The Dark Side of France

No doubt my country has its shortcomings. Chauvinism and bad temper are far from ranking top though. The tax rates are far ahead. And so is that thick slab of media-inflicted political correctness, which pressures you into "thinking right".

And yet the bottom line is : I've travelled around a bit, in Europe and out of it, and however much I enjoyed my stays abroad, at the end of the day I always ended up feeling glad to get back home...

It can't be that bad then, can it?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLAo9heXWtE

France is definitely a country I plan on visiting for vacation eventually :)
 
No doubt my country has its shortcomings. Chauvinism and bad temper are far from ranking top though. The tax rates are far ahead. And so is that thick slab of media-inflicted political correctness, which pressures you into "thinking right".

And yet the bottom line is : I've travelled around a bit, in Europe and out of it, and however much I enjoyed my stays abroad, at the end of the day I always ended up feeling glad to get back home...

It can't be that bad then, can it?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLAo9heXWtE

Every country has its shortcomings; it would be silly to think otherwise.

However, I usually cross over into France every summer, and I love it there, as I've said often. It's my favorite country after my birth and adopted ones. Partly, I was taught it, as my father was a francophile, but I've found plenty to admire and grow fond of on my own. What is there not to like: beautiful scenery, architecture, art, food, clothes, perfume, and on and on?

I'm particularly grateful to French people for the kindness they showed us on my mother's last trip abroad, when she was already very ill. From the waiter at our hotel in Paris who would bring her extra croissants au chocolat when he saw how she loved them, to the chef in the restaurant at the foot of the Tour St. Jacques who made such a fuss over my father when he so adored the eel stew that they kept on bringing out, to the family that owned a little restaurant showcasing the food of the Auvergne, to the tour guides in Monaco and Nice who took such good care of her, they made a sick woman feel like a queen. I'll never forget it.

It was my mother who taught me that most of the time you draw to yourself what you give out. Other than one incident when I was very young, I've always been treated very well in France.

As for political correctness it is a plague that is beginning to cover the whole world. I am beginning to fear for my adopted country.

(That little Auvergne style bistro was called " 'A Sousceyrac". Unfortunately, I think it's gone now. The food was so good, and the people so warm we went back twice. )
 
No doubt my country has its shortcomings. Chauvinism and bad temper are far from ranking top though. The tax rates are far ahead. And so is that thick slab of media-inflicted political correctness, which pressures you into "thinking right".

And yet the bottom line is : I've travelled around a bit, in Europe and out of it, and however much I enjoyed my stays abroad, at the end of the day I always ended up feeling glad to get back home...

It can't be that bad then, can it?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLAo9heXWtE

Don't get me wrong. France is a spectacular country and surely one of the best places in the world to live. It is more egalitarian than any other European country except Scandinavian ones. Social security and healthcare excellent. French cuisine is among the best in the world. The historical heritage is almost unsurpassed (debatably only by Italy). It is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe for nature. Etc.

In this thread I was trying to explain that not everything is perfect in France. But I disagree that the tax rate comes far ahead of the things I listed. In fact the taxes in France are very much in the European average and that is what supports the social security and healthcare. Income taxes in France are lower than in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Czechia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Lithuania, Greece and Portugal. France's VAT rate (at 20%) is also among the lowest in Europe. If we exclude small countries with less than 2 million inhabitants, only Germany (19%), Romania (19%), Bosnia (17%) and Russia (18%) have lower VAT than France, and not by much. There is only one thing for which France is champion, it is corporate tax, especially for large companies. But is that a bad thing?
 
I didn't get you wrong... In fact I endorse much of what you wrote. I only intended to mitigate the overall poor impression the thread as a whole could leave about my country.

This said, in terms of taxes, what you need to consider is the sum total of all the various contributions we are subjected to - what we call in French "prélèvements obligatoires". You'll find an interesting graph there :

http://www.rexecode.fr/public/Analy...-obligatoires-entre-la-France-et-la-zone-euro

2.6% higher than Italy. 7% higher than Germany. 12% higher than Spain. No wonder we find it hard to compete on international markets...
 
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On the law on fatherhood, I have doubts. On the one hand, this is correct, but on the other, it is strange.
 

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