French Flea Market
As winter comes to an end and gives way to spring that great human event takes place – the Flea Market, or as they are called in France - Marché aux puces, vide-greniers or brocantes. If the area I live in is any indication, every weekend from spring to the end of summer there will be a Flea Market just a short drive away.
I’ve always found vide-greniers to be the best, akin to an American yard sale - mostly people just getting rid of their extra stuff – or junk depending on your point of view. From my experience brocantes or Marché aux puces tend to have more professionals than a vide-grenier. But that doesn’t mean brocantes or Marché aux puces isn’t worth a detour. Many tourist offices will have lists or information on where to find Marché aux puces, vide-greniers or brocantes.
Two more French Flea Market photos.
Healthcare Bill & Expats
The recently passed healthcare bill mandates that Americans have health insurance. As far as I can tell, if you live outside the US, the government considers that you do in fact have health insurance, therefore for expats there is no mandate. I’m not a specialist; this is based on a section from the bill and what I’ve read on the Internet. Here are some links to read further:
Senate Health Care Bill: Expats Exempt From Coverage Mandate
The final US health reform package; what you need to know
US Health Care Reform and Asian Expatriates
Reminder, I work with two American accountants – Barron Harper and Liz Zitzow who specialize in working with the American expatriate community, be it in France or another country. I also work with two accounting firms - Property Tax International and French Tax Online who can help with your French returns. Property Tax International is making a special offer for Americans in France readers. Barron Harper has articles on Americans in France.
If you need to figure out your euro income in dollars, the 2009 yearly average euro/dollars was 0.719.
The Connexion newspaper has a help sheet for doing your French taxes for €5.00. The latest issue also includes step by step guide for filling out a French tax form.
President Nicolas Sarkozy’s Union pour un mouvement populaire (UMP) party did poorly in the recent Regional Elections, as expected. In the second round the UMP and allies received a little over 35% of the vote to 54% for the Parti socialiste (PS) and allies. The rest went mostly to the far right Front National (FN).
The biggest news after the election wasn’t the minor government reshuffle that took place but that former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, a rival of Sarkozy’s announced he was going to start his own party. To, it’s assumed run for president in 2012. Meaning Sarkozy could have a strong challenger coming from the mainstream right, unlike in the 2007 presidential elections.
Also adding to Sarkozy’s problems is the fact that he is about 20% less popular than is Prime Minister - François Fillon. Some in the UMP believe Fillon, should be the party nominee for 2012 and not Sarkozy.
CHARLAN - A 17th Century B&B with pool Set on the River Lot, Aiguillon, Lot et Garonne. Exclusively for Adults Only.
Charlan, a traditionally south facing maison de maître stone property built in 1698. Set on 3 acres (1.1 ha) and bordered by the River Lot, Charlan's location is private and peaceful. Within easy walking distance of the picturesque village Aiguillon (2km), which offers all amenities and is a 10 minute driving distance to the A62 autoroute for access to Bordeaux/Toulouse. Ideally located for property hunting in the Lot et Garonne and Dordogne Regions. Charlan has a private swimming pool, 2 double and 1 single guest bedrooms, a private guest lounge with satellite TV and a DVD library.
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Find more properties on Americans in France
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