Archive for February, 2010

French health system to reduce reimbursements for 200 medicines

February 28th, 2010 No comments

According to La Tribune (the French equivalent of the Financial Times or Wall Street Journal, although Les Echos could also be compared similarly…), almost 200 medicines will see their reimbursement rates fall from 35% to 15% in April. You can see the list by clicking the link above “la Tribune” in French.

Près de 200 médicaments verront leur taux de remboursement passer de 35% à 15% à partir du mois d’avril. Il s’agit de médicaments au “service médical rendu faible”. Cette mesure, annoncée en octobre 2009 par Roselyne Bachelot, la ministre de la santé, devrait permettre de faire économiser 145 millions d’euros par an à l’Assurance maladie.

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An expat in France is moving & looking to sell things

February 24th, 2010 No comments

Gabriella has told me she is moving back to the USA and will be selling many things such as “Beds, vacuum cleaner,lamps, child’s desk, etc…”. She’s located in the Hérault region near Montpellier, so if you’re around there and interested in this offer, you can contact me and I’ll give you her contact information.

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France gets “favorable” rating by Americans in Gallup poll

February 22nd, 2010 2 comments

Gallup released a poll recently about image – the opinions of Americans with regard to 20 countries that figure prominently in the news at the moment. Which countries are among those with the most favorable image?

Here is a list of the first few and last few:

1) Canada (90% favorable)
2) Great Britain (87%)
3) Germany (80%)
4) Japan (77%)
5) Israel (67%)
6) India (66%)
7) France (63%)

Iran finishes last with 10%. As with all polls, you have to take a look at the type of questions asked, specific circumstances, etc.

An interesting note is that among Republicans, the image of France is 52% favorable, but with Democrats it’s 76%. Similarly, generational differences are obvious: Among those 55 and older, France has 55%, for those 35-54 years old it’s 63%, and 18-34 years old, 75%. This confirms my own personal experience: in general, the younger generation is more open to other countries and cultures. We have grown up with the internet and globalization, so I guess that should not come as a surprise.

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Survey on US-French Entrepreneurs

February 16th, 2010 1 comment

Bonjour everyone,

I have a contact, Jennifer, who is an MBA student at University of Connecticut (UConn) and currently doing a comparative study on US and French businesses. She has a quick survey to fill out, specifically for US and French entrepreneurs:

My team and I have elected to conduct a brief snap shot about the differences between the entrepreneurial systems in the United Stated and France to determine if there are some best practices that each system can learn from the other. To that end, the team has designed a survey to test for certain entrepreneurial characteristics. The survey is only 22 questions and should take about 7 minutes to complete.

The survey is online here

And needs to be completed by this Thursday, Feb. 18. Thanks to everyone. Merci bien.

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French President Sarkozy discussing pension reform

February 15th, 2010 2 comments

BBC reports that French President Nicolas Sarkozy is in meetings today with top union and business officials to discuss pension reform. This is part of a bigger debate about work in the country, including working on Sundays, making labor contracts more flexible (easier to hire, easier to fire – according to your view), etc. France has a ballooning deficit and debt and its labor market, although talented, is known for being hampered by red tape. Hopefully government reform will produce some positive results for the future, but it will be quite a battle against special interests who have had it easy from the welfare state for a long time.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy will meet key unions later to discuss controversial plans to reform the country’s pensions system. The government wants to cut the pension burden on the state, with one option being raising the retirement age. However, unions have already voiced their opposition to any such move and threatened a major dispute.

The retirement age in France is currently 60, much lower than in many other European countries.

In Germany and Denmark, the retirement age is 67, while Britain is planning to increase it to 68.
The French government has said its pension deficit will be 10.7bn euros ($14.6bn; £9.3bn) this year, and rise to 50bn euros by 2020.
Mr Sarkozy had hoped to postpone pension reform until after the next presidential election in 2012, but the global downturn has forced the issue back up the political agenda. France’s growing national debt level means the government needs to cut spending levels.

The problem is compounded by the large number of people set to retire in the coming years.
“It’s urgent now because of the demographics,” Professor Laurent Marouani at HEC Business School told the BBC. “Now, many people born between 1945 and 1952 are going to retire, so it’s becoming urgent because how are we going to pay for these people in two to three years?”

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Expatica’s “Expat Voice” – perspectives from Annecy

February 15th, 2010 No comments

Expatica has a feature called “Expat Voices”, and the latest one is entitled “Expat Voices: David Giorgi on living in Annecy“. Excerpts:

Having grew up in French-speaking Switzerland, David loves local treats and has no major problems with the language. He does find it challenging to make new friends as the French in Annecy are less likely to ‘open up’…What was your first impression of France?
My first impressions date back to the seventies as I grew up in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. France always seemed so close yet so far away. Now that I live in France it somehow feels like the right place to be, culturally and geographically…

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More on why for many expats, France is the best place

February 12th, 2010 2 comments

CNN published an article giving insight into why for expats, France is a paradise (despite domestic problems):

Bindi Dupouy, an Australian living in Paris, and her French husband, just had their first child, a son born in the country. Dupouy, a 28-year-old lawyer, got almost five months paid maternity leave from her company for the birth. She can take another seven months off beyond that — a year total — unpaid, if she wants, with her job guaranteed under French law….One of the reasons France keeps winning the ranking is its world-class health care system, which Dupouy just experienced first-hand……
“They treat expecting mums like treasures here,” Dupouy told CNN from her Paris apartment. “They take really good care of you. The health care system is just amazing.” She said she wouldn’t have gotten the same maternity leave — or care — back home in Australia…

Let the debate continue….

