June 2011 – Issue 05 – 4€ – www.delano.lu
5 453000 010015
Understanding Luxembourg: current affairs, business, lifestyle, Culture
Court jester: Gilles Muller leads the Kurt Salmon Luxembourg Davis Cup Team
08.06.2011 13:42:02 Uhr
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RMB - A New Currency In Town The Chinese Yuan (RMB) is fast becoming an international currency
With Bank of China Luxembourg Branch, now you can: • Have RMB account, deposit & loan • Make international settlement in RMB • Conduct RMB foreign exchange transactions
With Bank of China Luxembourg Branch, your money is safe!
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Bank of China Luxembourg Branch Bank of China (Luxembourg) S.A. 37/39, Boulevard Prince Henri L-1724 Luxembourg (R.C.S. Luxembourg: B 16755)
impressum June - Issue 05
Editor in chief: Duncan Roberts (email@example.com) Journalist: Aaron Grunwald (firstname.lastname@example.org) Contributor: Michaël Peiffer Photography: Julien Becker, Luc Deflorenne, Etienne Delorme, David Laurent/Wide, Andrés Lejona, Olivier Minaire Proofreading: Cynthia Schreiber
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Vote for a change Text: Duncan Roberts — Illustration: Quentin Vijoux
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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)
It is anathema to many foreigners that voting is obligatory here in Luxembourg. Something about being forced to go to the polling booth seems undemocratic to anyone who views voting as a civil right rather than a civic duty. Compulsory voting is often cited as a reason by foreigners who decline to take up their right to register to vote for local and European Parliament elections in Luxembourg. Others still claim they are wary of local bureaucracy, or have little knowledge of the issues at stake or the manifestos of the different parties. Those arguments are spurious. Compulsory voting is hardly ever enforced. Registration is quick and easy. And anyone who has lived here for five years--the legal minimum to be eligible to vote--surely has some sort of vested interest in who runs their local council. Yes, obtaining information from
the parties in English is not always easy but expats cannot expect everything to be handed to them on a platter. Admittedly, something of a chickenegg dilemma comes into play here. The parties may justifiably argue that it is too expensive and time consuming to produce information in English when so few foreigners have registered to vote, while potential voters will argue that they don’t want to register and waste a vote if they do not have the relevant information in their language to make an informed decision. The same quandary faces those who argue that their vote won’t make any difference to the outcome. But, in a number of communes foreigners outnumber Luxembourg residents. So if all eligible non-Luxembourgers did vote they could affect the final result. Visit www.icanvote.lu, register, use your vote wisely and you could make a change.
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42 COVER STORY
GILLES MULLER Luxembourg’s number one As the Kurt Salmon Luxembourg Davis Cup Team prepares to take on Great Britain, its number one player is cautiously optimistic regarding the team’s progress and his personal form. How is he preparing to take on Andy Murray and the British team?
8 CURRENT AFFAIRS
MODERN DIPLOMACY What good are embassies today?
OVERHYPED Will UCITS IV be good for Luxembourg?
NETWORKING Junior Chamber International Luxembourg
12 JUNCKER IN THE SPOTLIGHT The PM making international headlines
28 MUTUAL FUND MILESTONE
14 LIVING FOR THE CITY
30 REAL ADVICE
18 FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT
62 EPICUREANS/NIGHT OWLS
20 CARE COMES TO LUX.
34 PSA VS. THE GERMANS
64 TOURIST AT HOME
Royal Hamilius gets the green light Nicolas Schmit defends Schengen
Auma Obama is building Kenyan girls’ self-esteem
Franklin Templeton marks 20 years
The changing face of moving
Entering Middle East markets
John Malkovich meet and greet
Kinotex creating a sensation
Tips for dining out and relaxing
Luxembourgish car chief takes on the competition
Staying in Luxembourg this summer
36 THINK LOCAL Eugen Odermatt--the Swiss music store owner explains how he arrived in Luxembourg by chance and fell in love with the country after some initial reluctance
22 ROYALS IN OSLO
66 MY OTHER LIFE
Luxinnovation hosts Business meets research
Bob Kneip--the founding director of the financial services company talks about how he fi rst became interested in art and his passion for collecting, and sharing with staff and clients, modern and contemporary paintings and sculptures
The Grand Duke and Duchess led a state visit to Norway
35 INNOVATIVE MATCHMAKING 38 NETWORKING WITH BILTGEN The communications minister at AMCHAM’s IT Com event
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The new diplomacy
Diplomatic services are being trimmed as governments everywhere cut back on public spending. How are foreign embassies in Luxembourg coping and what is the role of the diplomat in an ever-changing world? Text: Duncan Roberts & Aaron Grunwald â€” Photos: David Laurent/Wide
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Louise Bang Jespersen: role of the classic diplomat is changing
David R. Fetter: getting a sense of nuance Amanda Ross McDowell: enhancing contact and conveying information
In the face of public spending cuts by governments around the world, politicians and the media in many countries have been questioning the amount spent on diplomatic representations abroad. Their arguments find resonance with taxpayers who may have the image of diplomats living in luxury while the axe is taken to vital services such as health and education at home. Perhaps because of its small size and proximity to bigger capitals, embassies to the Grand Duchy are often first in line on the diplomatic chopping block. Last year, for example, Sweden closed its embassy to Luxembourg, along with four other EU nations, “primarily for budgetary reasons,” says Cecilia Julin, spokesperson for Sweden’s foreign ministry in Stockholm. “The foreign ministry had a longrunning financial deficit and we had to make commitments to cut the budget.” But other countries are also trimming back on their representations. The Luxembourg embassies of UK and Ireland, for example, now both run with just one diplomat. When newly appointed British ambassador Alice Walpole arrives in August, chargé d’affaires Amanda Ross McDowell will leave the embassy.
Similarly, Irish ambassador Diarmuid O’Leary is his country’s sole diplomat in the Grand Duchy. “It is the case that in a number of countries we now have a ‘light’ diplomatic model,” O’Leary explains. “And Luxembourg is one of those. There is a lot to do and you need to have lots of energy, but the approach works for us. Rather than reducing our geographic footprint, we have simply reduced the size of our feet. But we’re not the only ones doing that.” Changing role Danish ambassador Louise Bang Jespersen concurs. “You see more and more of this type of set up. And it works fine.” With a community of some 2,200 Danes living in Luxembourg consular services are important. But equally important is the role in analysing and getting better knowledge of the Luxembourg government’s position and also exchanging points of view. “We also see new actors emerging on the scene. We have to acknowledge that in general stakeholders other than governments have an increasing impact, also on the political agenda. We need to hold dialogue on many levels, with NGOs, the media and so on. So as a general trend, the role of the classic diplomat is also changing.”
Asking what the role of an embassy today “is a very valid question,” says Ross McDowell. “There are many, many forms of communication today and that has increased direct communication at all sorts of different levels.” She adds: “The embassy plays a really important role, enhancing contact between individuals, and helping to explain positions and understand policies, in conveying information from [London] out to host countries, and trying to explain policies and relaying information back to [London].” David R. Fetter has been in Luxembourg for just seven weeks, yet the chargé d’affaires at the US Embassy has enough experience in the diplomatic service to know the value of having an embassy. “Embassies on the ground provide us with an unmatched ability not only to explain our position and our country and policies, but also to get a sense of what is the real Luxembourg--what is true, what is nuance, the sort of subtle things you will miss form a distance. We find it incredibly valuable.” However, there have been vociferous calls for a slash to the State Department budget for foreign missions. “I think there is a broadly bipartisan consensus in Washington that we have to
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Diarmuid O'Leary: light diplomatic model
do things differently, and certainly more efficiently. We are looking at every opportunity to do so,” Fetter explains. He says his goal as chargé is to ensure that the government gets good value for money from its Luxembourg mission. That seems to be a key political strategy, especially given the image of diplomats abroad among those who rarely travel or do business outside of their own country. Criticism of spending on Irish embassy residences in Ottawa, The Hague and Pretoria, for example, were highlighted in a report by economist Colm McCarthy. Here in Luxembourg, ambassador Diarmuid O’Leary confirms rumours that the embassy is looking for a new residence, but that the move is just part of general budgetary restraint. “We are clearly operating in challenging circumstances and there’s huge pressure on budgets right across the Irish public service. We’ve taken several measures to streamline the way we do business here,” he says. The UK Commonwealth and Foreign Office is also rationalising, and Luxembourg is subject to part of what Ross McDowell calls its “regionalisation”
programme. This saw passport and visa services shifted to Paris and internal administrative support moved to Brussels, while trade and investment promotion is managed as a single Benelux team. The chargé d’affaires says the Benelux regionalisation prgramme, like those in Iberia and Scandinavia, has been successful. As opposed to being a downgrade, in tough fiscal times she reckons regionalisation is a way to ensure the UK still has an embassy open in Luxembourg. Business promotion O’Leary also recognises that spending cuts are necessary, but thinks the new Irish government will follow the lead of its predecessor to not close embassies. “The new government is determined to engage fully with its EU partners and to show that Ireland remains a committed partner, so I have no sense of a change in that position.” He also dismisses the suggestion by Irish member of the European Parliament, Gay Mitchell, that the embassies in Luxembourg and Strasbourg could be served by one ambassador. “Up until 1999 our ambassador here used to travel regularly to Strasbourg. But
then we opened a permanent representation to the Council of Europe led by an ambassador. This is a reflection of the importance we attach to our engagement with the Council of Europe, but also to our bilateral relationship with Luxembourg.” Jespersen feels that while direct communication between EU ministers happens on a daily basis, communication overflow can pose problems. “I think diplomatic channels play their role. It is about putting the pieces of the puzzle together. When you have a representation in a country, the daily presence and interaction ensures you get a feel for what is happening, a much more nuanced picture.” Luxembourg, on the other hand, is rare in that it continues to grow its network of diplomatic representation offices, although admittedly from a much smaller base. Paul Dühr, secretary general at the foreign ministry explains that Luxembourg did not send diplomats abroad prior to the 1930s and for years missions were limited to neighbours and key military allies such as the UK. With the 1970s oil crisis, the approach changed. The Grand Duchy focused on opening consulate generals “that specifically have a business promotion task.” The
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Paul Dühr: business promotion task
network has successfully attracted direct foreign investment in both the manufacturing and financial sectors that Dühr says led to the creation of jobs in Luxembourg. “Would that have been possible without our embassies? Frankly, I don’t think so.” He cites the Electrolux and Husky plants, and more recently how the consulate in San Francisco worked with the economy minister to convince Amazon and Skype to setup headquarters in the Grand Duchy. “I would say the network provides good value for money. What others would consider the exception of having a ‘ laptop diplomat’ is probably the rule for Luxembourg,” he says, only half in jest. Despite the overseas expansion, the financial crisis and government austerity have not passed the foreign ministry by. The new embassies announced this year in Abu Dhabi and Turkey were partially funded by consolidation in Vienna, while the ministry still has not found funds to open a hoped-for embassy to Brazil. Stakeholders Louise Bang Jespersen says that another important role is facilitating the com-
mercial side of bilateral relations. For example, in March the embassy facilitated a round table discussion with Stig Jørgensen, CEO of Danish life cluster Medicon Valley Alliance and key stakeholders in Luxembourg. “I think it’s fair to say it was valuable for both sides, identifying possible collaboration and we are looking into possible follow up actions. We have also had contact with key stakeholders in the area of design, where we see a lot of potential.” At the US embassy, Fetter says that working with groups like AMCHAM, NGOs, bilateral and multilateral institutions and even ordinary everyday Americans and Luxembourgers is vital. “In Luxembourg, as in many other countries, it’s difficult if not impossible for an embassy to conduct the full breadth of a true bilateral relationship on its own,” he says. “Without them we wouldn’t be as effective. But I would like to think they also see us as being of some value. It is, to borrow an overused term, synergetic.” O’Leary, too, works closely with local business people but also with Irish state agencies Enterprise Ireland, which is involved in the promotion of exports from indigenous Irish companies, and the IDA, which
promotes investment in Ireland. “Like Luxembourg, the Irish economy must be export driven, pro-business, innovative and entrepreneurial in outlook,” the ambassador explains. While the British community waits for the arrival of Alice Walpole as its next ambassador, there is as yet no news of a successor to Cynthia Stroum as US ambassador following her unexpectedly swift departure at the end of January. As Fetter explains, Luxembourg is in a relatively selective group of embassies that are typically filled with non-career diplomats at ambassadorial level, which involves a fairly lengthy political process. “So it is almost inevitable that there will be gaps,” he says. He feels, however, that the policy of appointing non-career diplomats has its advantages. “It gives the government of Luxembourg an interlocutor who is well known and has access at the highest levels in Washington. And internally, we career diplomats profit enormously from having the different perspective and backgrounds from people who have not spent their lives in what is a fairly unique micro environment. I am actually looking forward to having an ambassador at some point.”
