Anybody live in France? (Country-down-the-drain content).

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  • Anybody live in France? (Country-down-the-drain content).
  • piemonster
    Member

    The difference is that the UK had a reality check in the form of Margaret Thatcher. France has never experienced anything similar. In economic and political terms, France is en chute libre.

    🙂

    grum
    Member

    And yet ‘socialist nightmare’ France still rates higher than the UK on quality of life indices. Hmmm…

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    I’m posting this from Paris. There is certainly some truth in that piece. France is heavily reliant upon state employment either directly or indirectly (car companies are shadow supported by the state). The unions still have huge influence.

    The flip side is that they still have all the small shops with local employment that we used to, laws protect them from the big ogre style chains that we’ve seen dominate in the uk. The quality of their food is streets ahead of the uk as their local agriculture has been protected as its highly valued by the people.

    Taxes are high but so are social benefits like unemployment and I personally think their health service is quite a bit better than ours. Wages are lower than the UK but the cost of living including housing is cheaper.

    Immigration from Eastern Europe is a major concern for those in centre and right, the left is encouraging it as its more votes for them. There are multiple wooden shanty towns around the Peripherique, it’s like a mini version of those In South Africa outside the major cities. I’m sure I’ll get flamed on this thread like others for pointing this out but these are not towns populated by French citizens.

    Hollande is further damaging the country with his policies, not all is lost in France but you certainly fear for the country if he’s re-elected.

    piemonster
    Member

    Is perhaps just a tiny bit possible that Corporate whore bag news City AM news might have some bias?

    mt
    Member

    Woppit, it’s cause they have lost faith in god. 😆

    Ro5ey
    Member

    City AM a London paper with a bias.. probably.

    But then again, guess they are preaching to the converted… what with London being France’s 6th largest city !!

    That little fact proabably says a lot on it’s own.

    ocrider
    Member

    Pretty much what Jambalaya said.
    I am still amazed how Hollande has made himself less popular that Sarkozy, I didn’t think it was possible.

    One of the letters struck a chord

    The never-mentioned elephant in the room (at least among the French journalists I read) is that there have now been two generations raised to believe that everyone can work for the state

    A good friend works in admin at the local university where, in his department, he is the only person to have previously worked in the private sector. He often gets berated if he starts a new task in the late afternoon, because ‘it isn’t how they do things in the public service’

    globalti
    Member

    My French friends have been telling me for years that France is “foutue”.

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Imagine a society where people don’t work too hard. Where the unions exert strong influence. Where people get out and protest, often inconveniencing everybody in the process by withdrawing their labour or blocking the roads. Where students actually stage proper sit-ins. Sounds **** awful, so it does.

    crikey
    Member

    It sounds like a country where the people have a large say in how the country is run rather than a country where we work to ensure that the highly paid financial sector remain so.

    And their national anthem isn’t a dirge.

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    +1 ^^^

    Frankly, I can’t fathom why anybody would want to live in such a place.

    tazzymtb
    Member

    Frankly, I can’t fathom why anybody would want to live in such a place.

    it’s full of hairy ladies and cheese eating surrender monkeys?

    grum
    Member

    It’s certainly seemed like a post-apocalyptic hellhole whenever I’ve visited.

    ianv
    Member

    Frankly, I can’t fathom why anybody would want to live in such a place.

    Yep, its crap. Currently in the South and the weather is horrendously sunny, the trails are way worse than anything in the UK (and too dusty), the council run DH and BMX tracks are rubbish and everyone is asking if they should move to Surrey!

    bikebouy
    Member

    I spent 2 years in Bordeaux working for a part owned French/English Bank, it was fabulous, some of the best times in my life TBH. I could put up with the attitude towards Staff and Corporates, the working life and social life of the French seems streets ahead of that we have here. As for Taxes and such, well you get what you pay for.
    Is it going down the pan? No I very much doubt it but some of thier social policies do grate the attitudes of the rest of the EU, but then I think it’s more to do with a smatter of jealousy.

    chambord
    Member

    It’s certainly seemed like a post-apocalyptic hellhole whenever I’ve visited.

