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Is the time right to raise our game


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From the FHI website

"We are a relatively small community within France; unless we make our voices

heard our rights will be eroded without challenge."

"If we are to continue to live here, to contribute and to benefit from the

community and support systems, then we have a duty to ourselves and to others to

object to these changes and to do our best to reverse the decisions.  We

need to challenge, in the strongest possible terms, the perceived notion that we

are a group of rich, lazy people who benefit from the French state, whilst

contributing nothing."

Is it time to debate what more we can do, or should not do

Should we collectively pay for an advert in a national UK paper asking Gordon Brown to comment

Should we organise a rally to raise awareness

Should we just wait and see

Joshua[:D]

 

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Hi Joshua,

Having experienced the way many people just don't care about the people involved in this issue, I hold little hope, but my thoughts include:

To continue collecting, providing information and aiding lobbying.

Aid paths for legal test cases for 'Human Rights'. (There must be something here)

Increase 'friendly' political relationships.  Remember - Europe elections in 2009.

Actively support MEPs like Mary H.  She is where it is happening.  (I believe we can debate on forums for centuries, but the real debates that will change this issue happen at the EU.)

Use the pen in the right places. 

Just a few ideas to help the ball roll further.

Regards

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Write to your ex UK MP at least adressed in handwriting explaining that you understand why neither system can fund large number of migrants but that broadly there are as many French people working in the UK as there are British people living in France and that after for example 50 years funding a 'pay as you go' health care system in the UK it seems wrong that you have to wait 5 years before joining another 'pay as you go system' in France.
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[quote user="Anton Redman"]Write to your ex UK MP at least adressed in handwriting explaining that you understand why neither system can fund large number of migrants but that broadly there are as many French people working in the UK as there are British people living in France and that after for example 50 years funding a 'pay as you go' health care system in the UK it seems wrong that you have to wait 5 years before joining another 'pay as you go system' in France.[/quote]

Why would they/should they care?  If you move from area A to B within the UK, your MPs change, so why is a French resident the responsibility of any British MP when they have their constituents’ interests to deal with?

Surely, if anyone affected wants help on their personal case on a local level, they should be contacting their Maires/Députés/Sénateurs? Some people on here have to decide where they are actually resident. I’d be annoyed if my local Députés were spending time lobbying for the interests of French nationals living in Germany/Greece or wherever else  (with their own local representatives) when there is so much for them to sort out for the local population.

I’m one of those who believe that this is a French Government issue and they have already and rightly made considerable concessions to redress a flawed (IMO) law.

For those who seem to have a problem accepting that it’s strictly a French govt issue, wouldn’t the British Foreign Secretary be a more logical person to contact than your former MP who frankly should not be doing the job of their French counterparts?

For those who are ‘’truly’’ aware that they are French residents for better or worse, find out who your Députés/Sénateurs (the more left-wing the better) are and put in strong appeals to them. Those who have engaged in local ‘bénévolats’ type activities and shown true commitment to their communities since arriving in France, should stress this in their appeals.  Get letters of support from local organisations you belong to and character testimonies from your Maire if you know them. It will not do your appeals any harm for them to see that you’ve really got yourselves involved in the local community and you have a right to be treated as a fellow citizen.

Screaming that we are British and pay local taxes/invest in local artisans etc etc and it’s inhumane does not mean much. Those investments are not altruistic and are purely for your own benefit after all. See it from their perspective; if you are resident, the govt does not lose those local taxes and the health service will continue to benefit from the PHI when the British government E106 funding stops. It’s a win win for the government, so harass your local representatives. 

Oh, if it's a UMP member, don't forget to say that you agree with the changes in principle and that you think the President has found himself a stunning new mate.[Www]. 

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Why would they/should they care?  If you move from area A to B within the UK, your MPs change, so why is a French resident the responsibility of any British MP when they have their constituents’ interests to deal with?

As you retain voting rights in your last registered constituency they might hope that you would carry on voting for them from your foreign retreat.

After all you could vote in  three General Elections,  and who knows your vote might save their neck if they have a marginal seat!.

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[quote user="BJSLIV"]

Why would they/should they care?  If you move from area A to B within the UK, your MPs change, so why is a French resident the responsibility of any British MP when they have their constituents’ interests to deal with?

