A spiffing day in Luxembourg with a brilliant sun shining on a mist enveloped capital. Things are looking good for the Duchy and its people. First they were told that the population can expect to continue to grow and now we are busy unveiling plans, plans and counterplans. Yesterday’s news included the announcement that a train should be tooting through to Kirchberg Plateau (that’s the business area – a wannabe London City but blander and much, much smaller) by 2016.
That’s to join up with the tram that will discombobulate all transport until it starts running from the gare to Kirchberg by 2012 (not sure about that date). They’ll be widening a bridge for the tram and also inconveniencing several thousand commuter cars every bloody morning. But it is all for the good.
As is the new Bus Transport Plan being unveiled by Minister Lucien Lux (no, he was not given his name by J.K. Rowling) today. I like the idea. The bus network has been mapped out in a London Underground inspired kind of map and routes have been re-rationalised. Ironically the Luxembourg bus system was already tip-top before this reform so I wonder how much more efficient it could get.
Visitors planning to visit ruedebragance in the future would do well to take note that Bus No.8 no longer serves that route and it is now Bus No. 7 to do the job. Further urban upgrading is coming to fruition as Mayor Helminger unveils the new City Library in Place d’Armes that will house over 73,000 books on three floors in the former Ciné Building.
Also, the experimental phase of the Hot-City Wi-Fi network comes to an end. Expect to be charged as from the 1st October. Prices are not out yet. On a related note, Apple have finally announced that the iPhone partner in Luxembourg will be Vox – which is good because j’accuse is a vox subscriber. Estimated dates of introduction of iPhone 3G into Luxembourg vary between October and December 2008. Great. Just in time for Christmas.
Back to transport, soon after making it obligatory for drivers to have both the triangle and the shiny vest in their car, the Ministry for Transport is examining the possibility of obliging all applicants for a drivers’ licence to sit for a first aid course. Might be a necessary nuisance that is not all that criticiseable.
Immigration next. A little tussle has begun between the Luxembourg Red Cross and the Lux government over the repatriation of immigrants. The Lux government pays 1800€ per adult and 900€ per child for aid to resettle these immigrants. The Red Cross complained that the notice for the repatriation of 19 persons (four families with children) was given at too short a notice for it to organise the usual supervising accompaniment. It rejected claims from the government that it had abandoned this particular group of refugees.
Finally we must reluctantly join in the rejoicing of a nation. The Red Lions of tiny Luxembourg have defeated Switzerland 2-1 in an away game in a World Cup Qualifying Round. While Malta was busy getting trounced by Albania 3-0 the valiant Lions pulled off an unpredictable stunt beating one of the last co-hosts of the Euro 2008 tournament. Well done Lux!
To really conclude. Anybody who gives a damn should know that the Schuberfouer is over. Summer is officially over (did it ever start?) and the damn traffic should move smoother now. I will only miss that great restaurant that served the Galettes Bretonnes.
This has been J’accuse keeping you up to date about what’s going on in the Duchy.