Swansong?

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Swansong?

Postby Genghis Cohen » Sun Jun 19, 2016 2:46 pm

I am not sure that anybody will ever read this. I no longer actively take part in social media but I'll admit to keeping an eye on events as they unfold. This is an exception. As next Thursday approaches I wonder what the future may bring.

What motivates me are not the econmic arguments or the debates about sovereignty. Instead I remember when I first travelled in Europe nearly sixty years ago. I saw the war cemeteries, the seemingly enless rows of graves. This was where the friends of my father and grandfather lay buried. I witnessed at first hand the devestation of Cologne, travelled through French villages still partly ruined. I was shocked at the sheer numbers of disabled and disfigured men in Germany. Visiting Dachau will be forever burned into my memory. Silent witnesses to the horrors that had been unleashed in Europe. Twice in a single generation.

Since then I have had the good fortune to travel the world. To share my life with fellow Europeans and realise that we have so very much in common. I voted for Europe in 1975(?) and will be voting for Europe again.

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Re: Swansong?

Postby peter » Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:02 pm

As I arrived at Nimes airport at 09.30 this morning I had a conundrum ...

EU or Non EU line ?
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Re: Swansong?

Postby anneb » Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:09 pm

Very sad :(

I wonder what will happen to those UK citizens who retired to countries like France and Spain - they presumably will lose recipricol rights to health care ? I know they will still most like receive their pensions as there should be double taxation agreements still in place, but not healthcare. And those of us who have second homes in France will have to buy travel health insurance when we are over there, which I suppose won't be so bad, or rush back to England if we get ill. Once knew an English couple in Nebian, one of them broke an arm and they weren't paying French social contributions, they had to drive back to England very quicky with the one in pain. What a mess.

I'm not on social media either, much preferring fora.

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Re: Swansong?

Postby peter » Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:49 pm

anneb wrote:Very sad :(

I wonder what will happen to those UK citizens who retired to countries like France and Spain - they presumably will lose recipricol rights to health care ? I know they will still most like receive their pensions as there should be double taxation agreements still in place, but not healthcare. And those of us who have second homes in France will have to buy travel health insurance when we are over there, which I suppose won't be so bad, or rush back to England if we get ill. Once knew an English couple in Nebian, one of them broke an arm and they weren't paying French social contributions, they had to drive back to England very quicky with the one in pain. What a mess.

I'm not on social media either, much preferring fora.

Anne


Problem is that until a reciprocal agreement is reached UK pensions paid to EU will be frozen.

.... not to mention the exchange rate !
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Re: Swansong?

Postby anneb » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:20 pm

peter wrote:Problem is that until a reciprocal agreement is reached UK pensions paid to EU will be frozen.

.... not to mention the exchange rate !

Oh goodness, yes I just read something like that on a press website :( Will be tricky fro some expats.

And I realise that the border with France and England, at least in the pas de Calais, should now move to Dover. More chaos crossing the Channel. But we shall still come. Will stock up on good French wine - the Languedoc wine is the best imho ! And enjoy the wonderful ambiance of the region and wonderful countryside and wonderful people !

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Re: Swansong?

Postby Brian and Helen » Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:33 am

Can I just make an appeal for calm here? No-one knows yet what is going to happen or indeed if anything is going to happen, yet folk are rushing around in panic.
If Parliament votes to invoke article 50, and it's a big if, then there will be a protracted period of negotiation, lasting at least two years; at the end there will be a new arrangement which may include changes to healthcare and pensions.
Right of residence is guaranteed by the Vienna Convention 1989, but access to French healthcare may then require social contributions, or it may not. UK state pensions may be frozen, or they may not. The FX rate, I can't do anything about, but it has been worse.
Anne, I don't understand your friends' actions - Urgences would not refuse to treat a broken arm and even if they didn't have an EHIC card, wouldn't it have been cheaper and less painful just to pay for treatment? I've done that myself in the past.

Let's just take a deep breath and see how things pan out, rather than risk making them worse by precipitative actions.

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Re: Swansong?

Postby anneb » Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:20 am

Hi Brian,

What happened with those friends was many years ago - I suppose they thought it would cost more to get the broken arm fixed in France as opposed to driving back to the UK ? They were kind of 'hippies' - early settlers in the Languedoc in the days before the E111.

Did you see what the mayor of Beziers said about English being dropped from the language of Brussels EU ? It was reported in the Brexit press here !

Now the Brexit people having a certain amount of cold feet too about Brexiting.

And my bro says he read in the Sunday Times that French police are going to be stopping Brit cars in France this summer if they don't display the black on white GB plate - crazy some of the panic going round.

Things changing daily on the political front.

What I've heard from French friends is that they are shocked at the Brexit vote but not annoyed with the ordinary Brits.

Border control at Calais have been getting longer and longer the past three or so years so it can hardly get any worse there !

all the best,
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Re: Swansong?

