Covid complications causing concerns

Martin and Nadine haven’t been to France since January, and Covid complications certainly are an issue and a constant worry. It seems sorting out a ferry crossing isn’t the only hurdle. Is it better to go or to cancel?

Requirements for driving in France – Breath Test Kits

On 1st July 2012, a law was introduced in France: all drivers had to carry a breath test kit in their car. Find out why and if or how that law was implemented. Read more about the driving requirements in France.

Kouign-amann vs Lardy cake

Kouign-amann is a beautiful, buttery, traditional Breton cake. During the current lockdown, unable to travel to Brittany, we have found an alternative: the British lardy cake. Read on.

Exporting a UK-bought LHD car to France

Is it possible or indeed practical to buy a LHD car in the UK, originally registered in Poland, and then import it to France? Are there guidelines to be followed?

Driving in France

In recent years, travelling across to the continent and driving in France has become increasingly easy for Brits, but there are laws and regulations to bear in mind while driving abroad.

Nicola Harrington - guest blogger living in France with 7 holiday rental gites

Nicola Harrington

Next Sunday the French elections will see the nation take to the polls to decide whether to re-elect Nicolas Sarkozy.

At the moment the polls are pretty even, so there is no way of guessing who will win this two-stage election. However, both Mr Sarkozy and his primary challenger Francois Hollande are recklessly adopting populist positions rather than tackling the more ‘unpopular’ issues.

With both polling around 30% in the first round, these two candidates are expected to progress to a head-to-head run-off on May 6.

The election itself is being played out as a populist war of words, with politicians choosing to ignore the real problems in France. This would require tough and potentially unpopular political decisions on a rebalancing of the economy, competitiveness of labour and social issues. The policies suggested are unlikely to even begin to solve these problems and focus instead on crowd-pleasing stances on taxation and public spending, and hostility to globalisation, specifically within the context of the Eurozone.

Economically, France with the second-largest economy in the Eurozone has a generous welfare and one of the highest levels of public spending in western Europe. France faces the harsh reality of having run a budget deficit every year since 1974. Earlier this year it lost its AAA credit rating. With public debt standing at almost 90% of GDP, France faces a crisis potentially similar to the other south European states unless it redresses its finances.

In a country where voters do not want to sacrifice social welfare to the altar of austerity, analysts warn none of the main candidates are going far enough to slash spending. The French social model, with its wide-ranging benefits, remains paramount.

We watch as the presidential candidates battle…

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