Sat04292017

Friday, 28 April 2017 09:05

Chronicle.lu Seeks Journalist / Reporter

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G-Media sarl is hiring! We are looking for a Journalist / Reporter for The Luxembourg Chronicle (Chronicle.lu).

The role involves translating press releases, editing them and publishing articles about a range of happenings in and around Luxembourg, from politics and business to lifestyle, culture and sport, as well as maintaining the Chronicle.lu Event Calendar. It also involves attending press conferences and events, both business and community, and reporting on them.

The successful candidate needs to be able to work in a small team as well as on their own initiative. Being able to work to deadlines is a pre-requisite. While having English as mother-tongue is ideal, this is not mandatory as someone who has gained significant experience of writing in English will also be considered. Nevertheless, proficiency in other languages apart from English will be an asset (Luxembourgish, French, German).

The position would ideally suit someone who has recently graduated and is looking for an internship in media.

If you are interested, please send an email to john@gmedia.lu without delay, including your Curriculum Vitae and cover letter, including stating your availability to start.

Thursday, 27 April 2017 00:19

Irish Club Announces AGM

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The Irish Club of Luxembourg (ICL) is to hold its 2017 Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 17 May 2017 at 18:30 in Oscars Bar (upstairs), Luxembourg-Grund.

DRAFT AGENDA

1. Adoption of Draft Agenda

2. Adoption of AGM Minutes 2017

3. Matters Arising

4. Secretary's Report

5. Treasurer's Report

6. President's Address

7. Election of Club Officers and Committee Members:

- President

- Vice-President

- Treasurer

- Secretary

- Ordinary Committee Members

8. Proposals for Resolution

9. Subscriptions 2017-2018

Any Proposals for Resolution under Item 8 of the agenda must be submitted in writing to The Secretary email fiona.mulhern@gmail.com to arrive no later than 10 May 2017.

The Irish Club is looking for members to help organise events throughout the year. For further details, see www.irishclub.lu

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On Wednesday, the Dutch Ambassador to Luxembourg, Peter Kok, hosted a reception at his residence in Kirchberg on the occasion of King's Day, the Dutch national day celebrations.

While King's Day is officially on 27 April, this year's selebration was held a day earlier. While the number of Luxembourg politicans present was down on previous years due to the Prime Minister's State of the Nation address, the event's attendance was still strong with circa 200 representatives from the Dutch business and social communities, as well as other ambassadors and from Luxembourg society.

After the singing of the national anthems of both Luxembourg and The Netherlands, Ambassador Kok addressed the invited guests in what was his final King's Day reception in Luxembourg before he departs in the summer to take up his new position in Ireland.

The event included music from a military band as well as traditional Dutch treats including bitterballen, cheese and spring rolls. The Ambassador's garden was in full bloom with various beds and pots of tulips provisinf a carpet of colour on the occasion.

 

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On Wednesday, Luxembourg's Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, delivered his annual State of the Nation address at the Luxembourg parliament at the Chambre des Deputés, with the theme/mantra "Luxembourg does well if the people in Luxembourg do well".

In fact, the speech was supposed to have been delivered on Tuesday but, 20 minutes into the address, it was suspended due to problems with the audio system in the parliament, specifically concerning the live transmission. So, on Wednesday, shortly after 08:30, the Luxembourg parliament was reconvened and PM Bettel continued with his address.

Focusing on macro issues such as the economy and social cohesion, including the effect Brexit would have on the Grand Duchy, as well as aiming to increase the quality of life, he addressed economic, financial and social topics including:

• housing: demand is currently outstripping supply, and social housing provision has tripled over the past two years, plus financial incentives to encourage more private developments;

• infrastructure: the road network, the rail network, hospitals and utilities, as well as fibre-optic Internet connectivity, and also improving the quality of water in rivers and streams;

• education: including research and development, the school systems which must continually adapt, as well as the recruitment of an additional 350 educators (for helping children with learning difficulties), and free child care for 20-30 hours/week (depending on circumstances) as well as free tablets for secondary school pupils; • sport: the construction of a national Olympic Sports centre;

• Security: while domestic crime has fallen, international security remains a high concern; the recruitment of an additional 146 police officers next year, plus the appointment of a family judge; and

• transport / mobility: such as the tram network and the new Pfaffenthal train station and funicular, the first phase of which is to go live later this year, offering volunteers free public transport, tele-working and car-sharing.

