Anorak News | Taking French Leave

Taking French Leave

by | 24th, January 2006

‘IF you are going to be unemployed why live in, say, Liverpool. The European Union is your gravy train. You can travel as far and wide as Bournemouth, Brussels and Barcelona.

‘Calme vers le bas! Calme vers le bas!’

If you make your journey on a cow, you may even be in line for a hand out from the EU’s generous agricultural policy. Better yet if you drive your cattle in the hoof prints of Cro-Magnon man, Gauls, Romans and Franks to the Dordogne region of France.

There you can live the high life. In the Dordogne you can eat well, drink better and live large with your fellow Périgordiens.

Your French State benefits, the Revenu Minimum d’Insertion, go a long way in the Dordogne. As the Times says, the basic benefit for the long-term unemployed is £250 a month for a single person rising to more than £600 a month for a couple with more than two dependent children.

And already many British are taking advantage of the deal. But not all of us are honest. As the Times reports in “Rosbif fiddlers face the music”, about 60 Britons stand accused to obtaining money through false pretences.

Bernard Cazeau, chairman of the Dordogne council is not interested in excuses. “The ones who committed fraud were fully aware that they were acting in bad faith. Among them were people who were living in comfortable houses with large incomes,” says he.

Christian Memet, director of the council’s public services, has also sized up the Britons’ homes. “We noticed that a lot of these Britons seemed to be living in conditions far superior to those in which RMI recipients normally live,” says he.

The message to any Britons residing in the département in central France is to pay up.

And if you haven’t got the necessary euros, best get running. Though Cazeau says “We are not out to hunt Britons, just cheats”, the British offer a tempting quarry for the French to chase.

And so much more exciting than the usual renard…’

Posted: 24th, January 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment (1) | TrackBack | Permalink