The Connexion 230 - December 2021 e-Paper

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The Connexion 230 - December 2021 e-Paper
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On the front page

Father’s fight wins cancer drug for all

An experimental brain cancer drug is now free in France thanks to the efforts of a bereaved father, Xavier Baiao, whose eldest son Nathanaël died aged 16 from a diffuse brainstem glioma. Through a unique partnership between his family and a cancer hospital, a pill that slows down tumour growth will now be available at no cost for patients.

Read Nathaniel and his family’s inspiring story on the front page, and continued on page 2

Latest on Covid travel, maiden names and treatments

We explain recent issues around booster jabs and the French health pass, vaccination certificates bearing women’s maiden names in contrast to their passports, and new Covid treatments set to be approved in France.

Stay informed of the important news on Covid and France on page 5. You can also keep up to date with the Covid situation with our daily updates on the coronavirus situation in France

New square honours friendship between Joséphine Baker and Princess Grace

A new square on the seafront in Monaco pays tribute to one of France’s most-loved American celebrities – Resistance heroine and humanist Joséphine Baker. Place Joséphine Baker was named by Prince Albert’s government in recognition of her special relationship with Monaco and his mother Princess Grace.

Read the story of a unique friendship on page 11

French news explained

Who are the gilets jaunes today?

Gilet jaunes protests once attracted hundreds of thousands, but the third anniversary of the movement’s launch in late November saw only 1,800 take to the streets of Paris. Those remaining say they have no plans to hang up their yellow vests any time soon as they continue to demonstrate in the capital.

Learn more about what is happening with the gilet jaunes movement today on page 2

Hunt killing fuels debate on ban

The death of a motorist by a hunter’s bullet that ricocheted off a stone next to a dual carriageway has swung the political spotlight back on la chasse. President Macron knows that whatever votes hunters might provide will be matched by those from the anti-hunt and environmental brigade.

Get the full picture of the debate on page 3

Foie gras ‘can only be made if you love geese’

In May, the UK government promised to move towards banning the sale of foie gras but not much has changed since. Meanwhile, French food company Gourmey is preparing to ‘grow’ foie gras in a lab but trade body Cifog said it cannot be called foie gras as French and European regulations say this can only be used for duck or goose livers fattened by forced feeding. Farm production of foie gras, therefore, remains the controversial norm.

Learn more about foie gras production after our visit to two farms to see what they do on page 8

Couple win €128,000 payout over wind turbine sickness

A couple has won €128,000 in compensation for nuisance caused by wind turbines – and particularly, poor health caused by flashing lights at night. The Toulouse ruling in favour of Belgians Christel and Luc Fockaert, who ran a gîte business in the Tarn, is not expected to open the floodgates for other court cases, however.

Understand recent French headlines with The Connexion’s in-depth analysis in our news sections pages 1-12. We cover French news in daily articles online along with further analysis in our monthly print editions. View our subscription options.

Brexit and France

Travel difficulties for women with maiden names on certificates

Women whose passports show their married name are having problems travelling with vaccination certificates bearing their maiden names, as is usual in France. We have heard reports of women being refused international travel despite showing other evidence, such as their marriage certificate.

Hear from other readers who have experienced this issue on page 5

Don’t forget... you must have a residency card by January 1

From January 1 – according to French law – Britons living in France before 2021 and thus benefiting from the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement (WA) must have a new residency card in their possession. If you do not yet have your card, and especially if you have not yet had a prefecture appointment to give your photo and fingerprints, you should contact your prefecture to remind them of the urgency of your holding a card by January 1.

Uncover the issues caused by the UK leaving the EU in our Brexit section on pages 5 and 6. Plus stay informed with the latest Brexit news online in our Brexit section as it is released.

Practical advice for living in France

Christmas bonus, US borders, help to buy electric cars: changes in France

A summary of recent changes in France that impact residents and second-home owners, from snow tyre rules to Christmas bonuses.

See the ten changes to be aware of on page 10

Make sense of... Micro-entrepreneurs

Two out of three new businesses created in France in 2021 were set up as micro-entreprises. Taking this route to self-employment comes with tax advantages and is a relatively straightforward process to get started.

We explain the process for getting set up as a micro-entrepreneur on page 19

Help for older people to stay in their own homes

Following our November edition article on care homes in France, we have received reader queries about what aid is available for people to remain in their own homes. There are several options for services in the home and financial aid to help older people stay in their own homes.

We outline the key points to know on page 21

Property: We downsized and won back our time

While sprawling stone houses might be the conventional French dream, Mike and Susie Griffiths tell us why they are happier now with a 1980s three-bed.

Hear how the couple downsized and what impact the move had in our interview on page 39

Why you could be liable for in-laws’ upkeep

French law states that you could be financially responsible for your stepparents or in-laws as they grow older. Last edition, we reported how British woman Samantha Dyke (along with her sister), living in the UK, received a demand for €100,000 in care home fees for her British father in France with whom she has had no contact since she was two.

We look at the rules behind this and to which relatives it can apply on page 32

You can also find more advice for managing your money in France in our Money and Tax section on pages 33 and 34, and online.

Reader questions answered

You asked, we answered. Send your queries to

  • What happens if you are in the French health system by residency, under Puma, and you reach state retirement age and get an S1 from the UK?
  • Can visitors have a mutuelle top-up policy?
  • Can older people live with a host family?
  • Am I allowed to add a French resident to UK car insurance?
  • Is the taxe foncière local property tax payable on a mobile home?

Get the answers to your questions on page 18 and elsewhere. You can also find answers to reader questions in the Your Questions section online.

French Living

Gifts from France: the charm is in shopping local and uncovering traditions

Christmas shopping is one of the joys of winter, and a great excuse to get out and explore France. Cities have much to boast about but smaller market towns in the provinces have their own charms; easier access, fewer crowds and authentic holiday traditions.

Med garden is winter’s paradise

When most gardens lie dormant, the Domaine du Rayol comes to life in the winter months. We cover why and how you can visit it this season.

‘We must be educated on the true cost of a “like”’

We talk to investigative journalist Guillaume Pitron about his new book tracing the journey of a social media “like” on the internet, revealing the huge infrastructure which makes it possible.

An authentic taste of Alsace

New York-based chef Gabriel Kreuther serves up modern Alsatian cuisine at his two Michelin-starred restaurant. In his new cookbook, he reflects upon his culinary background and presents some of his favourite recipes, from the contemporary to regional classics

You’ll find more culture and lifestyle articles, alongside recipes, quizzes and more, in our ‘French Living’ pull-out which comes free with every print edition.

More in the December edition:

Animals: Elephant ‘retirement home’ welcomes its first resident

Health: Peer calls for French help for Britons with dementia

Comment: Have Covid and #MeToo killed la bise?

Reader story: ​​From ‘go home’ graffiti to a Michelin star

Work: How to be your own boss in France

Community: Alarm as number of isolated and lonely over-60s doubles

Food and drink: Canned wine expands in France