The Connexion 236 - June 2022 e-Paper

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The Connexion 236 - June 2022 e-Paper
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On the front page

Summer of drought ahead for all France

A quarter of French departments, including several in the north, are already on drought vigilance or alert, with May’s record temperatures leading to water restrictions for individuals and farmers.

€138 TV licence axed for everyone

Around 23 million households are set to save €138 this year after the government announced the end of the TV licence fee.

France set for ‘sparkly’ Platinum Jubilee

After nine months as the UK’s first female ambassador to France, Dame Menna Rawlings speaks to The Connexion about the Platinum Jubilee and her hectic job.

New ‘super-precise speed radars’ given the go-ahead

Drivers could find themselves hit with more tickets for driving offences after a new ‘super-precise’ speed camera was approved for use in May.

INTERVIEW Bowie bassist Gail Ann Dorsey on French life

Lodger to bandmate: Bowie bassist Gail Ann Dorsey in tune with France.

‘Nobody can live off just B&B income in a chateau’

It’s time to get realistic about the maintenance and running costs of these historic buildings, say a former teacher and HR director who bought a 13th century chateau in the Loire Valley.

Marie-Antoinette’s hated portrait comes out of hiding

A portrait Marie-Antoinette detested because she thought it made her look ugly, has returned to Versailles after the future queen had it hidden away 250 years ago.

Gite owners face huge tax demands over shock ‘personal use’ loophole

Many gite owners are being charged taxe d’habitation on properties as they cannot prove they were not available for personal use on any day of the year.

From bronzes to bedpans – brocantes can offer a lucky dip into France’s rich history

We explain their appeal, how to haggle, plus other tips to bag yourself a bargain.

French news explained

Changes in France this month

Black boxes in new cars, reduced renovation aid, increase in Caf benefits, new beach flags, changes to the lunch voucher limit and how to redeem holiday vouchers on train trips online. 

Driving less than 5km/h over the limit accounts for nearly 60% of all speed fines

Some 58% of speeding fines in France in 2020 were for offences where the car caught by a radar was doing less than 5km/h over the permitted speed, research by a French senator has revealed. The finding has provoked immediate calls for changes in the law from some motoring groups.

Coco the dog learns to ‘speak’ 40 words

The dog has been taught to using buttons mounted on a floor mat. Speech and language researcher Meiyun Xu, from the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon, said: “The limit could be as much as 100 words.”.

Insurers call for end to car windscreen sticker and card

A federation of 247 insurance firms is calling for an end to the carte verte insurance document and its tear-off vignette windscreen stamp.

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

Alarm at food safety move after poisoning scandals

A controversial change to how food safety checks are carried out is being planned after recent poisoning scandals.

Macron’s new EU vision – could this really include UK?

The President has caused much speculation by proposing – but with little detail – the creation of a new ‘European political community’, which he says could even involve the UK.

Hunger strike baker stands for MP on the promise of a more humane policy on immigration

The Besançon baker who campaigned successfully in 2020 to stop his apprentice being deported as an illegal immigrant is to stand in June’s legislative elections.

 Customers unhappy with mobile and broadband after fast roll-out 

France’s all-out push to increase mobile phone and high-speed internet access has left many customers unhappy with the service once they get it.

Bike MOT checks stuck in slow lane

Bikers and scooter riders may face MOT-type checks after years of being exempt after green groups won a supreme court ruling nullifying the exemption.

Practical advice for living in France

Make sense of cycle holiday routes

It is a French paradox – in a country where bicycle racing is one of the favourite sports, daily use of the vélo is low. However, recent government efforts to promote long-distance cycle holiday routes could see things start to change.

What will Macron’s second term mean for my money?

The president’s manifesto was relatively light in detail. However, we can speculate on central themes, including energy price caps, pension reform and some welcome good news for younger generations with proposals to increase gifting allowances.

Fancy trying something new? You’ve paid for it

It is easy to moan about contributions in France – payslips seem to consist of a long list of contributions to one caisse or another – but they can also unlock some fantastic lifelong learning opportunities.

The cost of living longer puts pressure on savings

Living out your retirement to a ripe old age in France sounds appealing, but can you afford it? We consider the implications for savings, pensions, investment, tax and inheritance.

Our financial advisor answers your money queries 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  

  • Neighbour blocks garage: What can I do?
  • Can non-residents give blood if in France for a few months?
  • What are the rules for keeping hens in our garden?
  • Does health affect right to drive on a UK licence?

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

Juggling, jousting and merry-making for all at a local festival

Go on a nationwide tour of the many festivals and events that celebrate the colourful costumes, crafts, food, sports and heros and heroines of the Middle Ages.

Learning to garden the ecological way

How people are coming together to grow food and protect the planet at a pedagogical garden in Nice.

Seasonal country cooking

Author, Sara Silm showcases not only interior ideas but also some of the seasonal imperatives behind her country cuisine. 

Wine tasting: Learning the basics

Tasting wine should not be viewed as merely 'drinking'. 

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 June edition: 

Property: Forever home? We've moved four times

Money: Do debts in France expire after a set time?

Enviroment: Coloured solar panels offer solution for protected areas

Business: Start-up unlocks capital for homeowners

Architecture: How Paris façades hide a dirty secret in plain sight

Media: Digitised serial killer case notes read ‘like a thriller’

Food: ‘Mobile’ restaurant pops up all over with new beauty-spot views