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Cathar Tours

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  1. Not quite yet he isn't but he will be. Who is the French President? I bet you don't know.
  2. IDUN - It's a she. I have no idea and taken from the shared view you and I have on this matter that they are all "at it" one way or another I don't really care. In the UK I do know that many MP's, even ministers sit on company boards doing nothing and getting £100k a year on top of their salaries. I also read that one or two had shares in companies that made PPE for the NHS which had to be thrown away as not fit for purpose. They should be put in prison for that one but then being politicians makes them virtually untouchable in law. It does however show the complete lack of morals of these people.
  3. All politician's are liars and the no one country can claim a monopoly. The UK is one of many countries where the expenses of it's PM's and ministers are kept from the public but the public did have a taste through the world famous expenses scandal, world wide in that the world saw the UK was no better than their own politicians. Not to mention of course the Panama papers. France always seems to find their presidents in court once they have "retired" for some form of corruption. As to the French themselves as some in Europe would say they never want anything until you tell them they can't have it. Just look at the vaccine, most didn't want it so they came up with have a "fireside chat" with the doctor first and then if your happy have the jab. Only around 50% wanted it till it came out they couldn't get the vaccine (which of course you can) and now you can't get a jab because all the appointments are taken. I thought I read that during the writing of the withdrawal bill they added in some extra clauses which means ministers can make law without it going through parliament, the Henry 8th clause I believe it was called. They had the cheek then to say they didn't want to be part of the "undemocratic" EU. Clearly as all those that think the same they do not understand how the EU works or how people are elected which makes it probably more democratic than the US and that the way the Tory party select's it's leader is now the same as the EU selects it's. But thank God the French do take to the streets unlike the British who whinge and moan but at the end of the day do very little. A friend of mine who sadly and misguidedly voted Brexit asked me the other day how had things changed for me obviously hoping to gloat and was disappointed when I said that for me nothing had change at all and it really hasn't (well until I saw the delivery charge on something I tried to buy off Amazon UK).
  4. The areas where the UK failed in the WA and FTA was Fish, Customs Union and Financial services. There are few other things but they are minor. Thing is as Gove said the deal will be done in the last 5 minutes because the EU will blink first and it didn't so at one minute the UK signed what it had agree so far which excluded these things. On Jan 4th or so I read I think in the BBC website most of the EU money left "The City" and returned to EU and is only traded by banks inside the EU (that includes the offices of banks in "The city"). They said it is costing the UK banks around 6bn Euros per day which I admit seems rather high but the point was the tax on these transactions which might only be a few percent but over the year that's a lot of money for them to lose and for HMRC to lose. I found it amongst this article https://www.bbc.com/news/55831263 There is a few other things in it that you might find interesting. Thing is you left the EU and people it would seem from UK newspapers thought things would stay pretty much the same but they don't and it also effects Brits who have moved out. A friend of mine used to go back to the UK with his dog, the current pet passport is not longer valid so he has to get some other form of paperwork with rabies jabs (which he had before) and now with a test. Of course the vets are loving all this extra trade. Minor issue in the general course of things but it is an inconvenience to many. But the UK is now a third country and what is not covered in the trade agreement gets treated like any other third country. If I buy from the UK I have to print off a customs certificate and pay the postman when it arrives same as I do when I buy from the US. Some UK companies are ripping expats off, try M&S or Amazon now and see the extra they add on in charges to ship to the EU then warn you there may be even more to pay when the goods arrive!. It's a pain so now like many others I won't buy from the UK and there is a lot of us living in the EU and that's a lot of income to lose if everyone does the same. It's the UK's choice at the end of the day, would it be the same today if they held a referendum I don't know but give it five years and ask I think the majority would chose to go back to the EU.
  5. Chocfish - My dad was the same. Anything to do with building or electricity he was fine, ask him in French and he wouldn't know. By dad was a clever man but could not learn languages. My Great Grandad spent years in France during WW1 and didn't speak any. But it's not just them and French. I find it a pain translating for workmates when out with German friends. Fortunately there are other Ex Prats in the groups who also translate. One thing our company does insist on is at work everyone speak, reads and writes in English. The only place you hear German is in the canteen. I didn't know what standard of French language skills you have and from what you have said and for the price I would recommend you get a translator (defiantly not a mate, can cause more problems later). There is nothing shameful about using one. If you do it yourself and you miss a word in the wrong place you could potentially end up in a worse mess and that will be, in their eyes, your fault and they will say they told you and if you didn't understand it's not their problem. I personally know of more than one occasion where somebody has been diagnosed at the doctors wrongly because they used the wrong word and didn't really understand. The biggest problem I found was speed, if you think the French speak fast try German or Spanish. Best of luck and ignore those bigots who believe if you live in a country you speak that language perfectly and don't believe they have never made a mistake.
  6. Really Idun that's typical English arrogance for you but never mind you will get over hopefully one day. There are many Brits who have lived in countries for far longer and never bothered. I have no idea what level French the person speaks all I would say is I can manage short conversational French and nothing more but then I don't have to because I don't live there. Even in German inn which I am far more fluent in certain situations I will have a friend because there are times when the depth of language skills go beyond me although that is getting less and less. It is often said the English are the worst at learning another language certainly those beyond a certain age on the basis they still believe in Empire therefor the world should speak English.
