Distractfold collective of musicians from Manchester, even Tom Leick admitted he had little idea about what Sound Theatre With Crocodiles might involve. The company, which makes hybrid electronic music for the 21st century, will transform the studio space into a fitting setting for this performance, which is part of the Rainy days festival. When: 3 December Where: Grand Théâtre

BATTLEFIELD Dazzling epic The great Peter Brook returns to Luxembourg with Marie-Hélène Estienne to direct this work they have adapted from the Mahabharata and a play written by Jean-Claude Carrière. A tale of the endless cycle of human destruction that examines “all the questions of our lives” in a contemporary fashion, the timeless epic is packed with rich language and the result is what Michael Billington in The Guardian called “a dazzling piece of theatre”. When: 12-14 January 2017 Where: Grand Théâtre

QUEEN ESTHER MARROW Gospel show The traditional New Year’s eve show at the Grand Théâtre this year features Queen Esther Marrow’s Harlem Gospel Singers Show. In town for two nights only, the 75-year old veteran of the gospel scene has performed with the very best including Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Harry Belafonte. More recently she has worked with German songwriter and producer Xavier Naidoo. When: 31 December & 1 January 2017 Where: Grand Théâtre

THE RAKE’S PROGRESS Faustian fall Inspired by William Hogarth’s memorable engravings, Igor Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress features a libretto by poets W.H. Auden and Chester Kallman. A Faustian story of a youthful and idle rich libertine who squanders his fortune and ruins his life, this Théâtre de Caen co-production is directed by David Bobée, whose the first opera it is. Benjamin Hullet and Marie Arnet take the lead roles. When: 3 & 5 February 2017 Where: Grand Théâtre

BREAKIN’ CONVENTION More street dance The street dance festival returns next summer after a successful debut at the Grand Théâtre in June this year. Launched by Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London, Breakin’ Convention is the biggest festival of hip-hop theatre in the world. Local dance groups, DJs, emcees, beatboxers and graffiti writers are being encouraged to once again get involved in 2017. When: 3 & 5 February 2017 Where: Grand Théâtre Info: www.breakinconvention.com/lux

Patrick Redmond Thomas Brill Caroline Moreau Paul Hampartsoumian

THE EMPEROR Actress showcase Adapted by Irish playwright Colin Teevan from the book by Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuściński about the decline and fall of Haïlé Sélassié in Ethiopia, The Emperor gives awardwinning actress Kathryn Hunter a chance to showcase her technical versatility and ability to transform. Walter Meierjohann directs what promises to be a powerful piece of theatre. When: 12-14 October Where: Grand Théâtre

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96

LIFESTYLE

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Text by DUNCAN ROBERTS

Photography by MARION DESSARD

Turning over a new leaf ace. s opened a new retail sp Book shop Chapter 1 ha kids, and adults, with an air y The Book Loft provides to browse and read. but cosy space in which

© Prenom Nom

JANE MOTTETO’BRIEN

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itting above the Éirelux Irish shop in Howald, Chapter 1’s brand new Book Loft is what owner Caroline Mühlfenzl calls “the second chapter” for the English language bookshop. “It has been a fantastic journey over the past three years or so, since I walked into a British bookshop looking for a book and basically walked out with a bookshop,” she says. Mühlfenzl says it was her love of literature and the fact that her children also really enjoy reading that inspired her to search for a second premises in addition to the tiny Belair store. The popularity of Chapter 1’s storytime reading sessions for children was also a catalyst to intensify the search for a more spacious premises in which to host that and other events and workshops. First opened in Belair in 1993, Chapter 1 has changed ownership before but has always retained a loyal customer base among the international community, schools and Luxembourgers looking for English language books, newspapers and magazines.

The Book Loft will be run by manager Jane Mottet-O’Brien, who says that the venue provides an alternative for families seeking an activity for their kids. The children’s section features appropriate décor created by artist Sonya Heffernan, including a fake hollow tree in which children can sit and read. Parents can sit and read and enjoy a coffee in armchairs in the loft, and soon they will also be able to head downstairs for lunch or snacks at a new restaurant within Éirelux, due to open later this summer. The Book Loft will stock UK bestsellers as well as classic and contemporary fiction, a selection of non-fiction, graphic novels and cookery, travel and health books. The extra space has also allowed the store to display some beautiful coffee table books. Daniela Fusillo has been engaged to organise events at the Book Loft. “This is a new concept that will attract existing and new customers. We will develop projects with partners willing to share their know-how with us,” she says.

Did you know? Chapter 1 opened in Belair in 1993. It was the first bookshop in Luxembourg dedicated solely to English language books. The increasing demand for English books has led to bookseller Ernster (www. ernster.com) opening an English language bookshop and other retailers such as Alinea (www.alinea.lu) expanding their English language selections. The Book Loft will have four staff. It will be open six days a week and on Sunday mornings, when customers will be able to buy British Sunday newspapers and enjoy brunch at Éirelux. Customers can order books from Chapter 1 and pick them up at the Belair store or at the Book Loft in Howald at their convenience.

