Luxembourg PM counters Greek MEP’s homophobia

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Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, Grand Duke Henri and Nikos Nikolopoulos are shown.

Twitter is where politicians, both good and bad, go to tweet the most inane comments for the enjoyment of the Internet masses. Apparently lawmakers in the European Union are just as prone to stupidity in 140 characters as their American counterparts.

So what is Member of the European Parliament Νίκος Νικολόπουλος (Nikos Nikolopoulos) saying?

“FROM EUROPE OF NATION STATES, QUEER MATES !!! The Prime Minister of Luxembourg got engaged with his beloved !!”

What kind words from an extremely conservative European politician to Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, who is set to marry his partner, Destenay Gauthier, after the Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies voted 56-4 to pass new laws allowing same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples.

While Luxembourg has always been relatively progressive politically, this past year, which included the election of the country’s first gay Luxembourg PM and sweeping changes to marriage laws that hadn’t been altered since 1804 — is quite impressive considering that 95 percent of the country subscribes to the Catholic religion.

Most high-profile leaders would ignore this bigotry, but Bettel’s sense of humor and sense of obligation to the LGTBQ community inclined him to respond with wit.

Good for you, Monsieur Prime Minister.

Bettel later clarified that the confrontation via social media would not exacerbate relations between his countrymen and the Greek people and their Hellenic Republic.

New forum: Useful links to information and documents

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I’m going to create this thread so we can combine useful links to information and documents. This way people will have more of a centralized place to go for forms they need and step-by-step instructions for each of the phases in the reclamation process. Please contribute below the message, and I will add your URL to the top and attribute who provided the link so that you can be a celebrity in the Luxembourg dual-citizenship community.

Click here to access the discussion.

Weeknight dinners

trevoreischen:

In case there are any wannabe Luxembourgers out there who like gardening, especially in urban settings, and eating, you might enjoy this blog run by Sarah Sontag. She’s not a Luxembourger and isn’t eligible for Article 29, but what she lacks in Grand Duchy flair she makes up for in the areas of agriculture and culinary arts.

Originally posted on City Farmer:

Trev and I have been making an effort to cook more and eat out less. So here starts a series of our creations.

Our new unwritten goal is very easy to keep if we maintain a stocked fridge and an abundant garden, but unfortunately my garden produces very few things abundantly and we rarely have the time or energy to do huge grocery runs. But I like to think we make up for that with our creativity. This meal was Trev’s idea. He planned and cooked everything. I picked the fresh dill and ate everything.

Baked potato wedges with plain Greek yogurt and chopped fresh dill.

Baked potato wedges with plain Greek yogurt, sharp cheddar and chopped fresh dill.

Delicious turkey burgers with cabbage, onions, tomatoes and lots of mustard.

Delicious turkey burgers made with ground turkey, topped with red cabbage, brown sugar sauteed onions, tomatoes and lots of mustard.

Stay tuned! More garden food creations are to come.

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Luxembourg and freedom of the press

The Grand Duchy, a land we all hold close to our hearts and love dearly, might be diminutive, but when it comes to press access and the treatment accorded to journalists, Luxembourg ranks fourth in the entire world. It mingles in the top ten with other European and Scandinavian counties with the inclusion of New Zealand, whose standings in the World Press Freedom Index skyrocketed after Frodo dropped the ring into Mount Doom and Sauron’s dictatorial reign came to a swift end.

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We should be proud of Luxembourg. But we should also cringe about the sorry state of press freedom throughout the world.

See exhibit A:

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It’s a mess.

The U.S., which is supposed to be the bedrock of modern constitutional democracies, came in at a pathetic No. 46 in the rankings. Romania and South Africa beat us. And with the protests that rocked Ferguson, Missouri, and the subsequent police crackdown on local and national media, the number certainly seems justified.

But even worse things are happening around the world.

Last week, James Foley, a freelance journalist who was last seen in Syria in 2011 before his kidnapping, was beheaded by a member of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The news was terrifying. As the story broke on social media, ghastly images appeared on news feeds. Foley jumped into the fray when no one else would. He sacrificed security and eventual his life to report on wars, regimes and struggles ubiquitous in the conflict-plagued Middle East.

