Has France become poorer ...

Lenny HB

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Been to or through France nearly every year for the 40 years. Yes it has got more expensive for us Brits, wasn't that many years ago you got €1.60 Euro to the pound so obviously at 1.12 - 1.15 it's going to cost us a lot more.
How much more expensive it has got can only be quantified by someone who lives and works there.

It's still one of the best countries to Motorhome in. Still works out cheaper than using a Motorhome in the UK and you can park at places you want to visit , try doing that in the UK.
 
Jan 28, 2008
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Well, almost. I spent a week in Dortmund 5 years ago ... going back for another week there later this month. Our partner school is in Dortmund.

I would like to visit old East Germany. It has, I believe, had huge amounts of investment. Our friends in Dortmund tell me that West Germans pay an extra tax which is spent in the old East German areas to try to unify the country economically.
bit like england and scotland then
 
May 13, 2016
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In our 16 years here we have found that our state of poverty or not is governed more by GBP exchange rates than anything else.

As for food being expensive why should it be cheap? Everybody needs it so economic theory suggests that food prices should be high. I decided long ago that the French buy on quality, the Brits buy on price.

We have decided that we prefer a tranquil life with pleasant neighbours on our deserted hill to a former life in overcrowded England even if it might be cheaper. Though the election promises of both major parties to spend, spend, spend (whatever happened to Vivien?) might change this.

If I did not like France or the French I would not be here, if any of you don't like it please stay away.

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Mar 28, 2017
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In our 16 years here we have found that our state of poverty or not is governed more by GBP exchange rates than anything else.

As for food being expensive why should it be cheap? Everybody needs it so economic theory suggests that food prices should be high. I decided long ago that the French buy on quality, the Brits buy on price.

We have decided that we prefer a tranquil life with pleasant neighbours on our deserted hill to a former life in overcrowded England even if it might be cheaper. Though the election promises of both major parties to spend, spend, spend (whatever happened to Vivien?) might change this.

If I did not like France or the French I would not be here, if any of you don't like it please stay away.
[/QUOTE
I would imagine that's because investments ,pension etc are from the Uk a lot of expats all over Europe are struggling because of the pound and when they left for the new relaxed life many years ago it was based on the favourable rates years ago. I can't see them returning.
 
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I think you said that this was your first time in Germany. If so, then it's no surprise that it felt to you to be more prosperous than France. It has felt like this to me over the 40 years that I have been regularly visiting both countries. However, with the exception of Berlin, I have never been to the old East Germany.

I think that one factor which can make parts of France feel poor, is the large number of rural villages, with few young inhabitants. Particularly outside of the summer season, this can lead to quite a dismal atmosphere. (Purely my opinion.)

I like both countries. We have met many lovely people in both and each country has its own qualities. However, if I could choose just one of the two, it would definitely be Germany.
Ok, but I'd like to know why you'd choose German?
Phil
 
Jul 4, 2017
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If I did not like France or the French I would not be here, if any of you don't like it please stay away.
Commenting that things have got more expensive doesn’t mean we don’t like the country and it’s people. The exchange rate played no part in my calculations as my data is based on the amount of Euros we spent. We certainly don’t visit France because it is cheap but because we like the country.

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OP
Grianan
Feb 18, 2018
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Ok, but I'd like to know why you'd choose German?
Phil
I know your question was aimed at bellabee but it’s an interesting one.

I’ve always chosen to spend holidays in France, partly because I feel comfortable there and still speak pretty reasonable (though rusty) French ... my degree was languages (French, Spanish, Italian). Partly because I love the people, food, culture, villages and towns.

Germany was rather thrust upon me this year. I was tempted to detour to France but it made no sense with my obligations. I couldn’t believe how much we enjoyed it, despite my extremely limited language skills, and will definitely return.

I’m not sure how we will decide which one to go to next. Maybe the decision will be made for us as our American friends are thinking of France next year so me may join forces.

Both countries had great natural beauty. Charming towns. Both had friendly people. Great food. Good wines. Both had welcoming motorhome facilities - aires and stellplatz. French weather is perhaps slightly better though ... sometimes.
 
