etienne schneider nihat zeybakai turkey march2017

At the Joint Economic and Trade Commission (JETCO) meeting in Istanbul today, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Étienne Schneider stressed the importance of ensuring respect for the rule of law and fundamental freedoms.

Meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Nihat Zeybekçi, to give an update on bilateral economic relations, said, "It is essential that Turkey respects its international commitments on freedom of expression, especially the press, which is an essential component of any democratic society."

In addition, Minister Schneider drew the attention of the Turkish delegation to the importance of creating a serene business environment conducive to the development of foreign investors' confidence.

"It is undeniable that in the absence of predictability and political stability, it is very difficult to preserve a favourable business climate".

In the face of rising tension between Turkey and some EU Member States, the Deputy Prime Minister argued in favour of a verbal de-escalation of the situation.

sos enfants goodyear

Carlos Cipollitti, General Manager of the Goodyear Research Center in Colmar-Berg, this month handed a check for €5,117.58 to SOS Villages d'Enfants Monde for relief and reconstruction programmes in Haiti following Hurricane Matthew, which struck in October last year. 

Sophie Glesener, Director, and Anne Schweizer, SOS Villages d'Enfants World Partnership Manager, expressed their warm thanks to Carlos Cipollitti and the entire Goodyear Luxembourg team who raised the money during their Christmas party. 

"We are pleased that Goodyear Luxembourg has been for many years at our side and strongly supported the SOS projects for vulnerable children. In the face of the emergency, children deprived of their rights need to be protected, supported, listened to and understood. After first aid, SOS helps families in the long term to rebuild their lives, children to return to school and communities to better prepare for the emergency,” they said. 

For his part, Carlos Cipollitti expressed his sincere thanks to SOS Villages d'Enfants Monde and added, "I also thank the Goodyear Luxembourg teams for their spontaneous commitment to a cause that we all cherish, namely the protection of children Confronted with major emergencies.”

After Hurricane Matthew struck last year, SOS Children's Villages Haiti has responded to the urgent needs of more than 2,500 children and families in Les Cayes and its surroundings. In particular, it is providing drinking water and food, supporting a cholera vaccination campaign, sensitising families on disease prevention and protection, offering psychological support to children in Community centres, and renovating the SOS School of Les Cayes and four public schools in the region. On the road to reconstruction, SOS plans to set up new community centres and family support programs.

fernand etgen antiwaste

In the face of an ongoing, indeed mounting, problem, the campaign to reduce food waste was given renewed force today after the minister for agriculture, viticulture and consumer protection, Fernand Etgen, signed an anti-food waste charter with representatives of the civil service canteen. 

The campaign in Luxembourg started last year to help address one of the biggest challenges facing societies across the developed world. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), 1.3 billion tons of food produced for human consumption is being wasted, equivalent to one-third of the food produced.

For this reason, the campaign "Together Against Food Waste" launched by the Ministry of Agriculture, Viticulture and Consumer Protection in 2016 will also continue in 2017. The campaign has focused extensively on educating children with a roving, interactive exhibition used to introduce school children to the problem and how to take steps to resolve it in their own homes.

"The biggest wasters are households, that is, we consumers,” said Minister Etgen.

The exhibition will also be on show at the Springbreak exhibition at LuxExpo The Box on the "anti-waste day" on 25 March. LuxExpo The Box will devote this day of the exhibition to the fight against wastage throughout the day with conferences and workshops on anti-waste with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture, Viticulture and Consumer Protection.

"By making every little effort, we can all succeed in combating food waste,” said Minister Etgen today.

Image: Minister Fernand Etgen, Pierre Trausch, manager of CGFP-Services, Jean-Paul Hoffmann

francine closener paul philipp FLF

When the Luxembourg football team to the pitch against France for the World Cup qualifiers this weekend, they’ll be doing a little more than flying their nation’s colours. The Luxembourg football team is now officially a part of the country’s brand, and their kit accordingly sport the national slogan, “Luxembourg, Let’s Make it Happen”, as part of a partnership struck up by Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, Francine Closener, and the President of the Luxembourg Football Federation (FLF), Paul Philipp. 

The slogan will now appear on the team’s official jerseys and training suits of the national team, on the tracksuits of the ball collectors as well as on the team bus. 

"By bearing the colours of the signature of Luxembourg, FLF athletes subscribe to the values ​​of the country and contribute as ambassadors to its notoriety and visibility. Sport is marked by positive values, it brings people together, it is synonymous with self-surpassing and dynamic,” said Francine Closener at the signing of the partnership agreement

FLF President Paul Philipp was honoured that the team was chosen to represent the country in this way.

"It is an honour for the FLF to become a partner of choice for the deployment of the national Nation Branding strategy. Our players are proud to support the promotion of the country's values. The mutual support resulting from this partnership helps to promote Luxembourg through football in international competitions," he said.

Produced according to the principles of Fair Trade in collaboration with Fairtrade Lëtzebuerg ASBL, a soccer ball in Luxembourg’s colours and bearing the national slogan, is now available in shops. Balloons are available for sale in sports shops and in particular at the "Luxembourg House - Concept store" in Luxembourg City. 

During the Luxembourg v France match this Saturday, 70 footballs sporting the "Luxembourg. Let's make it happen" slogan will be launched to the public during half-time.

Image: Francine Closener and Paul Philipp sign the Convention. © MECO

Gerbrand Bakker JuergenBauer

Hosted by the Pierre Werner Institute, Dutch novelist Gerbrand Bakker will be at the Neumünster Abbey on Wednesday 29 March, reading extracts from his latest work, Jasper and His Valet, and speaking with Luxembourg writer Guy Helminger about his life and work.

