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Have you been affected by les blocages where you live?


mint
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" the EU and in particularly the Euro is partly responsible for all ths."

Well, clearly the choices that were made and what has been done is responsible for where we are now, can't argue with that.

If things had been done differently we would be in a different place and who is to say whether that place would have been any better or any worse.

So much has changed in recent decades. You have to respond, one way or another, because staying stuck in the mud is the worst choice of all.

Why not blame computers. They've massively changed the labor market and the way we trade, eliminated some jobs and created others. A lot of the impact of robots etc on the job market has been to destroy low skill jobs, hence impacting worst on bottom end of the market while those with the skills to fully exploit technology get rich, so causing more inequality.

There are so many factors, and what has and hasn't been done to address them, that you could blame.
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I am not sure expats/immigrants realise how low salaries are in France even for high/middle management jobs.

Just go onto a job website and have a look.

Now take into account the cost of living in France

Taxes, mortgage, heating, car fuel, eating, children.

The maths don't add up.

I bet even doctors struggle to get by.

We have had a really close family member pass away in France recently. Inheritance is 60%, notaire fees about 8k ish.

Nothing left for the kids.

The Govt basically takes it all.
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With respect ALBF I suspect you have not actually experienced being on a very low salary in France and are mixing things up.

Yes the government takes most of what you earn. But it you really are at the bottom of the ladder it also gives you a lot back. You get cheap "social tarif" electricity, you pay lower tax d'hab, you get RSI/prime pour l'emploi/whatever that particular benefit is called at the time, you get housing benefit if you rent which a lot of people do for that specific reason, so you don't have a lot left in the bank but the govenment reduces your living expenses so much that you should be able to get by decently.

It's the slightly better off families that lose out.

For instance if your deceased family member (who couldn't have been that close, otherwise inheritance would not have been 60% - that's only the rate for non relatives and is it 3rd or 4th degree and over) had had nothing significant to leave, there would have been no significant tax to pay. And someone has to pay for the social tarif electricity, so if you earn even just slightly over the threshold for that, not only do you pay the full rate but you also subsidise the electricity of someone who potentially earns 10€ a year less than you.

So I don't think literally it's a case of struggling to get by, it's more a case of, there are perceived injustices and a lot of people feeli put upon and not being able to enjoy the lifestyle they think you they are entitled to. Which is a valid point, but let's be honest about it.

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With the greatest respect ET...I started at the bottom and arrived in France with student debts and living in a 15 sq metre flat in Paris. We have worked hard.

I know the score.

Yes it is a case of struggling to get by.

Like I said the maths don't add up.

If you earn 1500 euros per month and your BASIC living costs are 2500 euros then well...you can do the maths. that is before kids.

Remember the average rent for a dump is around 600-700 euros. That leaves 800 euros to live off.

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You're leaving important things out, ALBF.

If you earn 1500€ per month and your rent is 700€, you'll get income support and CAF will pay part of your rent.

Maybe it didn't work like that in your student days, but it works like that now.

FFS, for the first few years I was here when my business going through a bad patch due to the move and the financial crash, I used to receive a very substantial annual income support from the state each year without even asking for it. It happened automatically as a result of my tax return, they paid it into my bank. And I didn't particularly feel I was on a low income, I could have managed without. I could also have claimed other benefits but I didn't because it didn't seem right, to be honest was quite embarrassed to be given "benefits'" at all but hey, it made life more comfortable.

In fact what I did was invest in business software that I couldn't otherwise have afforded, which boosted my earnings, so it was win win I reckon.
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I heard a tv comentator recently saying that the MEAN income for working people in France is just a bit over 20 thousand a year (about 1 700 euros a month).  So, if you have 20 grand a year, you are amongst the TOP 50% of people in France!  I found that a bit hard to believe but, listening to ALBF, I reckon that that commentator has indeed checked his figures.

Don't know how people live on that; young people who have to pay for housing and the odd child or two.

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[quote user="Judith"]One of those interviewed today (BBC News, sorry, but it's what was on), said that they had been struggling with price hikes etc etc for 30 years, and I thought, well it's not all Macron's fault then, so why blame just him. 

[/quote]

If that refers to the one making comments that I heard, he didn't look very old.

Probably been upset ever since the price of bonbons went up.

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@ ET

You are thinking as a single person.

Believe me the maths don't add up.

Another thing, it does not matter what income bracket you are on (within reason), your 'disposable' income is about the same after taxes. That is big problem because less people are spending. No spending and the economy suffers and businesses shut.

As I said, go onto indeed.com/cadre emploi and look at salaries. Then go onto seloger or le bon coin and see how much flats cost to rent.

Add in a car, food, heating, taxes ...etc etc etc etc etc

It don't add up.

