Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


I welcome your comments, so do please write. Please note however that all comments are moderated prior to publication. Whilst I fully appreciate that life can be frustrating, nevertheless, abuse, SMS language and illiteracy will not be tolerated!

Friday 14 December 2012

Quel Choc! (Pour les francais et des francophones)

No shock really: actor Gerard Depardieu is selling the hotel in Paris that he bought in 1994 for 25 million francs (£2.5 millions) - he's asking €50 million (£40,600,000) for what is a delightful property.  See the Le Monde article for a description and pictures.

Given that there is now, in the person of M. Francois Hollande a socialist president who has already raised the maximum rate of income tax to 75% and also increased the scandalous wealth taxes that have burdened the French for so long, it is hardly surprising that M. Depardieu has decided to become a tax exile: he has moved to Belgium.

Apparently M. Depardieu seeks the calme of his new place of residence; whilst this may be true, I fear that it is just window-dressing, as the French are very sensitive about rich Frenchmen 'deserting' La patrie.  I well remember the fuss when Johnny Halliday cleared out - to Gstaad in Switzerland - obviously for tax reasons.

The fact is that for years taxes have been very high in France; given the country's stagnant economy, large public debt and increasing unemployment, together with its enormous bureaucracy and expensive social model, I believe that a different approach is required - but of course the trades unions there will never wear it.  Perhaps nemesis beckons?

A la prochaine


Anonymous said...

lets hope the unions won`t wear it then.


Paul said...

Ever tried to find a taxi in Paris? What a pain in the arse!

Poor old Sarkozy tried to introduce mini-cabs - that is arrange for them to be permitted. Typically the taxi-drivers simply blocked up the city until he backed down.

Then there are the cartels: tabacs, pharmacies, newsagents who are as resistant to change as are the trades unions. Here one can buy 16 aspirin tablets at Superdrug for about 20p whilst in France they will cost you about €2.50 at a pharmacy.

Part of the charm of France may be attributed to its conservatism, but it may be the route to if not nemesis, certainly trouble.

Anonymous said...

no ...no taxi....I have never had any dealings with France or its people. not even a day trip booze cruise. How narrow that must seem....to have not travelled even to those close shores.having said that I do indeed have some French ex pat friends. Its not prejudice its just disinterest I am afraid.The question is "will it spread over here?" Whatever changes are promised by the Establishment, of whatever nation, will only actually happen if enough cash is diverted to brown envelopes.
Whoever we vote for, the government still gets in!.....`O

Paul said...

Well that's a shame; I remember an early trip, when a fellow-passenger said to me "The thing about France is that it's so near yet so different." He was right.

And on the pharmacies, there are many of them - an extraordinary number; I recall remarking about this to my then girlfriend, Corina, who lived in Paris. We agreed that the French are hypochondriacs - probably because of the taxes and the resultant stress; no P.A.Y.E. there of course, one has to cough up a large sum when the govt says so.

And yes, that's the govt that "gets in."

Anonymous said...

Company Chemists Association members
Asda Walmart
Boots UK
Rowlands Pharmacy
Superdrug Stores
The Co-operative Pharmacy
Wm Morrison Supermarkets
no cartels in UK then
......off now to rant about Israel stealing land and selling the crops as their own...and Veolia, who provide public transport in Israel whilst Palestinians are banned from buses etc.....

Paul said...

A nice bit of research, but you see, the point is that they compete - hence aspirin at £0.20 as opposed to aspirin at €2.50.

If the association really was a cartel, then we would have French pricing!