As you retain voting rights in your last registered constituency they might hope that you would carry on voting for them from your foreign retreat.

After all you could vote in  three General Elections,  and who knows your vote might save their neck if they have a marginal seat!.

[/quote]

Good stuff guys, many people are registered in France as well.  Furthermore, many pay taxes in both UK and France.  We should count for something because we are still paying in and voting. 

This petition has been started, with 5.5 million expats worldwide I'm not sure if 1 MP would be the way to go.  But who am I?

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Votes-Europe/?ref=votes-europe

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[quote user="BJSLIV"]

Why would they/should they care?  If you move from area A to B within the UK, your MPs change, so why is a French resident the responsibility of any British MP when they have their constituents’ interests to deal with?

As you retain voting rights in your last registered constituency they might hope that you would carry on voting for them from your foreign retreat.

After all you could vote in  three General Elections,  and who knows your vote might save their neck if they have a marginal seat!.

[/quote]

That’s really stretching the political clout issue to a euphoric conclusion. I understand that there are a few thousand and not tens of thousands of people affected and, presumably, they originate from all over the UK. The parliamentary seat would have to be critically marginal for the MP to be desperate enough to shift his energy from wooing the more numerous local constituents to trying to change French govt policy in order to win 1 vote (or a handful at most) from a foreign resident in their ‘foreign retreat’.  Sorry, but I can’t see the latter taking precedence somehow, unless the MP has a political death wish.

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Are you sure you retain voting rights in Britain for European elections? British citizens in France can (and should) register to vote in European parliament (and local) elections in France.

Although I have to admit that only yesterday I found out that I am registered to vote in both countries so I am not sure how, in practice, anybody could stop me from voting in both.

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To clarify the official position as far as European elections are concerned: once a European citizen is registered on the French "Liste complémentaire pour les élections des représentants français au parlement européen", he loses the right to vote during MEP elections in his country of origin.
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[quote user="lebois"]Good stuff guys, many people are registered in France as well.  Furthermore, many pay taxes in both UK and France.  We should count for something because we are still paying in and voting. 

This petition has been started, with 5.5 million expats worldwide I'm not sure if 1 MP would be the way to go.  But who am I?
http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Votes-Europe/?ref=votes-europe
[/quote]

5.5 million ‘expats’ worldwide? No doubt that a lot of those are emigrants who’ve not put their foot in the UK for years, perhaps little interest in UK related matters (which this isn't in any case) and have their own day to day problems to worry about in their ‘home’’ countries’. Others may also be true ‘Expats’ who are employed and have no interest in any of this or who may actually agree with the ruling etc etc. How many people on here were concerned about the callous 'Sans Papiers' policies until it looked as if these issues may affect them in a round about way?

The point in my first post was that residents of France should concentrate more on the fact that they live in France and it’s their French local representatives to help them. I would expect a French UK resident to appeal to their 'local' MP if they needed to appeal against a British government ruling too, and not run back to France to take up our Députés time.

 Emigrants of any nationality are not children who run back home to mummy and daddy when things go bad. Anyway, I thought a lot of people here despised the Nanny State?

I know there's no harm in following your strategy, but as so often with 'expats' on this forum, alternative views are rarely welcome, to the detriment of many IMHO.

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I think at present there are probably a few telling points to be made about being treated shabbily (at the very least) by people who are supposed to be our European partners and that the British are clearly being discriminated against. But I agree this is not the British governments responsibility, its a muddle made entirely by the French.

Much as I sympathise with the guy with gall bladder problems,(and believe me I do, I'm told the pain is akin to childbirth) why is up to the UK to sort this out ? There is no NHS pot, its a pay as you go system, he isn't paying here - my guess is that he will get treatment because its easier to cover up the fact that he isn't resident in the UK.

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One problem that the activists on this issue have is the refusal to accept the history and origin of the CMU.  I have posted this several times (and nobody has been able to refute it) but it hasn't sunk in

Before 2000 there was no access to the Assurance Maladie for 'inactifs', French or others.

 The CMU was brought in by the Socialist government of Lionel Jospin (who had at least one Communist minister), and was one additional access route into the Assurance Maladie.

The CMU de base was only expected to cover about 36000 people, (as opposed to the CMU complémentaire which was for the poorest.)