What: Chapter 1 The Book Loft Where: 40 rue des Bruyères, Howald Info: www.chapter1.lu

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LIFESTYLE

SPORT & FITNESS

Text by NEEL CHRILLESEN

Photography by MARION DESSARD

h c a o c r u o y Is ? l a e d l a e r e th

In Luxembourg, as in many other countries, anyone can claim to be a personal trainer (or a yoga teacher for that matter). This lack of regulation is worth remembering before you decide to put your body into someone else’s hands.

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hen MP Nancy Arendt, of the CSV party, submitted a parliamentary question earlier this year about fitness clubs and non-regulated coaches, it came as a surprise for many to find out that anyone can legally call himself or herself a personal trainer in Luxembourg. In other words, gym goers and fitness enthusiasts could very well be putting their health into wrong hands and doing their body more harm than good. The idea of being told how to treat your body by someone who isn’t qualified is worrying. However the situation is no way unique to the Grand Duchy. In Brazil, personal trainers are required to hold a bachelor’s degree in physical education, but that’s an exception. In the US--where a 2002 investigation found that 70% of personal coaches did not have a degree in any field related to exercise science--only the State of Washington has moved towards regulating fitness trainers. And, according to the EU’s regulated professions database, all European countries are in the same situation as Luxembourg when it comes to personal trainers: no statutory regulation exists at all. “Sport is the stepchild of politics,” says Arendt. “The topic is neglected and underestimated despite it being a sector with strong economic potential, which is also essential for the wellbeing of our population. In 12 years, the percentage of overweight people in Luxembourg has gone from 16% to 23%. Obesity is linked to an increase in health problems, such as diabetes and cardiovascular illnesses, which in turn result in higher health care expenditures. Yet, sport is not considered as a value. In school, it’s the only subject which you can fail without any consequences. The Grand Duchy has one of the most sedentary lifestyles in Europe. One in five children are overweight. We need to change mentalities, teach our kids to move early on and guarantee structures where sport can be practiced safely.”

Arendt’s parliamentary question about regulating the fitness profession in Luxembourg got a rather meek response. It was stated that there were no plans for official regulation because this might “produce undesirable effects”, but that a solution could be to create a quality label for fitness centres and professionals. Arendt is in favour of this idea: “You wouldn’t entrust your hair to anyone just because they have a pair of scissors, why would you entrust your body to someone who doesn’t know anything about how to treat it correctly? When you walk into a fitness centre you’re putting your health in someone else’s hands. A serious place or a personal trainer should go through a person’s medical records before laying out a personalised programme, taking into account the overall health and physical condition of the person and analysing his or her goals. If people don’t receive proper advice, it can have disastrous effects. At least if there is a quality label there will be some sort of control.” Since the idea was put forward in parliament, there has been no further information given about when this could be implemented, who would be giving out the label and based on which criteria. In the meantime, fitness centres and personal trainers continue to sprout up. According to Statec’s 2015 business register, there are 48 different fitness facilities in Luxembourg, but most independent personal trainers are not included on that list and neither are a whole lot of other coaches, like yoga instructors, for example. “Whether you go to a spinning class, a crossfit lesson or a yoga session, you will mostly likely be taught by people who have

simply gone from being sport enthusiasts to instructors,” says “Olivier”, a physiotherapist who asked that his real name not be published. “They do a workshop or a retreat somewhere or pay a lot of money to take a supposedly certified course. That doesn’t teach them how the body works. I have countless patients with shoulder and spine injuries because their crossfit trainer has ‘pushed them to the edge’. Yoga instructors are telling people with bad backs or high blood pressure to do shoulder stands, which they shouldn’t… In any physical activity, something as simple as posture and how you position yourself can spell the difference between helping and harming yourself.” As a small experiment, Delano contacted three different fitness centres in Luxembourg by email posing as a prospective client and asking about their coach’s certifications. One answered back asking, “Why this question?”, before assuring us that all its coaches were “qualified”. The two others wrote back evading the question entirely and simply giving information about the equipment and classes available. Arendt believes ways to secure fitness education exists. “Even though there is no regulation regarding personal trainers in our neighbouring countries either, at least they offer real courses and schools. We can offer that in Luxembourg too, for example, in the new Lunex university in Differdange, specialised in physiotherapy, or at the École nationale de l’éducation physique et des sports,” says the MP. “Physical activity is such an important thing for all of us. The fitness profession should be monitored properly.”