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Ah yes, the benefits......... for the poorest they are diminishing, and for the faux pauvre, they are too........ but the faux pauvre have savings, which for some reason are never taken into account with some benefits. Along with real income rather than these figures juggled at by la fisc.

In spite of these benefits, for the real poor, life is still hard. I know it is. I know poor people. And WE have been poor in France, and in spite of diesel prices being cheap years ago, I still could not afford to drive to the supermarket more than once a week, for a very careful shop. I dread to think what we would do these days with fuel being so expensive.

And a very good friend of mine, who is actually quite well off these days, and they too were poor when we were, goes spare about the prices of ordinary things where she lives. She doesn't understand it.

Incidentally, I noticed on french tv when they were interviewing folks in a boulangerie that a flute, looked like a flute and not a baguette was 1€20, that is over a £ with current exchange rates. And even with worse exchange rates it is getting on for a £. That is expensive for something that will not keep and has to be eaten on that day. That is one of your essential basics in France.

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Well no, I'm not going to because I have work to do today.

But, you could try doing simulations on CAF, because benefits are based on household income/fiscal parts, like income tax, so a large family with only one wage earner on a lowish wage will receive vastly more than a single person would.

But you are correct that the system does to a large extent even out disposable income. Which contradicts the argument that a lot of the unrest is because of unequal distribution of wealth - so it's damned if it is and damned if it isn't. But, it does take away the incentive to work harder if you don't profit from it.

For instance I could have carried on earning 10k a year or whatever and receiving income support and I would probably have had around the same disposable income as I have now. Am I stupid or what. But, for me it's not about money in the bank, it's about a sense of achievement and enjoying what I do. For people who are basically in the rat race, working for a company, that motivation isn't there. I understand that because I never managed to find satisfaction as an employee. (Whether I will next time round if there is a next time round, well even now I doubt it.)
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I think both of you, Idun and ALBF, are basing your reactions on your experience of the benefits system many years ago. I think you'll find it's very different now. As indeed it would be in the UK. At least, that's my experience from not many years ago. But you don't have to listen.
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I cannot speak for incomes and cost of living in France when working, as I have not, but as a professional, fully qualified and highly experienced, I rarely earned more than £20 K in the UK until the final few years of working.  We survived interest rates of 15% by cutting unessentials, and survived ... even one or other of us was out of work we never qualified for benefits (except unemployment due to our cotisations, all of which have now changed, not for the better). We cut costs - again.  And saved - when we could, so that we can now have a reasonable retirement, with no benefits such as winter fuel allowance as would be given in the UK.  Yes, I prewsume we would be regarded as one of the "better off', but that is only because we went without what I would regard as "luxuries" in our adulthood. 

I do know that many people in France are living and working in rural areas and with indifferent salaries, but they do still do manage to do many of the things that we did not ... they all seem to be able to afford to smoke, and spend a lot of things on spoiling the kids.  As kids, with very little money around, we had all we needed (good food, a loving home) but we certainly didn't get all we wanted (like a bike each - they couldn't afford one each, and sharing would not have worked, so we learnt to walk every where, and so I cannot ride a bike).  We borrowed a relations car to take us on holiday ...  It taught me the power of knowing what was important and keeping up with the Jones is not.

Nor do I personally think that the euro in itself is to blame (similar thinking to prices going up with decimalisatoion), it is called living ... prices go  up, nothign goes down, or rarely, and we learnt long ago to cut our coat according to our cloth, in the old adage.  If you choose to have lots of children, live in the country, won't move for a job because you want to stay where you are. .. you get what you sow.

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I agree Judith

One of the things that has seemed a bit ironic in much of the discussion on the French groups re the GJ, is the call for campaigners to 'boycott the shops', 'stop buying things' 'only buy essentials'. It's only recently that we have had spare money to start buying a few non essentials so I found the idea that people, who were complaining about the cost of living, saw not buying luxury items as a protest and not and essential part of economising.

My brother said he came through France last weekend past a few roadblocks. He was able to pass in a good humoured way. They told him it was getting harder and harder to make a living and fuel was too expensive. He said he didn't like to tell them that fuel was even more expensive in the Uk. At one of the roadblocks their German Shepherd in the back of the car started letting rip..frothing at the windows etc. and that was enough for them to let him pass!
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Here, the gilets jaunes blocked off Leclerc, Intermarché and Lidl yesterday, plus other shops. I snuck into Lidl the back way via another store's parking area which wasn't blocked, and not surprisingly on a Saturday afternoon when normally Lidl is busy, there was hardly anybody there - only one checkout open and no queue.

How is stopping folk doing their weekly Lidl shop helping anybody?
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There is a big divide between French folks and expats/immigrants that have moved to France.

Expats/immigrants don't have any idea/faintest clue of the day to day pressures on french family life. I find that quite sad because they don't read the news.

