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Mikey7

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  1.   FRANCE is the most hostile country in the world for taxpayers and the United Arab Emirates the friendliest, according to an annual league table published this weekend. http://tinyurl.com/hf5yx    
  2. Thanks for the input everyone. If I actually buy something the intention is to live in France roughly every other 3 months. Here in the UK I fixed it long ago so that all my banking is over the internet, because of the long slow moving queues in my local bank. The reason for my question is that I'm just looking for the least hassle. Anyway I think I've got the idea - I don't need one to buy the property (which is what I actually meant), but I do really need one once I bought it. Sounds like that britnet account would suit me fine. Cheers, Mikey  
  3. Hi all I'm currently in the UK but going to France shortly for a couple of weeks to look for a property to buy. I may or may not find something suitable. If not I may still return later this year and rent for a few months.  Question is, will I really need a French bank a/c? - I would prefer to open a FirstDirect Euro a/c here in the UK. Thanx, Mikey ---------------      
  4. I hope you all have saved those 10 franc coins !! Euro facing meltdown as Italy considers backing out http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=611492005 Further to my original post, now Italy wants to scrap the euro, and Germany may follow. So it looks as though my wish to 'bring back the franc' may come true after all. And best of all, the pound has been saved!!  So there is a God after all.     
  5. I take back everything I've ever said about the French - yes, everything! They are the most wonderful and beautiful people on the planet!  Death to the EC, viva La France! Mwwaahh! Mwwaahh! The sooner they dismantle the ridiculous, corrupt, ultraliberal, dinasaur that is the EC the better. And what a bonus -- it's stuffed Blair! And another thing. Abolish the euro. Bring back the franc (and Joan of Arc, I love her songs).
  6. No idea why the link don't work. Anyway I didn't write it, I just thought it might interest forum readers. Here's the full article, with interesting bits about heathcare and voting at the bottom-- French Mistress: The food may be fresh, but the restaurants are stale Helena Frith Powell Despite France's reputation for fabulous cuisine, restaurant standards are falling far behind those in the UK.     National stereotypes die hard. Despite France’s poor showing in a recent poll of 500 chefs, critics and restaurateurs conducted by Restaurant magazine, which placed only one French restaurant in the world’s top 10, as against four from the UK, the French still view England as a place with appalling weather and even worse sustenance. When asked what they feared most about facing the English at Twickenham this year, the French rugby team’s captain replied, “the food”. France’s leading lingerie designer, Chantal Thomass, says she dreads going to her factory in Norfolk because of the cooking. “I have to go on a diet when I get back to Paris,” she says. “I blame the sandwiches. But what else is there to eat?” Jamie Oliver’s campaign for better school dinners prompted a French friend of mine to suggest we needed a similar drive for the adult population.   France, on the other hand, has long had a reputation for wonderful cuisine. The world’s greatest chefs are traditionally French. The national attitude towards eating has always been revered, as have the markets and the choice of fresh produce. It is very easy to wander into town and buy any number of seasonal delicacies. I find there is no need to plan dinner in advance. You just go and see what’s around. “I love the fact that what I eat is determined by the seasons and by what is good at the greengrocer’s next door to my house,” says chef Ken Hom, who has a home near Cahors. The French custom of shopping for fresh food each day may be time-consuming, but there is something very satisfying about coming home with a basket filled with fresh goods that you eat straightaway. Go out for dinner in rural France, however, and you are often disappointed. Many restaurants are overpriced, second-rate and lit by searchlights. And the menu is often limited. It seems the foodie revolution that has hit England in the past 10 years has yet to reach rural France. Much of the food is frozen and, despite the country’s culinary reputation, I have heard several people complain they have had the worst meals of their lives in France. The chef and author John Burton Race spent six months in southwest France researching his book and television series, French Leave. “During that time, I drove 36,000 miles and ate in hundreds of restaurants,” he says. “I would say maybe half a dozen were good. The rest were rubbish. If we served food like that in England, we’d be shut down. They show no imagination — basically it’s duck, duck or duck. “I love France and, if I can afford it, I will probably end up there,” Burton Race says. “But in terms of eating out, we have far more variety, the quality is better and the prices are good. And it’s not as if we have the luxury of fresh melons, asparagus and all the other wonderful fresh produce French markets offer. I don’t think French restaurateurs have any excuse — they don’t seem to