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Languedoc Xmas newsletter

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It is that time of year again, and some of the contents of my newsletter could be interesting :

The Languedoc Page newsletter, December 2007

This is a newsletter from The Languedoc Page.

You are receiving this because you have registered with The Languedoc Forum or requested it through The Languedoc Page.

Wine :

The wine market has continued to be difficult in Languedoc. The EU has

a master plan to reduce wine production and Languedoc would suffer more

than other areas from digging up vines. It is still under discussion

and opposed by France, Spain and Italy.

Inter Sud, the Languedoc Rousillon wine growers association, has

developed a marketing plan to increase the perception of local wines.

They envisage doubling the value of wine sold over 10 years, both

within France and the key export markets of Germany, Netherlands, UK,

Canada, USA and Japan. They intend to develop “Sud de France” or “South

of France” as an umbrella brand.

Meanwhile the militant wine growers association, CRAV, took

advantage of the Presidential election by issuing a video threatening

violence if their demands were not met. There have been some terrorist

attacks on supermarkets, large wineries and wine importers.

The 2007 harvest will be less than usual due to bad weather in other

wine growing areas. However there was little impact on Languedoc wine


Weather :

After a late Spring, the Summer was average for the region. There

were no long hot spells this year. There was a week, or so, of

temperatures over 35C in August.

The summer was dry, and the autumn did not provide the usual quantity

of much needed rain. There has been no flooding so far this year.

Current river levels are available here : www.vigicrues.ecologie.gouv.fr and risks by commune are now available here : www.prim.net/home.htm . Select Department, Then risk, then commune, then zoom in.

Most of Languedoc (and Cote d’Azur, Provence, etc.) had snow on 15

December. It melted within 24 hrs except at higher levels in the hills.

Currently, we have clear skies, chilly nights and up to 15C during the


Land transport:

Lines 1 & 2 of the Montpellier tram system are now fully operational.

Tram line 1 is intended to be extended with a new stop called Cité

Ludique near IKEA (and future Geant Hypermarket). However there is also

a suggestion to extend a little further to create a station &

parking on the A9 autoroute. Some work has been done in preparation for


Tram line 2 is intended to be extended East from St Jean de Vedas to

Fabrègues, Cournonterral et Cournonsec as well as Northwest to

Castries. I haven't seen any dates for these developments.

Tram line 3 was originally planned to go from Juvignac to Perols. It

will now be launched in 2012 as Collines d'Estanove to Lattes. There is

a longer term plan to extend the line from Lattes/Perols to run along

the coast (but excluding Palavas) as far as Grande Motte. The colour

scheme will use a coral reef theme.

Tram line 4 initial studies were authorised for commencement in

september 2007. One option that has been put forward is to extend to

the East from the end of the projected line 3. No proposal has yet been


The topic is regularly updated here : www.the-languedoc-page.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=839

The final links from the A75-A9 near Beziers are still not completed. The Montpellier CCI has published these dates :

2008 (start) Pezenas - Valros section work starts

2008 (summer) Valros bypass opens

2008 (end) Valros to Beziers section opens

2009 (end) Pezenas - Valros section opens

The connection of the TGV line from Nimes to Barcelona commenced in 2006.

Current predictions are :

2008 Nimes - Montpellier TGV line bypass surveying starts

2008 Public enquiry on Montpellier - Perpignan TGV line route

2009 Nimes - Montpellier TGV line bypass work starts

2009 Perpignan - Figueres TGV line in service

2011 Figueres - Girona - Barcelona TGV line in service*

2013 Nimes - Montpellier TGV line rail bypass opens

2020 Montpellier - Perpignan dedicated TGV line in service

* It now seems that technical problems associated with the route

into Barcelona will delay the Girona – Barcelona line until at least


The plan for an additional loop of the A9 South of Montpellier has been deferred.

More fixed radar traps have been installed in the area during 2007. There is a map here : www.radarsfixes.com .

Air transport :

Once again, there will be new routes to Languedoc this year. As news becomes available, we will note it here : www.the-languedoc-page.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1758 and eventually update this page: www.the-languedoc-page.com/tourism/languedoc-tourism-air.htm .

Some early news :

Ryanair :








Rodez - Dublin

Eurociel :

Eurociel (a new operator for 2008 flying from Nimes) :

April - October

























Jet 2 :


Avignon- Leeds/Bradford


GB Airways (BA franchisee Gatwick-Montpellier) have been taken over by Easyjet. They will run this route for summer 2008.