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Juncker in the spotlight
Never one to shy from delivering an opinion, the prime minister and head of the Eurogroup has made international headlines in the face of the Greek debt crisis. Text: Duncan Roberts — Photo: Jock Fistick/SIP
Jean-Claude Juncker has had to use all his experience, wit and wiles over the past two months, especially after admitting that sometimes politicians lied. Firstly, he faced a backlash after telling a public forum in Brussels that it was quite acceptable for politicians to be economical with the truth in certain circumstances. Just weeks later his press spokesman, Guy Schuller, vociferously denied that a meeting of European finance ministers was taking place in Luxembourg. All the while, Juncker was at the centre of efforts to assist Greece and avoid further damage to the reputation of the single currency. On Friday June 3 he met with Greek prime minister Giorgos Papandreou and emerged to say he expected the Eurogroup to agree to additional financing to be provided to Greece under strict conditionality. “This conditionality will include private sector involvement on a voluntary basis and this private sector involvement will have to be negotiated with private creditors.” The comments the prime minister made to an audience at a conference on economic governance in Brussels were first posted in an article on the EUObserver. com website. The blog included video footage of Juncker saying “Monetary policy is a serious issue. We should discuss this in secret, in the Eurogroup.” Speaking with his usual dry sense of humour, Juncker said he was in favour of “secret, dark debates.” But the EUObserver.com report did not really draw attention until a few weeks later with the denial that a
Jean-Claude Juncker: in favour of secret, dark debates
meeting of euro-zone finance ministers with Central Bank governor JeanClaude Trichet was taking place, despite reports to the contrary on German website Speigel Online. Later, in an interview with Spiegel Online Juncker was far from contrite. In fact, he countered the charge that he had lied by arguing that it had been wrong of the website to “ disseminate the false report that we were meeting in Luxembourg to discuss Greece’s withdrawal from the monetary union.” In a statement that is typical of Juncker’s forthright attitude--some call it arrogance, others call it not suffering fools lightly--the prime minister said he deliberately chose to
“produce a small wave of outrage over a white lie” rather than trigger a “tsunami in the financial markets”. This mirrored comments made during the Brussels conference, in which he said he was “ready to be insulted as being insufficiently democratic, but I want to be serious.” Juncker admitting he lied has divided opinion sharply. Some observers claim he has damaged his credibility, and are wondering whether, as Arthur Beesley in the Irish Times puts it, “ his political grip is loosening.” Others applaud Juncker’s candour and say that everyone knows politicians can be economical with the truth at best, so it is refreshing to hear a politician admit as much.
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ww w.v One site dl.lu fi ts a Whe l l. City ther y o of L uv isit ux offe embou , work rs y o r ou a g, our r live i n n ll th e in ew web the fo y ou n site eed .
liVing for The ciTY The annual Festival d’Architecture examines the way we live, especially in an urban context. It seems timely, therefore, that the Ville de Luxembourg has just green-lighted its prestigious Royal Hamilius project. Text: Duncan Roberts
It is an acknowledged global phenomenon that more and more people are living in cities. Indeed, the UN World Urbanization Prospects report estimates that by 2030 some 60 percent of the world’s population will be living in urban areas. It comes as no surprise, then, that the population of the city of Luxembourg has been constantly growing for the past 15 years--at the end of 2000 the capital had fewer than 80,000 residents but that figure is likely to surpass the 94,000 mark by the end of this year. So, the theme of this year’s Festival d’Architecture--L’habitat repensé (rethinking living)--is particularly appropriate. The festival, which opened with a Stadgespréich public debate about “ living in cities today and in the future”,
May – June 2011
wouter weylandt, pro cyclist, (Leopard Trek) 1984-2011.
bird sPoTTinG The first sighting in may Luxembourg of a baillon’s crake was reported by scientists from natur&ëmwelt. The rare bird was spotted in the Schifﬂinger Brill nature reserve.
continues until July 16 with a series of conferences, workshops and guided visits of architecturally innovative private homes. “Living is a subject that is at the heart of several discussions at the moment,” says Andrea Rumpf, director of the Fondation de l’Architecture et de l’Ingénierie in an interview in Archiduc magazine. “We are focusing on dense, urban and collective living.” The foundation, which next year celebrates its 20th anniversary, has recently been broadening its horizons and opening up to a wider audience. “We want to create a platform for debate about urban planning in general, to talk about its impact on how we live together, as well as the social, economic and ecological aspects,” say Rumpf.
co-ProducTion deaL may At the Cannes film festival minister for communications François Biltgen signed a bilateral audiovisual co-production agreement with his swiss counterpart Didier Burkhalter. Several films have already been made with Swiss producers.
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The festival also sees the launch of the second Sin City Pics photography competition. The competition, this year taking “Urban Life” as its theme, is open to anyone and further demonstrates the desire of the foundation to inspire the general public to think about architecture. Indeed, Rumpf says she believes that we are all responsible for our urban environment. “It begins with political decision making, but then involves local authorities, planners, investors, contractors and even passive users. We are all users who either profit from or suffer in our urban environment.” Meanwhile, at the end of May Luxembourg’s city council passed two bills that give the green light to perhaps the most prestigious building project in the
capital’s recent history. The Royal Hamilius complex will take up two blocks of the city centre bordered by the boulevard Royal, the rue Aldringen, avenue Monterrey and the Grand Rue. Designed by Foster and Partners of London, working with Luxembourg architects Tetra Kayser Paul et associés, the complex will house some 16-18,000 m 2 of retail space, 10,000 m 2 of offices and around 8,000 m 2 of residential apartments. But the most impressive feature is the roof garden--open to the public and accessible via high-speed panoramic lifts--which will afford spectacular views across the city. A large transparent oval room on top of the roof will house a café-restaurant. “The spectacular building with the large
The spectacular building... will be a landmark indicator” Paul Helminger
The skygarden of the prestigious Royal Hamilius building will be open to the public
Léa Linster was named Fairtrade ambassador.
Pay TV search Investigators searched MAY offices and homes in Luxembourg, as well as in Germany, in connection with charges of falsifying subscriber numbers against Georg Kofler, former boss of German pay TV channel Premiere.
public terrace and the ‘ bulb’ will be a landmark indicator of where the main centre of the city is,” says mayor Paul Helminger. While the project is viewed as a new gateway to the city--the current Hamilius bus station will disappear in favour of tram stops on the boulevard Royal and the space in front of the historical post office building will be transformed into a public plaza--the city authorities see the real benefit as being to retailers in the centre. “We are hoping to attract the right type of retail brand that will be a magnet to draw people into the centre, but complementary to what is currently already available in the city,” says Helminger. However, some opposition politicians are afraid that if the Royal Hamilius does house a large store such as Fnac (one of the retailers mooted as a possible tenant) it will attract shoppers only as far as the new building and not actually into the city centre shopping streets. Gentrification As for housing in the Royal Hamilius, Helminger has emphasised that the building is in a “triple A location” and that “there are other areas for social housing.” That comment came in the face of abstentions by the LSAP socialist group over a vote on the detailed plan of the building for mixed use. The socialists would have liked to see even more residential space in the building and were critical of the fact that families with lower incomes would be excluded from living there by the cost of the apartments. Indeed, veteran LSAP coun-
Françoise Groben RIP may Cellist Françoise Groben died at the age of 45. She studied at the city conservatoire, won a silver medal at the prestigious Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow in 1990 and went on to play with several renowned orchestras all over the world.
Tomatoes withdrawn may Two stores voluntarily withdraw the sale of organic tomatoes from a Spanish producer as authorities try to figure out the source of the E-coli outbreak that left at least 17 people dead and 1,500 sick across Europe.
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Ville de Luxembourg (c) Codic International - Jones Lang LaSalle - Foster and Partners - Tetra Kayser Paul et associés (both images)
The Royal Hamilius project, with up to 10,000 m2 of apartments, will be a new gateway to the city centre
Small nations games may 105 Luxembourg athletes took part in the LieGames, a mini Olympics for the small states of Europe, in Liechtenstein. By the end of the games, Luxembourg had won 72 medals (30 gold). The 2013 games take place in the Grand Duchy.
current administration’s stated aim of being a city that welcomes families is being borne out by a steady rise in the population and by policies such as its “Baulücken” programme. This sees the city select developers to build housing projects on vacant lots that it owns. The developers then sell the homes to applicants approved by the Ville de Luxembourg according to criteria regarding age, income, number
Greek visit Greek prime minister jun Giorgos Papandreou was in Luxembourg to hold talks with Eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker about his country’s debt and credit crisis. The previous day Moody’s had downgraded Greece to a Caa rating.
of children, workplace and location of their current home. Applicants must not own property elsewhere and the land is only leased for a 99 year period, which makes the homes themselves more affordable. More Baulücken projects are currently being built or planned for Kirchberg, Gasperich, Cessange and Rollingergrund over the next few years. www.fondarch.lu, www.vdl.lu
Linus Gerdemann won the Skoda Tour de Luxembourg.
Church and state jun Parliament held a debate about the relationship between church and state, based on a 1998 convention. The Green Party, in particular, is calling for a “financial separation” of church and state and a more neutral teaching of ethics in schools.
cillor Ben Fayot said the project was further evidence of the continued “gentrification” of the city centre. It is certainly true that projects such as the Royal Hamilius and the “Gëlle Klack” apartments near the National History and Art Museum are aimed at residents with higher end incomes and, more often than not, end up being occupied by urban professionals without children. On the other hand, the
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“ We have to be vigilant” Freedom of movement within Europe is under threat. How is Luxembourg’s government responding? Interview: Aaron Grunwald — Photo: Olivier Minaire
Revolutions in the Arab world have led to an influx of migration through Europe’s southern borders. In turn France has introduced border checks along its border with Italy, and Denmark permanently reinstated controls along its borders with Germany and Sweden-despite Schengen Agreement guarantees of freedom of movement within Europe. Ahead of the June 24 European Council meeting on the issue, Nicolas Schmit, Luxembourg’s labour, employment and immigration minister, tells Delano why safeguarding the Schengen area is important. AG: What is fuelling this debate? NS: The discussion is [being driven] by euro sceptical forces, populist parties. That’s the case obviously in Denmark, where the government is depending on the Danish People’s Party. But also in France, Schengen is very often quoted by Madame Le Pen as the biggest threat to the security of people and as the source of illegal immigration. AG: Do the populist parties have a point though? NS: I do not contest that we have real problems on our external borders, that we have to cooperate more on our external borders, that we have immigration pressure now because we had these changes in the Mediterranean-which are positive changes. The Tunisians and Egyptians got rid of their old corrupt dictators. I hope the Libyans will follow this example, as will the Syrians. And the response [in Europe] to this positive evolution is... panic.
NICOLAS SCHMIT: Schengen is a pillar of Europe that needs to be protected
AG: What is Luxembourg’s position? NS: We have to be vigilant in the coming months that the Schengen acquis will not be put into question. I’m a bit scared, or at least worried, by some ideas that are put forward, when I hear that, “we would make it easier to reestablish border controls.” No, we should not make it easier! I want to have the [current European] Community rules applied... and not the big countries alone deciding what they want to do. It has to be balanced, Community-based and not something taken out of that framework. AG: What do you propose? NS: There has to be solidarity. We have to reinforce [Europe’s common border agency] Frontex... with more means,
with a broader scope of action, especially when our external borders are confronted with special pressures. AG: If a neighbouring country reintroduced border controls, what action would Luxembourg’s government take? NS: We certainly would ask for the reasons. And there’d have to be reasons: a real security problem, a public order problem. There’d have to be good arguments for doing it. By all means it should be temporary, it cannot be indefinite. AG: If you were not satisfied? NS: We would ask the [European] Commission to take its responsibilities, including going to court. Nicolas Schmit talks about Luxembourg’s border with France on Delano.lu
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Enovos: your electricity and natural gas supplier in Luxembourg On top of electrical energy, Enovos also provides you with natural gas. In your household, natural gas can be used for a large variety of purposes. Moreover, it is a key energy, which is economical, comfortable and ecological. Energy for today. Caring for tomorrow.
6/9/11 12:00 PM
IT'S BEEN A GOOD OR BAD MONTH FOR: SAMSA FILM
The Luxembourg production company came away from Cannes with two prizes for Les Géants (photo), which had been selected as the closing ﬁlm for the Quinzaine des réalisateurs section. Bouli Lanners’ teenage drama won the Prix SACD for best French-language ﬁlm and the Art Cinéma Award presented by the international confederation of art et essai cinemas. www.samsa.lu
LAKSHMI MITTAL The Indian owner of ArcelorMittal was still number one on the Sunday Times Rich List, even though the paper reported that his estimated fortune had sunk by some 22 percent to 17.5 billion pounds over the past year. NI XIA LIAN The veteran table tennis player qualiﬁed for the London 2012 Olympic Games by ranking 25th in the world. She has twice previously competed at Olympics for Luxembourg-in Sydney in 2000 and Beijing in 2008--and has one team world championship (with China) and two individual European titles to her name. www.cosl.lu
WHOPPER FANS Burger King opened its ﬁrst franchise in Luxembourg, some 58 years after the company served its ﬁrst fast food meal. The franchise is situated in the Aire de Wasserbillig service station on the border with Germany. A second franchise is expected to open in Foetz later this year.
AUMA OBAMA WITH GIRLS TEAM: football matches are more about participating than winning
Versus production-Samsa FilmHaut&Long - Patrick Muller
CARE is bringing several young Kenyans to see the Grand Duchy this month. The US president’s sister says the visit is about more than just the scheduled football matches.
More than a dozen Kenyan girls aged 12-14 will visit Luxembourg June 28-29 as part of tour organised by the NGO CARE. The youths will play friendly football matches against local girls their age, visit cultural attractions, and even meet Grand Duchess Maria Teresa. The project is led by Auma Obama, technical adviser at the CARE Sport for Social Change programme, and older sister of the US president. AG: Why did you want to work for CARE? AO: To make change happen, you have to work with children and young people because they don’t have an agenda yet. Typically we don’t really see them until they grow up and become adults, and then we missed the moment. If we want to make an impact, we have to touch their lives when they’re young. AG: Why focus on sports for these girls? AO: We use sports as a metaphor for real life situations at home, at school, in the political arena. We’re trying to get away from this handout mentality.
