Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Prince Guillaume at World Customs Organization Regional Conference (Europe)

On March 30th, The Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg received the Directors General of Customs in the European region of the World Customs Organization (WCO) at the Grand Ducal Palace. Luxembourg currently holds the Vice-Presidency of the WCO and is regional representative for Europe. This two-day conference was organized by Alain Bellot, WCO Vice-Chair for Europe and the Director General of Customs and Excise for Luxembourg. Luc Frieden, Luxembourg Minister of Finance, opened the meeting. Among the topics discussed were the fight against fraud in Europe, customs networking, capacity building and cooperation in law enforcement and the fight against crime. Norway was chosen as the next Vice-President of the WCO-Europe Region.

The WCO comprises of six geographical regions. Each region elects a regional representative who then holds the Vice-Presidency. Country members also elect the Vice Chair for the region. The Vice Chair represents his or her region at policy committees, and organizes and directs the work of his or her respective region at the Plenary session of the WCO Council, which will be held in June in Brussels.

Monday, March 21, 2011

HGD Guillaume Strengthens Luxembourg-Turkish Relations

On Monday and Tuesday, the Prince and Minister Krecké met with several Turkish political leaders, including Ali Babacan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State in charge of coordinating Economic Affairs and Zafer Caglayan, Minister of State in charge of Foreign Trade. They also held an interview with Taner Yidiz, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources where, with the Japanese tsunami and earthquake and the subsequent nuclear emergency in mind, the two sides discussed a possible cooperation on energy, the implications of Japan’s crisis on nuclear energy policy and the construction of oil and gas pipelines. Minister Yidiz articulated Turkey’s determination to build nuclear power plants and the importance of learning lessons from the situation in Japan. Krecké highlighted the significance of Turkey’s role as a transit country and resource supplier in a world still dominated by oil and natural gas. He also stated that Luxembourg wanted to cooperate with Turkey in finance.

Prince Guillaume and Krecké also met with Mehmet Simsek, the Turkish Minister of State in charge of Foreign Trade. Both sides stressed the possibilities in developing economic and trade relations. Simsek also praised Luxemburg’s support for Turkey’s accession to the European Union and criticized the Union’s hesitation to negotiate the country’s candidacy.

Discover Luxembourg

Over the next few days, Prince Guillaume and Krecké attended various functions in Istanbul.

On Wednesday, they paid a visit of courtesy to Istanbul’s mayor, Kadir Topbas to discuss strengthening relations between Luxembourg, Turkey, and Istanbul. The mayor stated that the visit of the Prince and his accompanying delegation honored the city. Notably, this is the Prince’s first time in Istanbul and the mayor extended an invitation for Guillaume to visit the city again. In return, Guillaume stated that “I am aware of the potential between Turkey and Luxembourg for cooperation and we are here to develop such a cooperation.”

Later that afternoon, Prince Guillaume, Minister Krecké and their delegation attended the finance seminar, “Discover Luxembourg,” which was organized by Luxembourg for Business and Luxembourg for Finance. The goal of this seminar was to discuss the characteristics of the Luxembourgish financial market and the possible economic collaboration between Luxembourg and Turkey. Guillaume made the welcoming speech and stated, “Luxembourg is one of the six founder countries of the European Union and is playing a major role in many of the important international organizations of the world. We can collaborate with Turkey on finance and services sectors.” The next day, Minister Krecké opened another seminar involving the investment fund industry in Luxembourg.

Photos: MECE

Monday, March 14, 2011

Guillaume Inaugurates New Waste to Energy Center “SIDOR Leudelange”

Prince Guillaume witnessed the opening of Luxembourg’s first and only waste incineration plant on March 14. The plant can eliminate up to 150,000 tons of waste per year and the energy produced by the incineration of the waste can meet the electricity needs of 28,000 households and the heating needs of 3,000 additional households.

Sidor is a municipal association responsible for handling the waste of 345,000 people in the 36 municipalities of central and southern Luxembourg. Although the plant has been operational since 1976, environmentalists expressed concern of it releasing highly toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. Construction of the new center began in October 2008 and it became fully operational in December 2010. Such achievements in sustainable development must please the environmentally conscious Prince.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hereditary Grand Duke meets Ombudsman

On March 10th, The Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume met Marc Fischbach, the so-called Ombudsman who acts as a mediator between the citizens of the Grand Duchy and all kinds of state authorities.