Reading on the 'dumb' forum their main concerns are swimming pools, sky TV, registering their RHD cars, Brexit and flogging cheap crappy houses to the British.

It is tough out there in France. I hate reading threads about people wanting to move to France with their kids. It scares me.

They really have no idea what they are getting themselves into.

France for me is at breaking point and France is not going through Brexit.

Makes you think.
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ALBF, I like your posts in general but you get on my nerves when you keep banging on about this.

"There is a big divide between French folks and expats/immigrants that have moved to France."

"Expats/immigrants don't have any idea/faintest clue of the day to day pressures on french family life."

Can you explain to me, please, how immigrants who came here say 10 or more years ago with no financial cushion and have lived and earned a living here ever since, have a totally different experience during those 10 years from French folks doing exactly the same? Do you think they don't pay the same taxes, fill in the same forms, pay the same prices in shops, have all of the same issues to deal with?

OK, and then there are those that don't have that experience, but they're not in my world and they don't speak my language, well literally they do but that's all.
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"France for me is at breaking point and France is not going through Brexit."

You take it too seriously.

Every autumn after the summer holidays there are protests. It's a national pastime. It lasts until the weather turns cold, and then the protestors go home. French politicians know that.

Last year it was about Macron's labour reforms.

The year before it was farmers.

Always October/November. France isn't any more at breaking point in November than it is at any other time of the year, just, that is manifestation season.

This year perhaps has more ooomph than the last few.

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ET asked "Can you explain to me ?"

That is easy. I contributed on this thread at 6 ish this morning and there where about 400 'reads' on this thread.

Now we are at 900 'reads' on this thread.

There are only about 10 people who contribute to this forum. So I guess there are a lot of lurkers looking to move to France.

I am speaking to them. They are looking for advice.

I am not saying don't move to France.

Just do it differently. Wink Wink.

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 I think that this time there is something a little more serious going on than usual.
I am seeing a lot of very manipulative postings on social media, including one today where  a video of Macron has been slightly altered to give the impression that he is either drugged or drunk. If you look very closely it is clear that the words are not properly synchronised, but  somebody who wants to believe it may very well not bother to check.

There are also a lot of fake statistics, and unverified claims being put about to stir people.

I see similarities with the rise of populist parties in places like Italy, even with Brexit or Trump.

I suspect that the aim is to destabilize the Country, and while  personally I see the hand of the far right in all this, Mélenchon and co I also jumping on the bandwagon.

Macron has no  political party structure behind him, and he has also alienated many of the middle ranking political figures such as the Maires of medium and small communes, and they usually play an important part as lightning conductors for popular dissent.

The people mainly concerned are  not really the poorest.
Many of them are  those who live just above the level at which they would be eligible for benefits, but who have seen their spending power eroded over the last few years: the rise in CSG and the  freeze on pensions have affected retired people, and the Rises in fuel tax cigarettes etc are affecting consumers. The GJ are those who don't see why they should pay for the ecological policies the government are trying to push through.

It also reminds me of that time in the UK when Thatcher made self-centered greed respectable. While that has existed in France too for years this is the first time I have seen it so openly shown.

In short I think it's sad ugly and nasty, and will be very difficult to deal with

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Do they still stop you if you have a gilet on the dashboard?

As it was sunny and mild yesterday we went for a drive and picnic to the North side of the Montaigne Noire yesterday, just to get away from the house for a bit.

Didn't see any yellowjackets at all, until, on our way back, we were approaching a roundabout in the middle of nowhere on the D5 near Argeliers. There was a cluster of them on the far LH side who seemed to be having a discussion.

As we got nearer, one of them ran across the far side of the roundabout towards the exit we were headed for, waving his arms at us frantically, apparently trying to get me to stop.

I was already at around the 70 kph limit on that bit of road, and I'm a bit nervous about stopping for groups of people in remote places, so I simply put my foot down a bit more, and easily beat him there [:D]

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Yes, the theory is that they stop everyone for 2 minutes exactly.

They are very good humoured if you play their game, nothing to be nervous of. If you don't show respect, that's when they might turn less friendly.

Of course at major junctions with a big traffic flow, the 2 minutes goes out of the window because the traffic gets jammed up. I was stuck for nearly 20 minutes at one.
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[quote user="alittlebitfrench"]

I bet even doctors struggle to get by.

We have had a really close family member pass away in France recently. Inheritance is 60%, notaire fees about 8k ish.

Nothing left for the kids.

[/quote]

My doctor has just bought a brand new BMW 540i, I’m not sure he struggles. He’s got an older car as well, that’s only a 535D.

60% inheritance tax is an extreme. To be paying that much any ‘kids’ will already have done very well already, the 60% would only be payable above their generous allowances. In the U.K. we had to pay 40% on my fathers estate on everything above a fairly small threshold.

As far as I can remember families in most countries have mortgages, bills and taxes.
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