    Quite. I once asked for an Argentinian Malbec like any self respecting gent would do to accompany his seared venison and blackberries but the best they could do was a Bordeaux.

    Premier Icon finishthat
    Subscriber

    The comments to his followup article are mostly reasonable

    http://www.cityam.com/article/1389748116/french-embassy-s-strange-attack-me-misses-point

    “presse de caniveau”

    As a dual national its easy to see faults on both sides .

    from a “state of the nation” point of view the UK is much more of a disgrace on so many levels

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    And yet ‘socialist nightmare’ France still rates higher than the UK on quality of life indices. Hmmm…

    @grum I would agree their quality of life is better, the question is whether they can afford it.

    @crikey it’s a democracy just like we have, we had a fair mix of governments over the past 20 years. The UK has used the financial services industry as a key competitive advantage internationalky and a huge soure of tax revenue, Governments of all colours have recognised this. That sector cntributes employee taxes/NI of 60%-75%. The Fench anthem is fabulous, the opening verse talks about raising the “battle flag of blood” and later how the fields will be nourished by the blood of their enemies.

    crikey
    Member

    The UK has used the financial services industry as a key competitive advantage internationalky and a huge soure of tax revenue

    So our quality of life has been improved but still isn’t as good as the French?

    how the fields will be nourished by the blood of their enemies.

    So they’re better at recycling as well?

    Come back to me when the Tour of Britain has its’ first 3 stages in France, Oui?

    grum
    Member

    @grum I would agree their quality of life is better, the question is whether they can afford it.

    I wouldn’t take a load of scare-mongering stories in right-wing newspapers (which is most newspapers) as evidence they can’t afford it. Whenever anyone vaguely socialist comes along there’s a massive propaganda campaign against them by the oligarchy-owned media.

    So here are some of the facts that the French embassy didn’t mention (see more here). The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014 ranks France as the 130th worst country (out of just 148) for its regulatory burden. France places just 71st for overall labour market efficiency, 116th for labour market flexibility and 83rd for efficiency of government spending. The IMD’s 2013 World Competitiveness Rankings feature France as one of the biggest fallers since 1997.

    I’d take higher quality of life over high rankings in any of those indices, thanks.

    Also, as someone points out in the comments – France actually ranks 23rd overall in the WEF’s Global Competitiveness Report – nice bit of selective use of statistics there.

    Quite. I once asked for an Argentinian Malbec like any self respecting gent would do to accompany his seared venison and blackberries but the best they could do was a Bordeaux.

    How ghastly.

    richc
    Member

    My brother has lived over there for the past 7 years, and he finds it terrible not having a mortgage due to realistic house prices, terrible health service that means you get an appointment with a specialist within a few days if needed, awful food and wine; terrible work to the point where he is fully booked up for the next two years, awful schooling insofar as his child has to be taught in a ratio of 6 students to one teacher and to make things worse he has to suffer with living 2 hours from a ski resort…….

    He really struggles to get it when he looks at the UK work culture and compares it to his new life……

    Sounds shit to me, I’d much rather work longer and harder to keep the financial institutions in six figure salaries, whilst they suck as much money out of the country as they can.

    Premier Icon Del
    Subscriber

    yet ( according to the program i heard on Radio 4 the other day ) they have a higher suicide rate than us.

    richc
    Member

    death by cheese and wine?

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    There is no better country for the term – champagne socialism! France is ruled by a self-servicing elite that makes our Oxbridge PPE mafia look inclusive!!!! Hollande’s policy mix is ill-judged and ineffective and the polls speak for themselves. What an absurd muddle over taxation.

    Despite that I enjoyed living in Paris in the 90s despite the dog shit everywhere. Fresh food bought every day, a civilised lunch of cheval/frites 😉 , un quart du rouge et une tarte au citron, and my existential chats with the newspaper seller at the end of the road!!! Oh and watching my boss do “an Hollande” every lunchtime without any comments from the rest if the office. La Vie Parisienne!

    Oh, and I would still take a fine, white burgundy over any other white wine in the world.

    N.b. it is Alistair Heath and City AM so appropriate filters are required!!!!