May 8, 2010
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Ok, but I'd like to know why you'd choose German?
Phil
Difficult one to answer, but I think its got to do with what Grianan said in her OP.
We noticed that prices had gone up, especially diesel. It was even more expensive than in the Netherlands. And many villages had shops that were shut. In some places, it would be down to time of year, but even non-tourist villages seemed to have lost a boulangerie and the general store. Some towns and villages seemed more run down than we remembered
In a later post, she commented that Germany 'felt' better, and I agree with her.
While we've had many wonderful visits to France, and will continue to do so, Germany just 'feels' better. It is an accumulation of factors, which make it 'feel' better to us.
  1. We like the landscape - particularly in the south of the country - Black Forest, Lake Constance, Algau, Alps, Romantische Strasse etc.
  2. We like the towns, many of which are quaint and picturesque, while still being clean and functional.
  3. We enjoy walking, and because walking is something of a national pass time in Germany, wherever you go, there tend to be plenty of marked out walking routes.
  4. We enjoy riding our bikes, and there are many safe cycle routes in Germany. This summer we were at Lake Constance, where there is a cycle route all round the lake (passing through Austria and Switzerland as well as Germany). The route was very popular and enabled us to base ourselves at a couple of Stellplaetze and still see a lot of the surrounding area. It was popular for people to cross the lake by ferry, taking their bike, and then cycle back.
  5. We enjoy the sociable 'drinking culture' in Germany. By this, I mean that we enjoy the wine and beer festivals which pop up in many towns and villages, where you sit at benches with strangers and socialise over a glass or two, soaked up by a Bratwurst, and listen to a local band.
  6. Prices are lower than in France.
  7. German public transport is clean, and efficient and in certain places, you receive a card for free use of public transport when registering at a campsite or Stellplatz.
  8. Standards of hygiene are generally high. On occasions, we have been loth to fill our van with water, in France, having witnessed others rinsing out their cassettes at the drinking water tap. Maybe, we've been lucky, but we haven't come across this in Germany.
I must stress that this not meant by way of a criticism of France, but merely in response to your question as to why we prefer Germany. All things are relative, and in my view, Germany compares favourably with both Britain and France in most of the above factors.

Of course, the world would be a boring place if all countries were the same. Apart from the weather, there'd be little point in going abroad, just to see more of the same.
 
OP
Grianan
Feb 18, 2018
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bellabee I think you will find that I wrote Germany felt “better off” rather than “felt better”. A world of difference in those 3 letters 😀.

A quick 2 week tour ... it was an impression and may or may not be correct. Especially as we were ‘in season’ in Germany and ‘out of season’ in France.

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May 13, 2016
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Some of them must have done something right, they were re-elected e.g. Harold Wilson. Was he a socialist though?

You must remember it is possible to fool some of the people all of the time as we discover with all politicians.
 
Feb 22, 2016
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That explains so many of your posts.

Can you name one socialist government who has improved the lot of its people?
So time consuming and fruitless would the task of trying to change your view, given your political stance, that a more useful exercise would be to point out the results of inequality. Socialism aims to reduce inequality for all people. So the converse of countries that eschew socialist policies, to varying degrees, tend to be more unequal. If you really want to see how that relates to the welfare of the people, have a look at some of these social indices.

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Stephane Bosman

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Socialism aims to reduce inequality for all people.
Yeah, it brings equality in poverty for most of the population and keeps the privileged shielded from its ruin.


So time consuming
If it is very time consuming to give an example of a socialist government which has improved its population situation, then you're just proving my point.


We have a saying here: One cannot be Socialist, honest and knowledgeable at the same time. You can have only two of them, any two.
 
Feb 22, 2016
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Yeah, it brings equality in poverty for most of the population and keeps the privileged shielded from its ruin.




If it is very time consuming to give an example of a socialist government which has improved its population situation, then you're just proving my point.


We have a saying here: One cannot be Socialist, honest and knowledgeable at the same time. You can have only two of them, any two.
Come back and debate when you're capable of making an argument rather than making crass slogans.
 
May 7, 2016
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I have cancelled my subscription to this site because it is becoming less and less like a motorhome related forum. When you need or give advice on motorhome matters it melts into a slagging match or a space for little middle english, not in my back yard mentality.

After meeting a lot of UK motorhomers on my travels I guess it goes with the territory. There seems to be more negatives that out weigh the positives in the moho community and I feel sorry for all the decent folk out there.

Off to another forum, not that anyone will give a f)#k

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Last edited:
Sep 2, 2014
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France isn't a socialist state so that is a nonsensical explanation. But it has suffered the same as the UK by successive governments' adherence to the austerity BS.
We've noticed over 15 years the huge increase in food and fuel prices in France and whereas it was once cheaper than the U.K. for fresh food it is now much more expensive. The French have had to suffer the same double whammy of falling real wages, rising prices and increasing unemployment as we have in the U.K.
Macron realises that this isn't sustainable but doesn't know what to do except to try and keep protest down.
But we still find the French people, with whom we have daily contact, to be warm friendly and welcoming.
It may not be a socialist state but it is run by a committed lefty, we are lucky that our unemployment has come down and even though GDP is not brilliant it is still better than France, which is becoming a bit of a basket case. Great shame.
 

DBK

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I have cancelled my subscription to this site because it is becoming less and less like a motorhome related forum. When you need or give advice on motorhome matters it melts into a slagging match or a space for little middle english, not in my back yard mentality.

After meeting a lot of UK motorhomers on my travels I guess it goes with the territory. There seems to be more negatives that out weigh the positives in the moho community and I feel sorry for all the decent folk out there.

Off to another forum, not that anyone will give a f)#k
The trick I've learned on here is not to hesitate using the Ignore thread button. I tried ignoring the U Shaped lounge forum completely but that only lasted a day as there is some good stuff in there.

Now any thread with a vaguely political smell tends to get ignored as soon as I see it.

The other thing to look for is a thread with an innocuous sounding subject which stretches on into seemingly an infinity of pages. They never end well if they end at all. :)

If you do a bit of ruthless pruning it doesn't take long before MHF emerges. :)

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