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More American University Club events in France

February 8th, 2010 No comments

You can find out more here.

Lundi 8 Fevrier à 19 h (LIMITED to 35 people)
Subject : WINE TASTING : 5 Grands Vins à découvrir ‘Match France vs. Amériques’
Organized by : France Ameriques Jeunes (pour les 18 – 35 ans)
Speaker : Animation par Charles Savary, Directeur de People & Wine
& Jules Lamon, œnologue-formateur –
Online paiement : (click on « FA Jeunes on the left)
Membre : 30 € , Non Membre : 35 €
Location ; Cercle France-Amériques, 9 av Franklin Roosevelt, 75008 Paris
(M° Franklin Roosevelt ou Champs-Elysées Clémenceau)

Jeudi 4 février à 19h :
Organized by : Fondation des Etats-Unis
Subject : Concert de musique contemporaine de saxophone avec Jean-Michel GOURY, ses collègues et ses élèves
Location : Grand Salon de la Fondation des Etats-Unis, 15 boulevard Jourdan 75014 Paris
Conditions : Entrée libre dans la limite des places disponibles ; Cocktail à suivre

Mercredi 10 février à 19h :
Organized by : Fondation des Etats-Unis
Subject : Concert et exposition avec les membres courants et anciens de PONT – Portes Ouvertes aux Nouveaux Talents
Location : Grand Salon et Galerie Harriet Hale Woolley de la Fondation des Etats-Unis, 15 boulevard Jourdan 75014 Paris
Conditions : Entrée libre dans la limite des places disponibles ; Cocktail à suivre

Mercredi 17 février à 19h :
Organized by : Fondation des Etats-Unis
Subject : Concert avec le Trio Atlantis : Joel Diegert et Zachary Pfau, saxophones ; Dephine Dussaux, piano. Suivi d’une exposition de Caroline Ting, intitulée « Regards: the rewards of art-making »
Location : Grand Salon et Galerie Harriet Hale Woolley de la Fondation des Etats-Unis, 15 boulevard Jourdan 75014 Paris
Conditions : Entrée libre dans la limite des places disponibles ; Cocktail à suivre

Jeudi 18 Fevrier 17h00 19h00
Organized by :AUP – American University of Paris
Subject : lecture/book launch “Spirituality and Business: Exploring Possibilities for a New Management Paradigm (Springer, 2009)”
Speaker : Margot Borden & Anne E. Witte
Location : AUP 6, rue du Colonel Combes, Paris, 75007, RoomC12
Contact: Professor Mehdi Majidi

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American University Clubs events for February

February 1st, 2010 No comments

For those of you who are alumni of U.S. universities and currently living in France, whatever your nationality, you may be interested in the American University Clubs of France (AUC). In December I wrote a piece about AUC launching a chapter in the Rhone-Alpes region based in Lyon and Grenoble.

While most events are in Paris, Aurelien Cottet, President of AUC, says that they’re working on expanding into the Nice and Toulouse regions, and that they are planning an event in March for the Lyon-Grenoble region.

You can download their schedule of events here.

Contest announced for children expats

February 1st, 2010 No comments

To those expats with children aged 12-18 who have resided in a foreign country for at least 2 consecutive years, listen up:

Clements International Announces 2nd Annual Expat Youth Scholarship

Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) January 28, 2010 — Clements International, the leading provider of insurance solutions for expatriates and international organizations, is announcing its 2nd annual scholarship program for expatriate students.

Clements International’s “Life in a Flying House” 2010 Expat Youth Scholarship will award $10,000 to students ages 12-18 of any nationality who have resided in a foreign country for at least two consecutive years. This year’s theme asks, “Where would you go in your flying house?” The “flying house” is inspired by the idea that students who spend their childhoods moving between different countries and cultures acquire unique life experiences.

“We were overwhelmed by the success of our first scholarship contest last year and the positive response we received from the expat community,” said President Chris Beck. “We’re excited to do it again and look forward to hearing from expat students and their families living all over the world.”

The scholarship contest offers expat students a chance to use their experiences living in a foreign country to imagine where their journey might take them next. Entries consist of an essay (500 – 750 words) and creative image or photograph that incorporates their own personalized flying house. A total of six winners will be selected from two age categories (12-15 and 16-18) based on the quality of the essay, how well their image creatively illustrates their answer to the essay question, and overall creativity. The scholarship entry deadline is Thursday, May 13, 2010.

For more information about the scholarship and to submit entries, visit

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