I never took time out during the Thanksgiving holiday to articulate the reasons why I’m thankful for my Luxembourg heritage, but I will express thanks to all of you who use this blog as a means to update fellow applicants with the information they need for smooth sailing as we traverse the various stages of this exciting dual-citizenship project. I am amazed at how many people I have met through this blog, from Georgia and Kansas to Belgium and Luxembourg itself (special shout-out to Tom, whose coffee-table book, as well as excellent conversations, on Luxembourg has taught me myriad things about the Grand Duchy). Also, please never hesitate to use the comment feeds of any post to start a conversation. It’s great to see the back-and-forth question-and-answers from those who are just starting and those who have finished. It certainly helps me in putting together blogs when I come to the next stage in the application process.
Nothing from Luxembourg has arrived in the mail for me, unfortunately, but I don’t expect anything to come until at least mid-December. Perhaps as a birthday present from the Luxembourg government, I will receive my certificate de nationalité near Christmas? I can only hope, and the moment I unseal the envelope and read the good news, I will update this here blog and send out emails to those of you who so kindly keep up with me via email.
In the mean time, I will try my best to update this blog with cultural, historical and topical tidbits about the Grand Duchy of which we’ve become so fond.
I might have misled you with the title of this blog, which translates from Luxembourgish to “Merry Christmas” in English. Instead of yuletide pleasures, I wanted instead to discuss the recent transition in Luxembourg’s head of government. After serving 19 years as the head of the country, now former Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker is out, and Xavier Bettel, whose swearing-in ceremony was on Wednesday, will serve as prime minister. Bettel, formerly the mayor of Luxembourg City, is the country’s first openly gay head of state.
Bettel’s government is a coalition among three parties in the Chamber of Deputies, which is Luxembourg’s version of Congress. Leader of the Democratic Party, Bettel’s faction joined the Socialists and Greens to form a government, the first not to led by Juncker’s Christian Social People’s Party since 1979. The Chamber of Deputies seats 60 representative, 32 of which comprise the coalition government. Juncker’s party still holds the greatest number of seats per party at 23.
Among the new prime minster’s policy initiatives are same-sex marriage rights and maintaining Luxembourg’s AAA credit rating, according to a report from Aljazeera. Even though the country is 95 percent Catholic, a recent poll shows that a whopping 83 percent of Luxembourgers support gay marriage, so most likely he’ll have very few obstacles in getting gay marriage legalized. The country already recognizes civil unions.
He has spent his first week in office reaching out to his counterparts from other countries in Europe, and my favorite Kanzlerin, Angela Merkel, called him to congratulate him on becoming prime minister.
So now you know a little bit more of Luxembourg’s new head of government. And once you become a Luxembourger, you can call him your prime minister.