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Isn’t life strange or the “law an ass”?  Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo are “suspects” in the case of the murder of Lee Rigby. Suspects? Yes OK - innocent until proven guilty, but really? If there is a trial by jury, which stone are they going to look under to find jurors that have not heard the details of the crime (s) via reports on every media?

Is Mr Farage being kidnapped away from UKIP party policy and being turned into a modern day Enoch Powell by the media?  Don’t they (the media) along with the proletariat realise that if they aren’t careful, they will turn UKIP into something worse than that?

So France along with a few other European countries is being given more time to complete their austerity plans. France will get 2 more years to bring its budget deficit below 3% of GDP. Didn’t unpopular Mr Hollande get elected on a ‘spend money to get out of recession/depression policy’?  As it hardly seems he can become less popular perhaps it will be easier for him to get spending in line with Barosso/Merkel policy.


Mr Barroso stressed that the decision to allow some member states to slow the pace of austerity was made on purely economic and financial grounds, rather than for political reasons.

Speaking about the new timetable for France, he said the message remained "very demanding".

"The extra time should be used wisely to address France's failing competitiveness ... I believe there is a growing consensus now in France about the need for those reforms," he said.

Pop a note in your diary for two years from now to see if they can get the budget deficit under 3% of GDP and increase flexibility in the labour market. Maybe they can do it.

I omitted to mention the howler I saw on BBC News - it was during the hunt for the second Boston Marathon bomber (sorry, suspect). The subtitle was every bit as good as “send reinforcements we’re going to advance” and read “he was a laugh guard at a local slimming club”.  Yes, I am sure they were trying to say he was a life guard at a swimming club, but the mental picture created from the erroneous one was very amusing.  You should try watching, but you do need to be on pre-6am UK time because it starts to improve from thereon in.  Maybe that’s when they stop subbing it out to their Calcutta branch office. There was another one last week on a technology report involving tablet computers and smart phones, which it referred to as “tabards and smart friends” I can’t work out how it can happen?  If it is computer generated or done in India I would have thought tablet as a choice comes before tabard?

Happy subtitle watching! oh and do have a look at the website in a few days as there will be updates on whats on, including Madness, Crosby Still and Nash and others




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To Declare or Not to Declare?

By the time that you read this, if you are French resident, you should have already done your French income tax returns. If you are not sure about your residency status, call me and we can go over this.

Tax is not the most favourite of subjects for anyone (except for accountants), but it is a popular subject for discussion around the expatriate dinner party table. As the wine flows, people start to open up about what they do or don’t do and for those that do (declare), they leave the party wondering whether or not they are telling the tax man too much.

I often hear people say that they don’t declare bank accounts outside of France because there is not much money in them and there is no interest. This is a mistake because the existence of all banks accounts outside of France must be declared. The same applies for any life policies and for interests in any trust.

Still not convinced? Well perhaps the potential penalties may persuade you otherwise!

For example, for foreign bank accounts, the penalty is €1,500 for each undisclosed account. However, if the total value of all unreported accounts is €50,000 or more, then the penalty is increased to 5% of the total value of the contracts, if this results in a greater amount.

The same penalties also apply for undeclared foreign life assurance contracts.

Furthermore, if the payments into life assurance contracts or bank accounts are made from outside of France and you cannot prove the source of the money, this will be treated as taxable income. Even worse, a further interest penalty of 40% will be added to the tax liability resulting from the amount invested!

So now you may be asking how the Fisc will find out about those foreign assets. Well, the walls of secrecy are coming down.

At the beginning of this year, the revised EU Directive on Administrative Cooperation in Taxation came into force. This Directive has set out the basis for stronger co-operation and greater information exchange between tax authorities in Europe and covers information that is considered to be ‘relevant’ to the tax administration.

One of the main points of the Directive is the abolition of banking secrecy for cross-border information requests and a Member State cannot refuse to give information to another, just because it is held by a financial institution. This aligns EU law to recognised OECD standards.

Now I guess that there are some people who are still not convinced about all of this because they are holding accounts in popular offshore jurisdictions that are not in the EU, for example, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, and so they think that the Fisc will not find out. Think again because all of these jurisdictions have signed Tax Information Exchange Agreements with France. Perhaps you have an account in Switzerland? Well there is a double taxation treaty in force with France and Switzerland’s parliament has recently adopted its Tax Administrative Assistance Act.

So with the global push by tax authorities to exchange information, there are few places left to hide your money. The list of countries that France considers to be non-cooperative is small. Even if you do have money in these countries, the minute that you transfer it to France, the Fisc will take 80% of it – at least according to my accountant. Not that I have money in any of these places, this came up when we were just having a conversation about trusts actually! The subject of trusts is too big to cover here and so for now I will just cover the penalties for non-disclosure.

