Jump to content

How Bad Can Things Get?


Recommended Posts

As the old saying goes "a lot worse before they get better" I am afraid. After the murder of the young Meric in Paris on wed,its beginning to show how France is really in a bad state. Unemployment up here in Brittany by 2,4% since March and set to increase,firms closing down all over the region and thousands of people unable to sell properties either to move, move on or return to the UK for some brits. Social security is going to cut payments and the cost of living will continue to rise especially the utilities and fuel. However,for many like me who have lived here far longer than anywhere else we shall continue to weather the storms as they come and go and wild horses would not get me back to the UK as its no better there either. I think there will be many mass demos to come against the government especially this winter if they continue to do nothing.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Val, you paint a bleak picture. But why the need for the "wild horses" remark? If you are happy where you are, good for you. Me too, outre-Manche. I don't think there's a lot of mileage in turning the economic crisis into a p****ing contest, do you?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There was a similar thread just recently.

There will certainly be demonstrations and I foresee power cuts and strikes since the EDF are planning to raise prices by 10% from the Summer and even more next year, but Hollande won't want to face the consequences so there could be a showdown there.

Make sure you have a variety of ways to heat and light your home.

There could equally be strikes over government pension reforms...

The 'bumper' effect on the economy of the 2 year unemployment payments has now worked its way through and more and more people are finding themselves with just the RSA.

There is a nasty atmosphere around especially in towns, menacing and violent, where people are not hesitating to use violence and cross lines that would have been considered inviolable a while back.

This area is seeing more and more things like this incident

http://www.midilibre.fr/2013/06/05/beziers,711139.php, as well as the things such as 'vol à l'arraché' which I have previously posted about

http://www.midilibre.fr/2013/01/16/vol-a-l-arrache-dans-le-tram-ca-continue,627794.php

There is an ugly reaction of course

The violent incidents in the demonstrations against le marriage pour tous showed how the reactionary right are on the increase, as did the Meric murder.

In my town a favourite for the elections for Maire in 2014 is a weasel character who  like Gilbert Collard represents the ideas of Front National without having the honesty to actually take the party label

http://www.midilibre.fr/2013/06/06/louis-aliot-beziers-sera-un-exemple,711824.php

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am a realist, not a newly arrived brit wearing rose tinted glasses and what I have experienced over the past 24years of France, many never do. I read the daily paper, watch the local and national news and listen to my neighbours and friends here and we all feel the same, things are not good and the current government seem to just be p**ssing in the wind instead of getting to grips with real day to day life and people. This is my home, its the place I have lived longest in my life even before I got married and lived with parents at home so the UK now is an alien place to me and after a recent visit feel its no better either financially or quality of life-wise and nothing would entice me back even if things do get worse here,we are at least all in the same boat and will have to weather it together. However being pessimistic about things can be good because when things do get better,it will have been worth the wait. I have an elderly neighbour who is desperate to return to the UK but in 8months of putting her house up for sale has not had one call or one person to see it and is very down plus she cannot reduce it because the UK prices are far higher and its all she would be able to afford being as she would not be able to get a mortgage.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Val _2 said "This is my home, its the place I have lived longest

in my life even before I got married and lived with parents at home so

the UK now is an alien place to me and after a recent visit feel its no

better either financially or quality of life-wise and nothing would

entice me back even if things do get worse here,
we are at least all in

the same boat and will have to weather it together."

Like Betty I would like to point out that there's good and bad to be found in both countries. Val if your were to visit other parts of the U.K. I think you would find it a very pleasant place. As you have said the U.K. is alien to you probably this is because you are out of touch.

In France life is good in many parts but just like the U.K. there are troublesome areas that I would choose not to visit let alone live in.

Re. house prices. Yes they are higher in the U.K. always have been and probably always will be.
Your neighbour who wants to sell her French home was most likely able to buy something far more grand when she moved to France than she could ever have afforded in the U.K. As many are aware, moving in the other direction one is not going to be able to buy like for like.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Norman is right about one thing which is that there is a nasty atmosphere building up. But what I think he fails to grasp is that the reactionary right, excepting the fascist and violent fringe, has always been there in the form of Catholic and catholic France. Many of the people who demonstrated against gay marriage and adoption were certainly not of the reactionary right, but expressing their fears about a change they disapproved of. Unfortunately though there was no real debate on the issue and the casseurs did take over the margins of the demonstration.

(PS, I personally don't give a tick about gay marriage or foxhunting - they are red herrings)

And yes, there is a rise in extremism both on the left and right, both being fuelled by irresponsible politicians of the Mélenchon and Besancenot Le Pen ilk which is attracting young hotheads who do not have jobs and are probably not getting much money to spend from the State.

Young Meric's death could have been predicted and prevented, given that he and his group sought confrontation with the extreme right, though they did not expect to get a fist in the mouth and then fall on a bollard to their deaths.

Norman is right too when he says it will be a rough autumn as I don't see the unions either conceding the reasonable changes proposed on pension issues, particularly for those who have lived high on the hog at taxpayers expense for years, the fonctionnaires and other special groups. like the railworkers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="Cendrillon"]Val _2 said "This is my home, its the place I have lived longest

in my life even before I got married and lived with parents at home so

the UK now is an alien place to me and after a recent visit feel its no

better either financially or quality of life-wise and nothing would

entice me back even if things do get worse here,
we are at least all in

the same boat and will have to weather it together."

Like Betty I would like to point out that there's good and bad to be found in both countries. Val if your were to visit other parts of the U.K. I think you would find it a very pleasant place. As you have said the U.K. is alien to you probably this is because you are out of touch.