We want to give them self-esteem. Sport gives them a different kind of confidence. It gives them exposure to possibilities and options. That’s why this trip to Germany and Luxembourg is important. To let them know if you work hard, if you’re focused, you can improve your life. Maybe you won’t have the standard of living as in Luxembourg, but you can improve your life within your own community and own country. AG: What else would you like to come out of this trip? AO: To show those who support CARE what they can do. Some girls don’t go to school because of school fees, often for a school uniform which costs about four euro. AG: Has your brother been able to contribute to CARE’s activities? AO: My brother supports me as a brother. As long as I’m happy and able to do good work, he’s happy. But we don’t mix personal and professional life. He’s AG got enough on his mind. www.care.lu
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08.06.2011 14:35:28 Uhr
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08.06.2011 11:40:20 Uhr
NORWAY WELCOMES LUXEMBOURG Photos: Nicolas Bouvy/SIP
Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa led a state visit to Norway at the end of May, as guests of King Harald V and Queen Sonja. The royal couple were accompanied by foreign minister Jean Asselborn and later joined by minister of the economy and foreign trade Jeannot Krecké, who led a trade delegation featuring representatives from some 35 Luxembourg companies. The royal couple’s programme was overshadowed somewhat by news that the Grand Duchesses’ elder brother, Antonio Mestra, had been taken ill and was lying in a coma in a Florida clinic. The Grand Duchess cut short her part of the state visit by one day. The couple were guests of honour at a gala dinner and visited a wide variety of cultural and scientific and technological research institutions around the country, including the Fram polar expedition museum and the once controversial StatOil R&D centre just outside Trondheim as well as the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre. DR
Oslo city hall hosts a recital by Luxembourg pianist Jean Muller
The royal couples exchange gifts watched by Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit Grand Duke Henri inspects the colour troop
Foreign minister Jean Asselborn, Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg and Grand Duke Henri
Minister for the economy and foreign trade Jeannot Krecké with King Harald and Grand Duke Henri
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa accepts flowers as the royals are welcomed to the Fram Museum
Children welcome the royal party to the StatOil research centre
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09.06.2011 11:16:39 Uhr
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OVER-HYPED The mutual fund industry is getting ready for new Europe-wide rules, which have been met with equal parts of excitement and dread. Will the new regime be good for Luxembourg? Text: Aaron Grunwald
Europe’s long-promised single mutual fund market may get a step further to actually being “single” come July 1, when a new EU directive called UCITS IV comes into force. Lately fears about Luxembourg losing its place as European funds capital have diminished, service providers have toned down the hype machine, and most industry players have come to the realisation that the new regime offers balanced benefits in the long-run. Some aspects of the regime are obligatory, such as a new standardised brochure--called a key investor information document (KIID)--that must be provided to each individual investor before they make an investment decision. However, a bigger slice of the directive is optional. For the fi rst time, funds based in different countries can merge across borders; funds based in one country can be managed by firms located in another jurisdiction (using a so-called management company passport); and a
DATE LINE May – June 2011
single, large cross-border fund can be sold in different markets under different names (using a so-called master-feeder structure). As the European market is widely seen as over-crowded with overlapping and confusing fund options, these EU provisions ultimately have the potential to significantly reduce funds’ overhead costs, and thus consumer costs, while boosting net asset inflows. Although the new rules take effect July 1, fund managers have a year’s transition period to adapt some requirements, such as the difficult-to-prepare KIID. Other requirements, such as regulatory fi ling and risk management procedures, must be implemented immediately. There a gap in readiness emerges. RE-TOOLING UCITS “offers a toolbox which we can use to manage the range of funds,” says Marnix Arickx, head of fund engineering at BNP Paribas Investment Partners in Brussels.
NO SUKUK? The finance ministry MAY has not yet made a decision on issuing Sukuk, or Islamic compliant bonds, according to Luxembourg’s central banker. Yves Mersch said better tax receipts this year led the Grand Duchy to review all its debt issuance plans.
Indeed, the regime is “an efficiency toolkit making the European single market in mutual funds broader and deeper,” says Bill Lockwood, conducting officer at Franklin Templeton (see article page 28). “But I don’t think anyone will be jumping up and down on July 1 saying ‘I have master-feeder in place!’” “Our impression is that most market participants have concentrated their efforts on the mandatory parts of UCITS IV, leaving for a later stage the ‘opportunity’ ones,” observes Enricho Turchi, managing director of Pioneer Investments in Luxembourg. “This is all about future development, not all that much about existing fund ranges,”
IT’S NOT A HUGE NUMBER” Marnix Arickx
ILLICIT CIGS Japan Tobacco Int’l MAY and Luxembourg Customs agreed on an anti-counterfeit cigarette programme. A spokesman for JTI told Delano that an estimated 8.9% of cigarettes sold in the EU are fake, costing European governments €10 billion annually.
COMPETITION Luxembourg is the MAY 4th most competitive country in Europe and 11th in the world, according to the Swiss management school IMD. The US, Hong Kong and Singapore top the global ranking, while Croatia, Ukraine and Greece are at the bottom in Europe.
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08.06.2011 16:09:35 Uhr
ALLAN PELVANG: first mover advantage or first mover disadvantage
PASSPORT The management company passport-where either a Luxembourg firm could manage a fund sold in another country or a foreign-based firm could manage a Grand Duchy-domiciled fund--initially “was viewed as a risk for Luxembourg, as one was afraid that many management companies would withdraw from Luxembourg and have their Luxembourg funds managed from abroad,” says Francis Kass, partner in the investment funds practice of Arendt & Medernach. In reality, “maybe it’s even the other way around. We have heard [several] fund institutions
75,000,000 Viva mineral water bottles sold in its 10 year history.
say they would rather use Luxembourg management companies in order to manage foreign funds.” That may be because they already have a large portion of their fund range based in the Grand Duchy, but more importantly firms “prefer to have one single set of rules to apply in the majority of cases,” as both local and Luxembourg rules would apply to different aspects of a cross-border operation. “One of the most debated points about UCITS IV was the passport, but no one has said they will use it,” comments Mario Mantrisi, senior vice president of service provider Kneip Communication. “Maybe people are looking at their products and end of the day, asking if it really makes sense to have management concentrated in one location.” In addition,
SOCIAL INVESTING Handicap InternationMAY al said 166 financial institutions--including 5 each in France and Germany, and 12 in the UK--were in its “Hall of Shame” for funding cluster bomb manufacturing, which is illegal in Belgium, Luxembourg, Ireland and New Zealand.
says Arickx. “The expected number of funds to be reduced is overhyped. Our first analysis of funds in our group found only between 50 and 100 are candidates for cross-border merger. It’s not a huge number, given we have nearly 2,000 total funds in Europe. It’s not gonna be like we’ll reduce our fund range by 25 percent thanks to UCITS IV regulation.”
Jelle Van Seghbroeck
Marnix Arickx: huge consolidation is unlikely
he says many industry players are thinking to themselves: “ let me wait and see what others are doing. Maybe it’s better to wait for others” to move first. FIRST MOVER In stark contrast, on July 1 “we’ll have a UCITS IV management company live and compliant and we will look proactively at a pan-European consolidation involving Luxembourg,” states Allan Pelvang, country head of Fidelity in Luxembourg. “It doesn’t mean that we’ve actually made a final decision yet, but it does mean it’s something high on our list of focus areas. Clearly a lot of other groups are not there with that thinking. But we don’t care. You can call it first mover advantage or disadvantage, but we don’t mind being in the space.”
APT. SALES The cost of buying an MAY apartment during the 1st quarter of 2011 rose 2.4%, compared to the same period last year, said STATEC. The average recorded price was €3,950 per square meter. Sales values gained 5.4% between the 4th quarters of 2009 and 2010.
GERMAN ACCORD The finance minisMAY ters of Luxembourg and Germany, Luc Frieden and Wolfgang Schäuble, signed an updated double income taxation avoidance agreement, given the rise in cross-border commuters in recent years. The last such agreement was signed in 1958.
June 2011 - delano - 25
08.06.2011 16:09:41 Uhr
Business MARIO MANTRISI: many funds are waiting to see what competitors do
DEXIA DRAMA Shares in Dexia were may briefly suspended before the bailed-out bank said it would take a 2nd quarter charge of €3.6 billion, partly in anticipation of losses this year in its US real estate portfolio. Shares rose nearly 5% following the announcement.
François Biltgen at the new Belgian Cyber Crime Center.
Jeannot Berg/ministère de la justice
He adds: “what we’re doing now is making sure we have all the building blocks in place, so that if we push the button we are in a position to have Luxembourg be the main European fund management hub.” Fidelity is still evaluating which funds will be included in its shakeup, “ but we want to be ready on day one. That will give us some helpful experience as we shape our planning over the next 12 to 18 months.” The Grand Duchy is well positioned for whatever possibilities develop, says Sanjiv Sawhney, global head of fund services for Citi’s securities and fund services business in Luxembourg. “The existing breadth of professional expertise and infrastructure in Luxembourg will continue to attract funds. The challenge for the industry is to try and use the tools provided by UCITS IV to optimize the funds structures.” In the industry’s current drive to implement the new rules, the importance of the non-EU investor base has perhaps been lost. Sawhney notes that Asian investors now represent nearly 40 percent of annual net UCITS funds inflows, so “it is therefore important to ensure an ‘inclusive’ dialogue with these jurisdictions, linked to implementation of new policies, guidelines and directives.” More about the new KIID is featured on Delano.lu
CSSF SANCTIONS The financial regulator JUN published the names of 8 firms that failed to publish 2010 annual reports as required by law. The list includes Lifemark, Mobile Telesystems Finance, Qiagen Finance (Luxembourg), IT Holding Finance and Caesar Finance 1999 SA.
TOP AT JOBS The chamber of emjun ployees reported Luxembourg was the only European country to create new jobs in 2009. Between 1996 and 2009, the total number of jobs in the Grand Duchy (including commuters) increased by 60% versus an EU15 average of 14%.
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08.06.2011 16:09:43 Uhr
Trai ning in Islamic Finance Seeking to serve Luxembourg as an attractive center for Islamic Finance in Europe, the IFBL, in collaboration with the ICMA Centre, University of Reading, offers a series of training modules, designed for professionals who want to have a clear understanding of this sector, its products, services, challenges and opportunities.
Islamic Finance: Introduction 28 and 29 September 2011 Islamic Finance: Sukuk 30 November and 1 December 2011 Islamic Finance: Corporate Governance 26 and 27 September 2011 Islamic Finance: Project Finance 24 and 25 October 2011 Islamic Finance: Asset Management 28 and 29 November 2011
Detailed contents are available on our website or can be obtained from our Customer Service: T.: +352 46 50 16-1 firstname.lastname@example.org | www.ifbl.lu
6/9/11 9:52 AM
A native of Bettange-sur-Mess, Nathalie Deltgen completed a degree in mathematics at Queen Mary, University of London before returning to the Grand Duchy to work at Dexia BIL. This spring she graduated top of her class at the Luxembourg School of Finance, and moved to BCEE’s structured products desk. AG: What did you get from this programme? ND: I am able to understand more properly what I’m doing on a daily basis; I know what’s behind it. For the future, connection wise, some of the professors are people that are good to know, here in Luxembourg and all over the world. AG: Is it gruelling? ND: You’re taking courses that at other universities take a semester, and here you’ve got maybe four or five days. The subjects are very crammed together. It’s very tough to jump from one subject to another. There’s a lot of self-study. The professors are there to present a topic, but to really get into a subject you have to do it yourself. AG: What are some of the highlights? ND: The diversity of the class. Out of a class of 23, there were only two Luxembourgish people. The others came from China, Cambodia, El Salvador, all over the world. The residential week in New York is great, the time you spend at Stern Business School. AG: How do you think it helps your career? ND: Well, it already helped me get a new job. I got a couple of offers and I took this one. www.Isf.lu
Luc Delflorenne (archives)
The mutual fund leader celebrates two decades in Luxembourg this month. How has it evolved with the four UCITS regimes?
This month marks a series of 20th anniversaries for American fund giant Franklin Templeton in the Grand Duchy. June 1991 saw the opening of its Luxembourg office, SICAV, and Templeton Asian Growth Fund, one of the first UCITS funds the company offered. From relatively modest beginnings, it has grown to Europe’s largest single SICAV, according to Lipper, and Luxembourg’s most widely distributed crossborder fund family, according to PwC. Franklin Templeton had been doing sub-advisory work for a few years in the Grand Duchy when it decided to take advantage of the original UCITS regime, explains the firm’s conducting officer, Bill Lockwood. “Part of the idea of setting up in Luxembourg was to provide administrative support for German [retail] shareholders” and to reach the UK expat market. “Very quickly we found it was a platform that served many different purposes. Before long we had relationships with many institutions” across the EU and began marketing its Luxembourg funds beyond Europe.
bill lockwood: looking forward to another 20 years of innovation
“It wasn’t an easy sell then,” he says. “You were knocking on doors and trying to explain what a UCITS fund was even before you tried to sell.” He adds: “Just opening up in each [new] market, that was a lot of the work we did in the early days.” After the first year, the division only offered 14 funds, managed about 40 million dollars, and most support was provided by its offices elsewhere or was outsourced. “The business has developed quite a lot over time,” says Harry Nash, the company’s general manager in Luxembourg. Today its local operation has 70 funds, manages 145 billion dollars, and much more management is done locally. “Now in Luxembourg there are a lot more people with the appropriate technical and oversight skills to run funds,” he says. With the fourth UCITS regime coming into effect in July, Nash is optimistic about the firm’s prospects. “We have a number of different brands and styles… to offer the right product to the client and the right time. And for us to innovate as is AG necessary.”