" WHEN YOU WALK INTO A FITNESS CENTRE, YOU’RE PUTTING YOUR HEALTH IN SOMEONE ELSE’S HANDS."

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NANCY ARENDT

HOW TO CHOOSE... ... A FITNESS CLUB Make a shortlist of the places that correspond to your “must haves” and then check them out on social media, to see what others are saying about these clubs and to get a feel of their day-to-day activity.

LAYOUT B

Ask for a tour of your top picks and absolutely take an introductory class. Pay attention to all the details. Is the lighting too bright? The music too loud? Classes too crowded? The teachers too militaristic? What about cleanliness? Ask questions, including about the coaches’ credentials, and don’t sign any contract before you’re sure the club is the right place for you. Ideally, choose a place that doesn’t force you to commit for a whole year at a time. ... A PERSONAL TRAINER Signing up with a fitness coach means you have a goal. Whether it’s to prepare to run a semimarathon, tone your body or improve your health, you will need to find a personal trainer who can help you achieve your desired results and keep you motivated while not putting you through a programme that will cause injuries or take away all your willpower. Different coaches have different styles and philosophies, so ask about their method beforehand to be sure you’ll be comfortable with it. Referrals and testimonials can help you make a good decision, so ask around. It goes without saying that you should check the coach’s credentials and ask about his or her experience.

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100

LIFESTYLE

HEALTH

Text by NEEL CHRILLESEN

Photography by MARION DESSARD

It’s summer, get fat! KITCHEN REMEDIES Every household should have an aloe vera plant at hand to treat burns, but in the absence of one, there are plenty of kitchen remedies that will help soothe your skin if it’s been too long in the sun. To cool down the sting and promote healing, try cold milk or yogurt compresses (not the low-fat kind; the fatter the dairy, the better) or green tea or chamomile infusion compresses. You can also apply sliced cucumber or potato to the burnt area.

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he sun is a fickle friend. On one hand, it activates the production of vitamin D (of which many of us are deficient) and acts as a catalyst for the brain to secrete endorphins, producing a feeling of wellbeing. On the other hand, its rays increase the risk of skin cancer and induce wrinkles. However, slapping on sunscreen is not necessarily the best way to shield the skin from the sun’s bad effects. “Physical protection and common sense is what is most important,” says Anna Dannfelt, cofounder of the Luxembourg-based skincare company Essential Factory (www.essentialfactory.com). “Protecting your head, face and eyes with a large-brimmed hat, for example, and covering exposed skin is the best thing you can do. And for children, this is, of course, even more important,” she notes. “There’s no need to bake in the sun to get a tan, you can get the same result staying in the shade. It might take longer, but it’s safer and you won’t get burnt. The body never forgets. Once your skin has been badly burnt, that area will always be sensitive.”

Instead of using commercial sunscreens-which are frequently accused of containing toxic ingredients and endocrine disrupting chemicals-Dannfelt recommends protecting skin by nourishing it. “The skin dries out in summer, much more so than in winter,” she says. “If you choose your fats wisely and apply them frequently, your skin will be healthy and able to deal with a lot. Some oils and butters even have natural sun protection properties, like coconut oil or raspberry seed oil.” Dannfelt herself uses her own brand’s mango cream with shea butter and coconut oil. “Some people are reluctant to apply fats to their skin, but it will always be beneficial no matter what your skin type is. The skin will absorb what it needs-and it needs fats!” If the sun does catch you unawares, Dannfelt suggests reaching for your aloe vera plant, breaking off a leaf and gently rubbing if on the burnt area. You can of course also buy pure aloe vera gel at the chemist (if it also contains calendula, chamomile or witch hazel, that’s fine too). Naturally, the best plan is to avoid getting burnt. Or, as Dannfelt puts it: “In the summer, use the sun in moderation, apply fats to your skin, drink a lot of water and ingest salt instead of sugar!”

SOOTHING OATS If the sun has taken you by surprise and you’ve been sunburnt, oatmeal can bring relief. One way is by making a cool bath and adding a large cup of oatmeal to the water, stirring it in with your hand. It works best if you blend the oatmeal to fine powder beforehand. Soak for 20 minutes, don’t rinse yourself afterwards, and dab yourself dry carefully.

Florena Presse (CC BY-ND 2.0)

To protect your skin during the sunny season, sunscreen is not necessary the first thing you should reach for.

SUPER FRAGILE LIPS Lips have only three to five layers of skin cells--compared to up to 16 elsewhere on the body--and contain no sweat or oil glands. This explains why lips so easily dry and become chapped and why it’s important to use lip balm frequently in the sun. Favour products with moisturisers like beeswax, Vaseline and ceramides, and other protective ingredients like lanolin, glycerine, urea or cocoa butter, but avoid lip balms with fragrances and artificial colours, alcohol, menthol, camphor and phenol, which can all cause irritation.

