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Lost in France

I hadn’t really thought about how the French Revolution played out in the rest of the French territories until I read a book on slavery. 

The American captain of an unsuccessful trading ship was trying to return with his cargo to America and unfortunately landed on Ile de France just after revolutionaries in Paris had killed the king.  The island was plunged into anarchy, mobs roamed the streets and merchants had to sell their goods at reduced prices made virtually worthless by the paper money forced on them by the revolutionaries.  Women had dyed their hair red, white and blue and rumours were rife that the artisans (obviously not the revolutionary class) would join slaves with arms given to them by the sailors and that they would destroy the wealth of the merchant class.  It was a world unhinged by revolution.  Piracy and privateering were democratised. No ships were safe.

Once Napoleon came to power in Paris, privateering was nationalised and their actions would be coordinated with the French navy to disrupt British commerce.  But prior to this, piracy was open to all and every man could be a privateer.

So arriving at Ile de France, this American captain arrived into lawlessness.  His goods were impounded and he could not leave.  For a man who had experienced the American Revolution where virtually everyone went back to work after they had won, he found himself instead trapped in a place which had a perverted sense of morality and justice.

This is just a snap shot from a remarkably well-researched book by Greg Grandin called ‘The Empire of Necessity – The Untold History of a Slave Rebellion in the Age of Liberty’.








 lenetwork  Local press ad







Update on Social Charges


My last article on this subject confirmed that France had accepted the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling of

February that it should not apply social charges on ‘income from capital’ for French residents who are insured

under the social security scheme of another EU/EEA State.



The article can be found at

and more detail on the ECJ’s ruling can be found at



As is well known in France, it is often the case that one tax office can follow a different practice than another! So

some of our clients have already been successful in claiming refunds of social charges, whilst others have been told

that they would have to wait until the ‘official instructions’ were received by the local tax office.


Happily, the official instructions arrived on 20th October in the form of a ‘Communiqué de Presse’ from the Direction

Générale des Finances Publiques (DGFiP). This concerns individuals who are not insured by France, but instead

by another EU, EEA or Swiss social security regime.


Hence, all French tax offices have now been given the green light to process claims for refunds of social charges, as



  1. For French residents, social charges that have been applied to investment income and gains, regardless of whether these have arisen within or outside of France.
  2. For anyone resident outside of France, social charges paid on French property capital gains and unfurnished rental income.


The communiqué highlights the fact that the ‘2% prélèvement de solidarité’ does not specifically finance any particular

French social security organisation and as such, will not be refunded, reducing the refund to 13.5% of the

15.5% social charges paid.


Refund claims must be submitted by 31st December 2015 for the following:


(1Social charges that have been paid from 1st January 2013 in respect of gains on real estate.


(2) For income and gains assessed via tax declarations made since 1st January 2013, effectively limiting this to

income and gains made since 2012.


(3) For investment income that has been taxed at source since 1st January 2013.



In all cases, the claim must be accompanied by a justification of the amount of social charges being contested,

as well as justification of the taxpayer’s affiliation to a social security regime other than France, in the EU,

EEA or Switzerland.


In view of the above requirements to justify claims, ‘early retirees’ and anyone else who is not covered by an EU,

EEA or Swiss social security regime cannot depend upon the outcome of the judgement with certainty, even if

they have private medical cover. Nevertheless, they may anyway wish to make the claim and be prepared to appeal

if they are refused, perhaps on the grounds that they are not insured by France and therefore, should not have to

contribute to a social security system from which they cannot benefit.


Looking forward, it is not clear what will happen from 2016. In the draft Social Security budget currently being debated

by the French parliament, a proposal has been made to ‘redirect’ the CSG (8.2%) and the CRDS (0.5%) to the

Fonds de Solidarité Viellesse (FVI) in an attempt to circumvent the ECJ ruling. Let’s hope that the Constitutional

Council throws out this proposal when it undertakes its final deliberation on the draft legislation!


