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'French bashing'?


Chris
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I have no idea how relevant this is. Do the French see things this way, or is this one politician's sound bite? "A senior politician on Thursday issued a desperate plea for an end to "French bashing" around the world – insisting France is "blessed by the gods" and one of the best places to live on Earth. Corinne Lepage, a MEP and former French presidential candidate, demanded that other countries, as well as fellow countrymen, stop treating her nation like a "the scum of the earth" and a planetary "laughing stock". Such insults, she claimed, were a major stumbling block to economic recovery for the already notoriously demoralised and pessimistic French." http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/9793986/French-bashing-should-stop-says-MEP.html

 

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Well she seems to have her head up her own backside for a start. It is OK to say these things because she is a French politician and they get paid considerably more than say a UK one. Many are also millionaires in their own right as well.

France has a low cost of living, well  not down my neck of the woods it isn't. Just go to the nearest French supermarket and check the prices against those in the UK for a start. Yes petrol, wine and fags may be a bit cheaper but you can't live on just them, I know I have tried. [;-)]

Hollands 75% tax rate is stupid and most French know that. Te average French person pay far more tax than his English counterpart. The health system where I live is much better than the NHS were I lived in the UK but it comes at a price which is not cheap and now France has lost its number one position in the world re healthcare, beaten by the Germans.

Want to try setting up a company and running it in France, the company taxes and more important social contribution a company pays is crippling.

That said do other countries really make fun out of France and the French, I don't think any more than they do the British, Germans etc. The only country that has had any effect is America who banned the import of French cars because of emissions, basically they set the so high that they can't be sold even though they are the same as other European cars. Then there is the import duty on French cheese and wine which means only the rich can afford them and you have to hunt them down.

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I think what may be quite difficult for the French (or at least, some of them such as the politician concerned) is not the fact that everyone is talking about them, but the fact that nobody is.

There's only one thing worse than people all wanting to criticise what you do, and that's total ambivalence.  Unsurprisingly, I suspect that most other western nations are busy with their own concerns, and don't necessarily have the time or the inclination to pander to the sensibilities of the French, who seem to be jumping up and down in a corner shouting "Look at us!" like the needy girlfriend that you just end up splitting from.

Oh, and what's all this cr*p about "free education" in France? Maybe a little research may have enlightened the minister to the fact that it's free here and in the USA as well. And I can't speak for the USA, but AFAIK you don't get a list of books and equipment that reads like the stock list of Ryman's at the beginning of each academic year. Free? Up to a point, maybe.

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Well she seems to have her head up her own backside for a start. It is OK to say these things because she is a French politician and they get paid considerably more than say a UK one. Many are also millionaires in their own right as well.

France has a low cost of living, well  not down my neck of the woods it isn't. Just go to the nearest French supermarket and check the prices against those in the UK for a start. Yes petrol, wine and fags may be a bit cheaper but you can't live on just them, I know I have tried. [;-)]

Hollands 75% tax rate is stupid and most French know that. Te average French person pay far more tax than his English counterpart. The health system where I live is much better than the NHS were I lived in the UK but it comes at a price which is not cheap and now France has lost its number one position in the world re healthcare, beaten by the Germans.

Want to try setting up a company and running it in France, the company taxes and more important social contribution a company pays is crippling.

That said do other countries really make fun out of France and the French, I don't think any more than they do the British, Germans etc. The only country that has had any effect is America who banned the import of French cars because of emissions, basically they set the so high that they can't be sold even though they are the same as other European cars. Then there is the import duty on French cheese and wine which means only the rich can afford them and you have to hunt them down.

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[quote user="You can call me Betty"] the sensibilities of the French, who seem to be jumping up and down in a corner shouting "Look at us!" like the needy girlfriend that you just end up splitting from.

[/quote]

 

Thats a superb definition of a facet of the French character that often shows its ugly head, I have racked my brains for ages to find a suitable one, thanks!

Any chance of one for petulance and bad sportsmanship please? [:D]

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A 75% tax rate for the rich - very sensible. They are the ones who have the means to relocate easily to another country and be welcomed with open arms. The low paid will think it is great that the rich will dig the country out of a hole without them having to contribute - until they find that the rich have gone and they have to make up the tax that the rich are no longer paying. Foreign investors will become wary.

Do not all countries get bashed at some time or another - the advantage for the British is that they do not mind taking the mickey out of themselves, just look at Monty Python.

Perhaps when things are going wrong the best thing to do is to blame everyone else.

And, as we only have a maison secondaire (due to a short one) we find that instead of buying things in France and taking back with us to the UK we are doing it in reverse, even bringing over washing powder as prices in France have increased.

Paul

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[quote user="PaulT"]

A 75% tax rate for the rich - very sensible. They are the ones who have the means to relocate easily to another country and be welcomed with open arms. The low paid will think it is great that the rich will dig the country out of a hole without them having to contribute - until they find that the rich have gone and they have to make up the tax that the rich are no longer paying. Foreign investors will become wary.