So, if you’re a true Luxembourg, you better support freedom of the press. Consider donating to the James Foley Scholarship Fund at Marquette University so that we can have future journalists who have the proper education to investigate corrupt politicians, uncover corporate malfeasance and report on world conflicts.

For more rankings on freedom of the press worldwide, click here.

The Luxembourg citizenship forum

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Alright, folks, I set up a forum. It’s not a part of my WordPress site because I’m not going to pay the exorbitant amount for a yearly subscription and subsequent downloads, but I think it’ll be good enough to serve the community of wannabe Luxembourgers.

This is all new to me, but here’s the link to the forum: http://luxcitizenship.freeforums.net/

Additionally, here’s what I wrote about the forum on its first “general board” post:

Hi everyone who’s interested in learning about the Grand Duchy and applying for dual-citizenship through the reclamation law!

I’ve decided to make this forum to help facilitate everyone’s projects and to take a step back from the discussion. I wanted to create this because, as you may well, I don’t monitor the blog every day — I have a job, a girlfriend, friends, family and other hobbies and activities that crowd my calendar.

Recently, I have encountered people scrambling to put together their projects a few weeks before a planned trip to Europe, which is unfortunate.

I have been working for more than two years on this project during moments of downtime in my senior year of college and freshman year of being an adult. I savored every struggle, every unknown and every problem. I interviewed Luxembourg bureaucrats, Kansans and Chicagoans about how parts of this crazy process work, and they were kind and generous with their help and information. There are people out there with whom I’ve exchanged many emails, and their help has been absolutely invaluable; I consider them my first Luxembourg friends. Through this process, which takes time and effort, I met new people and discovered so much about my ancestors and the European country from which they immigrated more than 100 years ago. It’s been an awesome, life-changing project and an amazing outlet for a journalism and history major to write about the past, politics and genealogical research.

But some people have emailed me with bizarre expectations. One person said he had found my blog but hadn’t read it and then asked me to provide all the answers I have already discussed on the blog. Another person became upset when I had not answered an email within 24 hours, even though I was out of town — in Europe, actually, turning in my own documents at the Bierger Center.

This blog is not a means through which one can extend their fanciful backpacking trip in Europe. Nationality is a serious issue. People eligible for this project are fortunate enough that they have fewer steps than others who are seeking Luxembourg or European citizenship. We don’t have to wait years and years for our citizenship to be processed. We don’t have to be fluent in any of the national languages. This is truly generous of the Luxembourg government, which is elected by the people. As such, wannabe Luxembourgers in the U.S. and elsewhere need to show pride in their reclaimed or soon-to-be reclaimed nationality. We are to become representatives between the Grand Duchy and the U.S., believe it or not. We need to learn a few things about Luxembougers, their country, its history and possibly even pick up some words and phrases in the multiple languages spoken in the Grand Duchy (I’m struggle-busing with learning French right now, but at least I’m trying!).

This all aside, I have met so many interesting people who have shared their experiences, the true purpose of my blog and online presence with the insanely niche community. Questions come up, and that’s understandable! I wish I could give you all the answers, but I don’t work for the Luxembourg government and I’m not fluent in Luxembourgish … yet. In the coming weeks, I will start adding links and transplanting passages from previous blogs to this forum in the hope that it will be of some use to people. It’s really hard to find answers and follow conversations in WordPress — I totally understand this as a moderator — and I recently discovered that I missed a bunch of comments because of WordPress filters on conversations. If I don’t respond to a comment, it’s not because I’m irrationally viscous and hate you solely based on your username, though some of them are pretty weird. It’s because I’m either busy or somehow your comment ended up in the spam folder, which I rarely check.

Anyway, let’s get this started. Please feel free to start a question. I’ll try my best to consolidate similar issues into the same forum. If you have any issues with the forum, please email me at trevoreischen1714@gmail.com. I’m new to moderating forums, so I’m not sure what I’ve enabled or blocked.

But yes, please, if you have questions or run into any issues, please email me. I’ll be monitoring my gmail account more closely this week. Feel free to start a conversation with any questions you have about the project on the forum.