The Connexion 232 - February 2022 e-Paper

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The Connexion 232 - February 2022 e-Paper
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On the front page

Economists heap praise on France’s Covid tactics

France has been acclaimed as the global star of the Covid pandemic by a Nobel-winning economist for its unique strategy to weather the crisis. Princeton emeritus professor of economics and international affairs Paul Krugman particularly praised France’s efforts to keep people in employment and to provide childcare.

What does new vaccine pass change?

Unvaccinated people can no longer go to cafes, restaurants or other shared public leisure spaces, or use long distance travel, after a ‘vaccine pass’ replaced the health pass. The option of taking a Covid test – valid for 24 hours – is, in most cases, no longer available.

Rules on UK mobiles and EU roaming tightened

Historically, many Britons moving to France have maintained UK mobile phone numbers, at least until they get settled in the country, without major issues. These days, things are a little trickier. All the major UK mobile companies we spoke to said their services are intended solely for people living in the UK who only visit other countries occasionally. However, there are potential solutions.

French news explained

Regulated rates for electricity limit price hikes

French households – especially the 23 million on EDF’s ‘regulated’ tariffs – are better protected from price rises this year than those in most neighbouring countries, says a consumer group. Last year’s government promise to limit this year’s regulated tariff rises (in February) to 4% is set to be maintained, says the CLCV. Energy regulator CRE stated that without state intervention, the regulated tariff would have risen 46% on February 1.

New digital health space rolled out

All residents who are part of France’s state healthcare system are being offered a new online medical records space. Called Mon espace santé, it is designed to store patients’ medical documents, such as prescriptions and X-ray and other test results. Historically, these have been kept by the patient and then brought by them to appointments. The new space also features a messaging function so patients can communicate with medical professionals, and access to health-related apps.

Fuel increases see drivers turn to gas-powered cars

Record diesel and petrol prices have seen a rise in popularity of liquefied petroleum gas-powered cars – after years of them being shunned in France.

‘Traumatised’ drivers join group suing Renault for seized engines

Dozens of drivers are joining a lawsuit against car makers Renault, Nissan and Dacia after they had terrifying engine failures, including some at speed on the motorway. So far, 87 owners have signed up for a class action claiming repeated failures. The specialist car magazine L’Argus estimates more than 100,000 vehicles are potentially affected.

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

UK companies end delivery to France due to admin cost

A number of UK companies have permanently or temporarily stopped deliveries to France or other EU countries, citing new post-Brexit costs and border complications. Some have set up EU subsidiaries and distribution centres to overcome the problem whilst others have put deliveries on pause indefinitely, including ‘the Queen’s grocer’ Fortnum and Mason.

Presidential Election 2022

Hot topics: inheritance and wealth tax, immigration – and foie gras

We look at four key talking points in the run-up to April’s presidential elections.

Practical advice for living in France

Make sense of the Plan Local d’Urbanisme

Anyone looking to take on a new-build project will need to consult the Plan Local d’Urbanisme first. We steer you through its purpose and contents.

Can I come and go during visa period?

Our reader asks if there are any restrictions on the amount and length of times you can return to the UK during the span of a French long-stay visa for six to 12 months.

How to get help with banking problems

Plenty of issues can arise in a client’s relationship with their bank, from choosing the right institution initially to exorbitant fees. An example is how some customers of ING and N26 have recently had their accounts closed unexpectedly. We speak to Michel Guillaud, president of France Conso Banque, founded in 2013 to defend the interests of bank customers.

Eight ways to keep tax inspectors at bay

Checks by tax officials into people’s financial affairs resulted in an extra €7.8billion for state coffers in 2020, the latest figures released show. Maximising tax revenues is now seen as more important then ever, meaning check-ups are increasing. Everyone living in France must make a declaration of their worldwide income, though tax treaties help avoid double taxation. Non-residents with French income, such as from renting out property, must also declare this income. Failure to do so could result in checks. We look at other things that could make a contrôle fiscal more likely.

Are there any tax breaks for children helping out parents in need? What is the ‘exit tax’ and who pays it? CGT on a property sale: are invoices essential?

Our financial advisor answers your money queries for February on page 33.

You can 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 

  • Must British holiday home owners with cars here get a French licence?
  • Who can I tell about illegal car businesses?
  • FranceConnect: why can I not use it?
  • French disabled people’s CMI cards: what are the benefits?

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

A birdwatcher’s guide to France: Nature reserves, regional parks and trails

Take a flying tour of the country’s best landscapes for watching pink flamingos to birds of prey to migrating birds, as well as information centres and exhibitions.

Last French factory of dolls

Lucie Delbary-Maliverney is one of six workers at Petitcollin. She tells Connexion why it is the only company to produce ‘Made in France’ dolls.

Deliberating French départements

During the 18th century, terms such as ‘assemblées’, ‘provinces’ and ‘municipalités’ were used to describe various areas of France. We reveal how and why France’s departments were created.

How to interpret French wine labels

A little knowledge can go a long when choosing wine.

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 February edition: 

Property: Patch up a barn ‘planetarium’ before the sky falls in on you

Money: Clinging to UK assets might not make tax sense

Work: Firms given support to employ disabled

Family: ​​What are the rights young Britons living abroad have to study in Britain?

Music: ​​Famous rock studios revived by Brad Pitt