With two numbers in mind, the journalist Sarah Pepin set off for her renowned weekly newspaper “d'Lëtzebuerger Land” to find out whether the youth of her country had become more spoiled and materialistic.

Luxembourg's statistics authority had previously calculated that young people cost their parents between 600 and 700 euros a month.

But where Pepin looked around, this amount would probably be reached after just a few days.

In her article "We are gold" she reports, among other things, on the situation at the Lycée Vauban, what she calls a "school for the children of rich expats" in Luxembourg City.

One example she gives: Parents asked the school management whether they could take their daughter out of class on her 18th birthday at the exact time of her birth. They would like to give her a present.

This, it turned out, consisted of an Audi TT that was to be presented in the schoolyard.

And since the daughter didn't yet have a driver's license, it should be filled with jewelry.

The school administration refused.

"This nouveau riche habit of believing that you can get away with anything just because you can afford it often comes from people whose purchasing power has grown significantly in Luxembourg," Pepin learned.

People who had little time for their children tried to compensate for this with gifts.

Another example: In recent times, winter jackets that have hardly been worn have been increasingly found in classrooms that nobody is looking for or picking up.

"Initially the reason was a mystery," reports Pepin, "until it turned out that these expensive items are being lost on purpose so that the parents can buy something new." In such cases, the school donates the jackets to the Red Cross.

The described fixation on externals begins early, writes Pepin, by the age of ten to eleven many students already have very expensive smartphones.

Similar problems in public schools

When the introduction of a decent school uniform (black jeans, simple T-shirt) was discussed at the Lycée Vauban a few years ago, heated students went to the barricades.

The idea then no longer made it onto the agenda of the final decision-making body.

"Now one could say: extreme examples from private schools," writes Pepin, and admits that the student body at public schools is more heterogeneous.

However, similar problems are also reported here.

In Luxembourg, public grammar schools with their central Abitur are often more demanding because they teach school subjects in several languages.

Pupils who cannot or do not want to keep up are happy to switch to private competition – if their parents can afford it.

However, 600 to 700 euros a month is not enough.

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