In the work, he describes a writer of Dutch origin who decides to buy an old house in the German Ardennes and move there with his dog Jasper. Life does not settle down into pleasant tranquility though. According to one review, Bakker succeeds in describing in a masterly and astonishing manner seemingly banal and everyday incidents, taking in with remarkable precision and with a humorous demeanour, his intimate and professional life, that of his family, his grandfather, his parents and his younger brother. 

Bakker’s previous works have won him enormous praise, including The Twin, his 2008 debut novel — "[An] unusual, memorable novel... Loneliness, combined with the beauty of the landscape, creates an atmosphere of inchoate yearning" (Guardian) — and The Detour (2012), which won the independent Foreign Fiction Prize and was shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Prize and was described as “simple and devastating” by the Independent, and “quietly astonishing” by the Times Literary Review. 

Guy Helminger was born in Esch-sur-Alzette in 1963. He studied German literature and philosophy in the cities of Luxembourg, Heidelberg and Cologne, where, since 1985 he has lived and worked as an independent author.

The evening, which will be conducted in German, starts at 19:00 at Neumünster Abbey. Admission is €10, €5 for discounted rates, and € 1.50 with Kulturpass.

Image: Gerbrand Bakker. © Juergen Bauer

Monday, 20 March 2017 14:46

Roaming Charges to be Abolished in June

roaming charges

Roaming charges will soon be a thing of the past, according to the Luxembourg Institute for Regulatory Affairs (ILR), who said that they will cease on 15 June. 

Between now and then, a phase-out period will apply, called “Roam like at Home Plus” (RLAH+).

After 15 June, the cost of making a call, sending a text or using mobile internet while abroad will be the same as it is at home subject to fair-use limits. 

In the meantime, users will continue to pay an excess on calls made while outside of their contract jurisdiction. The ILR said that excess charges for calls, texts and data in another EU country are, however, capped and should not exceed the rates applicable since July 2014, i.e. 19¢ per minute for calls, 6¢ per text and 20¢ per minute of data use.

The tariff schedule and details are available at the following link: 

Image: Wikimedia. © Garry Knight

musee drai pont schroeder

As part of its temporary exhibition Pont Adolphe 1903, extended until 3 September 2017, the Musée Dräi Eechelen is hosting a series of conferences on a range of themes to do with Luxembourg’s built history. On Wednesday 22 March, Corinne Schroeder, Doctor of History and Curator of the Contemporary Section at the National Archives of Luxembourg, will hold a conference titled “De Pont Adolphe - Ee Steen am Nationalarchiv”. The conference starts at 17:30 and will be in Luxembourgish. Entrance is free.

wunnen zu letzebuerg2

A series of six public meetings held by the Ministry of Housing between 19 January and 15 March has given people the the chance to ask questions directly to the Minster on issues of concern to them. Of foremost concern to many were individual housing subsidies, access to affordable housing and taxation. 

The "Wunnen zu Lëtzebuerg" conferences, held in Dudelange, Luxembourg City, Remich, Mamer, Troisvierges and Diekirch, allowed Minister Marc Hansen to meet and hear directly from citizens. 

The Ministry has said that it recognises the complexity of the problems raised, especially accessibility to housing, which require an integrated approach and long-term solutions. 

As a result of the public conferences, the Ministry has affirmed that the government’s policy in relation to housing focuses primarily on mobilisation of building land, boosting the creation of social housing and affordable housing and revision of the “housing pact”. 

The Ministry’s global budget for 2017 is €209.56 million, of which €56.2 million is allocated to individual housing aid. 

Under social rental management, the government has set aside €562,000, as well as €93.5 for construction, including €32.3 million for the Housing Fund and €21.9 million for the SNHBM (National Society for Affordable Housing). 

In addition, the state provides subsidies under certain conditions to the Housing Development Fund, National Society for Affordable Housing, town halls, foundations, non-profits, and private developers. 

Within the framework of the construction of subsidised housing projects, state aid for projects carried out by public and private promoters can, depending on the type of investment, reach between 50% and 100% of the respective costs.

At the meeting of 13 January 2017, the Council of Government approved the Grand-Ducal regulation adopting the program for the construction of subsidised housing projects as well as State participation for 61 new projects, bringing the total up to 241. Half of these will be initiated by municipalities. Overall, the updated program of subsidised housing projects includes 533 projects for a total of 10,981 housing units.

baloise gooddrive

Under the rubric of “the better you drive, the less you pay”, Baloise Assurances Luxembourg has introduced a new approach to insurance for young drivers with “GoodDrive” that could see premiums cut by up to 30% for those who submit to a submit to a system of in-car surveillance and are thus able to demonstrate that they are safe drivers.

Available to those who have held a licence for less than eight years, the company says that through monitoring of their speed, use, driving style and insured risk it will be able to evaluate the risk represented by young drivers who have no no-claims history and little driving experience, and who are in a category that is statistically more likely to have an accident than drivers in other age groups. 

GoodDrive also delivers personalised driving tips, games and challenges that allow drivers to continually develop their driving skills.

For more information, see their website: 


ivan radman street photography

A series of photographs taking viewers on an unexpected tour of Luxembourg is open to the public at Place Guillaume II until 28 April. 

“Luxembourg on Foot” is a series of eleven black and white images from the slightly different perspective of Croatian photographer, Ivan Radman, who through his images paints a quirkier world than the one we sometimes remember to look at. 

The exhibition opened on Friday 17 March in the presence of the College of Mayor and Aldermen and the artist Ivan Radman.

Ivan Radman is currently continuing his studies at the UK-based Open College of the Arts.

Viewers can also see his work on his website:

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