Welcome to my world! My name's Nik, and I'm a British expatriate who has been living in Paris, France for the last five years. Even though I never planned to stay in Paris for very long, now I'm here I've no plans to leave soon - the beauty of Paris has never worn off, and so far it's been a five year long vacation! Enjoy my ramblings...
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How to be unpopular and influence your country

The Economist had an interesting cover this month (at least, the European issue did) - I'd better slip in a disclaimer here, it's not something I read, it just caught my eye amongst the naked breasts shown in the newspapers street vendors.

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The discussion of money, taxes and France often comes up, mainly because everyone is taxed up to the eyeballs here. The big topic is not why is everyone paying all these taxes, but about the doom and gloom that's forecast to happen in the near future if things don't change. The great socialist principles of France such as the pensions and amazing healthcare are all at risk because quite simply soon there will not be enough tax payers (we'll all be pensioners etc) to pay for all the services. It would take a brave government to create proper reform in France when the slightest move results in strikes throughout the country. A leader will have to be popular enough to be elected, and yet make these unpopular decisions. I've no idea how Thatcher managed it, since I was too young to really know what was going on. Somehow though it's hard to see France taking the same route as Britain...