With a population growing by 20% in just 20 years to almost 600,000 (of which just over half are nationals) and another 180,000 crossing the country's borders every weekday, the country is doing well economically - with strong social welfare and healthy public finances, and a good quality of life, with GDP growth estimated at 4.4% for 2017 and 5.2% for 2018 - but is facing challenges at the same time. The make-up of the country's workforce is currently 28% Luxembourgish nationals, 29% non-Luxembourgish residents and 43% cross-border workers.

To progress, the country cannot stand still and must continually invest, not only finding solutions for the short-term but also for the long-term; this includes education where the focus will be in sectors that generate wealth. GDP growth continues to outstrip most other EU Member States, unemployment is now down to 6.0% and Luxembourg's credit rating remains as "triple-A".

Prime Minister Bettel's address was followed by the Minister of Finance, Pierre Gramegna, presenting the Stability and Growth Programme including the 2017-18 budget, and the Minister of Economy, Etienne Schneider, presenting the National Reform Programme.

In response to the State of the Nation address by Prime Minister Bettel, the leader of the main opposition CSV party, Claude Wiseler, criticised the speech for a lack of substance and a lack of vision on topics such as refugees, culture and pensions.

Monday, 24 April 2017 23:19

Rose Ball 2017 Cancelled

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The Committee of the Luxembourg Rose of Tralee Asbl have issued a statement in which they have annoucned the cancellation of the 2017 Rose Ball.

The statement read "It is with profound regret that we announce the cancellation of the 2017 Luxembourg Rose selection which was scheduled to take place on 20 May 2017.

Unfortunately, we are no longer able to meet the minimum requirements of entrants set by the Rose of Tralee International Festival and have had to take the decision to cancel the 2017 selection. This is not a decision we have taken lightly but as the number of women interested in entering the Luxembourg Rose has dwindled in recent years, it is becoming increasingly difficult for us to run a selection night in accordance with the Rose of Tralee International Festival rules.

Therefore, there will not be a Rose selection in 2017."

But this is not the end of the hugely popular annual event, as the statement continued "We will revisit in early 2018 and assess if there are a sufficient number of candidates interested in entering the event."

The entry requirements specify young Irish women (or women of Irish descent), aged between 18 and 27, and resident in Luxembourg for a minimum of 12 months.

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During Ronaldhino’s visit to Luxembourg last October, to present Teqball (teqball.com), a number of young football enthusiasts have taken on the challenge of giving this fast-growing sport a whole new meaning.

Daniel, Dany, Kabir, Lucas and Marco share one thing in common; a passion for football. The young men, all studying at Lycée Technique de Lallange, joined forces and took it upon themselves to organise the very first Teqball tournament of Luxembourg. This event will take place on Saturday 20 May at the Rives de Clausen. Players will pair up for 10-minute matches where they will test both their agility and technique.

"Luxembourg is full of good football players and very active clubs, so it felt natural for us to create a Teqball event and to give the people of Luxembourg the opportunity to discover this exciting, new sport. Sports have always enjoyed an elevated position at our high school, and this tournament will help us meet with other players from all over the country. We are expecting around 32 teams. We are in charge of organising the entire thing including the search for sponsors, partners and funds. This sport event is also something that could be our first step in our professional lives!“ said the group.

FITEQ, the International Teqball Federation

This first tournament will mark the start of Teqball’s life in Luxembourg as, in September 2017, the first Teqball All Stars Cup will take place in the Grand-Duchy, drawing in great international players.

Additionally, the Fédération Internationale de Teqball (FITEQ) was recently founded, further realising the dream of the Teqball team to make this new practice an Olympic sport.

For further information about the Get Teq tournament, see www.facebook.com/getteq  (registrations close on 5 May).