In fact it was taken up by many British people who previously would have had to have PMI.

Now the political tide has turned. The present Government ( Centre-Right)  is making changes which were voted for by a majority.

The politicians in France who brought in the CMU are no longer in power. It is this domestic change which is responsible for the swings in policy.

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The history of the CMU is interesting however, the people concerned (the E106 group) have done all they were required to do to comply with the rules and regulations put in place by the French,( without a crystal ball, who was to know they were temporary?) if the French have discovered that this legislation is less than ideal - fair enough, but it is quite wrong to penalize a group of people who have done everything possible to follow French rules and regulations.

Perhaps there is just a difference in culture here - I was taught that if I made a mistake it was up to me to put it right, if necessary at my own expense, perhaps in France the culture is more along the lines of we will put it right, and if you are affected - tough !

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I think you are perfectly correct Groslard - but the real problem is that the French government messed up when introducing the CMU, as you say, by not considering the expat question (there were quite a lot of them even then, and they should have been aware of the confusion that existed in Spain over what happened health insurance wise to inactive British without E forms, a situation that has still not really been resolved). And in trying to sort it out, the current - and previous, for it was Sarko as Interior Minister who initiated it - government has created even more confusion.

So I am not at all surprised those affected feel hard done by.

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I fully accept that this is French issue.

However !

Is there any merit in trying to shame Gordon Brown and his gang into getting involved.

We might not individually have much influence regarding voting / elections but our families and friends back in the UK vote.

Gordon could do with getting some good press. With a lot of imagination, I can see Gordon on a White Charger

Joshua[:D]

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[quote user="LanguedocGal"]

Why would they/should they care?  If you move from area A to B within the UK, your MPs change, so why is a French resident the responsibility of any British MP when they have their constituents’ interests to deal with?

[/quote]

It depends on which constituency your vote for the MEPs is in.  I have been resident in France for several years now (pay tax here, etc.) yet my theoretical vote is still in my ex UK constituency ("theoretical" .as the returning officer where I used to live does not agree with overseas voters and refuses to give me a postal vote - though that is a "local" issue).  However, even though you may be resident in France, your vote might be elsewhere and it is where you vote that is important rather than where you reside.

You elected them to represent you (even though you might have voted for somebody else).  It is then their job to represent you.

Ian

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[quote user="Joshua"]I fully accept that this is French issue.
However !
Is there any merit in trying to shame Gordon Brown and his gang into getting involved.
We might not individually have much influence regarding voting / elections but our families and friends back in the UK vote.
Gordon could do with getting some good press. With a lot of imagination, I can see Gordon on a White Charger

Joshua[:D]

[/quote]

 

I do not quite understand this statement.

How do you intend to shame GB .His minister for europe,Mr Murphy has been actively involved in trying to have this whole issue resolved via the staff of the British Embassy.I am fed up with the constant critism of Mr Murphy and the embassy staff  who have been negotiating on our behalf with little or any thanks.

Do you really expect the embassy and Mr Murphy to spell out in minute detail every twist and turn of the negotiations ,that is not how things happen in the real world,the political world and the diplomatic world.

 

 

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Hi BaF,

Sorry

I think Mr Murphy and his staff are doing an excellent job.

I was thinking more of Gordon Brown, at the end of the day,  blaming everyone else for not doing enough. " If only I had known" springs to mind !

I've seen enough of the political world fighting Militant in Liverpool, to last me a lifetime

BaF  What should we do ?

Joshua[:D]

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[quote user="groslard"]One problem that the activists on this issue have is the refusal to accept the history and origin of the CMU.

[/quote]

I don't see how this is relevant.  If the history and origins are significant then surely they affect the French as much as the EU (non-French) and presumably the non EU nationals  (e.g U.S.) as well.  and is it not the case that the history and origins of the CMU were the same when everybody was forced to join ?

[quote user="groslard"]

In fact it was taken up by many British people who previously would have had to have PMI.

[/quote]

I understood that the "many British" were actually forced to join the CMU by the French government, not that they decided it looked good and they would join.  they had no choice in the matter.

[quote user="groslard"]The politicians in France who brought in the CMU are no longer in power.

[/quote]

Same applied with income tax.  The politicians who started income tax are no longer in power but we still have to join in.

