French Econ 101

Grab Bag: Bizarre Summer in the Côte d’Azur

September 3, 2016

Security angst and the burkini make the Côte d’Azur’s Summer of 2016 go down in the record books as being truly bizarre. Of course there were bright spots, too: C’est la France! Enjoy our end-of-season grab bag to close out French Lessons’ tenth season running.

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Working for French Unemployment Benefits

August 12, 2016

In the recent theatre of French labour protests, the world watched the country’s unemployment woes unfurl into the streets – but what about the unemployed themselves? In typical French Lessons fashion, Jo shares with us – up close and personal – how tough it can be to draw the benefits.

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MIDSUMMER GRAB BAG: SECURITY IN THE SPOTLIGHT

July 29, 2016

As French Lessons treads into the middle of the Côte d’Azur’s acclaimed summer season, we pause, catch our breath, and revel in a jumble of what makes the French Riviera so dazzling, so bewitching. But spoken or not this summer, one topic seems to cut through all the fun.

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The European Union Laid Bare by a Spare Part

July 8, 2016

Bellevue’s air-conditioning is again on the fritz, but this time the repairman doesn’t fire us. Instead, along with an ingenious and swifter-than-merited resolution, he offers French Lessons an unconventional glimpse into the inner workings of the European Union.

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L’Uberization of France

August 5, 2015

French Lessons welcomes back Philippe for his annual one-man show. Insightful and entertaining as ever, he regales us with his latest musings about the French economy – this time with nods to the hotly discussed Uberization, a foundational book Sapiens, and les Dames Pipi.

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Cap d’Antibes: Real Estate Revolution

June 30, 2015

Amid international headlines to the contrary, French Lessons discovers that Cap d’Antibes’ real estate market is floundering with the latest Russian exodus. We search for green shoots with Angela, our colourful property agent, while recalling the glory days when our northerly neighbours lived large on the peninsula.

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It’s a Wrap: Summer 2014 in the Côte d’Azur

August 29, 2014

French Lessons looks back at the highlights of Summer 2014 in the Côte d’Azur as Bellevue’s occupants declare they are utterly exhausted from all the fun. In many ways this summer was like no other – and yet we discern a few conspicuous and intriguing themes that have endured this summer as in the past.

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Latte Art: A Primer in French Economics

August 1, 2014

French Lessons welcomes its first-ever guest writer: none other than the highly observant and entertaining Philippe. Here’s his take on the state of the French economy, from tourist numbers and GDP to Presidential scandal and the art of opening a top-notch café – without, hopefully, going bankrupt on the battery of French taxes.

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French Pharmacies: Regulation Where It Matters?

July 25, 2014

French Lessons heads into the luxurious world of the French pharmacy. Hardly a box store where you stroll anonymously through well-stocked aisles, each pharmacie is a unique jewel presided over by its owner-pharmacist. While the in-store ambience isn’t always welcoming, cozy relations between doctors and pharmacists can mean medicines are more readily available than you might guess.

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RIVIERA LIFE: HARDLY A DELUGE OF CHANGE

June 20, 2014

A sudden downpour marks an ominous start for French Lessons’ fancy new blog site – but we hardly worry. We know our subject well. As Bellevue’s home electronics seize up and labour strikes rock the whole of the country, we are comforted by the fact that – from France’s luscious markets to its ritual inefficiencies – nothing ever seems to change.

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Antibes’ L’Armoise Restaurant: Survival of the Smallest

August 23, 2013

Seated at a favourite table in Antibes, Philippe and I share pet stories about a local dentist, doctor, cheese seller, toy shop, bakery and swimsuit shop as we ponder the slippery notion of French profitability – all in an effort to figure out how this delightful-but-tiny, gastronomic restaurant can stay afloat.  The truth shocks us.

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Saving Bellevue: The Skyrocketing French Wealth Tax

June 22, 2013

Thanks to the Socialists’ sweep to power in France, an enormous surge in Bellevue’s tax bill threatens to terminate our family’s long association with the Côte d’Azur.  An unlikely triumvirate heads to the courts.  Can a fidgety, wild-haired tax accountant, a property expert with a posh surname and a long-lost-cousin Quebecker win back our cherished Bellevue?

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