If you have put money into a trust, even if you did this before coming to France, or you are the beneficiary of a trust that someone else has set up, the value of the trust assets must be declared. Technically, it is the trustees’ responsibility to do this and pay an annual levy, unless you have already included the assets in your wealth tax return. However, if the trustees don’t do this, then you must. The penalty for not doing so is the greater of €10,000 or 5% of the value of the assets.

Previously I wrote about avoiding unnecessary French taxes and the article can be found at If you have not already seen this, it is worth reading because it demonstrates how you can save tax in a legitimate way.

There is no problem with legitimately avoiding taxes, but evading taxes is different and non-disclosure is considered to be tax evasion.

So if you didn’t disclose those foreign accounts, put pen to paper now and get it into your tax office!

If anyone still has doubt, after considering the potential penalties, they should definitely contact me, in confidence, either by telephone on 04 68 20 30 17 or by e-mail at

The Spectrum IFA Group advisers do not charge any fees 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




   Want to advertise but cant do the artwork?

Just email and i will try to sort it out, at no extra cost.



 Email:;  National Website:

Forum:     Local Website:

 Local Association No : W112000594

Tech Talk



Everything by a different name.


So what’s with all the name changing? Hotmail became Livemail became  -  but wasn’t  Outlook already the name for a Microsoft email program? Its all very confusing???

I think Microsoft like to confuse, this time however they have an ulterior motive, Outlook is indeed the name of their business email program that came with business and professional versions of Microsoft Office so has a very good name and reputation. So what the motive for changing the name of Hotmail, the answer is subscriptions!!!

Microsoft is slowly trying to phase out boxes version of their software and turn us all over to annual software subscriptions. I am horrified by the thought that I would have to pay monthly or annually to be able to use a piece of software that I use every day. The thought that if I stopped paying I would lose access to my own documents or email sends a shiver down my spine and how many of us buy a new version of Microsoft office every year.  Answer not very many, most people buy office with a new computer every 4 to 5 years.

While there is very little difference between buying a boxed copy of Microsoft Office (99 euros) and buying a basic subscription over 2 years (50 euros per year) if you normally keep your version of office for 4 years then the subscription is twice the price over this period.

As you can probably tell I am not a fan of the subscription software, I consider software to be a product that I buy once and use for a long time, I might pay for an upgrade once in a while but I get to choose when and probably not every year. I think if Microsoft goes down this line that eventually all their software including Windows will become subscriptions based and prices will rise steeply.

I am however a fan subscriptions when it comes to online backup, I think this is a wonderful service and much more reliable than an external hard drive (which is mechanical, electrical and delicate). I will gladly pay for a backup that happens continuously in background that I never have to think about or remember to do, I can access the file from anywhere at any time.

So if you are thinking of buying Microsoft office buy a boxes copy or even better download a completely free alternative called Libreoffice (from the creators of Openoffice) is a very good example of Open source software. This software is free to use, is 100% legal and fully compatible with all Microsoft office documents including the new docx and xlsx formats.

Other companies are heavily pushing subscriptions based products, Adobe Photoshop and many other adobe products are now subscription only as and when the boxed copies with retailer’s runs out there will be no other way to get these products. It might be good for companies but not for individuals.

There are many free alternatives to expensive software here are a few of my suggestions:

Paid for software


Free software alternative

Microsoft Office




or Openoffice






Tubrocad/Auto Cad


Free Cad

Home designer


Sweet Home 3D

Acrobat Writer


PDF Creator


Other Free Software

Planetarium – night-time stars



Music Notation



Video Player


VLC media player

Diagrams (similar to Visio)


Dia Diagram

CD/DVD burning



Ebook Manager/library



Audio recording/Editing



There are any other pieces of software that are free to use, AVG, Avast amongst others, although they are free they are covered by licenses and have restrictions on their use they are very different from Open source software. 

All software listed above is Open source meaning its free and without license restrictions, so you can install in on as many computer as you like. A large majority of Open source software is available for Windows, Apple Mac, and Linux making it much more universal.

(I have not checked that all software listed above it available for all systems but the main one’s are.)

For even more Free open source software go to

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





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 AF Ad update May 2013








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Well, everyone is complaining about the weather - still quite a lots of rain and temperatures that feel more like March - many plants are about two weeks behind an average year.  There is one bonus, it means that displays of flower are tending to last longer, as long as they don't get too battered by the wind.  Tempting to stay indoors but, as I said a couple of weeks ago it is becoming even more important to stay on top of weeding.  Think about staking taller perennials against the wind.  Many lilies are now in bud - do keep an eye out for the red lily beetle which can strip the leaves of the plant overnight, you can either pick the beetles off by hand and squash them or use an insecticide.  