Ian

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The history (pre 2000) affects very few people who are concerned now.  However, the fundamental difference is that they did not have to have PHI.  They could pay as they went.  Now it is a requirement, and what is more it is ludicrous in its scope.  To live here legally, one cannot just have hospital cover, one must have every day cover too - so the option to pay as you go for essential medicines etc no longer exists. What is more, returning to the UK and having treatment on the NHS (as many people who are lucky enough to retain a UK address and can pretend they are domiciled there still do) was also easier.  Nowadays far more hospitals in the UK are checking on the residence of people asking for treatment - they no longer take in on trust that because you sound British, you must have a right to free treatment.

Things have changed now - we have not gone back to the pre-2000 days and harking back to them does nothing for people who are genuinely suffering here and now and does little for the credibility of those who insist on quoting this all the time.  We are aware of the history, but I would venture to suggest that it is of little comfort to those affected by the mess of 2008, who moved here (and these are the people who are seriously affected) within the last  two and a half years. If you think these people are not - for whatever reason -worthy of your support and understanding - that is up to you - but  perhaps one's humanity would at least suggest that insulting them by suggesting that they remember and should have considered a past which is of no relevance to their situation - is a little harsh and unsympathetic to their plight?

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Factually you are incorrect Prior to 2000 in order to obtain a carte de sejour(a legal requirement in those days) one had to show proof of income and proof of medical cover.I well remember people bleating on about not wishing to apply for a carte de sejour because it infringed on their privacy and there was a great number who did not bother with the carte de sejour and pretended they were only temporary residents, and used their E111, and for serious problems went back to the UK.

 

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[quote user="Boiling a frog"]

Factually you are incorrect Prior to 2000 in order to obtain a carte de sejour(a legal requirement in those days) one had to show proof of income and proof of medical cover.I well remember people bleating on about not wishing to apply for a carte de sejour because it infringed on their privacy and there was a great number who did not bother with the carte de sejour and pretended they were only temporary residents, and used their E111, and for serious problems went back to the UK.

 

[/quote]Do you have a reference to what medical cover was required then, BaF?  Did French companies sell such a thing in those days?  Genuinely interested to know.

I am sure you are right, people went back to the UK - probably they will again now.

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[quote user="Boiling a frog"]

I am fed up with the constant critism of Mr Murphy and the embassy staff  who have been negotiating on our behalf with little or any thanks.

[/quote]

I do not know what the embassy and the FCO are doing now so I cannot comment on that but they deserve a lot of criticism for not having their eye on the ball since at least 2004 when the Directive was published! 

They have entered this at the last minute - after it has gone wrong- instead of trying to ensure the right thinking in the planning stages.  We all know it is easier to influence outcomes before positions start to become adopted rather than after.  We know that they were out of touch even in the autumn when this first broke. After all, the FCO and Embassy are supposed to be PROFESSIONALS at this type of activity. Maybe they lost the disc with the Directive on it[;-)]

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. Member States shall grant the right of residence to nationals of Member States who do not enjoy this right under other provisions of Community law and to members of their families as defined in paragraph 2, provided that they themselves and the members of their families are covered by sickness insurance in respect of all risks in the host Member State and have sufficient resources to avoid becoming a burden on the social assistance system of the host Member State during their period of residence.

That is an extract from a European directive  long before the EU directive of 2004.So the UK Goverment were aware of this directive for many years ,what they were not aware of was the intention of the French Government to implement new measures in September of last year 2007 by using the directive to exclude EU citizens from CMU.That was a French Government decision and unless the British Secret service have spies in the French health ministry I cannot see how the FCO and British Embassy could possibly have forseen this.

 

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[quote user="cooperlola"]

Do you have a reference to what medical cover was required then, BaF?  Did French companies sell such a thing in those days?  Genuinely interested to know.

I am sure you are right, people went back to the UK - probably they will again now.

[/quote]

 

As some 100000 people in France prior to the introduction of CMU  had private medical assurance I can only assume that at that time French companies offered full medical assurance.With the introduction of CMU it became illegal for total private medical assurance to be offered.For British people thinking of moving to France Exeter Friendly were one of the leading assurance coys offering medical assurance which for a couple early 50,s was about 150 pounds a month ,if my memory serves me correct .

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