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08.06.2011 14:58:06 Uhr
FARM FOR SALE IN SYREN Located 9 km south-east of Luxembourg City in a lovely village surounded by forests, this 19th century property of approximatly 500 m2 of living surface on 16a30ca, has been renovated by combining original features and a sobre architectural style. Composed of numerous rooms (presently 4 to 5 bedrooms) offering flexible layout options, the “Lannenhaff ” seduces with its many details, such as open fire places, danish stove, sun deck, jacuzzi, arched wine cellars, and a banquet hall/party room fitted with an old counter brewery. A new apartment with separate access located on the garden level, a spacious barn as well as a workshop endow this property with valuable assets. Convertible barn and attic, facade and windows renovated in 2006. Surrounded by a beautifully and meticulously landscaped garden, this ancient farm is aimed at nature lovers and amateurs of large spaces. Also suitable for mixte, private and professional use. Available immediately. Sales price : € 1.385.000.-
6/7/2011 3:20:29 PM
TAX BURDEN BELGIUM - 55.4% FRANCE - 49.3% GERMANY - 49.1% NETHERLANDS - 38.4% OECD AVERAGE - 34.9% LUXEMBOURG - 34.0% UK - 32.7% JAPAN - 30.5% US - 29.7% IRELAND - 29.3% SWITZERLAND - 20.8%
Global Business Network SA marks its tenth year helping European companies enter Saudi and Gulf markets.
Indicator for selected months: MAY 2009 AUGUST 2009 DECEMBER 2009 MAY 2010 DECEMBER 2010 MARCH 2011 APRIL 2011 MAY 2011
-14 -7 -5 -5 0 +5 +7 +9
The Luxembourg Central Bank said its seasonally adjusted consumer conﬁdence indicator reached a new high in May. www.bcl.lu/en/
LUXEMBOURG + €23.8 BILLION IRELAND + €12.8 BILLION SWITZERLAND + €5.6 BILLION UK + €5.2 BILLION NORWAY + €4.8 BILLION SWEDEN + €1.3 BILLION SPAIN + €0.3 BILLION ROMANIA + €0.1 BILLION GERMANY - €0.5 BILLION ITALY - €7.6 BILLION FRANCE - €14.6 BILLION
UCITS investment funds attracted net inﬂows of more than €30 billion in Europe during the ﬁrst quarter of the year, according to trade group EFAMA. Five countries reported net sales of more than €1 billion, with Luxembourg topping the list. www.efama.org
Chamber of Commerce
Belgium, France and Germany have the highest total employment tax burden in the OECD, when taxes on wages and social security charges are included. The group said governments should increase property and VAT taxes to boost their economies and budgets, instead of taxing work.
Favourable demographics and a relatively immature financial sector have created a huge amount of interest in Middle East markets among Luxembourg firms. How to successfully enter the region, however, remains new territory for many. Paving the way to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf has been the mission of international business development consultancy Global Business Network SA. The ten-year-old outfit helps with the “identification and qualification of potential, customers, partners and investors,” explains Benjamine de Seille, managing partner. More than 80 percent of its clients are Benelux firms with strong domestic business but limited presence abroad. The firm also works with Saudi investors looking for business opportunities in Europe. GBN claims it can cut clients’ international development by up to two years. “If a manager is going abroad for the first time, he doesn’t know the environment and he doesn’t know the partners,” de Seille says. “It takes a long time to be aware of what’s going on.”
BENJAMINE DE SEILLE: some mistakes can be costly
Even basic cultural mistakes can be costly, such as the taboos of offering a business card with your left hand, or ordering pork when hosting Muslim visitors in Europe. De Seille comments: “I’ve seen people do it and it really is a bad way to start a relationship.” Equally as important, the fi rm helps clients know “which people you have to avoid.” He cites the example of a major European furniture company whose poorly chosen local partner illicitly trademarked the brand under his own name. While the company ultimately prevailed in court, it lost ten years of business during the dispute. GBN is active in the Saudia-Luxembourg Business Chamber that launched earlier this year. After Ramadan in August, the new Chamber will begin a series of specialised workshops. “We are not trying to be one more group doing Islamic finance conferences,” states de Seille. The series will “bring real advice to Luxembourg companies... concrete research. This is what a lot of Luxembourg companies are missing.” AG
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08.06.2011 15:01:12 Uhr
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sensationAL A small German firm has been quietly developing technologies for the aeronautic, automotive and medical sectors. Now Kinotex Sensor is preparing to move to Luxembourg and has big plans for growth. Text: Aaron Grunwald — Photos: Luc Delflorenne
Space programmes have long relied on robotic arms for construction and maintenance, but Earth’s orbit is not a good place to have an accident. Enter Kinotex (short for “ kineasthic textile”) technology, developed by the Canadian Space Agency and used by NASA as a tactile sensor to prevent robotic arms from striking the International Space Station and space shuttle. A small startup--Kinotex Sensor, currently based in Rheinland-Pfalz but in the process of relocating to the Grand Duchy--has licensed the technology and is developing more down-to-earth applications in the aeronautics, automotive and medical fields. The technology “uses foam and light [optical sensors inside the foam] to sense contact and deformation,” explains Winfried Bindges, the firm’s founder. It acts as a kind of skin for robots, giving machines a sense of touch, or at least the ability to register precise levels and locations of pressure. At the same time, the foam creates a soft outer layer, which prevents injury to humans who may be working in close proximity (see box, opposite page). In addition, automakers BMW and Daimler have tested prototypes of Kinotex-based passenger seat detectors, and found it provides more accurate information to the onboard computer that controls passenger airbag
Winfried Bindges: with robot being tested at the University of Luxembourg
deployment. Similarly, EADS tested prototypes of aircraft seats with Kinotex technology that would let a cabin crew know if all passengers were seated when the “ fasten seatbelt” light goes on. MEDICAL APPLICATIONS In the health technology arena, several North American hospitals and nursing homes already use mattress pads with Kinotex technology (manufactured by the only other company that has licenses
from the Canadian government) that alert staff if a patient has fallen out of bed. In the future, pads may be able to automatically record patients’ weight (which German nursing homes are required to do daily) and identify pressure points so patients are repositioned to avoid bedsores from developing. Medical robots may someday act as an “external skeleton” for humans which would be aid in the rehabilitation of stroke patients, for example.
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08.06.2011 15:08:17 Uhr
It’s no secret Luxembourg has an advantage” Winfried Bindges (Kinotex Sensor)
Many of these research and development projects have already involved years of close cooperation with institutions such as the CRP Henri Tudor, University of Applied Sciences in Trier and the German Artificial Intelligence Research Centre (DFKI in German). Indeed, Kinotex has a long track record of successfully delivering prototypes that meet or beat commercial manufacturers’ expectations and the startup’s order-book for small-runs of devices for concept-testing is brimming. Until now, however, the eight-year-old company has yet to go into full production. Bindges, an engineer by training, worked in the Grand Duchy for more than 16 years, including 13 at the NATO supply agency NAMSA. In 2000, a friend by chance mentioned Kinotex technology. Bindges was so intrigued that he contacted the then-license holder in Detroit and worked as its liaison to the German auto industry for three years. When the company faltered, he negotiated his own license agreement with the Canadian authorities. While Bindges originally wanted to set-up shop in Luxembourg, he ended up self-financing the deal with a mortgage on his house in Germany, which led him to establish a home-based office instead. MOVE TO LUXEMBOURG “As an individual person, it is difficult to do some of the pre-development,” says Bindges, who has a home workshop,
and relies on a Canadian vendor and the DFKI as his “extended workbench.” Given the hefty size of many of his customers, they now would like him “to come with more or less finished products, so they could just build it into” their own offerings. Thus the impetus for relocating Kinotex to Luxembourg. Over the next year Bindges would like to hire at least six people, such as electrical and mechanical engineers, and quality assurance managers who can help the firm garner the needed medical and safety certifications. He sees the potential to grow his staff up to 20 in two years’ time, as he plans to do all production locally. While a few components will be imported from Asia, staying close to home makes sense given that “a high percentage” of key vendors and customers are located in the Greater Region. “You can’t beat sitting down for a cup of coffee” with suppliers or clients, he says. He also credits the Luxembourg government for supporting new technologies, and Bindges has been encouraged by the support and advice from agencies such as Luxinnovation (see Snapshots, page 35) and the German-Luxembourg Economic Initiative (DLWI in German). The Grand Duchy is a good place to hire, Bindges believes. “It’s no secret Luxembourg has an advantage compared to the neighbouring countries, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many thousands of people commuting here every day.”
two KINDS OF robots
There is a big difference between industrial and service robots, explains Winfried Bindges. Industrial robots are best known in the automotive industry, where they move pieces of sheet metal or body parts. Such massive machines are fenced-in, either using physical barriers or optical sensor systems, “so that no human can get into the danger zone.” However, manufacturers are looking for ways to “optimise production plans by having human and robot work close together, like a partnership.” This could include having a “service robot” put heavy or hot materials into place, the human worker then doing fine detailed work, and finally the robot moving the piece to the next stage of production. “But this requires of course an enormous effort in safety,” says Bindges. Robots “always follow the same programmed paths and patterns. [While] humans get up, stretch, sit down, and all of a sudden may be a couple centimetres out of their previous position, and so might be in the path of the robot.” In such a scenario, today’s industrial robot systems will simply stop moving entirely. While that is obviously important for worker safety, it is counter-productive in terms of manufacturing efficiency. Robots with Kinotex technology “ immediately sense contact [with a human], and safely put the machine on hold,” just until the person can re-position themself.
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08.06.2011 15:08:21 Uhr
“ we need to be one step ahead”
The Luxembourgish head of Peugeot and Citroën is remaking the classic French auto brands. Can they compete with the Germans? Interview: Aaron Grunwald — Photo: Olivier Minaire
Native Luxembourger Jean-Marc Gales joined France’s largest carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroën in 2009, after nearly 20 years in the German automotive industry. Today he is global chief of the firm’s Peugeot and Citroën brands. He spoke with Delano on the sidelines of a recent BGL BNP Paribas “Doers & Thinkers” conference. AG: How are you transforming the marques? J-MG: Two years ago we started to separate the brands much stronger. We used to have two generalist brands that were too close one to another and sometimes stepped on each other’s toes. One of the first jobs was to clearly position Citroen with “creative technology” and Peugeot on “motion and emotion”. To do that in terms of first of all brand positioning, then the design of the cars, having different design codes per brand. Which is important, so people immediately see what a Peugeot is and what is a Citroën. Our intention is to position both brands higher. Peugeot should become a brand of reference in terms of quality and design. And Citroen will be a polar brand, you could say. On the one hand, you have the classic Citroëns like the Picassos, the C3 and the C4. On the other hand, the DS3, the DS4 and the DS5 which we just launched, are premium cars. The DS [line] is the embodiment of French refinement and luxury.
Jean-Marc Gales: investing in technology and service
AG: Is French refinement and luxury enough to compete with the German auto industry? J-MG: It’s not sufficient, you need technology as well. So we say that in terms of fuel consumption, ecological compatibility, we need to be one step ahead. There we’ve clearly said that we want to reduce the CO2 of our cars even further, and be below the limits set by the European Community. In 2010, we were the first generalist manufacturer [to offer] “real” electric cars, not something you’d also utilize on a golf course. They’re real cars, with high levels of safety, where you can fit in four adults.
AG: What about Luxembourg, it’s a small car market but is it important for PSA? J-MG: It’s a small market, but it’s a very premium market. I’m very glad to say sales of both brands last year increased in Luxembourg. All our dealer outlets in Luxembourg, be it Peugeot or Citroën, will feature our new brand identity at the latest by 2012. So, it will be much easier when you enter our showrooms, because there’s one thing we got from research in the US: going to a car showroom is the second worst experience after going to the dentist. Jean-Marc Gales talks about improving customer service and PSA’s plans for China on Delano.lu
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Business meets research Pierre Decker (ministry of higher education and research)
INNOVATIVE MATCHMAKING Photos: Luc Delflorenne
Marc Lemmer (CRP Henri Tudor), Gilles Schlesser (Luxinnovation) and Marco Walentiny (Luxinnovation) Paul Emering (Chamber of Commerce) and Pierre Schilling (CTIE)
Pierre Gramegna (Chamber of Commerce)
It is not always easy for small and midsized companies to find partners, explains the head of the Chamber of Commerce, Pierre Gramegna. In investment-intensive innovation industries, such as biohealth and materials science, the challenge is doubly difficult. Which was the impetus for Luxinnovation’s fourth annual “Business meets research” matchmaking forum, held last month. Marco Walentiny, president of Luxinnovation, explains the event is meant to foster collaboration between entrepreneurs and scientists in the Greater Region. Private companies, he says, need better access to high tech expertise, while public research institutions need to see their labs’ work put to practical application. This type of conference is vital as Europe is counting on innovative SMEs to be the engine of economic growth, said Clara de la Torre, director of the European Commission’s research and innovation directorate. Luxinnovation also unveiled its new web portal, which it hopes will make it easier for firms to find technology partners and respond to government tenAG ders.