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COVER STORY

TEAM SPORTS

Text by DUNCAN ROBERTS

Photography by MIKE ZENARI

Luxembourg’s international community plays an active role in organising a wide variety of team sports. They are as much about fair play, camaraderie and even doing social good as they are about competition. We profile a selection of sports that range from the high maintenance to the ultra cheap, and which can all be played in the Grand Duchy this summer and beyond.

JAN PAFFENHOLZ & LEE GODFREY HOCKEY

RONAN CARROLL GAELIC SPORTS

JOOST MEES CRICKET

BRIAN BULMAN ULTIMATE FRISBEE

ANDRÉ MAILLIET POLO

SIMON NEALE TOUCH RUGBY

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CinKg spEoYrt O H A grow GOOD FOR All ages, both sexes, fit athletes with technical ability TEAM NUMBERS 11 for full-size matches, 7 (with at least 2 female players) for corporate league PLAYED Outdoors in all but the most extreme bad weather, indoors during the winter TRAINING Adults once a week, youth once midweek and once weekends. EQUIPMENT Stick, astro turf shoes, shin pads, mouth guard. Average cost €100-600 HOME FIELD Stade Boy Konen, Cessange WEBSITE www.hockey.lu

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ince Hockey Club Luxembourg was founded in 1976, its youth section has mainly recruited players from the European school, where hockey is offered as an extra-curricular activity. “Hockey is a family-based sport for both boys and girls and most players come from a country where hockey is offered as a school sport or played at a high international level,” says HCL president Jan Paffenholz. The club has mainly attracted players from the Netherlands, Germany and Great Britain, but many more nationalities are now represented. Hockey is a non-contact team sport played with a stick and composite ball the size of a tennis ball. It is a very fast and physically demanding game involving many skills, such as eye-hand coordination. It is played outdoor on football size pitch and indoor on a handball size pitch. Goals are scored inside a half circle and not, as in handball, from outside the half circle. The goalkeeper wears padding and outfield players wear mouth guards and shin pads. The most exciting recent development for the club was the installation of an allweather pitch at its home field at the Stade Boy Konen in Cessange. “It meant that we could train and play the whole

season without having to cancel training or matches due to bad weather and we no longer had to look for the hockey ball in rabbit holes.” The new pitch, which Paffenholz describes as the best possible facility, allows the club to attract even more players, especially from local schools. “This means that many very young children have joined the club and we have therefore been working on adapting our training programme to our new needs.” A coaching team has been put in place and will follow a programme offered by the International Hockey Federation. Each of the youth teams has a team manager in

charge of the practical aspects and one or two coaches. HCL also organises various hockey clinics and summer camps, including friendly tournaments with clubs from the region and neighbouring countries. HCL currently has two boys teams competing in the German league and is also planning to register two girls teams and a youth team for the coming indoor season. “We are therefore currently looking for indoor facilities which will allow us to train indoor and organise indoor home games against German teams,” Paffenholz explains.

THE HOCKEY TEAM CAN NOW TRAIN AND PLAY THE WHOLE SEASON. Summer 2016

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COVER STORY

TEAM SPORTS

CONTINUED

GAELIC SPOthinRgTdifSferent Some

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he Gaelic Sports Club of Luxembourg (GAA) was founded in on St. Patrick’s day, 15 March 1978, just five years after Ireland became a member of the European Union and a team from Luxembourg played against a team made up of Brussels eurocrats from the Emerald Isle. The club has gone from strength to strength ever since. It has teams in four disciplines, men’s and ladies’ Gaelic football, hurling (for men) and camogie (for women). All sports are usually played right through the summer. It has managed to secure a regular training pitch at the Stade Michel Wagner in Weimerskirch after much lobbying of the Ville de Luxembourg. That pitch, shared with touch rugby and the Communities rugby club, was used on Sundays this spring and summer to host introductory

sessions for under 14s, an attempt to spread the appeal of the game beyond those youngsters born into families where both parents are Irish. The club now has a youth development officer and Ronan Carroll says that the sport teaches children about team work, how to follow instruction and coaching, eye-hand coordination. “We’ve had up to 60 kids coming on some Sundays,” he says with pride. “For the moment we are concentrating on developing their skills and getting adults interested in coaching. As we get more organised and attract more children, we hope to travel to other European cities for competitive youth matches.” The adult teams already travel to European competitions in places such as Amsterdam and Munich. But, says Carroll, they face a problem when it comes to hosting tournaments in Luxembourg.

THE GAELIC SPORTS CLUB HAS A GREAT COMMUNITY SPIRIT.