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As the new season begins, the Optimists Crick Club - which plays their home hgames in Walferdange - travelled to Antwerp Indians' newly improved club house and pitch under a cold but bright day at the week-end.

Having lost the toss, Ben Embleton and James Barker got Optimists off to a very solid start which saw the loss of no wickets at the first drinks break. On the fast outfield, the two ran quickly and hit through to gaps to record boundaries with regularity. The great start eventually was halted when Barker was caught for 31 with the score at 116 from 21 overs.

The next period of batting saw two small partnerships with Embleton still going along nicely, William Cope contributed to the total with a small cameo before falling just after the second drinks break. Poised at 164 for 3 off 31 overs with Embleton nearing his hundred, Optimists were in a fine position to kick on in the last 15. After Embleton secured his century with some fine hits but, unfortunately due to some good fielding and tight bowling, Optimists lost their last 5 wickets for just 16 runs. Due to this collapse, the Optimists total was slightly below par with 226 all out but, with a strong bowling unit, the away side were confident to put some immense pressure on the Antwerp batsmen.

Atif Kamal and William Cope opened the bowling with the swinging new ball; tight bowling saw little reward in wickets but kept the scoring to a minimum with only 38 off the first 10 over powerplay.

The first wicket was picked up from Suhail Sadiq in the 12th over with some swing bowling. With both Mohit Dixit and Sadiq bowling well, three wickets fell to reduce the hosts to 100 for 4 from 22 overs. This was thanks to catches from Embleton, Tony Whiteman and Girish Venkateswaran.

Then came the tandem bowling of Venkateswaran and skipper Richie Neale; Antwerp struggled for runs on an ever-drying fast outfield. Then, just after the second drinks break, Graham Cope took the catch of Antwerp’s opening batsmen off the bowling of Neale. This put the game in the balance with 15 overs left; the hosts required 70 with 4 wickets in hand.

Atif then returned into the attack to try and finish off the tail, with 30 runs off the last 30 balls. Thankfully it was shortly after that Atif cleaned up the tail which meant a 26-run victory for Optimists in their first game of the Belgian League season. A hard fought victory but well-deserved.

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On Monday evening, the Luxembourg House of Finance Technology (LHoFT) - pronounced "loft" - had its official opening; located at 14 rue Erasmus in Kirchberg in the House of Entrepreneurship, LHoFT is situated across the road from the Chambre de Commerce and beside Luxembourg for Finance and other such institutions.

The building previously had a virtual groundbreaking and then its CEO, Nasir Zubairi, was appointed. LHoFT occupies the first floor of the building which currently houses its staff of five, including Manon Loison (marketing), Emilie Allaert (operations & projects), Alex Pancican (partnerships & ecosystems) and Dilek Ayaydin (PA to the CEO), plus a number of rooms to support its various services, as follows:

- incubator (up to one year, with funding)

- co-working space (early-stage start-ups, with funding)

- working with partners on solutions, including events, white papers, partnerships and research papers.

The LHoFT is established as a Public-Private foundation (non-profit) on the initiative of Luxembourg for Finance (LFF) and the Ministry of Finance. It currently has six people on the board, representing the Ministry of Finance, Luxembourg for Finance, the Chambre de Commerce, Profil, BGL BNP Paribas and the Ministry of Economy.

It was originally housed within the LFF before it recently moved next door when its new offices were ready. It is now fully operational and is active in four main focus areas:

- InsurTech;

- RegTech;

- Financial Inclusion;

- FundTech

On Monday evening at the official opening, Nasir Zubairi addressed then invited audience and thanked all partners of LHoFT and the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economy, plus associate and corporate partners, especially Luxembourg for Finance and, in particular, the leadership and guidance of Nicolas Mackel, CEO of Luxembourg for Finance.

He acknowledged the enthusiasm for environment for encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship in the Grand Duchy, and descibed what he had come across as an "open attitude towards imnovation". He stated "I have worked in eight centres around the world and have never encountered such a desire to succeed as here in Luxembourg".

