Ending the Lockdown! (19/5/2021)

Bi-weekly newsletter with odds and ends, and other funny stories from France.
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Whoo hoo, It is the 19th of May!   Which may not mean anything to you if you don’t live in France, but for us it is the day that France officially starts to end its lockdown.

The museums and cinemas are opening and restaurants are now allowed to serve outside.  French President Macron and Prime Minister Castex celebrated by going incognito to a café terrasse for a quick coffee this morning.  Luckily the TV cameras were there to capture this moment.  

No word on why the poor bodyguard didn’t get a cup of coffee as well.  The problem however, is not why the bodyguard occupying a table without ordering anything, but rather that is pouring buckets in Paris at the moment.  And it is supposed to continue to rain pretty much non-stop till at least next tuesday.  Enough to put off all those “amateurs de terrasses“. 

But things are looking up if you are looking to plan your summer holiday in France.  The government made its 20 million vaccinated target of 1st doses over the weekend, by wink-wink insisting that only people with cormobidities should get vaccinated, but then not checking when they actually showed up.  

An ingenious marketing campaign if you ask me, to make anti-vax French people want to get vaccinated by claiming one of those treasured appointment slots. Vaccine centers are packed, running like well-oiled machines and appointment slots are scarce up and down the country.  And thus things are looking bright for the summer. 

In other news:

  • France and Britain could potentially go to war over fish. French fishermen staged a blocade of British boats around the U.K. island of Jersey, and the British Royal navy is now in place to protect the fish. 
  • The mayor of Paris wants to make the center of Paris a pedestrian-only zone.  Why not, but considering most of the apartments in that area are airbnbs, I’m not sure tourists are going to appreciate having to lug their luggage across cobblestone streets. But tourists don’t vote in mayoral elections anyway. 
  • Euro 2020 is around the corner and France’s football (soccer) team is set!  Yes, they are still calling it 2020, even though we are in 2021, it saves on reprinting marketing materials. The big news is that Real Madrid’s French superstar Karim Benzema has been allowed back onto the French team after a 5-year absence. France is the defending World Cup champion, so we are looking forward to an offensive and successful campaign! Games start mid-June.  

Anyway, here what is new in the blog over the past few days: 

15 Funny Quotes about Britain and France

If there is anyone that has a love-hate relationship, it is Britain and France. Having fought each other for centuries, the two countries now find themselves allied on most issues, despite themselves. Gone are the days of the War of Roses, the 100 Years War, the Napoleonic Wars, etc… These days it is a war […]

The Incredible Amount of Taxes in France (2021)

If you are going look at taxes in France, you have to start with a single astonishing fact: approximately 57% of GDP comes from France’s Public sector spending. That means more than ½ of the spending in France’s economy is coming from the government (per the Office of the French Prime Minister). And from where does […]


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