“Pitch availability is one of the biggest challenges we face. We have to borrow pitches from local football clubs.” The Weimerskirch ground is due to close (there are plans to build housing) and the club will then have to find an alternative venue. “We are lobbying to get recognition for our sports and the contribution they make to the community,” says Carroll. “We want more pitch time dedicated to sports that are not the traditional sports in Luxembourg.” The community takes pride in the club. The Black Stuff pub has long sponsored what is the oldest GAA tournament on the Continent and now “a venerable institution” according to club veteran Cathal Davey, who, together with Eoghan O’Hannrachain wrote a history of Gaelic games in Luxembourg in 2008. But the sports are not just for the Irish. Carroll explains that the club has players from France, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. “The club has a great community spirit and it’s a great introduction for anyone who has just arrived.”

Steve Eastwood (archives)

GOOD FOR Athletes who like fast team sports requiring skill and courage TEAM NUMBERS 15 for full-size matches, 11, 7 or 9 for some tournaments PLAYED Outdoors TRAINING Once a week for each team EQUIPMENT Football boots, shin guards, mouthguard, hurly or camogie stick, helmet and gloves for hurling. Average cost €250-350 HOME FIELD Stade Michel Wagner, Weimerskirch WEBSITE www.luxgaa.lu

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T E K C I R C e longest game Th

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othing seems to perplex people from countries without a cricketing tradition more than the most English of sports. For a start they don’t understand how a sporting match can last all day--or up to five days for test matches. But while the game in Luxembourg is mostly played by immigrants from the traditional cricket playing countries of England, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, more and more people are taking up cricket, explains Joost Mees, a committee member of Optimists Cricket Club based in Walferdange. Mees is a perfect example. A Dutch national, like many of his compatriots he grew up playing cricket at his local football club in the summer off season. Optimists is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year with a weekend of exhibition matches and barbecues and other events on 23 and 24 July. The club’s first team plays in the Belgian league against teams from cities like Brussels and Antwerp which have a large contingent of residents from England and the south Asian subcontinent. But it also hosts friendly matches against other long-standing teams on the continent such as Basel and

Frankfurt. There is also a local league for six clubs who play with a minimum of eight players. But the club also has a women’s team-The Maidens--and multiple youth teams, some of who have been forced to play indoor tournaments during this wet summer. Indeed, the youth system has been so successful that during the 40th anniversary weekend a team comprised solely of Luxembourg “homegrown” players who learned the game in the Grand Duchy will play against a team of cricketers who brought their passion for the game to the country. The cricket ground at Walferdange was provided by the commune and is named after the late prime minister and “father” of the euro Pierre Werner, who fell in love with the game while living in London in the 1930s. Werner, as honorary president of the club, officially opened the ground in 1992. According to legend, the ground is apparently the same dimensions as the famous Oval in London as this was the first reference point when the commune researched how large it should be. As with all the sports listed here, the social side of membership is important and the club puts on barbecues at its home matches, hosts a social six-a-side tournament and players often gather for dinner or drinks after an away game. “The beauty of the game is that anyone can try cricket. If you have some history in ball sports, with good eye-hand coordination, you can relatively easily get to a level of cricket that you can enjoy the sport.”

GOOD FOR Anyone with good eye-hand coordination who looks good in white TEAM NUMBERS 11 for full-size matches, 6 a side for some tournaments PLAYED Outdoors in summer, indoors in winter TRAINING Twice a week EQUIPMENT Cricket whites, bat, cricket pads, box, helmet, cricket shoes. Average cost €470-800 EVENT 40th anniversary weekend, 23 and 24 July HOME FIELD Pierre Werner cricket ground, Walferdange WEBSITE: www.optimists.cc

THE BEAUTY OF THE GAME IS THAT ANYONE CAN TRY CRICKET. Summer 2016

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f you’re going to play a sport as an adult as a hobby, it’s great to have mixed teams so it’s not so testosterone driven,” says Brian Bulman, secretary of the Luxembourg Flying Disc Federation. “There’s a really nice spirit of fair play and camaraderie.” He also enjoys the fact that the sport is flexible and easy to play. “You just need a flying disc and a field. You can also play indoors. It’s that freedom that is appealing.” Bulman picked up the game in Luxembourg, although he had known about it back in university in the United States. Bulman plays for the Ultimate de Lux team that currently has around 40 core members--though there are many more men than women. The team sends mixed teams to open tournaments for seven-a-side matches. The sport is still young and rules vary from tournament to tournament, but the basics are the same--players throw the frisbee to a team mate with the aim of making progress downfield to eventually catch the disc in an end zone, much like American football but without the crunching tackles. So a team needs good technicians who can throw the disc accurately, often using wrist technique to get the frisbee to curve in flight or spin back downwards at just the right time. It