Do not all countries get bashed at some time or another - the advantage for the British is that they do not mind taking the mickey out of themselves, just look at Monty Python.

Perhaps when things are going wrong the best thing to do is to blame everyone else.

And, as we only have a maison secondaire (due to a short one) we find that instead of buying things in France and taking back with us to the UK we are doing it in reverse, even bringing over washing powder as prices in France have increased.

Paul

[/quote]

You have to admit probably the most patriotic country when it come to 'bashing' is America. Bash them a millions bash you back even if they are wrong.

I think your right about when things go wrong, I have seen this many times.

I am glad I am not the only one to have noticed the price increases in France and that for many day to day things the UK is cheaper. A friend of mine who lives here always says I am wrong on this subject often quoting things like pork which is currently at €3.50 a kilo but that, as I point out, is a special offer, the normal price is more than the UK normal price and thats just supermarket prices.

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What does not help is that the £ is still much weaker against the euro than it was a few years ago and though there was some sign of the £ strengthening, it has fizzled out and is back around 1.21. This means a tourist rate of around 1.17.

The 75% tax rate has proved an unmitigated PR disaster for France and for what benefit, as it was only anticipated around 1,150 taxpayers would be effected with a tax take of euro 350 million a year for two years, which is peanuts against the probable loss of inward investment that will result from the perception France is anti wealth.
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I think the old "Liberty, equality, fraternity" is a bit lacking when it comes to equality and that even spreads down to education. I noticed that this French MEP didn't mention anything about the Grande Ecoles for the French elite and how much it can cost to get there and be in one. Yesterday after playing Boules over a few beers the general consensus was that France needed another revolution, I laughed because I thought they were making a joke, but no, they were being very serious.
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[quote user="Sprogster"]What does not help is that the £ is still much weaker against the euro than it was a few years ago and though there was some sign of the £ strengthening, it has fizzled out and is back around 1.21. This means a tourist rate of around 1.17. [/quote]

Really? As at this morning, I can still get a tourist rate of 1.205.

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[quote user="Quillan"]

You have to admit probably the most patriotic country when it come to 'bashing' is America. Bash them a millions bash you back even if they are wrong.

[/quote]

Oooh I can agree totally with that. I once made what was really a comment to a very good American friend and Hell was unleashed on me. I was firmly told by her that she can criticise her country but I could not. She was quite happy to criticise the UK.

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[quote user="Sprogster"]If wiring funds you can get nearer the spot rate, but if you are a tourist using a bank's bureau de change, which is what a tourist would do, then you get nowhere near the spot rate if using the main UK high street banks.[/quote]

I beg to differ. I can go to ICE at Waterloo station or Heathrow right now and, provided I've printed off a form online, I can get the rate I indicated this morning. [url]http://travelmoney.moneysavingexpert.com/holiday-money/#results[/url]

I use this service quite regularly so I know it works and is accurate. If you want to get ripped off by using the "main high street banks" that's your problem. I don't. A tourist probably wouldn't use a high street bank on the weekend as few are open, although it would be an astute tourist who would order the funds in advance or print off an online voucher. But that's not what you said in your original post, was it?

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[quote user="PaulT"][quote user="Quillan"]

You have to admit probably the most patriotic country when it come to 'bashing' is America. Bash them a millions bash you back even if they are wrong.

[/quote]

Oooh I can agree totally with that. I once made what was really a comment to a very good American friend and Hell was unleashed on me. I was firmly told by her that she can criticise her country but I could not. She was quite happy to criticise the UK.

[/quote]

French friends have said there should be another revolution for years. At the moment, I can sort of believe that they really would mean it.

And an american saying that? PaulT how dare she. America needs criticising a lot these days, it isn't is if they have offered the world peace, security and enlightenment is it.

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[quote user="idun"][quote user="PaulT"][quote user="Quillan"]

You have to admit probably the most patriotic country when it come to 'bashing' is America. Bash them a millions bash you back even if they are wrong.

[/quote]

Oooh I can agree totally with that. I once made what was really a comment to a very good American friend and Hell was unleashed on me. I was firmly told by her that she can criticise her country but I could not. She was quite happy to criticise the UK.

[/quote]

French friends have said there should be another revolution for years. At the moment, I can sort of believe that they really would mean it.

And an american saying that? PaulT how dare she. America needs criticising a lot these days, it isn't is if they have offered the world peace, security and enlightenment is it.

[/quote] Most of them believe so, based on the friends and business colleagues I know there. Oh if the world was so simple...
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[quote user="Chris"][quote user="idun"][quote user="PaulT"][quote user="Quillan"]

You have to admit probably the most patriotic country when it come to 'bashing' is America. Bash them a millions bash you back even if they are wrong.

[/quote]

Oooh I can agree totally with that. I once made what was really a comment to a very good American friend and Hell was unleashed on me. I was firmly told by her that she can criticise her country but I could not. She was quite happy to criticise the UK.

[/quote]

French friends have said there should be another revolution for years. At the moment, I can sort of believe that they really would mean it.