Clara de la Torre (European Commission)
Frédéric Mayer (CRP Gabriel Lippmann)
Centre: Dr Bruno Domon (Luxembourg Clinical Proteomics)
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THINK LOCAL: EUGEN ODERMATT
“IT’S A QUESTION OF KINDNESS” EUGEN ODERMATT: learning Luxembourgish sends a strong signal
Eugen Odermatt is owner of the Classicmania music store in Limpertsberg. He grew up in Nidwalen canton, in the centre of Switzerland, worked and travelled all across Europe as a singer, and lived in Zurich for 20 years before settling in the Grand Duchy in 2005. AG: What brought to you to Luxembourg? EO: In the summer of 2004, I met the former owner [of Classicmania]. It was really interesting to meet her. Then in January 2005 I got an email that she had to speak with me. I had no idea why, because we never discussed her retiring from the shop. She made an offer to me. It was a surprise. But I had studied cultural management [along with music], so I said “why not?” I’ve been together with a Luxembourger for many years. This was, as well, a chance to change our life, to live together again. Because you know, a long distance partnership is difficult. AG: You were a frequent visitor to the Grand Duchy before moving here. What changes have you seen? EO: It’s incredible what’s happened here culturally in the last 20 years. I can say, the first time I was in Luxembourg, it was a dirty country, the deepest province. Cultural life was... lazy. Today the offer you have here is like the offer of a
Resident since the year Luxembourg last held the EU presidency, Eugen Odermatt gives his insight into living and working in the Grand Duchy. Interview: Aaron Grunwald — Photo: David Laurent/Wide
big town. The quality is incredible. I never would have believed it would have been possible to see such a change. Twenty years ago I said, “I’ll never live in Luxembourg, never in my life!” AG: What was the biggest surprise when you moved here? EO: Zurich is really a busier city than Luxembourg. On a scale of one to ten, I would say Zurich is an eight and Luxembourg is a five. Both have a really international community, that’s about the same. But here in Luxembourg the people are closer. They are interested in others. Zurich and Frankfurt, they’re cold towns. My experience here in Luxembourg is that if you are open, the Luxembourgish people and the inhabitants here are open as well. They are really kind. AG: Is it difficult to run a small business if you are not a native? EO: I don’t think so. I would say the general problem of Luxembourg is that you need a lot of authorisations. I don’t know why. In Switzerland, it works quite well without. If you have a business, you need to take responsibility and you have to respect the law. That’s all. For banks, insurance, medicine, those are special. It’s important. But generally I would say for commerce, it shouldn’t be absolutely necessary that you need an authorisation.
AG: What differences in business do you see? EO: Here if you do a good job, if you’re kind with people, you’ll get a lot of respect and a good return on investment. In Switzerland or in Germany, if you sell something normally you get payment within 30 to 60 days. In Luxembourg, it’s very, very quick. No discussion. The people are ready to pay a good price for good work, for a good offer. They’re still really quite correct people. That makes it nice to live and work together. AG: What advice would you give to newcomers? EO: Try to participate in life, engage with clubs. If you like to sing, join the choir. Or go to a sports club. In my opinion that’s the general way to integrate everywhere in the world. This is definitely easier to do here in Luxembourg than in my country. The clubs [in Switzerland] are not so open to foreigners. It would not be a mistake to try to learn Luxembourgish. AG: How is your Luxembourgish? EO: It’s not so difficult for a German speaking Swiss to learn. If you’re able to speak one German dialect then you have a good opportunity to learn another. [Mine is] not perfect, never [will be]. It’s a question of kindness as well. It’s a really strong signal that you are interested in the place where you live.
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d Gran rs u o Conc baire Fa Polle ersair Anniwv.pollfabaire.lu sur ww
P O L L - F A B A I R E c E L E B R At E s 2 0 y E A R s
Networking with François Biltgen
LUXEMBOURG IS BEYOND THE BEST Photos: Luc Deflorenne
A man of many portfolios, François Biltgen is delighted to be in charge of communications again following his first stint in the ministry from 1999 to 2004. Addressing an audience at a networking event organised by AMCHAM’s IT Committee at RTL studios (the evening was sponsored by BCE), Biltgen tackled the issue of cyber crime. “The best way to combat cyber crime is to invest in cyber security.” He says current policy is akin to building a digital fortress. But Biltgen is opposed to creating special laws for the internet, and says the same rule of law should apply to cyber crime as to any other crime. There is a need to develop trust as much as anything else, he says. “The internet can foster freedom, democracy and economic activity.” The minister claims that in terms of high speed internet, Luxembourg is currently “ beyond the best”. But he warns that changing technology means that continued investment is necessary to comply with the digital agenda in Europe--by 2015 the government aims to offer 100MB per second to every household in Luxembourg, and even earlier to businesses, and five years later DR will reach 1GB per second.
Paul Schonenberg (AMCHAM) and Georges Kioes (Deloitte)
François Biltgen addressing the audience
Jean Diederich (Kurt Salmon) and Tom Kettles (ministry of communication)
Romain Siebenaler (Cisco) and Juergen Kockelmann (European Data Hub)
Yves Moriceau (Oracle Luxembourg), on right
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Building Futures A world class education on a 21st century campus International School of Luxembourg a.s.b.l. Campus Geesseknaeppchen - Luxembourg-Merl tel: (+352) 26 04 40 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.islux.lu
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09.06.2011 15:49:42 Uhr
The events planner
ON THE HORIZON
Delano presents a guide to the next two months of business, social and informational events for Luxembourg’s international community. Events are listed by organiser. Advance registration or fees may be required, so consult the website indicated for full details. All events are held in English unless otherwise noted.
The American Women’s Club of Luxembourg invites you to join July its members for drinks and dinner, “spouses welcome.”
Ikki, Luxembourg-Clausen, 19:00
“Join your gal pals for an evening at the clubhouse. Admission is an appetizer or beverage to share.”
The AWCL clubhouse, Luxembourg-Belair, 19:00 until late
CANADIAN CLUB & INTERNATIONS
The date is not a misprint: the two groups host a joint weekend july celebration in honour of Canada’s national holiday.
Marx Bar, Luxembourg-Hollerich, 14:00-18:00
JUNIOR CHAMBER www.jcluxembourg.com
The JCI promotes citizenship and entrepreneurship for 18-40 year olds (see article page 48).
Venues to be announced, 19:30
Democrats Abroad Luxembourg
For information on how to submit your event, please visit www.delano.lu
Although the event (nominally) celebrates Bastille Day with (mostly) French music, “Je t’aime moi non plus” aims to be a multicultural moment to mark the end of paperJam Business Club’s 3rd season.
The group will join with other American organizations in hosting a Fourth of July picnic.
Venue and time to be announced
Golf Club de Luxembourg, Junglinster, starting at 10:00
Abbaye de Neumünster, Luxembourg-Grund, 08:30-13:00
The chamber’s annual charity golf tournament, an 18-hole inJuly dividual Stableford competition, is followed by cocktails and an evening prizegiving dinner (presided over by chamber chair, Robert Deed). There will also be a clinic with the club pro in the afternoon, for beginners looking for an introduction to golf.
Presented by Marc Sniukas of Doujak Corporate Development, this interactive workshop provides insights on business model innovation in theory and practice.
Reinventing your Business
Cat Club, Luxembourg-Hollerich, 18:00
An event for fans of cricket and BBQ. For info, contact Kanchini (+352 691 307733) or Kubra (+352 621 622892).
GET TOGETHER LUNCH
Anders Borg, Sweden’s finance minister, is keynote speaker.
Wengé, Luxembourg-Limpertsberg, 19:00
Rose of Tralee Luxembourg www.rose.lu
Luxembourg’s central banker is keynote speaker at the society dinner. For info, contact Roderick Dunnett (email@example.com or +352 621 190 246).
Cercle Münster, Luxembourg-Grund, 19:30
BIENNALE DE VENISE
Tenth anniversary ball will celebrate this year’s Rose, Aisling Mc Inerney (right), as well as Roses from the past decade.
Ludovico Pratesi, art critic for La Repubblica, lectures on Italy’s June contemporary art scene. In Italian. Reservations recommended (iiclussemburgo@ esteri.it).
University of Luxembourg, LuxembourgLimpertsberg, 18:30
Republicans are looking for committee volunteers and new members. Advanced registration (for candidates and general attendees) via email is mandatory (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Hotel Parc Belair, LuxembourgBelair, 12:00-14:00
Venue and time to be announced
ITALIAN CULTURAL INSTITUTE
Hotel Le Royal, Luxembourg-Centre ville, 19:30 club.paperjam.lu
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10.06.2011 10:27:18 Uhr
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“I still feel like i can beat those guys” As the Kurt Salmon Luxembourg Davis Cup Team prepares to take on Great Britain, its number one player is cautiously optimistic regarding the team’s progress and his personal form. Text: Duncan Roberts — Photos: David Laurent/Wide — cover and opener shot with analogic Mju camera
Gilles Muller: aiming to get back in to the Top 100
There is no doubt that Gilles Muller loves playing the Davis Cup. Luxembourg’s number one, currently ranked 121 in the world, has won 42 of the 58 matches he has played in tennis’s international team competition. His last three victories came in early March, when Luxembourg secured its place in the competition’s Europe/Africa Zone Group II by beating Ireland 3-2 in Dublin. “From the moment I first played in 2000, also against Ireland, I think I won my first six matches,” says the 28-year old who became a father for the first time in May. “As a tennis player you are always travelling to tournaments alone. So getting together with the guys in the Davis Cup team is always fun.” That victory means Muller and his team-mates will now face Great Britain in a match in Glasgow over the weekend of July 8-10. It will be the second time Muller has faced Great Britain. The first time, in Esch in 2004, the
Luxembourg left-hander was up against a team featuring Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski. This time the threat comes from world number four Andy Murray, who clearly has respect for Muller. “I know Gilles very well. I used to practice with him a lot in Barcelona and used to get on very well with him. He plays well on indoor hard courts,” said the Scot in Paris when announcing his intention to play the tie. “I think it’s a match that we should definitely win. If we don’t, I’d be very disappointed, but he’s going to make it difficult because he’s a tough player.” It will be the first Davis Cup tie Murray has played since September 2009, but Luxembourg team captain Jacques Radoux says the Scot had little choice in the matter, as players have to play for their national team to be eligible for the Olympics next year. Muller knows the match will be tough. “They are the favourites by far. But you never know what’s going to happen in a
Davis Cup tie. I know how the press in Britain is. They can be quite harsh on him [Murray] and on the team, because they haven’t had much success since Henman and Rusedski. And they are expected to win, the pressure is pretty big for them because they are playing at home. Maybe we can take the chance.” The tie will be played on a hard, Greenset Grand Prix surface indoors at Glasgow’s Braehead Arena. That should suit Muller, who likes playing on hard or grass courts-“anything but clay is ok for me,” he says. Murray favours similar surfaces, but will have played the second week of Wimbledon in late June so will be used to grass by then. Highs and lows Muller will have to qualify for Wimbledon, a tournament whose Junior final he reached in 2001 (losing to Swiss player Roman Valent) on his way to becoming the world Junior number one
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Jacques Radoux: the team captain says the the Davis Cup is the Rolls Royce of tennis competition
David Laurent / Wide
Double play: Laurent Bram and Gilles Muller are coached by Radoux during their win in Dublin
in the same year he also won the US Open Junior tournament. But he does not think that early success put extra pressure on him. He did go on to reach as high as 59 in the ATP senior rankings in August 2005 and for two years was in the Top 100, a status he achieved again in 2008 (when he also reached the quarter finals of the US Open) before sustaining an injury, and also again temporarily in February this year. Other notable successes include taking the scalp of Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2005 and beating Andy Roddick in the first round of the US Open in the same year. Roddick is also a former Junior world number one, but the Luxembourger believes the reason the American has gone on to be more successful is that he received more help from his federation, obtaining wild cards for big tournaments and other concrete forms of support. “We don’t have a lot of money and not many tourna-
ments here, so I had to travel to compete. And having to qualify is also tough; you have to play three matches before the main draw. On the other hand, those who were born in 1983 and fighting with me for the number one spot are not really around any longer. But the groups of the Junior champions born in ’82 or ’81, Roddick and Roger Federer, contained a lot of good players who ended up in the Top 20. My age group was probably a bit weaker.” The years in the Top 100 were good to Muller and he admits he made some decent money. But when he dropped out of the Top 100, he said in an interview that he had contemplated giving up on the professional circuit. “It’s not like I didn’t want to play anymore or lost my motivation. But when you are playing at Challenger level you don’t make any money. For example, you travel to a tournament in Croatia, pay for your flight and if you lose in the first round you get 300 euros. So if you also have to pay your coach, it’s not very
good business. I felt like I was just spending money, not winning any. On the other hand if you coach at a club you have a steady income and no expenses, so that was what I was considering. I was 24 or 25 and had a girlfriend at home and wanted to build something for a family, so if you are losing money every week it’s not easy.” Getting motivated to play for his country is certainly not a problem for the Schifflange-born Muller. “I’m proud to represent Luxembourg. We are a tiny country, but we have managed to play against some of the bigger tennis nations. So we can be considered a success.” Jacques Radoux concurs, and says motivation is not the problem, rather finding the time to practice. “For our guys the Davis Cup is the Rolls Royce of tennis competition. But getting them to practice is difficult--they work 40 or 50 hours a week, and have a family, so getting them to spend another 10 hours on the court is tricky.” Radoux is himself a veteran of
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Gilles Kremer: the 29-year old made his Davis Cup debut in 1999
David Laurent / Wide