    Premier Icon mogrim
    Subscriber

    I wouldn’t take a load of scare-mongering stories in right-wing newspapers (which is most newspapers) as evidence they can’t afford it. Whenever anyone vaguely socialist comes along there’s a massive propaganda campaign against them by the oligarchy-owned media.

    That doesn’t explain why Hollande has decided to cut taxes, though.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    @crikey the French have a gentler way of life, they don’t work as long hours, more holidays, they have greater job security, they can buy a decent bottle of wine for €4 🙂 … the UK is a richer country but it’s a tougher existence.

    @grum look at the French budget deficit. I don’t read any papers except the Guardian.

    @Del suicides do seem to be an issue, as the French economy modernises a lot of people are struggling with the fact they don’t have a job for life also youth unemployment is a big issue as the employment laws favour the employee so much companies won’t take risks on hiring young people.

    I just love how they berated Sarkozy for being a capitalist pig, then vote in Hollande and suddely its a socialist dictatorship.

    They have a name for that kind of person: “Eternelle insatisfaite”, quite fitting.

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    It’s not rocket science why he has made a volte-face over taxes. In his own words two days ago:

    “It is imperative that France restores the power of its economy. There is no time to lose. France must rebound to retain its influence in the world and in Europe,” he said.

    The heady combination of uncompetitive taxes, red tape and inflexible labour markets just might not be working to plan. Peut-etre? Oh and the lowest ratings of any post-war president!!!

    The juxtaposition of modern politics always raises a smile. So this week we have one European leader speaking of:

    “excesses” and “abuses” in the social welfare system and said he was “certain that we can do more by spending less”.

    …and without a capitalist bone in his body. Incroyable!!!

    Premier Icon mogrim
    Subscriber

    …and without a capitalist bone in his body. Incroyable!!!

    The previous (left wing, Spanish) PM here had to do something similar, the current (right wing) PM has been forced to raise taxes. It’s almost starting to make me think voting is a waste of time 😥

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    The next thing we shall see mogrim will be income trends where the top 10% suffer the worst and the bottom 10% gain the most in a (cough) capitalist/RW driven economy…..oh, wait a minute?!?!

    Premier Icon mogrim
    Subscriber

    The next thing we shall see mogrim will be income trends where the top 10% suffer the worst and the bottom 10% gain the most in a (cough) capitalist/RW driven economy…..oh, wait a minute?!?!

    I’ll believe that the day I see a Spanish politician apologising for something.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    I wake every morning and thank the good lord above for Margaret Thatcher saving us from the living waking hell that is France!

    crikey
    Member

    @crikey the French have a gentler way of life, they don’t work as long hours, more holidays, they have greater job security, they can buy a decent bottle of wine for €4 … the UK is a richer country but it’s a tougher existence.

    Ah, I see.

    You mean that France is a better place to live, but only if you are a human being?

    marcus7
    Member

    sounds like and absolutely fabulous place to live, when are we moving??? 🙂

    mudshark
    Member

    I’d live there – losing my job so could just sell up and buy a far cheaper place out there and not worry too much about income. Wife would never go for it though.

    toys19
    Member

    I like the sound of it too. We never had a revolution so have never got rid of the top layer of society that we all are beholding to. If a Maggie equivalent appeared in France they would burn her.

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    Kind of sums it up – great place if you are elderly and/or wanting la vie tranquille! Eurostat data shows its one of the best places to be old in, in terms of economic well-being. Downside will be all those suppositories. Have they never heard of oral medicine!?!

    Premier Icon MrOvershoot
    Subscriber

    teamhurtmore – Member

    Kind of sums it up – great place if you are elderly and/or wanting la vie tranquille! Eurostat data shows its one of the best places to be old in, in terms of economic well-being. Downside will be all those suppositories. Have they never heard of oral medicine!?!
    Oh so true about the suppositories!

    Strange thing is my Mother has moved back from France after living there for 15 years and says how much cheaper many things are here, just not houses.

    Bimbler
    Member

    We never had a revolution so have never got rid of the top layer of society that we all are beholding to

    Well we did chop off a King’s head 140 years before the French did in a civil war mainly driven by the middle class against a soi-disant absolute monarch.

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