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Posts posted by NormanH

  1. If I could sell I'd be off like a shot...and I am fluent in French.

    I don't understand the often quoted 'quality of life'

    In the UK I had a village cottage with the sort of life-style people quote here as being 'French'.

    In France I live in a tiny room infested by rats, cockroaches and pigeons, surrounded by  noisy immigrant neighbours in an area where there have been 3 murders in the last year.

    There is a feeling that it is unsafe to go out after 7 at night, and all the houses have burglar grills in the windows and even in front of the front doors

    In the local paper today there was a report of 5 cases of child rape.

    The falsely- vaunted health system in falling apart because there is no proper budgeting.

    The roads are choked with traffic, especially the A9., but it can take an hour to get across town.

    It is impossible to get a job..

  2. [quote user="Iceni"]

    The moral of this being that letting property is a business and should be approached in a business like manner.



    I think that you have a very good point which is not always appreciated, certainly not by the French lady in the article, and possibly not by some of us.

    Letting is a business, and certainly not easy money. Neither has everybody the right character to approach it with your hard-headedness.

    It's easy to be tempted into thinking that you will 'just let out a studio' without really understanding the ramifications.

  3. The problem is I think that at the beginning you aren't sure that they are not going to pay. It's easy to let it drag on so the first serious steps don't get taken for several months.

    I know that there are all sorts of arguments about the rights and wrongs of property, but it's clear that there are bad tenants as well as bad landlords.

    In my area I see lots of evidence of both (you can see the comments at the end of the article).

    It is a bit of a minefield even for French people of modest means, let alone for British people unsure in the language and not totally aware of the various laws.

  4. This account (in French) tells a horror story:

    for those less sure in the language, I will explain briefly.

    A working  woman bought a house to let so she would later have a retirement income.

    She let it at 564 €, but the occupants stopped paying in November 2007, having been in arrears before, and have never shown evidence of insurance.

    She went to a lawyer and got an eviction order, but the phrase expelled by 'la force publique' was ommitted, so there was a delay in executing it, until after the beginning of November, when the new 'trève' came into force. Having hoped to recuperate her house a few days ago, she now has no hope before March 15th 2009.

    She is owed €7600 and has €2000 legal costs to pay.

  5. [quote user="Pierre ZFP"]

    Hey Frenchie, just an idea but you may want to look at John McCain's speech too.

    Very dignified in defeat, it did the man a lot of credit I think. 

    I'm still glad that he and Moose-Head didn't win though



    I agree.

    I think they both came out of it with credit.

  6. For Example:

    Selon la loi de finances

    2008, votée en décembre 2007, 10 postes budgétaires dépassent la

    dizaine de milliards d'euros pour un budget total de 355,2 Md€.[5]

    La segmentation des postes budgétaires est définie, dans les faits,

    par la répartition des portefeuilles ministériels lors de la formation

    du Gouvernement. Ainsi, par exemple, Jean-Louis Borloo, Ministre de l'environnement, du développement et de l'aménagement durables (MEDAD)

    gère dans une seule mission budgétaire, dans la loi de finances 2008,

    les crédits finançant l'intervention de l'Etat dans le domaine de

    l'Environnement, de l'Aménagement du Territoire ou encore des


    Cela étant, la classification établie par l'État, en 2008, est la suivante [6]:

    1. Remboursements et dégrèvements : 83,1 milliards d'euros;
    2. Enseignement scolaire : 59,3 milliards d'euros;
    3. Engagements financiers de l'état : 42,4 milliards d'euros;
    4. Défense : 36,8 milliards d'euros;
    5. Recherche/Enseignement supérieur : 23,3 milliards d'euros;
    6. Sécurité : 15,9 milliards d'euros;
    7. Travail et emploi : 12,3 milliards d'euros;
    8. Solidarité : 12 milliards d'euros;
    9. Gestion des finances publiques : 11,3 milliards d'euros;
    10. Ecologie, aménagement, développement durable : 10,1 milliards d'euros;

    Le poste le plus important est celui de la mission "remboursements

    et dégrèvements". Il s'agit, entre autres, d'exonérations d'impôts

    nationaux et locaux ou de conséquences naturelles de l'application de

    la loi fiscale : c'est notamment le cas pour le remboursement de la

    TVA, qui est le premier programme de cette mission et qui est constitué

    du montant de la TVA déductible que les entreprises ont supporté sur

    leurs achats . Ce montant de TVA déductible est perçu dans l'impôt et

    apparaît ainsi dans les recettes brutes. Il est ensuite redistribué par

    remboursement et apparaît à ce titre dans les dépenses. Le premier

    programme de cette mission, retraçant une partie des crédits compris

    dans le budget des Charges Communes au sens de l'ordonnance de 1959,

    est donc une ligne de trésorerie que l'Etat assure aux entreprises. Les

    autres programmes de cette mission importante comportent notamment les

    dispositifs d'allégement de l'impôt sur les sociétés, pour partie et

    certaines des mesures relatives aux impositions locales, entre autres

    le coût du plafonnement de la taxe d'habitation des contribuables à

    revenus modestes. Le troisième poste de dépense de l'État (42,4 Md€)

    correspond principalement au service de la dette de l'État,

    c'est-à-dire le paiement des intérêts et le remboursement du capital

    générés par la dette (environ 922 millions d'euros au 31 janvier 2008

    ). Cette dépense effective est d'un montant proche du déficit du budget

    (différence entre les dépenses et les recettes) qui est de 41,7 Md€


  7. The Firefox French dictionary add-on works as a spell check for both webmail and Pop mail if you are using Thunderbird.

    The advantage is that you don't need to type in any French accents.

    You type the word in without, and if you have French enabled as the language option any words which need accents are underlined in red.

    Click on them and the accented version replaces the original.

    I use this even though I type on a French keyboard, in case of error.

    Changing the language option back to English is simple.

    I even use the British English add on, as I hate having words like colour or Theatre corrected by my spell check.

  8. "Les écoles maternelles et élémentaires risquent d'être fortement perturbées le 20 novembre prochain."

    from Le Figaro

    suggests to me it's just the primary sector.

    On the other hand it also says

    "Ce mouvement sera la temps fort d'une semaine d'action dans toute l'Education nationale (17-21 novembre)"

    but it sounds like the strike  in the Primarieswill be the high point, so perhaps no strike elsewhere

  9. Two other ways


    If you open a yahoo email with the address as yahoo.fr  (as opposed to yahoo.co.uk for example), the spellcheck will correct any missed accents.

    You don't even need to put them in at the start...

    I wrote this without accents, and yahoo corrected it:

    "j'ai acheté une crème brûlée pour dessert"

    2) If you use Firefox you can add a French Dictionary  from here 

    This has a similar effect of automatic correction.

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