In training: Gilles Muller in typical pose at the National Tennis Centre in Esch-Alzette
the team, having represented Luxembourg between 1987 and 1995, and comes from a tennis family--his mother was captain of the Grand Duchy’s Federation Cup team (the women’s international team tournament). He has clear goals for the current team and for the future. “Our objective is to maintain our status in the Division and use that to integrate new players, youngsters, into the team. Last year we didn’t have the financial budget to take an extra man, but now we can take a fifth non-playing player for the experience. But the youngsters have to prove they have the international match play experience.” Having played with Davis Cup debutant Mike Vermeer in Ireland and with Tom Diederich also travelling to Dublin with the team (they replaced the injured Gilles Kremer and Mike Scheidweiler), Muller is also keen to see the youngsters coming through. “I hope they learned from their experience in the match against
Ireland. It is important that we have these young players emerging, because we have been playing with the same team for probably the last ten years. Many of them have stopped being tennis professionals and are earning their living doing something else--we have a fireman, someone in financial services, and so forth. They maybe don’t practice as much as they used to. With the young players coming up there is a bit of a rivalry for places, which will push them to reach a higher level.” Tennis academy Competition is certainly one thing Radoux would like to see more of. The captain has explicit ideas about the state of Luxembourg tennis. “There is plenty of room for improvement in infrastructure and in the organisation,” he says. For instance, the Grand Duchy has plenty of indoor courts, but not enough outdoor hard courts, which could have posed real problems had the
Davis Cup tie been played in Luxembourg. “There is also a clear need for a tennis academy. Some players had to move abroad to find enough sparring partners, the quality of trainers. Never mind if it is Gilles or Mandy [Minella--the Luxembourg women’s number one] or Tom Diederich. What we have done to create a training structure for Gilles here could be done on a bigger scale.” But all those ideas require money, and, although Kurt Salmon is sponsoring the Davis Cup team, Radoux believes further investment from a broad spectrum of interested parties is required. “We need some big sponsors and the federation and the ministry to put the money in. We have plenty of potential, because we have good things in terms of physios, fitness trainers, players with experience, but they are not centralised at the moment.” Indeed, the captain cites the example of cycling, where the job of creating a professional team (Leopard Trek) was
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Service game: Laurent Bram in action in Dublin
Winning team: Jacques Radoux, Gilles Muller, Mike Vermeer , Laurent Bram and Tom Diederich
achieved with professional investors. “So far in tennis, nobody has been willing to do this. Football gets a lot of attention and money, but we will never have 15 or 20 good football players at the same time. With one or two good tennis players we could make a difference and even play in a World Group,” says Radoux. So far Muller is the great hope, and at the age of 28 that may be leaving things a bit late. Nevertheless, he has beaten the likes of Roddick and Nadal, so he clearly has the talent. Is tennis psychological? “Oh yes, big time. Before I felt I was able to beat the big guys, but I had problems maintaining that level. I could play a great match but follow it with the worst match ever. I couldn’t maintain consistency. In 2008 I managed to get back in to the Top 100, but then I got injured and had to start all over again. I still feel like I can beat those guys, but it’s a question of rhythm. You have to
play them week in week out.” Meanwhile, Muller sees the tie against Great Britain as something of a bonus. “It will be a nice experience--especially for the younger guys and it will also motivate the older guys because the match will be televised and they won’t want to look ridiculous,” he says with a smile. Radoux says that although Muller is under some pressure, because he is the leader and if he loses his matches it will be difficult for Luxembourg, he enjoys being with his friends and having someone to have fun with and joke around on court--“which Mike Scheidweiler does very well.” As for Muller’s personal goals, his prime objective is to get back in to the Top 100. “Once there, I can play in the main draw of the Grand Slams and other big tournaments. The big goal is to reach the Top 50, which I have never done. Once I achieve that, who knows...”
Deep commitment Kurt Salmon, formerly Ineum Consulting, has renewed its contract as the name sponsor of the Luxembourg Davis Cup Team. As associate director Jean Diederich explains, tennis was chosen to distinguish the company from consultancy competitors who are targeting golf. But the company’s commitment to tennis goes much deeper than merely providing cash and moral support and receiving visibility in return. Kurt Salmon brings to the table its consulting experience and is about to publish a study on the state of Luxembourg tennis. “The purpose is to diagnose the sporting, organisational and financial features in order to outline strengths and weaknesses of the current system,” says Diederich. www.kurtsalmon.lu
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Ineum Consulting and Kurt Salmon Associates have joined forces to create an integrated and global organization, operating across five continents under one single brand: Kurt Salmon.
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Junior Chamber International Luxembourg
READY MADE SUPPORT NETWORK The truly international organisation helps young, active citizens develop their own skills as they help their community.
Founded in 1915, the organisation which later became the Junior Chamber International included a young Nelson Rockefeller--who later became New York state governor and US vice president--among its devoted members. When the United Nations was searching for a home to build its headquarters in the late 1940s, the Rockefeller family bought and donated the UN’s prime Manhattan location. As a token of appreciation, the JCI is the only NGO in the world allowed to use the famous UN planet mark as part of its logo, explains Toshiharu Shimizu, a vice president of the worldwide JCI organisation. Today JCI counts nearly 200,000 members in 5,000 local chapters in more
Junior Chamber International Luxembourg c/o Chambre de Commerce 7, rue Alcide de Gasperi L-2981 Luxembourg-Kirchberg info@jcLuxembourg.com www.jcluxembourg.com
than 110 countries, including the Luxembourg branch, which was founded in 1963. The organisation aims “to be the leading global network of young, active citizens,” says Victor Gallavardin, JCI Luxembourg’s current president. “Our goal is to bring positive change in the community where we’re living, with the people that are living there.” Indeed, the JCI is active in promoting the UN Millennium Development Goals and members are, for example, active in raising money for the anti-malaria “NothingButNets” campaign. Despite collecting members’ donations, Gallavardin says the association is not oriented towards fundraising. Rather, it aims to promote awareness of others’ good works.
Victor Gallavardin, president 2011 Pedro Castilho, immediate past president Aurélien Lalahy, secretary general 2011
Best known in the Grand Duchy for its five-year-old Creative Young Entrepreneurs Luxembourg award (see box opposite), JCI provides plenty of opportunities throughout the year for formal training, peer exchange, and hands-on project management experience that members wouldn’t necessarily gain otherwise, according to Gallavardin. As its officers only serve one year, then stay onboard another year to support their successors, Gallavardin stresses, “the board is not the important part of the JCI. The most important part is our members. The quality of the association, the dynamism of the association, the creativity is all based on members.”
Jean-Christophe Vigneron, treasurer 2011 Frédéric Théate, vice president, partnership and sponsorship 2011
Carlos Eduardo Perez, vice president, international 2011 David Sénégas-Rouvière, vice president, training 2011
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VICTOR GALLAVARDIN: wants young citizens to transcend national boundaries
For example, a member with a non-financial background could be treasurer for a specific initiative. “OK, you’re not used to making a budget,” he says. “Go ahead, this is your chance. Because here, you have the past treasurer who will be there and support you. Then next year, you’ ll have to explain what’s going on. That’s one of the main things about JCI, to have this type of learning. That’s real development.” So far this year, JCI Luxembourg has organised member visits to all the Greater Region neighbours, as well as to Estonia, Italy and Tunisia--with visits to Japan and Sweden upcoming --and hosted delegations from Belgium, France, Morocco, Switzerland
JCI Luxembourg holds its monthly meeting on the second Wednesday of the month, at 19:30 in Luxembourg city. For details, send an email to secretary@jcLuxembourg.com.
AND THE WINNER IS... and Tunisia. The association also launched a public speaking and debating academy last year--with 40 clinics being held in Luxembourg in 2011-attended by members from ten European nations. The Luxembourg project is now being used as a model in other countries. Gallavardin says, “ideas move very quickly” in the JCI. In fact, the group says it transcends national sovereignty and international borders. “There is respect of local laws, of course, but we have a community of people which says, ‘ let’s do something together’,” irrespective of political divisions. Shimizu, who is based in Japan but because of his worldwide role is a frequent visitor to the Benelux countries, says: “I come from the other side of the world, but our vision and mission is the same. That’s why we can make new networks through the organisation.” He adds: “Even though I’m not really good at speaking English, if I meet people here in Europe or anywhere in the world, we can become real friends. So, I’m really proud of this organisation. That’s also something attractive for young people, I AG think.”
The co-founder and CEO of iNUI Studio, Olivier Raulot, was named the winner of the “Creative Young Entrepreneur Luxembourg 2011” competition during a June 16 gala at the Tramsshapp. Founded in October 2010, iNUI Studio develops natural user interfaces that allow humans to control machines using body gestures, voice and touch. “Our goal is to develop new software solutions to simplify enterprise computing, place human beings at the heart of decision making, and do this in areas as diverse as culture, education, tourism, events, marketing and the ﬁnancial sector,” explains the 37 year old. The CYEL award recognises young entrepreneurs who demonstrate creativity and imagination when solving a problem or introducing a product or service. Raulot--along with ﬁnalists Nicolas Henckes of Legitech and Marco Houwen of Luxcloud--will now compete in the Junior Chamber International’s worldwide entrepreneurship awards, which will be held this November in Brussels. AG & MP www.cyel.lu
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LIFESTYLE GOING NATIVE
David Laurent/Wide (archives)
Luc Deflorenne (archives)
THREE TRADITIONAL EVENTS
It may be relatively small, but no event in Luxembourg attracts more visitors than the annual funfair on the Glacis. Originally a shepherd’s market it is now a family day out, with parents guarding their wallets as kids go crazy for rides, games and all sorts of colourful sugary treats. For others it is a chance to meet in a group for a few drinks and then face tests of courage in front of friends who dare each other to go on the most hair-raising rides. And for a certain few it is a chance to dress up and pose around and flirt with the opposite sex. The traditional fairground sound of thrilled shrieks, the hiss of hydraulic brakes and the repetitive thump of loud music, the smell of fried food and the dazzling lights are an assault on the senses, but should be experienced at least once every summer--if only for people watching and mullet spotting.
The official start of summer coincides with the biggest celebrations of the year as Luxembourg parties till dawn in honour of the Grand Duke’s official birthday. National Day eve sees tens of thousands of people flock to the capital city to watch a torch-light parade, a truly impressive fireworks display and to party. Smaller celebrations take place around the country. On National Day itself, a Te Deum mass in the cathedral is followed by a security forces parade along avenue de la Liberté and a cannon salute across the city. June 22 (eve) and June 23, Luxembourg City (parade and ﬁreworks display)
As summer draws to a close, the annual street sales in the city provide a chance for bargain hunters to shop till they drop. First launched in 1929, the street sales take place on the first Monday in September and coincide with the Schueberfouer funfair. Retailers set up stands on the sidewalks and food and drinks stalls as well as entertainment are also laid on. Be warned, the early bargain hunters are already shopping when the sales open at 8 a.m. and getting around the city, for those who have to work, is also trickier than usual. September 5, 8:00 to 19:00, www.cityshopping.lu
August 19 to September 7, Glacis, www.fouer.lu
“ A CITY THAT HAS DEVELOPED ORGANICALLY IN TO A UNIQUE, MODEL MELTING POT FOR WESTERN EUROPE AND A DESTINATION WHOSE REPUTATION IS INVERSELY PROPORTIONAL TO ITS SIZE” ROLAND PINNEL: director, Luxembourg City Tourist Office
A regular list of local associations. Submit a text for inclusion by sending a mail to: email@example.com
FRISKIS & SVETTIS
Offers fun and accessible high quality workouts, with qualiﬁed instructors, for everybody. Open air workouts in the summer. www.friskis.lu
GREENHEARTS TOASTMASTERS CLUB
Public speaking club dedicated to helping people build communication and leadership skills. http://greenhearts.freetoasthost.net
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GOING NATIVE LIFESTYLE
People in the news
THE CRUCIAL THREE THE KNOWLEDGE HOW TO... REGISTER TO VOTE
The dancer and choreographer is the recipient of the inaugural Lëtzebuerger Danzpreis. A jury comprised of Angela Conquet from the Mains d’Œuvres in St-Ouen, Ben Bauler from the Grand Théâtre, Bernard Baumgarten, artistic director of the TROIS C-L, Jean-Guillaume Weis, choreographer and dancer and Denise Besch from the ministry of culture’s Service danse chose Camarda for her remarkable and diverse career. The prize was awarded during the Luxembourg dance festival. A graduate of the London Contemporary Dance School, Camarda has worked with Cirque du Soleil, les Ballets C. de la B., Jan Fabre and Ventura Dance Co. among others. Here in Luxembourg she is committed to working with youngsters, especially as part of the Traffo programme.
With the July 14 deadline looming, we make no apologies for repeating this How to... 1 All foreign residents, regardless of nationality, can vote in local elections on October 9 if they are at least 18 years old on election day, and have lived in the Grand Duchy for at least 5 years. 2 You must register in-person at your local commune by Thursday, July 14. 3 Bring a current ID card, passport or residence permit; and certiﬁcates of residence proving you have lived in Luxembourg for at least 5 years. 4 Once you register, voting is compulsory. Following an election, however, you can request to be removed from the electoral rolls. 5 More information is available at www.icanvote.lu.