In reality, France raises more from social charges than from income tax. What seems clear is that the government

will find some way to make up for this loss of income from social charges if it cannot get its own way, perhaps

by the introduction of other taxes. Equally clear is the fact that people should always find legitimate ways to avoid

paying unnecessary taxes and that is something that we help our clients to do.


If you would like to have a confidential discussion about your personal financial situation, please contact me either by

e-mail at or by telephone on 04 68 20 30 17.


The above outline is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute advice or a recommendation

from The Spectrum IFA Group to take any particular action on the subject of investment of financial assets or the

mitigation of taxes.

The Spectrum IFA Group advisers do not charge any fees directly to clients for their time or for advice given, as can

be seen from our Client Charter at

Daphne Foulkes

SIRET 522 658 194 00017

Numéro d’immatriculation ORIAS 10 056 800


Forward this Flyer to friends and anyone else you know who may find it useful


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Aude Final 

 Mirepoix intLdpi















 aladdin 5

 Edith Piaf Affiche



meteo ciel3

 truff15 to 16

Tech Talk



Question – I use a website to watch movies and box-sets of TV shows, but now I cannot get to it and it says “Forbidden You don't have permission to access / on this server.”Or “Error 403 Forbidden Blocked content” message. What does this mean?


Answer - It means that its probably an illegal streaming site and has been shut down or blocked by your internet provider probably on the instructions of the police or government.



Please Note: Under law HADPOI (French law) it is an offence to stream digital media without the copyrights holders permission and is punishable under the same laws as if you were to illegally download movies or music or any other copyright material. That means you could get a warning email, then a warning letter from your internet provider and then if it happens again a full ban on all digital communications for 1 year, plus a fine and also your details will be passed to the copyright holder so that they can take legal action against you. When it says all digital communications it means all internet, all phone, all mobile and any other way of connecting to the internet and it covers the whole household not just the person that committed the offence.


I have received one of these warning emails myself after my nephew was staying, he was streaming films from a French website and it was detected. I’ve had many clients tell me they have receive letters from Orange and SFR giving them their last warning and I’ve had two clients who have had the internet blocked (their kids were streaming and downloading).


Please Please Please be careful, sites like are safe and have a license to broadcast over the internet, many other sites do not. Any site offering free movies, free TV shows, free catch-up TV outside of the country of broadcast are more than likely operating illegally and should not be used. Just because its on the internet does not mean its legal, just because its free does not make it legal, just because you know other people that are using it does not make it legal.



Many big film companies and media organisations are using entrapment methods to catch people, they are purposely seeding download sites (uploading movies etc) with built in trackers, many of these end up on streaming sites where they notify the IP address of everyone that watches them to the company. The company then demands those people names from the internet providers because all IP address are traceable. Bingo you are caught red handed.


It is not safe to stream unless you are paying a proper company like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Canal+ Pay-TV, or CanalPaly, - Unfortunately there are very few legal streaming sites in France because the government actively do not want outside companies broadcasting to the French people, unless the pay to fund the French film industry. There are very high taxes and charges on streaming companies which means France has fewer legal sites than other countries the result is the French people steal/download/stream more illegal content that the rest of Europe put together – Very sad???



There is also a growing trend for websites to steal content from other reputable web sites. You go to a site say (made up name) and you start watching the TV but in the corner of the picture you see a logo. It quite likely this site is stealing the content from without their permission. This would make it an illegal streaming website and could mean you get in trouble for using it. It would not necessarily be that would get caught as they are very likely to be based in a country outside of the EU and therefore the authorities come after you for using an illegal streaming site.


Yes it’s an absolute mine-field of complexity at the moment, hopefully the EU authorities with sort out cross-border TV and media next year as they have done with warranties, mobile phones, and banks.