And an american saying that? PaulT how dare she. America needs criticising a lot these days, it isn't is if they have offered the world peace, security and enlightenment is it.

[/quote] Most of them believe so, based on the friends and business colleagues I know there. Oh if the world was so simple...[/quote]

And now they can kill innocent women and children from their armchairs back in the US with their drones.

Strange really that when I 'joined up' we were told all about those nasty, aggressive Russians who wanted to dominate the world most of which to be honest had filtered over from across the pond. When I finally met some Russians they thought the same about the Americans (and the UK but to a far lesser degree) and it got me to wondering when looking around the world who the most aggressive country was and is,  I do believe now that it always has been the Americans.

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[quote user="Quillan"][quote user="Chris"][quote user="idun"][quote user="PaulT"][quote user="Quillan"]

You have to admit probably the most patriotic country when it come to 'bashing' is America. Bash them a millions bash you back even if they are wrong.

[/quote]

Oooh I can agree totally with that. I once made what was really a comment to a very good American friend and Hell was unleashed on me. I was firmly told by her that she can criticise her country but I could not. She was quite happy to criticise the UK.

[/quote]

French friends have said there should be another revolution for years. At the moment, I can sort of believe that they really would mean it.

And an american saying that? PaulT how dare she. America needs criticising a lot these days, it isn't is if they have offered the world peace, security and enlightenment is it.

[/quote] Most of them believe so, based on the friends and business colleagues I know there. Oh if the world was so simple...[/quote]

And now they can kill innocent women and children from their armchairs back in the US with their drones.

Strange really that when I 'joined up' we were told all about those nasty, aggressive Russians who wanted to dominate the world most of which to be honest had filtered over from across the pond. When I finally met some Russians they thought the same about the Americans (and the UK but to a far lesser degree) and it got me to wondering when looking around the world who the most aggressive country was and is,  I do believe now that it always has been the Americans.

[/quote]

Plus they believe that a law passed in America applies to the World and anyone in it wherever they may be irrespective of nationality.

(The MEP should be pleased this thread has gone from French bashing to America bashing [:D])

There was a Dads Army on BBC last night and in the episode the Walmington on Sea platoon welcomes some American GIs who are an advanced party. Now the writers were alive in WWII (in fact Jimmy Perry based Pike on himself when he was in the Home Guard). The Americans 'don't worry we are here to save you' and then the writers let loose including about the Americans 1917-18 war.

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Funny enough I saw that last night and was thinking how the program was slightly anti American although based on truth.

The problem with American history is that it is always from their perspective and they are not frightened of letting the truth get in the way. I am specifically reminded of two things. Firstly their claim to have stopped Britain from being over run by the Germans. Well the Battle of (or for) Britain was over before they joined in. Hitler invading Russia also meant that the chances of him having a second attempt was very, very, small. It is true that prior to the Americans joining the war we had ships, aircraft, food and armament's from them bit we paid for them in fact up till 2007 when we made the last payment on the debt (well around that year anyway). What we did provide is a stable platform from where Europe could be liberated, with a lot of help from the Russians as well who lost far more people than the Britain and America combined.

The second thing is Enigma, I get so annoyed when I see the film U-571. It was Britain that got hold of three of these machine during the period prior to America joining the war. One from Poland (1939), another from a German weather ship and then HMS Bulldog got hold of one from U-110 in 1941. One was a model for the German air force ad the other two were from the German navy each using a slightly different variance. U-571 was not captured till late 1944 towards the end of the European war by the Americans who found the abandoned submarine floating around because the crew believed that they had scuttled it but the charges failed to detonate. These early captured machines and Bletchley Parks saved thousands and thousands of lives both British and American. It cannot be denied that Europe could not have been liberated and Hitler defeated without American help which I am sure we are all grateful for but I find it quite upsetting when they adapt their history thus taking some of the tremendous work many of our country men did away from them.

I also think they have a bit of a cheek having a go at the French. Although technically being on the loosing side if it were not for the French they would not have defeated the British and they would have stayed a British colony for many years after. So in my book they actually owe the French their freedom and independence.

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[quote user="PaulT"]Back on the American theme some, after 9/11 (should really be 11/9), could not understand how the whole world did not love them.[/quote]

Even though they had been sponsoring terrorism in so many countries like Ireland by actively collecting money from the IRA who again went on, just like the UDF (who were funded by dubious English sources), to kill innocent men, women and children. America is the last country in the world who should give advice on terrorism but then you reap what you sow I guess.

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[quote user="Quillan"]

[quote user="PaulT"]Back on the American theme some, after 9/11 (should really be 11/9), could not understand how the whole world did not love them.[/quote]

Even though they had been sponsoring terrorism in so many countries like Ireland by actively collecting money from the IRA who again went on, just like the UDF (who were funded by dubious English sources), to kill innocent men, women and children. America is the last country in the world who should give advice on terrorism but then you reap what you sow I guess.

[/quote] True enough. Try walking into a bar in Boston with an English accent. Moe than one minute felt reckless.
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