A new airline based in Cardiff ( www.flyforbeans.com ) is shortly expected to announce 12 European routes.


Many cities have a choice of supplier for both phone and ADSL. Some

also have cable. Extending the service to villages has been rapid, and

currently around 3% of visitors to The Languedoc Page still use dial

up. To check the speed available from your phone and review the various

deals on offer use this link : www.degrouptest.com .

ADSL 2 (faster than ADSL) is now becoming available. Prices are

reducing. In general ADSL is cheaper than dial up and, increasingly,

some free phone calls are included in the deal.


2007 has continued to be a relatively quiet year for property sales

in Languedoc. Desirable houses continue to sell. Languedoc prices

remain attractive compared with those in Provence and Cote d'Azur.

President Sarkozy's proposals have resulted in boosting the Parisian

2nd home market.

Swimming pools :

Private pools should have met the new security laws by 1 January 2006.

Many still don’t! Despite scare stories of government inspections, I am

not aware of any prosecutions.

Health cover :

The French government did an about turn regarding health cover for EU

“early retirees”. Previously they paid a proportion of their income

into the government health system; the proposal was that they needed to

buy private health cover until retirement age. This was retrospective.

The developments can be followed here : www.the-languedoc-page.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1957 .

The government reviewed the situation and changed it’s position. The

effect of the changes was that new arrivals must take private health

cover until they have either been in France for 5 years, or reach

retirement age – existing contributors to the government system can

remain in the system.

Blogs :

The number of South France residents blogging in English has

steadily increased. We maintain links to the more disciplined (and

interesting) bloggers here : www.the-languedoc-page.com/articles/languedoc-articles01d.htm

Elections :

During 2007 Nicholas Sarkozy became the new centre right president of

France. He started dynamically and made several proposals that could be

beneficial to expat residents (or future expat residents). They are

summarised here : www.the-languedoc-page.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1919

The local elections will be held in 2008. EU national who are resident

are entitled to vote provided they register before 31/12/2007.

The Languedoc Forum (Expat Foyer) :

This forum was hosted by Aimoo until February 2006. It was then transferred to The Languedoc Page ( www.the-languedoc-page.com/forum

) using phpbb software. Since then, 684 new members have registered

bringing the total up to 1384. The spammers continue to attempt to

register both manually and automatically. About 1 registration in 25 is

genuine and accepted. If you have registered and heard nothing from us,

please email us directly. Around 5000 topics are being read per day.

Only a small minority of readers contribute by posting.

Aimoo seems to have had some problems, and the old forum vanished for a

while because I stopped paying the subscription this year. Currently,

it continues as an archive here : http://forum1.aimoo.com/expatfoyer .

The Languedoc Page :


There are now over 1500 pages of information excluding forum pages.

There will be around 430,000 visitors in 2007 (2006 = 352,129),

equivalent to about 1.5m pages read. The growth rate has slowed down at

the end of 2007, mainly because visitors were lost due to deletion of

Aimoo, and pruning of the current forum reduced the content available

through the search engines.

As mentioned in the last newsletter, we have expanded the property section www.the-languedoc-page.com/property/

. Currently, we have around 2000 properties for sale listed through

IFP, private sales and local agents. This is excluding the free

property classifieds in the forum. We are looking at ways to expand the

presence of private sellers and local agents. We have developed

contacts with some local agents, and can help with advice if you are

looking to buy property in Languedoc.

We used Villa renters to provide a searchable choice of villas to

rent in the South of France area in 2007. This continues here : www.the-languedoc-page.com/tourism/languedoc-travel-bookings-villas.htm

The Languedoc Page ( http://the-languedoc-page.com

) is a community driven website. Contributions from users have greatly

enhanced the photo section (now 440 images), restaurant reviews, and

articles (now over 170 articles). Together with the forum, this visitor

participation has driven the expansion of The Languedoc Page.

The Languedoc Page has been in the top three for the keyword

“languedoc” on google.com and google.co.uk since November 2005. Google

has 25m – 42m references for Languedoc.

The advertising that was started early 2006 has progressed. The

rates are remarkably reasonable given the visitor numbers. More

information about advertising and statistics : www.the-languedoc-page.com/languedoc-advertising.htm . There will continue to be no pop-ups, porno or gambling ads !

We hope that you have found The Languedoc Page useful. If you haven’t

visited it for a while, it is worth a look to see how it has developed.

And I’m still happy to receive article, photo and restaurant review

contributions !

Have a great 2008

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