Many people are using VPN connections to watch UK TV, I have written about this before. It is EXTREAMLY dangerous; ALL your internet activity is passed through the VPN connection, all your logins, all your passwords, every site you visited is visible to the person at the other end of the VPN link. I do not advise anyone to use VPN, but if you must and are willing to take the risk then make sure you ONLY connect the VPN to watch TV then DISCONNECT immediately before you do anything else.


The list of people I know (some clients) that have had their bank accounts hacked directly because they used VPN connections is growing. In most cases the bank will NOT return the money as the user purposely used an insecure system to connect to the bank and therefore allowed hacker to see the password.

If you need help or have any questions about your computer please give me a call or send me an email for advice. or Telephone 05 61 60 84 23.





Bridge problem

You are in four spades and they lead a trump. Any ideas?

A Q 10
6 5 4
A K 5 4
K 6 5

Your hand
K J 9 6 5
K 3 2
7 3 2


With nine top tricks you need just one more for your contract. This could come from diamonds 3/3 or the Ace of hearts onside or even a club finesse.
In order to try all three possibilities, win the lead in Dummy and finesse the Jack of clubs. If this loses, win the probable trump return, cash the Ace of clubs, enter Dummy with a diamond, throw a diamond from hand on the
King of clubs, cash the other top diamond and ruff a third diamond high in hand. If they are 3/3, you still have a trump entry to Dummy to enjoy the last diamond. If they aren't 3/3, you ll have to play up to the King of
hearts, hoping the Ace is onside. Phew!


Lizzie Godfrey






Most areas have finally had some rain but we are still experiencing warm temperatures, a perfect time still to be planting trees, shrubs and perennials. However, winter now may not be that far off and we can often experience some early frosts towards the end on November or in early December.  Think about preparing for frost and make sure that outside taps are insulated.  Container grown plants are always mire vulnerable to frost that plants in the ground so think about protecting them;  when frost is forecast it is a good idea to wrap the container in bubble wrap or hessian and protect the foliage of the plant with winter fleece.  Containers are best stood on little “feet” in winter to make sure that the container drains and that the root system doesn’t become waterlogged.  If you have planted winter pansies remember to keep deadheading them to ensure more flowers.

While we are still experiencing warm temperatures there are still lots of plants in flower.  Nerine bowdenii from South Africa is a summer dormant perennial bulb with lovely pink, lily like flowers in autumn.  Regular customers will know of my passion (obsession?) with salvias.  One of the loveliest for the autumn is Salvia Anthony Parker which has amazing blue-violet flowers in the autumn, it likes full sun and grows to about 1m or more with similar spread.  Unfortunately it is only hardy to about -4°C so if you are growing it in the ground it needs to be very well mulched (and take a few cuttings for insurance), alternatively it is a good subject for a large pot and then it can be overwintered in a frost free environment.

For any garden queries do get in touch with Gill Pound ( 04 68 78 43 81 or ). La Petite Pépinière de Caunes 21, av de la Montagne Noire (route de Citou) 11160 Caunes-Minervois. Remember that you are always welcome to visit the garden to observe, photograph, take notes etc.  We are also always open by appointment, just phone or email to fix a time.

Open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm from the beginning of September until the end of November. 

La Petite Pépinière de Caunes
21, av de la Montagne Noire,
11160 Caunes-Minervois
04 68 78 43 81




 fetes aude autumn















The Property Page





 front door 011smallarcher

 Razes circulade village

Period house in a beautiful Razes circulade village.  This renovated but unspoilt house is over 200 years old and has far reaching views of countryside, hills and mountains from almost every room, and a stunning roof terrace.  There are 3 double bedrooms, large lounge, separate dining room and kitchen.  There is also a very large walk-thru cellar.  The house retains many period features including a beautiful oak staircase.  

Price 99,000 euros. .




