The English in France to return home

Published by flag-us Rose Sours — 4 years ago

Blog: Language Learn
Tags: General

The fall of the pound and job losses in finance have greatly affected the living standards of British citizens living in our skies.

They had arrived in France on deep pockets with the certainty of a life dream in the country. They left despondent by counting their money. Displaced by the crisis they had restored farmhouses and villages they had adopted many English are forced to return home today. Heavy heart and the wallet a little emptier.

For several weeks, the British press is largely echo the story of these expatriate prey to sudden financial difficulties. Against the euro, the pound has lost about one third of its value and resulted in a loss of purchasing power to those who receive their income in British currency. This applies to retirees who run quiet days in our provinces, but also those living in our villages, working in the UK. In addition, a surge in prices in France, affecting in particular food. Life is suddenly become too expensive for many of these foreigners. Happiness is not in the meadow.

For English papers, so it is now forced return. Taken aback by this setback, many Britons fold luggage or are considering doing so. "The British are leaving the Perigord" or "fro the English Channel" titrent also thesis editing for some French newspapers. They drop the restored farmhouses to the borders of the Dordogne or Brittany, sell houses in Normandy or the Pas-de-Calais, get rid of areas in the Limousin, the Loire Valley or in the Alps. Few indeed are the regions where they are not present, the subjects of Her Gracious Majesty has always been to their liking every bit of French countryside. As long as housing prices there are much milder than at home, there is some sun, but there are beautiful rows of vines browsing the rolling plains. Now a dream has been broken and the verdict is final. For the Guardian, the Observer or the Daily Express, France is no longer the promised land where everything was so much more affordable than in England.

"We're in the fantasy"

How are they to be returned to the English coast? The phenomenon is difficult to measure. Because the number of Britons living in France remains uncertain at first. 128 000, according to figures. Sales more likely: over 500 000 estimated by the United Kingdom. "A British national who moved to France has no reporting obligation. We can therefore make an accurate census, "says one at the Embassy of the United Kingdom. There remains sparse data and local. Thus in the Dordogne, home of the English exiles, they would be between 20 000 to 30 000 to reside permanently in the department. "There are among them 600 contractors, artisans and merchants," says Marc Mercier, head of the Chamber of Commerce Franco-British Perigueux cautious on the number of departures in its region. "There has been, but it really is not an exodus. It exaggerates the phenomenon. "

To check the direction Eymet, the village most English of the Dordogne. We speak English, English people eat and live in English. Of the 2 650 inhabitants, 30% come from across the Channel and the 150 students, 20% are British. In the street and on the Thursday market, the language of Shakespeare has overtaken that of Molière. The British grocery store, but the pub is part of the decor.

At the Court of Eymet, one of the best restaurants in town, we'd rather not worry about the effects of the crisis. "Some of our British customers have left a year ago. Working mostly in finance, they felt the wind change and have their bags, "says the wife of the boss. Elsewhere, among other retailers, the subject immediately freezes faces. All are exasperated by the headlines in the British press. "Stop saying they are going. It is fantasy. There were only a few departures, "insists the bubbling Dursapt Cathy, who runs an estate agency, where a dozen cats occupying the premises are overheated office cushions on the sofas. To date, in private schools in the municipality where the English are enrolled in small numbers, only three of them - all from the same family - were missing due to family move. "How could they all go? In the United Kingdom, although real estate has fallen, it remains higher than ours. And here everything is hard to sell, "said another official agency.

Despite cheaper prices, the housing market in the Dordogne, argued a year ago by 30% of English investors, is doing badly. "The UK customer base has fallen by half," says President Charles Gillooley Fnaim County and already informed several bankruptcy estate agents. A similar situation in other regions. "I lost 50% of my clients UK. She disappeared from the market, "says Jean-Jacques Wilhelm branch manager in Carcassonne.

Because of this market bloodless, only one class of English could leave France by Keith Martin, Regional Representative of the Chamber of Commerce Franco-British Britain. "These are the owners of second homes. They were able to sell their property without having to immediately find a buyer to relocate to their country, "he says. But once the suitcases packed, it is not certain that all these expatriates join their country of origin. According to Françoise Kaloupschi, the head of an estate agency near Cahors, many try adventure elsewhere. "Right now, they sell. But English is a traveler and goes where he can do business, "she said. According to her, Croatia and Morocco are becoming their new Eden.

25% of salary less

As for the British Left in France - by choice or forced mostly because they can sell their property - life is very bleak for many today. The retirees are reducing their lifestyle. No more restaurants, visits to their country to see the children. English families also tighten their belts. "My husband, Mark, who works in London is paid in pounds. With the collapse of our currency has lost 25% of his salary, "says Kate, who lives in Capelle-les Hesdin in the Pas-de-Calais. His recipe for savings: heat the house exclusively with wood fire and is Mark London reported that food. "It is now cheaper than in France."

But the English paid in euros are not spared. For many working in real estate or with compatriots. Terrible vicious circle where some lack of money, do more work on other ... Gini, who resides in Eymet, combines the difficulties. This mother of four children working in estate agency and James, her husband, tiler, was mainly in contact with a British customer. They both drink the cup. "James has more control and for me it's hard. We buy more clothes and we made a cross on winter sports, "says Gini, which owns two houses. "I need to sell for money. But there is no buyer. "A little later, Benita, an employee of an architectural firm, did not hide his anxiety. "Our business has dropped 40%. I do not know if my post will be preserved. "Julan, a seller of natural stone tile, is given as to him a few months before making a decision. "If my work does not restart, I return with my family in England where I would have more chances to bounce back."

In this context, Derek asks if he has done well to get to France, Eymet two months ago, with his wife and two children. For the moment, the Englishman 52 years accumulating disability. He sold his flag near Dover when the property prices fell English. With the decline of the pound has lost a total of 150 000 euros. Today, he no longer afford to buy a house and finds himself in a cramped apartment. To top it all, his business - selling online kitchen - idling. "My wife speaks English and it would take French classes, but I can not afford to pay it," he said in the middle of his office, an empty room occupied by two tables and a telephone. But standing with hands in the pockets of his jeans, Derek keeps smiling. "I achieved my dream. I am in France. "And he kept his British humor. "There's just a little too much English here!" In a few months, there will be perhaps a little less.

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