The film critic and head of the CNA’s film department saw his fame spread well beyond Luxembourg’s borders when he was one of the audience members interviewed by AFP following the screening of Terence Malick’s Tree of Life at the Cannes film festival. Hoffmann, never known to hold back when he dislikes a film, said of Malick’s film that; “one hour and half hours was fit for the rubbish bin. It was pure shit, BBC documentary…” The film went on to win the Palme d’Or to almost unanimous acclaim.
The manager of the Chiggeri restaurant was one of four sommeliers awarded an MOF (Meilleurs Ouvriers de France). The MOF prizes are awarded every four years in Paris, and go to the best in their field in a range of disciplines. Méril becomes the first person working in the Grand Duchy to be bestowed with an MOF award. He joined Chiggeri in 2003 and later took over running the restaurant from founder Guy Tabourin. The restaurant entered the Guinness Book of Records in 2009 for having the longest wine list in the world.
Group for Canadians and friends of Canada of any nationality that hosts social events for people of all ages.
Plays in the Belgian and Luxembourg leagues, friendly matches and an indoor winter league.
Hosts fundraising events and sends a Luxembourg representative to the Rose of Tralee festival.
CANADIAN CLUB www.canadiansinlux.com
OPTIMISTS CRICKET CLUB www.optimists.cc
LUXEMBOURG ROSE OF TRALEE ASSOCIATION www.rose.lu
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THE MOVING CHALLENGE Globalisation, increased administrative regulations and the economic crisis have changed the nature of work undertaken by relocation services. What are the challenges they and their clients now face? Text: Duncan Roberts — Photos: Luc Deflorenne
The way businesses are reacting to global competition and changes in the market, plus the willingness of employees to move country in order to get ahead in their career, has really altered the way relocation services work on a day to day basis. “Relocation really has become last minute,” says Sylvie Schmit of European Relocation Services. “HR departments are contacting us with very little notice, and often they are moving three or four people within one week.” “The whole aspect of global HR is changing,” says Sherry Sideris of Integreat, whose company has seen more and more people arriving in Luxembourg but fewer people leaving the Grand Duchy. “People are staying for longer contracts or are happy to extend on the terms of a local contract.” Sideris says she thinks more and more people are realising that Luxembourg is a unique country that is relatively safe and has a good healthcare and social system. She also sees children of those families growing up in Luxembourg and going abroad to university but then coming back to the Grand Duchy to fi nd work. “The reason people come here is for work. The reason they stay is not because of their career, but for all the other
CHARLENE FIDELER AND SHERRY SIDERIS: responsive to each unique situation
things they have adjusted to and become accustomed to,” says Sideris’s partner at Integreat, Charlene Fideler. LOCATION ADVANTAGE Schmit agrees that fewer people are leaving. “We have had a lot of inbound, but 10% fewer outbound this year.” And she says the nature of employment is
changing, with people moving to Luxembourg on shorter contracts of one to three years or, as Fideler and Sideris confirm, staying on permanently and taking advantage of Luxembourg’s location. Schmit says those who do end up staying tend to integrate quite well and they love the quality of life and the way Luxembourg has become cosmopolitan.
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RELOCATION REALLY HAS BECOME LAST MINUTE” Sylvie Schmit
“Just look at all the sushi bars and things like the dogwalkers. And people do like to travel from Luxembourg for weekend trips around Europe.” So what are the challenges facing expats, and particularly those with Englishspeaking backgrounds, who move to Luxembourg? Schooling and housing seem to top the list. Indeed, it is still a hard process to find schooling, especially for older children who are midway through a curriculum and probably do not have the languages required to enter the Luxembourg state school system. “Though more and more families are entering small children into the local system,” says Sideris. Schmit is concerned that many classes in the international schools--St. George’s, ISL and even the French-speaking St. Sophie --are full. “I tell clients to send the families over, even if the employee hasn’t signed, to at least book a place at a school as soon as possible.” Simple changes to immigration procedures are also making life more complicated in many ways. The new biometric credit card style residence permit for non-EU nationals has replaced a simple stamp in a passport. But both Sideris and Schmit says that general
administrative procedures seem to be becoming more and more difficult in many countries. Here in Luxembourg, many administrations are understaffed and when just one person is off sick or on vacation the backlog can start to build, leading to delays in the delivery of residency and work permits. “That’s why you really become a partner of the HR department,” says Schmit. “You make them aware of changes in the market or administrative procedures. They count on us as a professional service provider.” HOUSING SHORTAGE The housing market is shorter than ever, and real estate agents are showing concern because they are not getting the objects they were before. “Everyone wants the best property for the best price,” says Sideris. And while the current trend is to build apartments, many families who move here are looking for houses. Indeed, Integreat last year launched a new product to help clients buy property. Schmit says she noticed a trend this year for larger families, with maybe four children, moving to Luxembourg--though that is probably an anomaly. But she also warns that especially before the sum-
mer, with consultants and trainees coming over, the housing market becomes even tighter. “I will tell a client that the choice is not endless and if they don’t choose one of the ten or so we show them, they risk losing any choice at all.” Schmit, like Fideler and Sideris, says that offering a good service with permanent follow through is vital. But she also advises clients to allow their employees to take the time to visit Luxembourg before they move. “The time frame is the time frame. It is an exception to get a work permit within a week.” She also wants HR departments to ensure that their staff are fully briefed about the positives and the negatives before they make a permanent move. “I wouldn’t advise anyone with a disabled child or a sick family member to move here. And places for children with learning difficulties are also in short supply,” she says. “It ends up being expensive for the company, and in the end the family will often move back earlier because their experience was not satisfactory.” At Integreat, Sideris and Fideler also believe it is important to listen to the clients and not dismiss them. “There is no norm. Responsiveness and compassion for each unique situation is what our reputation is all about.”
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Meet and greet
JOHN MALKOVICH AT THE PHILHARMONIE Photos: Luc Deflorenne
Just before John Malkovich took to the stage for the first of two performances of The Giacomo Variations, he made time to meet local journalists. The meet and greet format was a refreshingly relaxed affair, and one that Malkovich had also granted journalists last year when he was at the Philharmonie for The Infernal Comedy--another production with director Michael Sturminger and musical director Martin Haselböck. Charismatic and charming, Malkovich explained how much he liked working with the two Austrians. Although wary of the possible pitfalls in taking on a role that required him to sing Mozart arias, Malkovich said he was not afraid. “Fear doesn’t bring you anything. You have to work on yourself, maintain a clear head and approach each challenge intelligently.” The actor, who takes on the role of Giacomo Casanova in the touring production, also explained that he had worked on the script with Sturminger by reading great chunks of Casanova’s memoirs. “Over time, these memoirs DR became our Bible,” he said.
John Malkovich in animated discussion General director of the Philharmonie, Matthias Naske
The Giacomo Variations director Michael Sturminger
John Malkovich and Matthias Naske during the meet and greet
The production’s musical director Martin Haselböck
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THE PERFORMING ARTS PROGRAMME OF CARRÉROTONDES
Ask for the next season programme firstname.lastname@example.org +352 2662 2007 Tickets: 5/10 € +352 47 08 95 1 www.luxembourgticket.lu TRAFFO_CarréRotondes 1, rue de l’Aciérie L-1112 Luxembourg-Hollerich www.traffo.lu
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Seven live performances to watch
PHIL END OF SEASON PARTY
DJS WORKING 9 TO 5
The end of season party at the Philharmonie has achieved legendary status having seen DJ performances in the past by 2 many djs, DJ Kool Herc and Carl Craig. This year’s bash, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., may well outdo them all with the appearance of the godfather of hip-hop Grandmaster Flash (photo) alongside Ada, DJ Koze and DJ Hell, as well as the winner of a regional competition to play as the opening act. June 24, Philharmonie, LuxembourgKirchberg, www.philharmonie.lu
AT THE ABBAYE
OH, THOSE SUMMER NIGHTS There can be few more spectacular settings for an open-air concert than the courtyard of the Abbaye de Neumünster. Nestled in the Alzette valley, with the cliffs of the Bock promontory providing a stunning backdrop, the courtyard of the former monastery and prison is the perfect location to enjoy music on a balmy summer’s evening. Each year since 2006, den Atelier has been promoting one open-air concert in the Abbaye. But this year they spoil us with two in the same week.
Foals bring their brand of perfect pop to the courtyard on the back of last year’s Mercury Prize nominated album Total Life Forever. Two days later PJ Harvey (photo) will play tracks off her new album Let England Shake, which is surely a shoe-in for a Mercury nomination this year. Both concerts promise to be quite magical in the Neumünster setting. Foals July 11, PJ Harvey July 13, Abbaye de Neumünster, Luxembourg-Grund, www.atelier.lu
BLUES N’JAZZ RALLYE
INTO THE VALLEY A glorious celebration of music in the open air, the annual Blues n’Jazz Rallye was ﬁrst introduced to Luxembourg by the LCTO when the city ﬁrst reigned as Capital of Culture in 1995. Now the one-day festival hosts over 60 live acts and attracts some 20,000 blues and jazz fans to the Grund and Clausen to watch some of the ﬁnest purveyors of their genre perform on outdoor stages and in cafés and restaurants. July 17, Grund and Clausen, www.bluesjazzrallye.lu
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LIFESTYLE THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA
RESIDENT BRITTEN Having almost completed his term as resident artist at the Philharmonie, Ian Bostridge rounds off his 2010-11 season with this concert version of Benjamin Britten’s fi rst “chamber opera”. It is a work that Bostridge pushed for when discussing his residency programme with the Philharmonie’s director, Matthias Naske, primarily because he loves the piece but also because he wanted to hear Angelika Kirschlager sing Britten. The two-act opera is based on André Obey’s play Le Viol de Lucrèce and recounts the motives and consequences of the rape of a soldier’s faithful wife by a prince in ancient Rome.
CASTLE DELIGHTS One of the oldest festivals of culture in the Grand Duchy, the Festival de Wiltz is held against the wonderful backdrop of the local château. Its programme features theatre, classical music, jazz and musical theatre with this year’s highlights including Mozart’s Magic Flute and The Silver Beatles (photo) tribute band. We advise getting a train up to Wiltz and enjoying some bubbly before and after the show. June 25 to July 31, château de Wiltz, www.festivalwiltz.lu
June 19, Philharmonie, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, www.philharmonie.lu
NO REST FOR THE WICKED
While most cultural venues take a break in July and August, Exit07 steps up a gear with its Congés Annulés programme featuring a host of live acts and events. The programme is not yet complete, but already highlights include the return of British electro-pop doomsters Yacht (photo) and a gig by groovy art popsters Wild Beasts. Keep your eyes posted on the Exit07 website for details of more bands and events throughout the summer. July 30 to August 29, Exit07, www.rotondes.lu
GENRE BUSTING As musical tastes become more and more eclectic and less tribal, so festival programmers have greater leeway in planning their line-ups. Rock-A-Field has always catered to a wide variety of fans, but this year could see a split along generational lines as the likes of intelligent indie faves Elbow and Arcade Fire attract a more mature crowd than lower order bands such as teen pop-punk from The Wombats and The Gaslight Anthem. But, as always, there is plenty to suit all tastes--even hip-hop is represented by local heroes De Läb and German outfit Die Fantastischen Vier--and headliners Arctic Monkeys (photo) will be the band that could reunite old and young alike for a frenzied finale. June 26, Roeser festival site, www.atelier.lu/raf/
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LIFESTYLE EDWARD STEICHEN
VILLA VAUBAN DOUBLE BILL
IN THE STUDIO
Alongside Tour de France winner Charly Gaul, Edward Steichen is arguably Luxembourg’s most famous son. But while Gaul remained in the Grand Duchy, Steichen moved to the United States at an early age and became a naturalized American. There he made his name as a photographer, eventually ending up as chief photographer at Condé Nast for its two most prestigious publications, Vanity Fair and Vogue. It was during this period, from 1923 to 1935, that Steichen really shot to fame as he mixed shooting portraits of the stars of the day with fashion photography to create some iconic images of the likes of Myrna Loy (photo), Gary Cooper, Greta Garbo, and Charlie Chaplin.
MNHA/Estate of Edward Steichen
PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST
The Mythes de l’atelier exhibition examines the role of the studio in the life and work of the artist. As well as paintings depicting the artist’s studio, visitors will get a chance to see a faithful reconstruction of the workshop of Christoffel Bisschop. At the same time, the Villa’s Émotions exhibition cleverly juxtaposes classic painting with photography.
Until August 28, Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art, Luxembourg-old town, www.mnha.lu
Until October 10 (Mythes de l’atelier) and May 7, 2012 (Émotions), Villa Vauban, Luxembourgcentre, www.villavauban.lu
Four exhibitions to see
VISUAL ARTS Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin
POVERTY IN LUXEMBOURG
SUMMER AT MUDAM
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS
A busy summer sees the contemporary art museum on the Kirchberg stage five exhibitions featuring collage work, photography, installations and design images. They all seem to have in common the juxtaposition of found or recycled images or the deconstruction or editing of narrative. Among the artists on show are British conceptual artist John Stezaker, whose work appropriates images found in books, magazines, and postcards to convey his own witty and poignant meanings.