Former Presbetary with courtyard near town centre



 Village house to renovate with a courtyard of 80m²




Bordebasse du Lac - Cottage available for long term rental

 Detached modern house

for sale in Montréal


Holiday Apartment AiguaBlava,

Costa Brava


Naturist Property 97,500 euro


for 13 editions (6months)
link to your own web page

 readers write



Some vide greniers and foires!
Please check before setting off
They also have a sister site where you can giveaway stuff or find stuff others are giving
Its all recycling - you know it makes sense!
If there are two in the same town on the same day, it could be a duplicate on the site or a second event
Black = Aude - Brown = Ariege

Samedi 21 Novembre

Coursan Vide grenier à Coursan

Sigean Bourse aux jouets

Saverdun 1 ère bourse aux collectionneurs multiples expos 

Saverdun Vide grenier

Varilhes Vide grenier brocante 

Varilhes Bourse à l'auto et moto


Dimanche 22 Novembre


Carcassonne Vide grenier brocante

Caves Vide greniers

Coursan Vide grenier

Le Somail Bourse aux jouets, livres enfants

Palaja Bourse aux jouets etvetements d'enfants

Peyriac-de-Mer Bourse aux jouets

Rieux-Minervois Vide-Grenier de Quartiers en Fête

Villalbe Bourse aux jouets et matériel puériculture

Ax-les-Thermes Les puces de l'enfance de l'Association des parents d'élèves 

Lissac 2ème Bourse aux jouets du Comité des Fêtes de Lissac

Pamiers Marché et puces et à la brocantes 

Varilhes Bourse au jouet et vide poussette 

Varilhes Vide grenierbrocante 

Villeneuve-du-Paréage Vide grenier jeux, jouets et puériculture

Samedi 28 Novembre

Coursan Bourse aux jouets, les parents d'élèves vendent pour vous

Coursan Vide grenier

Gruissan Gruissan joue aux playmobil 2eme edition

Narbonne Gratiféria-espace de gratuité

Saverdun 1 ère bourse aux collectionneurs multiples expos 

Saverdun Vide greniers +brocante

Varilhes Vide grenier brocante 

Varilhes Bourse à l'auto et moto

Dimanche 29 Novembre

Alet-les-Bains Bourse aux jouets, vetements enfants, producteurs locaux

Alzonne Bourse aux jouets

Belpech Bourse aux Jouets

Capendu Bourse aux jouets

Carcassonne Vide grenier brocante

Caves Vide greniers

Couiza Bourse aux jouets et aux vêtementsd'enfants

Coursan Bourse aux jouets, les parents d'élèves vendent pour vous


Coursan Vide grenier à Coursan

Ginestas Bourse aux jouets

Gruissan Gruissan joue aux playmobil 2eme edition

Narbonne Bourse aux jouets et puériculture

Narbonne Vide grenier

Névian Bourse aux jouets en interieur La Farandole

Pennautier Marché de Noël

Port-la-Nouvelle Bourse aux jouets

Portel-des-Corbières Bourse aux jouets

Roullens Bourses aux jouets et puériculture

Saint-Hilaire Videgrenier

Saissac Bourse aux jouets, vêtements d'enfants et puericulture

Thézan-des-Corbières Bourse aux jouets

Daumazan-sur-Arize Bourse aux jouets et articles de puériculture 

Pamiers Marché et puces et à la brocantes 

Rieucros Bourse aux jouets et puériculture 

Saverdun Bourse aux Jouets 

Varilhes Bourse au jouet et vide poussette

Varilhes Vide grenier brocante 




Harry Shindler writes --- If there is an 'out' vote, then it will affect personally every expat and every expat family. It's very serious indeed. LETS GET ALL OUR EX-PATS INVOLVED.  We must win the right to vote in the Referendum - it's up to us all .... as the man* said "Never Tire - Never Weary".             *Winston Churchill

For those who live far from Europe the vote may yet affect you - Please support.

The Referendum Bill  - Update

             Our lobbying has already had an impact: see here ITV's report on the debate during committee stage on 2 Nov:---      and also our report on the debate below this email.  However, we need to keep up the pressure!