  7. CF - Years ago my father had a problem with them and they want a few thousand Euros off him. He got lots of advice HERE and there but the best advice he received from an ex forum member was to take a translator and not to rely on his O Level French especially as he didn't have any. You may well speak perfect degree level French for all I know but if you don't take one. First thing is it shows you are taking it very seriously and it's a sort of respect thing. Childish perhaps but flattery often gets you what you want. Secondly they will understand more of the terms better and can not only clarify things quickly but speed up the outcome. So at the end of the day he walked out not having to pay anything but a crib sheet on how and where he should fill in his tax return each year and told if there were changes they would let him know. It cost around €30 for the translator on a hourly rate plus €60 Euros for a slap up dinner which against a possibly of paying €2,000 seemed rather cheap.
  8. Well said Norman. Indeed the British decided to leave the EU because they don't want people making their laws for them. Perhaps the EU countries that have agreed to all this may decide not to continue recognising this next year. Every country has the right to repeal laws or to stop recognising the laws of others. The thinking is very colonial. Made a few of us laugh when the UK said it was sending the navy to sort out those pesky French fishermen who were getting a bit lippy. As one newspaper here said have the British run out of rivers now to send their gun boats up. Merry Christmas by the way and lets hope a much better new year.
  9. Would you like me to scan them and post them here so you can see because you sure seem to think I am lying.
  10. No. I had a Visa credit card from Barclaycard and I had a Mastercard credit card from Barclaycard. I never had a bank account with them. Barclaycard stopped using Mastercard some years back and Mastercard became a banking card rather than a credit card. Barclays replaced all UK issued Mastercard credit cards with Visa cards and that's how I ended up with two Barclaycard VISA credit cards.
  11. With regards to Barclaycard I have had two letters, the first in March 2019 and the latest dated 9th Sept. The subject of the last letter was "Your account will be closed on 16 November 2020" Unless I provide a UK address which I won't. Strange that I actually have two personal Barclaycards (one used to be Mastercard but they changed it to Visa) and this letter only refers to one of the cards and I have had nothing for the other card. Both are registered to my German address. My German card is cheaper so if I lose both like I said not that worried. There has been nothing from Amex I might add.
  12. The EU is all about everyone following the same rules etc and will continue to do so. The thing is the UK has not been a member of the EU since 1st Jan 2020. The UK is not to be trusted, signing an agreement with the UK is not worth the paper as they ignore it (or parts of it) afterwards or go back on their word. It is a two way thing. I have an N26 bank account which was registered in the UK. It was cheaper to charge the account with money then visit the UK because I got a very good exchange rate. I was given a choice at the end of last year to lose the account or transfer it to an EU country as they were closing their UK operation down because of Brexit uncertainty. What I am saying is it is a two way thing and not just British banks. I find it amazing that people thought nothing would really change with Brexit, well it does change and it is changing. Still you all got a blue passport out of it even if they are printed in Poland. Also the Guardian article, well from what somebody said here, they were told their accounts may be closed months ago so for a newspaper, even if it is pro remain, to claim it was sneaked up on expats is not actually true.
  13. Banking and financial services Most people living in Europe should not see any change to their banking when the transition period ends (31 December 2020). Whether UK banks can service customers living in an EEA country is a matter of local law and regulation. Also banks are set up differently, and may have taken different actions to continue to serve their customers. Your bank or finance provider should contact you if they need to make any changes to your product or the way they provide it. If you have any concerns about whether you might be affected, contact your provider or seek independent financial advice. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-europe?utm_source=e348b3da-74d4-4180-b8bb-00c4c75969df&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=daily
  14. According to the BMI a German citizen cannot hold another citizenship. However somebody from another country can apply for German citizenship. In this case according to the BMI 99% of people keep both citizenships. Only around 25% of those who gain citizenship are from within the EU. Personally I have made a decision to get rid of my UK citizenship because I have not contributed there and really don't see the point. There certainly is no advantage. That said you can only ask and whilst in 99% of cases you can they can actually refuse to allow you to renounce your UK citizenship. https://www.gov.uk/renounce-british-nationality
  15. I get these weekly updates about Brexit from HM government. In amongst the one I received today was this little ditty. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/returning-to-the-uk?utm_source=71cc384d-49ca-4709-b84a-2d48a4b00d70&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=daily After March 29th 2022 you will need to apply for a visa to live permanently in the UK even though you are a UK citizen. Whilst technically you could end up as a UK citizen you wouldn't have any of the rights of a UK citizen. Then there is an issue of healthcare access which Boris said wouldn't be a problem so read the new situation by using the links inside the document. Not a problem any of this for us younger folk because we haven't paid anything in and very shortly I will cease to be a UK citizen but it does seem rather messy and unfair perhaps when you read the requirements to older folk. There was another link to information on medicine and getting hold of it. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letter-to-medicines-and-medical-products-suppliers-3-august-2020/letter-to-medicine-suppliers-3-august-2020 What is really interesting is within the document mainly the link as follows. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-accelerates-border-planning-for-the-end-of-the-transition-period If I lived in the UK I think I would quietly set about quietly stock piling my favourite food stuffs seeing as most of the UK imported food comes from within the EU. I noticed the other day that Britain's favourite sauces namely HP and Lee and Perring's are made in Holland. I gather it's not the price of the actual food but the cost of shipping it i.e. paperwork and people to do it but it's all in the documents I have linked to.
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