I won’t take too long on this one… can’t afford to clog my blog with too many rants at one go but a reply by a local to my first Luxemburgensia post cannot be left unanswered. Mr Klein did not take too kindly to my criticism of his country – and I am very sympathetic to his cause. I do not like reading criticism of my country either. In one of his replies to my post, Mr Klein stated the following… and I quote the whole comment not to be accused of quoting out of context (my bold):
Thank you for welcoming me. After reading your last sentence in your response to my thread, I will stop contributing to this blog, as I see that you have absolutely no clue about the country (and its complex workforce and linguistic situation) you live in. It feels that you expect the rest of the world should adopt to your own personal needs, while not willing to make efforts yourself contributing to make your life easier. Make sure your problems don’t occur mostly because you don’t know the local languages (and please don’t forget any language besides Luxembourgish is a foreign language for most locals too). I sense you mostly (and repeatedly) complain about your employer having decided to make you work far away from your homeland… I’m sure you would find many things to complain about if you were working in any other country as well. No one is actually waiting for you JR. Find some Luxembourgish friends and learn more about their social environment, and meanwhile stop biting the hand that feeds you. Wish you (honestly) a nice day. – Jerry Klein
For the record, the last sentence in my blog referred to the inability (or rather unwillingness) of many shop assistants to attempt to communicate in a language the customer can understand. But that is not my main gripe here.
What Mr Klein, and many of his fellow countrymen, fail to understand is that most people in Luxembourg did not choose Luxembourg. They chose a job. Luxembourg is the country that claimed to be the perfect place for the persons who work in that job. The day Luxembourg stepped forward and said “I can host the European Court of Justice, I can host the Parliament and the Commission too”… that day it chose to be a host. Persons applying to work in these institutions had NO CHOICE but to move to the Duchy. We cannot be compared to the Englishman who complains about the locals at the Costa del Sol. He chose to go to Spain for the sun. If he does not like the way of life then he should move on – true (although not completely).
The fonctionnaires on the other hand have no choice but to live in Luxembourg if they want to pursue the career they chose. Now that would not be a problem if the host country acted in that way. What we have here is a people who act like the world owes them a favour for having accepted a “bunch of foreigners on their land”. And here comes the coup de grace… the statement to end all statements… WE HAVE TO STOP BITING THE HAND THAT FEEDS US!!!!
The Hand that Feeds Us??? Jerry, Jerry, Jerry… you inadvertently exposed exactly what is wrong with the mentality of your country. Generalising may be stupid but I will willingly fall into this trap of generalisation until I find at least ten Luxembourgers who do not think the same way you do. What bloody hand that feeds us? You do not get it do you? We earn our money from the European Union. We are paid by the European Union. “The hand that feeds us” is, if anything, the European Union taxpayer… and have I got news for you… that’s the Slovene, the German, the Frenchman, the Maltese, the Pole AS WELL AS the Luxembourger.
On the other hand, what the aforementioned Slovene, German etc do not get but what the Luxembourger does get is an opportunity to milk those salaries once they are received in the fonctionnaires pockets. And boy are you good at it! Just think for one second… every fonctionnaire “working away from his homeland” needs a roof to shelter his sorry foreigner backside from the lovely sun that would otherwise beat down too frequently on his head from Troisvierges to Esch. So all fonctionnaires fail to see at least (and I stress the at least) one third of their salary because it flies directly into the pockets of a Luxembourg landowner. In one fell swoop, my dear Jerry, one third of the money coming from the hand that feeds us (the EU not Juncker and Co) is not even sniffed on our side but materialises in the coffers of this poor country of yours.
And that is just the fonctionnaires. Same goes for the Investment Banks, the Companies, and the general trade that has gravitated around the simple formula of tax advantages. The point is, dear Jerry, that at the end of the day you’ve got the works the wrong way round. It’s not a Luxembourger hand that is feeding the thousands of poor immigrant workers that have invaded your country (as it seems you would have it)…. no sir…. it’s a European Union handout that is benefiting the economy of your country on a daily basis….
…and forgive me if I am still baffled how you cannot see that happening.