1.  The Report Stage takes place in the House of Lords from Wed 18 November.  Baroness Miller (Lib Dem) will introduce an amendment to give all British Citizens in the EU a vote in the Referendum.  Those resident outside the EU will not be included as this is unlikely to be accepted.  When Baroness Miller presents her amendment, it is likely that the Government will tell (whip) its members not to vote for it, and may even urge them to vote against it.  Labour might also whip against it. Baroness Miller's amendment is thus likely to fail unless Labour & Conservative peers are persuaded otherwise by our lobbying. 

2.  Keep Lobbying Peers pleaseAs mentioned previously, peers' email addresses can be found at  They are often given as a general     Individual mail addresses are usually (but not always) the surname with an added initial.  Thus for example, Baroness Altmann is  

3.  Which peer should you contact?  Some advice from Baroness Miller follows.

Baroness Miller urges -----

“The essential thing now is to get all your friends and family to lobby members of the House of Lords - either ones they know, or just pick someone, but choose people who didn’t speak, rather than those who are already on board. We suggest especially writing to Baroness Anelay (Con), or anelayj@parliament.ukwho is in charge of this bill in the Lords."

NB absolutely essential that a mail to Baroness Anelay is of a very personalised nature - if not, the clerks will bin it.  Read more in the article from The Connexion  >>>>  :

Lord Faulks (Conservative spokesman) spoke against for the government - a personalised and well argued letter to him would also be useful (note that he is a barrister by training).

Baroness Morgan (Labour spokesperson) clearly needs persuasion. Labour does not support the repeal of the 15 year rule in general but it is worth trying to make the argument that the EU referendum is a distinct case as expats are directly affected.   Labour supports the franchise in the EU referendum for 16-17 year olds and has referred to the impact it will have on their futures.  Her email address is

Please check Hansard below to see who did speak in favour - so that you can then target those peers who did not speak.


4.  How to write?  A personalised letter is preferable but here is an example for inspiration.  

Dear [Lord] [B/ness] xxxxx

I have lived outside the UK in [country or countries] for xx years.  As a result I can no longer vote in British general elections and currently would not be able to vote in the EU referendum, although I will be seriously affected [both] personally [and professionally] by its outcome.  Thus the outcome of the referendum is naturally very important to me.  Please vote in favour of any amendment at the Report Stage of the Referendum Bill tabled by Baroness Miller  to give me the vote.


Hansard report on the Committee Stage of the Referendum Bill  2nd November 2015


During Committee Stage, two amendments were proposed by Lord Hannay (cross bench)  and B/ness Miller (LD). A good deal of cross-party consensus seemed to be building during the debate.  Only Lord Trenchard spoke against, while Lords Dobbs was ambivalent. He was for the principle but raised the practical difficulties.  It was also not entirely clear whether Lord Grocott was supportive.

Fourteen members of the Lords spoke firmly for the proposals:-

[Cons -Lexden, Spicer, Hamilton, Flight, Bowness, Tugendhat, Garel-Jones; Lab -Royall, Liddle, Anderson; LD - Wallace, Tyler, Shipley;  Cross-Bench - Green

Unfortunately, B/ness Morgan of Ely's statement set out Labour's official view as being against repeal of the 15 year rule, and Lord Faulks [], speaking for the Government was also quite clearly against.  The full debate can be found at:-

Starting at Column 1409 at 3.09 p.m.

                             Brian Cave                         Jane Golding

*****************************                                                                                                                                               Remember if you do not want to keep up to date with these issues, just reply 'no thank you'
Brian Cave
le Fourquet, Gourdon, 46300, France  email:-        -Votes for Britons  - 




What's On

NIGHTWISH 26 Nov Zenith Toulouse

LA TRAVIATA 28 Nov Zenith Toulouse

SCORPIONS 4 Dec Zenith Toulouse

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL 22/26 Nov Zenith Toulouse

UB40 12 April Casino Toulouse


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