Postby Brian and Helen » Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:56 am

Hi Anne,

Well I would have thought even the most unworldly hippy could do some basic maths, but there you go, as you say it was a long time ago.
I read that Sunday Times article and it was a purely speculative piece about possible futures. Can we all just remember that GB is for the moment at least still a member of the EU?
The people here have been wonderfuly kind, expressing their concern for us and offering to help us get French nationality if we want. Rather different from some of the attitudes displayed inthe UK from what I read.

And as for that FN bigot in Beziers, even the locals think he's an abomination.

Keep smiling!
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Re: Swansong?

Postby anneb » Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:56 am

Hi Brian,

All the French I've been in contact with since Brexit have also been so sympathetic.

I feel embarrased to be English right now. This morning I had to speak to someone at Surrey county council and I happened to realise he was French from his accent (I did check too) and I apologised for the Brexiters !

I didn't realise the mayor in Beziers was FN - no wonder ! But also no wonder the Brexit press didn't say he was FN !

all the best,
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Re: Swansong?

Postby Genghis Cohen » Sat Jul 02, 2016 5:21 am

In one stroke a handful of political activists have undermined the British economy, destabilised the political system and shaken the EU to the core. The shock waves have been felt around the world.

It will take a long while for the dust to settle. One can only hope that leaders with pragmatic, rather than dogmatic, solutions will emerge from the wreckage. Maybe, just maybe, the people of Europe will be able to find a new path where there is no room for the extremist policies which have lead to this unhappy state of affairs.

We have all made mistakes, now we will pay the price.


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Re: Swansong?

Postby Le Petomane » Fri Jul 15, 2016 11:46 am

I know a number of non-EU citizens who have full access to French healthcare and have cartes vitales. I don't know what they have to pay in contributions, but whatever it is is based on your income as declared to the tax authorities. The Brexit secretary, David Davis, said during the campaign that the UK could negotiate its own trade deals with France, Germany, etc, once we had left, thus showing complete ignorance of how the EU works. Sit tight and remember Macbeth: "Present fears are less than horrible imaginings."
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Re: Swansong?

Postby Genghis Cohen » Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:52 am

I believe that Le Petomane is correct based on what I'v seen. I am a French taxpayer and have been for a decade. Originaly the decision was made on moral grounds at the insistence of my wife. As she said "We enjoy the benefits so we should pay our whack". It seems that if one is fiscally resident then the social security system comes as part of the package.

While I am logged on may I move to another topic? I've just taken a look at the TLP group on FB. It really looks like it is going down the tubes. Lot's of effing and blinding and the distinct feeling that it is being hijacked by a group of individuals with a very limited perspective on life.

Vive le forum!!!


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Re: Swansong?

Postby anneb » Mon Jul 18, 2016 6:21 pm

Genghis Cohen wrote:Vive le forum!!!

I do hope so. I do hope it comes back to life and those FB users come back.
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Re: Swansong?

Postby peter » Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:46 pm

I'm open to ideas !
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Re: Swansong?

Postby Brian and Helen » Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:14 pm

anneb wrote:
Genghis Cohen wrote:Vive le forum!!!

I do hope so. I do hope it comes back to life and those FB users come back.


Seconded. I tried the FB version for a few days, but found it quite a harsh environment, so I opted out again.
Life moves on, I guess, and people with it; so sorry, Peter, I have no brilliant wheezes to resurrect this forum to its former premier rôle.
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Re: Swansong?

Postby Genghis Cohen » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:47 am

Maybe the journey back starts here!

Anneb and Brian and Helen responded pretty quickly to my comment and the Guvernor too. So people are watching what's going on.

I'm sure the sentiments we express are shared by others. It's simply a question of how to we get them to engage. Maybe a pointer on the FB page would help. Surely we are not the only ones who want to share thoughts and experiences in a civilised manner? Also just keep posting interesting stuff.

Above all avoid the creation of a self congratulatory clique where comments posted have a meaning only to the initiated. That has been the downfall of many otherwise exemplary forums.

Hope this helps

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Re: Swansong?

Postby anneb » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:23 am

peter wrote:I'm open to ideas !

Hi Peter,

I notice that you have often put links to the Langeudoc facebook page. Do you post links on that facebook page to the Languedoc Forum ? I know there's not much in recent threads here but there are lots of previous very useful threads on the forum which may encouarge those FB users to look in on the forum and maybe post too.

bonne chance,
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Re: Swansong?

Postby peter » Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:34 am

Originally I "pinned" a link on the FB page to this forum.
There wasn't much response.

These are the people who have logged in over the past month :

graham34
Margaret
brianedwards
Fred Mellon
gurubarry
Christopher
jokimmins
LizaLouis
Le Petomane
Brian and Helen
Genghis Cohen
anneb
peter

There may be some developments. The number of topics opened (i.e. including non members) has started to increase : viewtopic.php?f=26&t=264&start=100#p34298

Would more postings generate more activity ?
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Re: Swansong?

Postby Genghis Cohen » Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:42 am

I would be interested to see a thread opened on the FB page, by a disinterested private individual, promoting the idea of this forum as a place for civilised discussions. Something right up front pointing out the negative effects of abusing people with gutter speak rather than challenging their ideas in an informed, civilised and even logical manner.

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