have advanced at all since haute cuisine days.” Burton Race concedes that the poor quality could in part be due to the 35-hour week, which has led to increased costs. “Restaurants are hiring 30% more staff because nobody is doing any work,” he says. “A French friend of mine says rural people aren’t that discerning, so restaurants can get away with it. They’ve been eating undercooked duck for hundreds of years and can’t seem to get enough of it.” Laurent Pourcel, chef and co-founder of the Michelin three-starred Jardin des Sens in Montpellier, defends French regional cuisine. “We have always had great gastronomic areas in France, but here in the Languedoc, for example, we were seen as a poor relation,” he says. “But I think quality is finally improving in regional France.” Pourcel, who recently opened a restaurant in Piccadilly called W’Sens, is not worried by France’s low standing in the world’s best restaurants list. “You have to be wary of fads,” he says. “Remember that French cuisine has a lot of history behind it. It is here to stay. We will always be extremely important.” Yet even he admits that eating out in London is a more interesting experience than eating out in Paris. Healthcare reform From July 1 French residents can no longer choose which doctor they see according to their mood. By that date anybody (apart from some exceptions, such as pregnant women and children) who is part of the French healthcare system should have registered with one doctor of their choice. The initiative will stop people obtaining several opinions on the same ailment. To register, you need to provide the doctor with a “declaration of choice” form, which can be downloaded at www.ameli.fr. Non-residents can still use their E111 as before. For more information, call the social security helpline (from within France) on 0820 773 333. Right to vote? In reply to those of you who have e-mailed asking if you can vote in the upcoming referendum on the European constitution, the answer is no. As a resident foreigner in France, you have the right only to vote in municipal elections. As my village’s mayor said: “It’s we French who will decide whether we want to adopt the constitution.” When I asked him how he was going to vote, he looked as if I’d asked him what planet we are on. “Non, of course,” he replied.”  
  7. according to the Sunday Times today -- Despite France's reputation for fabulous cuisine, restaurant standards are falling far behind those in the UK. National stereotypes die hard. Despite France’s poor showing in a recent poll of 500 chefs, critics and restaurateurs conducted by Restaurant magazine, which placed only one French restaurant in the world’s top 10, as against four from the UK, the French still view England as a place with appalling weather and even worse sustenance. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,176-1617772,00.htm  
  8. Mmm, you're quite pretty Christine. I hope you're not the one that's been crapping on all the pavements. :o)  
  9. I hear that, in order to provide a fair and balanced debate, the French government have now issued an official statement (you'll need sound on): http://voxcartes.sympatico.ca/slip/4dznAzBk2rgi4iexo27u8G ;o)  
  10. Sorry wrong link!  Can't find the right one -- but it's in yesterday's Expat Telegraph, you have to sign in.  
  11. Article in Expat Telegraph 17/5/05. I quote (link at bottom) -- Typically, the French refuse to accept what arrogant, overbearing monsters they are. But now after the publication of a survey of their neighbours' opinions of them at least they no longer have any excuse for not knowing how unpopular they are. Why the French are the worst company on the planet, a wry take on France by two of its citizens, dredges up all the usual evidence against them. They are crazy drivers, strangers to customer service, obsessed by sex and food and devoid of a sense of humour. But it doesn't stop there, boasting a breakdown, nation by nation, of what in the French irritates them. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Britons described them as "chauvinists, stubborn, nannied and humourless". However, the French may be more shocked by the views of other nations. For the Germans, the French are "pretentious, offhand and frivolous". The Dutch describe them as "agitated, talkative and shallow." The Spanish see them as "cold, distant, vain and impolite" and the Portuguese as "preaching". In Italy they comes across as "snobs, arrogant, flesh-loving, righteous and self-obsessed" and the Greeks find them "not very with it, egocentric bons vivants". Interestingly, the Swedes consider them "disobedient, immoral, disorganised, neo-colonialist and dirty". But the knockout punch to French pride came in the way the poll was conducted. People were not asked what they hated in the French, just what they thought of them. "Interviewees were simply asked an open question - what five adjectives sum up the French," said Olivier Clodong, one of the study's two authors and a professor of social and political communication at the Ecole Superieur de Commerce, in Paris. "The answers were overwhelmingly negative." According to Mr Clodong, the old adage that France is wonderful, it's just the French who are the problem, is shared across Europe. (wrong link -- removed. Sorry can't find the right one now!)
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