also needs fast players who can run and catch the disc, often hurling themselves in flight like a wide receiver. A game lasts on average around 60 minutes, so endurance is one of the key factors in the sport. “Others have speed or can jump high. Some are very dexterous and can throw the disc accurately and use slight of hand to fake out opponents,” Bulman explains. The club created an ASBL and follows ministry of sport guidelines in order to gain recognition and obtain training facilities. “We were able to find the grass field through persistence and organisation.” The team travels to tournaments in France, Belgium and Germany as the nearest other team is in Trier. “We really want to grow the sport in Luxembourg,” says Bulman. It hosts its own tournament in Niederanven over the weekend of 16 and 17 July at which teams from the UK will also compete. Currently its team consists of a wide range of nationalities--with players from China, Brazil, North America and all over Europe. English tends to be the common language. “At the last tournament, I think we counted 14 nationalities were represented out of a roster of 16 players, which is pretty incredible.”

GOOD FOR Athletes who enjoy fast team games without physical contact TEAM NUMBERS 11 a side, less for some tournaments PLAYED Outdoors in good weather, indoors in winter TRAINING Twice a week EQUIPMENT Training shoes, frisbee disc. Average cost €80-150 EVENT Olimate international tournament, 16 & 17 July HOME FIELD Stade Henri Funck, Neudorf WEBSITE www.ultimatedelux.org

ULTIMATE FRISBEE’S MIXED TEAMS ARE NOT SO TESTOSTERONE DRIVEN.

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GOOD FOR Horse-loving athletes TEAM NUMBERS 4 a side PLAYED Outdoors in good weather, indoors in winter and Luxembourg summers TRAINING Up to 6 times a week EQUIPMENT Polo ponies (minimum 2 per player), saddle and reins, etc., polo stick, riding helmet, boots, trousers, shirt. Also stable fees, veterinarian fees and food and transport for horses. €25,000-40,000 EVENT 4th Luxembourg Polo International Tournament, 8-10 July HOME FIELD Écuries de la Pétrusse, Merl WEBSITE www.polo.lu

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ts reputation as an elite sport for the rich may put some people off polo, but the local club has attracted a core group of players in a relatively short time. Founded just eight years ago, the club has now found a base at the Écuries de la Pétrusse stables in Merl. Played by teams of four over a huge field, measuring 270 by 150 metres, polo is a strictly regulated sport, explains club president André Mailliet. To the novice it appears to have very technical rules on possession, challenging or hooking based upon an imaginary “line of ball”. They are designed to protect both players and their horses. The horses, or ponies as they are called because of their agility, are only on field for a short time--each is usually only allowed on for one chukka that lasts around seven minutes. For the level of handicap that the Luxembourg team plays, each pony can play two chukkas so that a player requires two ponies for each match. Professionals at the highest level

play eight chukkas, requiring nine ponies each (one as a reserve). “We have families where the father, mother and children play, so you can imagine they require a lot of horses,” says Mailliet. The club does bring in some ponies for training and for use by members, but Mailliet explains that often a player will fall for one of these animals and will buy it for themselves. The club has over 20 ponies at its Merl stables, and an adjacent polo field at which it plays training matches and where it will also host its fourth international tournament over the weekend of 8 to 10 July. That event includes a charity dinner in aid of projects for underprivileged families in Madagascar. The event will attract around 2,000 visitors and teams from France, Germany and the

Netherlands. Indeed, the club has come a long way since 2008 when a handful of riders interested in polo started to investigate how to set up a club and visited a world championship tournament in Chantilly. Vice president Alexander Ludorf hadn’t even ridden a horse properly before he started up polo in 2009. “My wife and I met André and his wife and we got to talking about the club. When I returned from Vienna the following week I found out from my wife that we had bought a polo pony.” Now he is one of the best at the club and his wife and son also play. “That’s one of the great things about this sport, that we can play together as a family. We travel to tournaments together and you get to know the players in Europe quite quickly.”

FAMILIES TRAVEL TO TOURNAMENTS TOGETHER. Summer 2016

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RetiUtioGn BY UveCl cH O T omp Top-le GOOD FOR Athletes of any age who enjoy mixed team sports TEAM NUMBERS Between 14 and 6 depending on tournament format PLAYED Outdoors in good weather, indoors in winter TRAINING Twice a week EQUIPMENT Training shoes. Average cost €70-140 EVENT Kick Cancer Into Touch, 16 July HOME FIELD Stade Boy Konen, Cessange & Stade Michel Wagner, Weimerskirch WEBSITE www.touch-luxembourg.lu