He stressed "collaboration is the way forward" and confirmed that over the coming months the Lhoft will be delivering a series of services and events, including masterclasses, hackatons, as well as other "out of the box" events such as a charity bike ride to Amsterdam and a football tournament.

Nasir Zubairi continued by stating convincingly "We will promote all of Luxembourg's strengths" when marketing abroad, and confirmed that next year the LHoFT will be moving to a state-of-the-art showcase facility elsewhere in Luxembourg. He also revealed that over 50 companies from as far as Asia have expressed an interest to be located within the LHoFT.

He concluded by stating "Luxembourg is the place for FinTech. This hub is a place for the community".

Luxembourg's Minister of Finance, Pierre Gramegna, congratulated Nasir Zubairi on the launch of the LHoFT and observed that here everyone has their feet on the ground and the ideology to convert ideas to reality through products and services.

Minister Gramegna referred to his recent visit to Canada and agreed with his Canadian counterpart that the two countries would collaborate on FinTech issues. He also mentioned his recent trip to Australia where FinTech is also a priority.

He thanked Nicolas Mackel of Luxembourg for Finance and Carlo Thelen from the Chambre de Commerce, and referred to the perfect collaboration between the public and private sectors, where a foundation has been created. "Here is a collaboration, not competition" he summarised and continued "For Luxembourg, innovation is a priority horizontally."

He revealed that the state had allocated a budget of close to €2m for the first year for the LHoFT. Minister Gramegna added "While nobody can really measure it, digitalisation will have a major impact; in bringing together the best actors, we can work miracles."

Carlo Thelen, Director at the Chambre de Commerce, stated that the Chambre de Commerce together with the Ministry of Finance, is looking for a sustainable location for the LHoFT and related entrepreneurship initiatives.

He highlighted the generation of synergies between the LHoFT and the chamber's one-stop-shop, to facilitate professional support and advice; to support the 4th industrial revolution strategy; and to expand vocational training by the digital training offer with a partnership with the House of Training.

Nasir Zubairi concluded the formal part of the evening by stating that the initiative is based on collaboration, cooperation and engagement.

Photo: Nasir Zubairi, CEO of LHoFT, at its official opening

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The New World Theatre Club (NWTC) has announced that tickets are now on sale for its May production of "And go to Innisfree" which will also go forward to the FEATS 2017 competition which is being held in Frankfurt in early June.

The production is 50 minutes duration and evening performances are followed by an Indian buffet, a format that was used successfully in 2015 for its production of "A Strange Horseman".

Written by by Jean Lenox Toddie, "And go to Innisfree" is directed by Christine Probst and produced by Valerie Scott.

Synopsis: It is autumn. An older woman appears on a deserted New England beach. She has come to make a decision, but will she make it alone? The middle-aged matron she was argues her case for the comfort of a retirement home. The younger girl she was urges her to sit again and eat blueberries and study ants. What will she do?

CAST

Old Anna – Niamh Huggard

Middle-Aged Anna – Lisa Burke

Young Anna – Rachel Lloyd

Performances in Luxembourg will take place at the Annex of the Chateau de Bourglinster and take place as follows:

- Thurs 25, Fri 26 & Sat 27 May (19:30): Evening performances include Indian buffet (non-members €19/ NWTC members €17/ students €12)

- Sat 27 May & Sun 28 May (14:30): Matinee performances (without food) (non-members €10/ NWTC members €8/ students €6)

Reservations by email: tickets@nwtc.lu or tel: 356339

For further details, see www.nwtc.lu/pages/shows/current-show.php

rcl ball 2017 poster

This year's Rugby Club Luxembourg (RCL) 2017 Summer Ball is being held on Saturday 10 June 2017 from 19:00 at the Centre Culturel Schéiss in Luxembourg-Belair, with Special Guest Neil Back, former England rugby international, who will address the event.

The event comprises a 3-course dinner, drinks and dancing.

Dress code: Black Tie/Dress to Impress

Tickets cost €80/person

For further details and reservations, see www.rcl.lu/ball or email: ball@rcl.lu

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