News via Twitter

The UK is the worst country in Europe at learning other languages https://t.co/wIDynV0U1S
Geordies left stranded in Barcelona after easyJet flight was cancelled https://t.co/5E20gA3Y90
A Monaco Yacht Show Series Original: Sylvester S. Marinov  | Monaco Life https://t.co/rnmc8XPNNP
Limited sea access to port this week https://t.co/Kyiuw5WzB6 via @Monaco_Today
The latest Riviera Reporter Daily! https://t.co/CU5xf7OZBj Thanks to @GayRiviera @NewEuropeans @DearDeidre
British woman, 26, becomes one of world’s youngest airline captains https://t.co/Wpbrd5sOb0
RT @helpfrance: New app could help reunite distraught owners with their beloved pets - #France https://t.co/Qz2X3v3vLN via @sharethis
RT @MailOnline: Two teen girls from Nice are arrested over 'terror plot' directed by a Syria-based French jihadist https://t.co/bGfMvlAbNR

Articles and News Features

Education and Learning Camille Chevalier-Karfis

How to say “ouch” in French (and ten other sounds)

Onomatopoeia is the written version of a sound – think ssh, ouch or bang. And like everything else, the rules are a little bit different in French. The French don’t make a kissing noise or say mwa – they say smack (or even smack smack) for the sound of a soft kiss in French. It’s even the common name for a peck on the lips. “Il m’a fait un smack” (He gave me a peck on the lips, a soft kiss) is a far cry from the English…
Visiting the Riviera Chrissie McClatchie

Discovering the other Piedmont: Nizza Monferrato and Barbera

With gentle slopes covered in vines, historic hilltop villages overflowing with charm, chic restaurants and cosy B&Bs, it’s easy to see why Piedmont is such a popular destination for French Riviera residents. This corner of Northern Italy is a world apart from the glitz and glamour of our azure stretch of coast, yet is less than a three-hour drive from Nice. The hills surrounding the pretty villages of Barolo and…
Visiting the Riviera Cheryl Robson

An insider’s guide to life west of Cannes

It was a coup de coeur as the French say – a simple fisherman’s cottage with a panoramic view of the bay of Toulon – and we fell in love with it over 20 years ago. Since then, we’ve extended the cottage by buying the land next door and building a pool in the garden. The whole project took over five years, involved two teams of builders, as well as many local tradesmen. The French words for tiles, screws, taps, drains,…

Interview with Joe Theismann on the Monaco-US Celebrity Amateur Ryder Cup

Sport PJ Heslin
Although I am firmly lodged into my middle years, there are moments when I still feel like a teenager. In preparation…

Posing as a naked model for artist Chris Savage

Culture and Arts Karen Hockney
Most of us know what we like when it comes to choosing a piece of art. But having a framed original work that is…

The French do love their wedding customs

History and Traditions Riviera Reporter
If you are lucky enough to have been invited to a wedding in France, or are planning to get married here, there are a…

A hidden cove to call your own on the Ile Ste-Marguerite

Visiting the Riviera Riviera Reporter
Passengers 104 maximum. That was the capacity of the boat, according to the slightly faded sign. We were certainly…

Uritrottoir takes on the “wild peeing” plague

Eye on France Riviera Reporter
Two French inventors think they’ve come up with an environmentally-friendly solution to the stink and mess of “wild…

Don’t sweat it in summer, stay hydrated

Health and Well-being Susan Tomassini
There’s something special about eating in the summertime. Maybe because fruits and vegetables are at their best or…

Reflections on Brexit: The rude awakening

Expat Issues Michael Carberry
Almost two months after the British decision to leave the EU, the UK and Europe are still reeling from the fallout. For…

Tax on savings and investments in France

Are you protecting your savings and investments from unnecessary taxation in France? You will have worked to build up…

Running High, Running Low, Running Long by Ben Rolfe

Reading Riviera Reporter
We first mentioned Monaco-based Ben Rolfe in the summer of 2014 (On a Rolfe. Fundraising for Diabetes), after his…

UKSA scholarship in honour of Bosun Will Black

Yachting and Boating Riviera Reporter
Six years ago during the Monaco Yacht Show, Bosun Will Black of the 183-foot (56m) Perini Navi S/Y Burrasca was involved…

Joining the Riviera Hash House Harriers

Community Melanie Gulliver
If, like me, you like to discover new places on the Côte d’Azur and meeting friendly multi-national (mostly…

A digitally distracted generation in the classroom

One of the employment opportunities available to expats with certain qualifications is teaching English. Before I left…

French Riviera: Information, News, Facts. Life on the Cote d'Azur - Riviera Reporter

So what is new in 2013?

A flurry of cold, depressing bad news, like the weather. Almost comical stories of the wealthy leaving France to avoid the 75% tax on high incomes (over €1M), before the Constitutional Court overturned the measure early in the New Year. Will Gérard Depardieu and his pals return? Unlikely. To quote one of France’s leading actors: “I am leaving because you consider that success, creation, talent, in fact anything that is different, should be penalised.” So said Depardieu in response to Prime Minister Ayrault’s opinion of him being “pathetic” for taking tax residency in Belgium (this was before Depardieu’s Russian foray).

President Hollande seems not to care about the Constitutional Court and has vowed to drive through some other tax on the higher earners: “We will always ask for more from those that have the most,” he declared.

Bernard ArnaultAnother personality to arouse controversy was Bernard Arnault (pictured), Chief Executive of the luxury goods group, LVMH, who is also moving to Belgium. In attempting to gain Belgian citizenship, could France’s richest man be paving a way to enter the tax haven of Monaco by the “back door”? Rich French people often switch nationality before heading to the Mediterranean It all looks shoddy for France’s image to the outside world, coming hard on the heels of the spat with the Indian aluminium giant, ArcelorMittal. Before Christmas, ArcelorMittal had announced the closure of its plant at Florange in July 2012, giving a deadline of the end of the year for prospective suitors to come forward with offers to take the plant over. No one was forthcoming and there was even talk of nationalising the plant. The whole world stood back in shock at the affront on private enterprise. Eventually the French government was obliged to stand aside and allow economic forces to dictate and private business to make its own tough decisions (and let’s not forget that Mr Mittal still employs over 20,000 people in France even with the loss of 600 at Florange).

One solitary bit of good news, which might have escaped the attention of most, was the settlement early in the year between employer and employee unions on means to “fluidify” the conditions of hiring and firing, allocating employees to parts of the economy that are actually working, rather than hanging onto them at places (like Florange) where things definitely are not. Employers have been saying for ages that they need to be able to take employees on under short-term contracts, rather than the kind of “jobs for life” that many French people assume is a God-given right. Employers also need to be able to act quickly and decisively, so if things have stopped working economically they can make staff redundant without protracted disputes with the unions. This “fluidifying” of the conditions of employment should eventually feed through into the unemployment figures, as structurally there will be more incentive to hire staff in the sectors of the economy that are coming out of the recession.

Unemployment is currently running at just over 12% and looks likely to worsen over the next 12 months with PSA, Renault, Virgin Megastores, as some of the big names making swathing cuts to their workforce. Plus ça change – as we enter 2013 – plus c’est la même chose!

Photo: nicogenin

Photo of the Moment

QR-Code This Page

QR-Code
France Great Britain Heart