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ouch Rugby Luxembourg is following in the footsteps of its bigger, successful brother. Like rugby, touch is a fast-growing sport in the Grand Duchy and its national team competes at top level. The men’s team was competing at the European Championships in Jersey in early July. In 2014 the team finished sixth, beating Italy, Belgium and Hungary while losing to the traditional rugby strongholds of England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and France. “We have a young team,” says coordinator Paul Sweetnam. “Eight of our guys are under 20 and there will be a few older players.” But the game also appeals to women. Touch Luxembourg has sent mixed teams to other tournaments and the rules of the annual corporate league state that at least two female players must be on the pitch for each team at all times. The league has attracted 12 teams this year. They play 30-minute matches on Wednesday evenings, after which players socialise with a barbecue and drinks at newly installed facilities in Cessange. “It’s made a huge difference, for the rugby in the winter as well,” explains Sweetnam. Another big difference is the appointment of specialist touch coach Simon Neale. He has been playing for 22 years

in his native New Zealand, London and Dublin, where he was involved in the Irish national team. He says it is the “inclusivity of the game” that appeals. “Anyone can have a game and get involved, young, old, men, women. At international level there are over 40s and over 50s teams--so long as you can keep running you can play because there is no [full] contact.” The corporate league has now ended, but training continues on Tuesdays at the Weimerskirch. “Anyone who is interested can come down or visit our website and register for our email list.” As well as national tournaments, the teams go to plenty of fun tournaments all over Europe on a more social level, playing touch

during the day and attending the afterparty in the evening, Neale explains. He is also impressed by the facilities at Cessange which include a new pitch installed by the Ville de Luxembourg after years of lobbying by the rugby community. “The facilities are very good. We have a state of the art 4G pitch that was put in recently. Last winter it was a mud bath.” Touch Luxembourg also helps host the annual Kick Cancer Into Touch tournament, this year on 16 July, that raises money for cancer hospice Omega 90 as well as for Kriibskrank Kanner, an organisation that supports children and families affected by cancer.

ANYONE CAN HAVE A GAME AND GET INVOLVED IN TOUCH RUGBY.

Summer 2016

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Text by DUNCAN ROBERTS

Photography by STEVE EASTWOOD

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n 25 June, Hockey Club Luxembourg (www.hockey.lu) hosted its annual Luxury Tour international tournament. Spread over the weekend, the competition attracted ten teams and 130 players from Switzerland, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as Luxembourg. Even though the weather was not perfect, the tournament could go ahead despite the occasional rain shower thanks to the brand new shiny pink and blue all weather pitch that has recently been installed at Cessange. The teams played some stirring matches and the final between the VanDenBulke and Friends team and the Hockey Horror Picture Show squad was described as featuring “breathtaking moments of suspense”. In the end, it was VanDenBulke and Friends who lifted the trophy. But the weekend also had its social side away from the pitch. Participants donned fancy dress with a “musicals” theme for a party at the Black Stuff. The tournament was supported by a number of sponsors and all funds raised over the weekend went to the Fondation Kriibskrank Kanner.

TEAM MATES A. Camille Kneip, Bob Kneip, Margot Pels, Jan Paffenholz, Nienke ter Avest B. Ignacio Mesones, Lee Godfrey C. Margot Pels, Chantal Valk, Eveline Pels, Daniel Sallermann, Léontine Groothuis D. Roel Creton, Dieter Berodt, Charles Courlander E. Raphaël Xiol, Vero Alvarez, Nathalie Close, Stephan Borreman, Raphaël Krings F. Charlotte Favril, Thibaut De Veyt G. Steven Cooney, Robert Mititelu, Richard Shawyer, James McIlkenny H. Jan Paffenholz, Patricia Noesen I. Richard Grey, Ellie Godfrey, David Meunsen J. The tournament was played on the new all-weather pitch A

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Text by WENDY WINN

A summer offun fantasy and DRUCKLUFT PERFORMS AT THE STREETA(RT)NIMATION FESTIVAL IN AUGUST

HORSE LISTENING & MOVIE MAKING Move over campfires and Kumbaya--here’s a different sort of summer camp! From 16 to 22 August in Germany, ages 8 to 13. Info: www. thecorporatehorselistener.com FAMILY SIZE ART The Summer Academy offers courses from theatre to graffiti and writing kids’ books. For various ages, even whole families! Info: www.kulturhaus.lu

While adults gladly get tucked into a summer read, kids may opt to leave their books in their school bags until September--unless they’ve discovered comic books. The annual Festival international de la bande dessinée turns Contern into a fabulous fantasy fest on 16 and 17 July, with everything from Wonder Woman to Watchmen, original artwork and collectables. Famous writers and illustrators are there too, and there’s plenty of grub to grab. www.bdcontern.lu The Kanner in the City event on 29 and 30 July is part of the Summer in the City line-up (see page 90), so circle those dates if your younger kids would love to climb, play, splash, slide and romp outdoors. And speaking of play--ever notice how often it involves knights and princesses? Plunge the kids into a storybook world of castles, jesters and jousting by taking them to Vianden’s Medieval Festival from 30 July to 8 August. There’s a medieval market