June 18 until September 11, Mudam, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, www.mudam.lu
Luxembourg’s reputation as the richest country in Europe is given an almighty kicking at this exhibition which explores the history and the social impact of poverty in the Grand Duchy, the effect of migration and Luxembourg’s emergence from a poor province to a rich nation. Until April 29, 2012, Musée d’Histoire de la Ville de Luxembourg, Luxembourg-centre, www.mhvl.lu
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© design : apart / photo : Andrés Lejona
the Villa Vauban is surrounded by a beautiful park …
leisure & culture lovely!
... in the heart of Luxembourg city
take a clever break: explore works of art, chill out and enjoy the atmosphere visit the museum during your lunch break
Four films to watch
ON SCREEN BARNEY’S VERSION
Serendipity Point Films
Paul Giamatti has built his reputation as one of America’s finest actors by bringing credibility and improbable likeability to deeply flawed and often quite rude characters--think the arrogant wine critic Miles in Sideways and the irascible Harvey, everyday star of the American Splendor graphic novels in the film of the same name. In this adaptation of Mordechai Richler’s novel, Giamatti plays the eponymous hero. Barney Panofsky is a self-absorbed, borderline alcoholic hockey fan and TV producer who is so hopelessly romantic that he leaves his wife standing at the altar when he falls in love with a woman at his own wedding reception. Rosamund Pike co-stars. On release now
Paper Street Films
A LIFE LESS ORDINARY
LOW CLASS Cameron Diaz is the eponymous educator, a foul-mouthed ﬂoozy who sets her sights on wooing colleague Justin Timberlake when she is dumped by her sugar daddy. The script is by the writers of the American version of The Ofﬁce, which is promising even if the premise sounds dull and the thought of a Diaz-Timberlake love-fest is off-putting. Released June 24
Written and directed by, and starring, Josh Radnor, this tale of three New York couples on the cusp of 30 could well be a clichéd, self-indulgent mess. That it isn’t is apparently due to some snappy writing and the ability of the actors to elicit sympathy and even empathy from characters that could be annoying and pretentious. Released June 24
Paper Street Films
LIFE BEGINS AT 30
BACK TO THE OLD HOUSE The writer and director of the first Saw movie deliver a run-of-the-mill haunted house story that will appeal to some horror fans for its tension and shock moments, but will leave many yawning at the familiar plot. A family moves into an old house and encounters inexplicable things that go bump in the night. The reliable Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne star as the young parents. Released June 17
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annonce vitarium delano.pdf
HELLO LUXEMBOURG: THE INSIDER’S GUIDE
MAMA LOVES YOU
SHE WHO KNOWS BEST
Joanna Grodecki’s Hello Luxembourg: The Insiders’ Guide provides advice from people who care passionately about the city. Unceremonious interviews with 20 local residents give the reader an insight into what makes the city tick, the best places to wine and dine, quirky opinions and even where to enjoy a moment with the love of your life. The pocket-size guide, in English, is packed with information, cool photos and maps. WIN! Delano has 10 copies to give away courtesy of Maison Moderne Publishing. To win a copy send an email with your contact details and the words “Hello Luxembourg contest” as the subject to: email@example.com. Closing date: Friday July 1.
The name says it all. The new restaurant in the former Congo premises features wholesome and delicious food in a convivial atmosphere suitable for the whole family. The simple menu comprises seasonal dishes and classics such as a half roast chicken, a catch of the day, vegetarian Orecchiette or a Mama’s Burger as well as a selection of pizzas from the wood-ﬁred stove. Customers can even compose their own pizza toppings. www.mamalovesyou.lu
News and recommendations for
FROM PARIS WITH LOVE If you can’t make it to Paris to try out the new restaurant opened by Charles Munchen and Sébastien Sarra, you’re in luck. The business partners have opened up a Luxembourg branch on the place Guillaume, right next door to their own Brasserie Guillaume. So diners can now enjoy Chef Toni Vianello’s authentic Italian cuisine without having to take the TGV. www.brasserieguillaume.lu
THE SUMMER’S HERE A whole new world has emerged on the Kirchberg with the opening of Manu Da Costa’s brilliant Kyosk. The stylish concrete bunker, designed by Polaris and opened in 2008, is now a bar-restaurant-play area serving snacks and picnic grub at lunchtime and hosting aperitifs and (often competitive) games of pétanque on one of the adja-
EPICUREANS AND NIGHT OWLS
cent pitches in the late afternoon and early evening. Diners can eat at traditional tables or take a picnic “basket” and spread out on the lawn of the park or prop up against one of the low concrete tables. Kyosk is arguably the most relaxing place to be in the city this summer. www.kyosk.lu
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Four events for
FAMILIES AND KIDS THE PIRATE SHIP
WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE Dreamworks Animation
Nothing says summer more to parents in the city centre than the shrieks of delighted kids splashing about in the water channels that surround the pirate ship in the city park. What’s more, parents can now enjoy drinks and snacks at the kiosk next to the play area and new toilets have also been installed.
KUNG FU PANDA 2
A LITTLE BIT FRIGHTENING
Open all summer, city park, entrance corner avenue Monterrey and boulevard Prince Henri
With Gary Oldman, Jean-Claude van Damme and Michelle Yeoh joining an already stellar cast, Kung Fu Panda 2 brings together one of the finest collection of voices for an animated feature this side of Shrek. Jack Black returns as the fearless but rather simple Po, and is joined again by the likes of Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan. Lucy Liu, Seth Rogan and Dustin Hoffmann from the first film. Po and his Furious Five friends must battle a frightening peacock voiced by Oldman, who has plans to rid the world of kung fu and take over China. Judging from the Pulp Fiction references in the trailer, this sequel is aimed at an older audience as well as at kids.
Released June 17, Utopolis and Caramba cinemas, www.utopolis.lu, www.caramba.lu SUMMER IN THE CITY
The Luxembourg City Tourist Office’s Summer In The City programme features a wealth of events that can be enjoyed by the whole family. One of the most lively and fun is the two days of Streeta(rt)nimation, which attracts international street theatre artists, buskers, acrobats and comics who spend all day entertaining crowds at various locations around the city centre. Earlier, at the end of July, CAPEL and the LCTO join forces to produce a series of activities, entertainment and events for the Kanner in the City weekend. Streeta(rt)nimation August 13 and 14, city centre streets and squares Kanner in the City July 29 and 30, place Guillaume II, www.summerinthecity.lu
Kids can combine learning or improving their language skills with a host of sports and other activities courses during the summer holidays. Languages.lu is offering week-long courses in German, French or English combined with afternoon courses in jewellery making, dance or football starting every Monday during the school vacation period. Meanwhile, Inlingua has teamed up with the Tennis Club de Bonnevoie to offer ﬁve-day long language and tennis courses throughout the holidays, and with the Golf & Country Club de Christnach to provide language and golf courses, which cover ten mornings but are only available until the end of August. www.inlingua.lu, www.languages.lu
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Eight things to do and see if you are
STAYING IN LUXEMBOURG THIS SUMMER
STARRY, STARRY NIGHTS
Each summer the Cinémathèque unlocks its archives and screens a series of ﬁlms for free in the courtyard of the Capucins theatre every Friday and Saturday night. Screenings are at 10 p.m. and the season starts on July 8 and runs until August 13--when the Cinémathèque team transfers to the Schueberfouer on the Glacis for special Crazy Cinématographe screenings of silent ﬁlms in a show tent.
Brigitte Krauth/Dreiländereck Touristik and Moselle Tourisme
GET MEDIEVAL The castle at Vianden is perhaps the most popular tourist spot outside of the capital city, and the subject of countless gasps and swoons from visitors upon first spying the chateau on the rock above the town. But during the week of July 30 to August 7 the castle truly comes alive as host to its annual medieval festival featuring jousting knights, belly dancers, musicians and jesters and falconry displays. www.castle-vianden.lu
The Greater Region’s gardens offer some of the best family friendly day excursions. “Gardens Without Limits” is a network of more than 20 top-notch gardens in Luxembourg, Lorraine and Saarland, with themes ranging from botanic and medicinal to classical and contemporary. Staff choice is the “Garden of Senses” near Merzig (photo), where visitors can meander from the meditation garden to tone garden, and turns itself into the “garden of lights” each August. In French – www.jardins-sanslimites.com, in German – www.gaerten-ohne-grenzen.de
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LIFESTYLE LE CLUB GT
BIKE PATHS (I)
CITY CYCLING The Luxembourg City Tourist Ofﬁce has four new “Bike Promenades”. Circuits range from ﬁve to 12.3 kilometres, covering places such as the Alzette valley (photo) and city parks. Rides can be self-organised or part of a guided group (available in English). Free maps – www.lcto.lu, Bicycle hire – www.veloh.lu
BIKE PATHS (II)
With more than 1,000 kilometres of paths, biking is a great way to discover the Greater Region. The Vallée des 7 châteaux is one of the nicest valleys in the Grand Duchy with amazing castles along the way. In the east, la Petite Suisse luxembourgeoise is home to more challenging circuits, but a former railway line was converted into an approachable bike path. Excellent paths line the Moselle Valley and its vineyards. Staff choice is the stretch from Remich to Ehnen, although the path on the German side is quieter. Saarland features five other major bicycle routes (photo) worth exploring. www.velo-tours.lu, www.visitsaarland.co.uk/en/cycling
What with lazy holidays, drinks on the terrace, barbecues and the Schueberfouer, staying ﬁt is a real challenge during the summer. So up steps Friskis&Svettis to offer free workouts in the Parc de Merl. Up until July 7 family classes take place every Thursday at 5.30 p.m. on the lawn opposite of the cafe and next to the playground. Adult classes take place until September 8 in the same location on Thursdays at 6.30 p.m. Check the Friskis&Svettis website for details of the type of classes.
The south of the country is a wealth of industrial heritage including the so-called Giele Botter nature reserve in Niederkorn and the Fond-de-Gras open air industrial and steam railway museum in the same town. Kids will love the Train 1900 steam railway, which takes passengers between Niederkorn and Petange and back every hour in the afternoons on Sundays and bank holidays (except June 23) throughout the summer. Afterwards we recommend the typical Luxembourg fare at the Bei der Giedel restaurant.
Saarland Tourism Centre
STEAM AHEAD ONT
Le Club GT
Enthusiasts of high-end cars might want to splurge on a membership of Le Club GT. Throughout the year members can book hot wheels for a day or a weekend. To kick-off summer, it is giving away two test drives exclusively to Delano readers: one in a Ferrari F458 (photo) and one in a Lamborghini Gallardo LP560/4. To enter the contest, correctly identify the most expensive make in Le Club GT’s fleet: Bentley Continental GT, McLaren MP4/12 or Rolls Royce Ghost. Send your answer in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 14.
WIN A SUMMER DRIVE
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MY OTHER LIFE: BOB KNEIP
ART FOR ART’S SAKE
The founder and managing director of Kneip has a passion for modern art and shares his collection with employees in Kneip’s offices around the world.
Text: Duncan Roberts
Kneip supports the International School of Luxembourg’s artist-inresidence programme, which this year saw author and illustrator Bryan Collier at the school for three days to work with students, produce a work that will remain at the school, and also address an audience on the subject of art and creativity in education. “It makes sense to support it. And Bryan Collier’s books and illustrations are really cool,” says Kneip. Collier was equally enthusiastic about the project. “Artists show the whole world all they have missed,” he said.
The reception area and corridors of the Kneip offices in Kirchberg are more akin to an art gallery than to the corporate headquarters of a financial services provider. Paintings by the likes of Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann and Olll (Olivier Domin) line the walls, while modern sculptures are placed at strategic spots around the third floor complex. The man responsible for collecting these works--though he seems to shy away from calling himself a “collector”--says he has long been passionate about art. “We were fortunate to live in the United States but nevertheless travel a lot. So it was a matter of being pushed into art museums wherever we went. I must say the places that impressed me most were MOMA and the Guggenheim in New York. I enjoyed anything from antique to classical and then modern and pop art.” The first painting that truly impressed Bob Kneip was Picasso’s Guernica-- “It was gigantic and the way he could reflect so much with so little colour and unconventional forms.” But Bob’s real passion, evident in the works on display, is for accessible art that is big and colourful. And he is keen to emphasise that he does not buy art for speculative reasons, but merely to enjoy it and share it with his staff and visitors to the Kirchberg and at Kneip offices in places such as
London, Brussels or the recently opened facility in Hong Kong. He has never sold a work. “You don’t buy art to keep it in a dark room. I don’t see how you cannot share art. It’s like opening a nice bottle of wine just for yourself--it doesn’t make sense.” Kneip has received positive feedback from its Paris office, for example, as employees feel the art collection is a way of identifying with the company and tying them in with its corporate identity. Bob is also enthusiastic about Luxembourg artists, but says they should be seen in the international context so that the quality of their work can really shine. He cites Rafael Springer, David Russon, Christian Frantzen and photographer Martin Linster as local talent to watch. Every two years Kneip is also part of the Art on Kirchberg weekend during which companies and institutions, such as the EIB, open up their collections to the public. The company has also supported an annual workshop initiative at the International School of Luxembourg (see box). And Bob is keen to instill similar enthusiasm for art in his own children. “You can’t impose it, but I was quite impressed with the interest they showed when they went to galleries and museums.” Indeed, he keeps a fi le of his children’s art at hand, and is clearly delighted by their efforts.
66 - DELANO - June 2011
08.06.2011 15:32:49 Uhr
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