In August 2003 a bill of law was passed to institute a person to help the people of Luxembourg to make formal complaints against state authorities such as different government departments, local authorities, as well as state-owned corporations. Since the actual introduction of the Ombudsman to the Luxembourgish people in 2004, former politician Marc Fischbach has filled this role.
In case of a disagreement with a procedure or decision made by one of the earlier mentioned public administrations, citizens of the Grand Duchy can complain to the Ombudsman about their possible unfair treatment. If the complaint is justified, the Ombudsman will try to advise and mediate on the citizen's behalf to solve the problem. The service is not solely available for people of Luxembourgish nationality, but to all people living in the Grand Duchy. Between October 2009 and the same month the following year, 983 complaints reached the Ombudsman.

Sources: Cour Grand-Ducal,, news.352

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Several people have contacted me with inquiries about how to order the new "Dynastie 2011" stamps. I used the contact form on the P&T website to inquire about ordering the stamps. The next day a very nice lady named Monique sent an e-mail asking for my full name and complete mailing address so that she could send me the information I requested.  I replied with the information. Four days later an envelope stuffed with information was delivered to my home. Included in the package are several brochures featuring recently issued stamps, eight pages listing all the stamps that I could order, and a final page featuring several payment options. The order forms are trilingual featuring directions in French, German and English. It seems that nearly every stamp issued during the past 5 years is available. I would scan all of these pages and just make it easier for you to print and use them. Unfortunately, when they send you the information the order forms have a personalized number attached that is issued to specifically to you.

You can also order coins. I didn't know this so I didn't request information on the coins that are available. If you are interested in special issue coins be sure to mention that in your request.

If you are interested, use the contact form or send an e-mail to or I sent my request in English. I would recommend using French, German or English. These are the languages used in the brochures and the order forms. I recommend just sending an e-mail instead of using the contact from.

I hope those of you looking for details find this information helpful.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Guillaume resigns...

On 3 December 2000, the newly appointed Hereditary Grand Duke was named president of the Kraizbierg Foundation's board of directors. Earlier today Guillaume resigned this position. He was immediately named Honorary President of the Board of Directors.

During the press conference, Guillaume implied that the resignation was necessary because the role of Hereditary Grand Duke demands more time. He enjoyed the personal and professional association with the foundation. He particularly liked meeting those who benefit from the foundation's programs. He hopes to retain these relationships as honorary president.

Lucien Thiel has stepped into the role vacated by Guillaume. Mr. Thiel has been a member of the foundation's board for 33 years. His dedication to the foundation and his professional experience make him the natural replacement. He said he is not easy to follow in Guillaume's footsteps. He noted that Guillaume had preformed quite admirably in the role of president.

The honorary presidency will allow Guillaume to continue to support the foundation in the most appropriate fashion. I had always assumed that Guillaume's role as president was more honorary than real board business. I was obviously mistaken. I think that the honorary presidency is more in line with what Guillaume's role should be. He will still appear at the usual events (only a few a year) and support the foundation. He just won't have to deal with other responsibilities associated with his former role. The foundation is not losing Guillaume's support.

It has been more than a year (is it 2 already?) since I noted that Guillaume had made the transition to full-time Hereditary Grand Duke. Guillaume has undertaken a heavy travel schedule and a full round of activities at home. I am aware that Guillaume is busy even on days that he isn't traveling or making a public engagement. Some people forget that there is more to being Hereditary Grand Duke than smiling for the camera. He has a many responsibilities in addition to the appearances that appear in the press. While I am disappointed, I am satisfied to know that this was the best course of action for Guillaume and the foundation. He continues to grow and flourish as The Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg

Sources: 352 LuxMag, Luxemburger Wort, Fondation Kraizbierg, Chambre des Députés

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Maria Teresa visits KannerKlinik

Earlier today, The Grand Duchess visited KannerKlinik, Luxembourg's largest pediatric hospital. The Grand Duchess greeted the staff and visited with many young patients.

Physicians and staff prepared a presentation highlighting their achievements at the clinic. They also provided details for future projects. Together they discussed ways that the Fondation du Grand-Duc et de la Grand-Duchesse could assist. Half of the foundation's annual budget is earmarked for projects within The Grand Duchy.

It is fitting that the foundation of The Couple should aid the clinic. The Grand Ducal Family has a long history of supporting and promoting pediatric medicine in Luxembourg. Back in 1955 it was understood that Luxembourg needed a dedicated pediatric facility. La Clinique Pédiatrique Fondation Grand-Duc Jean et de la Grande-Duchesse Joséphine Charlotte opened in 1966. Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte funded the initial clinic as a wedding gift to the nation. This clinic served the pediatric needs of Luxembourg for 37 years. In 2003, a major expansion and renovation project was started. The newly revamped Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg - KannerKlinik opened in May 2009. The clinic now treats more than 59,000 pediatric cases each year.

A gallery of photographs is available, courtesy of Manuel Dias. A photo is also available on the website of the Cour Grand-Ducale.

Sources: Luxemburger Wort, Manuel Dias, Cour Grand-Ducale