[/quote]

Indeed, Cendrillon. I don't think Val's view of the UK meshes with the view of all the French, Spanish, Greek and Italian students I have in my classes at present (all of whom are working, BTW) who seem to feel they are a lot better off in the UK at the moment than in their home countries. I think a straw poll of them would produce quite a different perspective as to whether the UK is or isn't better either financially or quality of life wise.

It's like the French girl standing behind me on the escalator at London Bridge tube station last week, who was clearly over on holiday and saying to her partner "I know when I phone home tonight, everyone's going to be asking me if I've been eating s**t food since I arrived, and I'll have to tell them it's been really good". Of course, there's a certain view of the UK among French people who know no better, and probably even among British people who've been away too long, but saying it's terrible won't make it so.

I'm never sure why there's a perceived need, if someone says things are bad in France, for some people to pop up and try to focus the discussion on their belief that things are worse in the UK. They aren't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I forgot to mention that by BIL has just arrived back in Spain from is travels only to find that many of his friends are moving back to the UK for six months. I am not to sure about the in's and out of it all but if you are resident in Spain and still have a house in the UK then you will have to pay tax on the UK home. If you stay for more than 6 months in Spain you are classed as resident. He mentioned a tax of 40% but on what exactly he does not seem to know. Perhaps it is to do with renting your property out in the UK as I was told the other day by a friend that the French are now about to do the same thing. I have to say it is the first I have heard about this and have no idea how true it is.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were in France a very long time. We had galloping inflation in the early 80's when Mitterand did an emergency stop on it and in fact things calmed down, prices did for many many years; in fact up to the €. And him keeping the brakes on actually gave birth to 'cheap' France, because when I arrived, it was bloody expensive! And when the brakes went on pay rises were minimal, 0.5% was considered good at the time, where as my brother in England would be complaining bitterly about 6 or 7% offers as they deserved 'more'! And sometimes we really struggled and at one point we were really exiled in France, and we weathered it. I have known very hard times in France. Are such hard times ahead?

We sold our french house, which had gone up with french inflation and nothing else, where as if we had had the same property in England it would have been worth at least twice if not three times as much. And that I suppose is the problem for some brits who bought 'cheap' in France, which we couldn't when we bought. Everything was at least twice the price of our old region in England at the time. But buying 'cheap' in France and maybe living off profit, was probably not a good thing. OR would brits who did that, expect the french housing market to be similar to the UK one? It never was, and the UK market should never have been as it was/is!

I am perfectly fine in England. I have no regrets about our move back at all. I could not have stayed in rural France, so if we had chosen to stay, a move would have been essential for us to somewhere far more lively.

I am wondering if Young Meric's death will bring people together hopefully, rather than split the country. The right seem as appalled as the left. And much was said of republican values last night on the news.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I referred to The violent incidents in the demonstrations against le marriage pour tous showed how the reactionary right are on the increase.

I am sure that there are many who are uncomfortable with this law, which has had the perverse effect of raising anti-homosexual feeling

I was referring to the bands of thugs who took over a peaceful demonstration

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2013/06/03/manif-pour-tous/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Somebody else posted that in another thread.

I will tell you that things are not as bad in France as in other countries at present. Even the the Greek priests who normally want to come and stay in our CDH have not been in touch this year, we normally get at least three or four groups of them contact us. There are other groups that usually want to book all our rooms for a few weeks this time of year that have not been in contact either. Perhaps they have been hit by the recession as well. [;-)]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my town a favourite for the elections for Maire in 2014 is a weasel

character who  like Gilbert Collard represents the ideas of Front

National without having the honesty to actually take the party label

Well I do hope he does not succeed.  Though I will be the first to accept that I study French politics rarely (no vote, so why bother to know everything abut French politics in great detail??), I was in Beziers yesterday for a npn-political meeting and heard the current maire of Beziers, M Couderc,  speak (and I have a photo of our group with him to prove it!), and I was impressed with his knowledge and his presentational skills and his clarity of speech.  I can happily say his was the first speech in French which I have understood in its totality, since I arrived here 5 years ago .... OK, it could be that my French is finally improving, but it was more that he articulated well, and did not rush through  the language like most do.  And no, we were not at all a group who would be voting for him.  At most 20 out of the 100+ present could be regarded as his constituents.  He seemed to me to be an experienced and knowledgeable person ... keen to promote the economy of the region, and he knew his history too.  Yes, I was very impressed (and I have no idea to which political party he belongs!), so I do hope he gets a chance to keep doing what he seems to be doing well next year!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Judith, you do know that you can vote....... at least in your local council elections, don't you???? If you didn't, go and register at the Mairie. You can also vote in the EU elections too.

I always kept an eye on french politics as I wanted to know how things would affect us..... ie taxes or TVA going up etc. Changes to the health care and the list goes on.......

 All politics and I don't like surprises.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Idun,

Yes, I know ... but not in Beziers ...as I don't live there...I have registered locally, as I believe that using your vote is very important.

I do keep an eye on most thingas in France, in a general way, but currently it's what is going on in the UK re the in/out option which is of more relevance to us in the inter/immediate future.  Because I belong to several French based organisations (such as the one which took me to Beziers on Saturday), I do get to hear about and discuss some of the problems in France, and if you don't drive around with your eyes shut you can see some of the problems also, and when I talk and listen generally during meetings and with French friends , but I wasn't a political beastie when I lived in the UK, and so that has not changed at all....

I've given up reading French papers regularly due to lack of time.... but do scan them on the web when I feel the need.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...