too, selling medieval morsels and handicrafts. www.castle-vianden.lu Street performers didn’t just exist in medieval days-they’re alive and well and will be in the capital on 13 and 14 August for Streeta(rt)nimation, again part of Summer in the City. And although it’s a sure sign that summer is nearly over, what a way to go! The Schueberfouer runs from 19 August to 7 September, with rollercoasters, candy floss and fireworks. On September 10 and 11, head to the Butschebuerger Buergfest to see more street performers, musicians and magicians--the kids will forget that the school bell will soon ring. www.buergfest.lu And while summer can be ethereal and enchanting, why not see it off on 17 September with an event with the same qualities--the fabulous Nuit des lampions? www.wiltz.lu

BE A GOOD SPORT Kids from 11 to 17 can get out of the house and onto the court, pitch, gym, woods or even onto the water for various sports weeks offered as part of the Ville de Luxembourg’s Sportwochen programme. Info: www.vdl.lu CAN’T BEAT BAMBESCH FOR CITY KIDS Kids 5 to 12 who live in Luxembourg City can take part in supervised activities from 18 July to 12 August, from 2 to 6 p.m. Info: www.capel.lu

LCTO > The Corporate Horse Listener

Summer days allow plenty of time for just playing and pretending, and Luxembourg offers lots of ways to fire up kids’ imaginations.

Summer 2016

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At ISL our mission is to provide an outstanding education and inspire our students to engage in both academic and enriching extra-curricular programmes. Our students set high expectations for themselves, enjoy school and the community is constantly rewarded by their achievements. ISL has earned its outstanding reputation through its students’ successes, its rigorous educational programme, its excellent and dedicated staff, its caring community and its engagement in global issues. With over 40 nationalities in our student body and more than 20 nationalities within our staff, friendship, international mindedness, diversity and inclusion are ways of life in our multi-cultural environment. www.islux.lu

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Text by MARINA LAI

Photography by MIKE ZENARI

Parks n e r d l i h c r o f

HOTEL SIEWERBUREN “We live in Bridel so an ice cream at the hotel is often a reward after a very long walk.” But treats aren’t just for kids, Miriam jokes. “It’s one of the few places where we can sit just across the path from the kids and enjoy a nice wheat beer whilst still keeping a close eye on them.” This quiet and shaded hangout is also a great place to make new friends, she says, “it’s a great icebreaker when your kid goes up to another adult and demands to share their snacks!” Where: Hotel Siewerburen, 36 rue des Sept-Fontaines, Luxembourg-Rollingergrund Info: www.sieweburen.lu

MY FAVOURITES

MERSCH PARK This open and grassy park is the perfect place for the BLC picnic in July, Miriam explains. As well as a snack bar with hot food and ice cream, this spot is ideal for young children and tweens. “There’s a playground for the really little ones, it’s fenced and visible, which lets me relax whether I’m in organiser mode or mum mode.” As for older children, the park has plenty of flat and smooth paths for scooters and bikes. “There’s even a tyre swing, a witches hat and lots of sunbathing space for the big kids.” Where: Parc municipal de Mersch, Mersch Info: www.mersch.lu

Five years ago Miriam sScargall was curating colifax, tumes and tex tiles in Ha mLuxe England. She moved to epted acc d an sb hu r he en bourg wh university a job as a physicist at the , aged five ren ild ch o tw s ha and now is such a and three. “Luxembourgs, we feel safe kid se rai to ce great pla tivities and here, there’s plenty of ac the parents As e.” on ery ev events for of the British and children coordinator), Miriam overLadies Club (w ww.blc.lu ferent regions sees kids’ ac tivities in dif which has across the country, a jobsome of Luxhelped her to discover hangouts. embourg’s best toddler

HELICOPTER PARK “On a really hot day, this is one of my favourite spots.” This shaded park, situated in the middle of Belair is a winner with Miriam’s boys, too. “They love the sandpit with a big digger in the middle. There’s also a climbing frame, and most importantly the playground is fenced.” The centrepiece is a model helicopter with spinnable rotor blades, making it the perfect giant toy. Thanks to its central location, Miriam regularly uses this park for BLC ‘Play in the park’ activities. “My role at BLC encourages me to do more and discover more. Although initially I applied for the role to take on more responsibility in the club, it’s been so rewarding because I’ve found so many long-lasting friendships, something that is so important when you’re away from your family.” Where: Place de jeux publique, allée Léopold Goebbel, Luxembourg-Belair Info: www.vdl.lu

Summer 2016

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Delano Summer 2016  

Delano Summer Magazine 2016, understanding luxembourg, current affairs, business, lifestyle, culture

Delano Summer 2016  

Delano Summer Magazine 2016, understanding luxembourg, current affairs, business, lifestyle, culture