There are roses making wonderful displays at the moment, encouraged by the rain!  There must be thousands of roses in cultivation but those that seem to do best in our climate are those with moschata or chinensis roses in their ancestry.  If you are buying roses do go to a specialist rather than buying from garden centres; there is a very good nursery in the Ariege - or this nursery offers an excellent mail order service -  is another interesting place to look, with many old fashioned varieties.   When you buy roses they are often grafted but when you prune your roses it is worth trying to see if you can strike cuttings from the discarded wood, they will often take.


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. Open on Fridays & Saturdays from 10 to 18h and Sunday mornings from 10 to 12h from the beginning of March until the end of November and at any time of the year by appointment.  Don't forget that our open weekend is on the 1st and 2nd June, the programme can be seen at, and we do hope to see many of you there, we are just hoping for improved weather!

The Property Page


Cepie, 11300             210,000€

Attractive traditional  villa in the pretty village of Cepie conveniently placed between Carcassonne and Limoux, approximately 20 minutes from Salvaza airport.  With ample parking for several cars and set in a large garden both quiet and private with fruit trees, the property comprises: Entrance Hall with fitted cupboard, wc with wash-hand basin.  Fully fitted Kitchen with electric oven, gas/electric hob and plumbing for dish-washer.  Utility Room plumbed for auto washer and with fitted cupboards and shelves.  Lounge/Dining Area with large fireplace and inset glass-fronted, wood burning fire, two sets of french doors leading to Conservatory.

 Two double bedrooms with fitted cupboards.  Bathroom with shower over bath and fitted vanity unit and linen cupboard..  Further Bedroom 3 or Sitting Room giving access to garden.  Electric heaters throughout.  Covered terrace to front with pleasant south-facing views.  Open terrace to rear with built-in BBQ.  Separate workshop with electricity.  Energy rating D.

Price: 210,000 euros.

Contact: Mavis Bentley

Tel: 04 68 20 52 34

 dpe bentley


Detached modern house for sale in Montréal


Seeking French Property owners for potential

joint-project of mutual benefit!

Experienced, qualified Art teacher and accomplished artist

seeks ‘partner’ to develop Artcentre offering residential

Art workshops and courses from their base. I will supply

clients, while you supply accommodation/catering and

studio facilities. For further information email:


Villa for sale 11390 Brousses-et-Villaret Aude 295,000 €


20120902-IMG 1663

CARCASSONNE: villa for quick sale - €160,000-


Holiday Apartment AiguaBlava,

Costa Brava


Naturist Property 115.000 euro


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

Bordebasse du Lac - Cottage available for long term rental


Semi detached house with stunning mountain views 150,000€

 readers write

 In response to the plea in your issue of 15/05/13 from Cathy, I think that many of your subscribers would be extremely grateful if you would look into this telephone cold calling.  In my experience, when one says that one is not interested, the callers often become agressive, wanting chapter and verse as to why one is not interested!!  Plus the fact that we have received such calls on Sundays - a day of rest - and often at meal times.  However firm I am in response, back they come.  It would be invaluable to know how to keep these pests at bay!



I too receive cold calls, my method to politely cut the blather is to start the conversation with the time of day in firm English. The talk starts in French, after some ten to fifteen seconds I interrupt in English saying that his/her French is too fast for me. A quick au revoir usually follows.

One should always be polite.

Alan... Aude 

Not sure whether this is the right place but would like to ask a question of your readers.
I am hoping to move to France within the next 3 years to the Languedoc area.
I am a midwife at the moment and wondered what are the chances of getting work
at a nurse (I am qualified) or health care assistant in homes or wherever.
I have schoolgirl French but will of course try my best to improve when I arrive!
Grateful for any suggestions/help/advice.
Thank you

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 1 Juin 2013         


Port Leucate  (vide greniers)

Trèbes  (vide grenier de l'Aqua Club)

Le Peyrat  (vide-grenier organisé par le Comité des fêtes)

Dimanche 2 Juin 2013    

Argens Minervois  (vide greniers annuel du Tennis Club)Conques-sur-Orbiel  (vide Grenier des Ecoles de Conques Sur Orbiel le 2 Juin 2013)

Fontiers-Cabardès  (vide grenier)

La Palme  (vide-greniers des parents d'élèves)Les Martys  (foire artisanale vide grenier produits terroir marché fleurs)

Lézignan-Corbières  (vide-grenier organisé par le C.E d'Intermarché Lézignan Cor.)Montréal  (vide-greniers / Marché artisanal)

Montredon-des-Corbières  (vide grenier)

Peyriac-de-Mer  (vide-greniers)

Port-la-Nouvelle  (vide greniers de la Calendreta)

Saint-Laurent-de-la-Cabrerisse  (vide-grenier + marché des producteurs)

Saint-Papoul  ( Vide greniers)

Ventenac-Cabardès  (3éme vide grenier du cabardes tennis club)

Bélesta  (vide grenier puériculture réservé aux particuliers)

Mazères  (vide grenier mensuel)Saint-Lizier  (marché aux Puces, de la cave au grenier)

Samedi 8 Juin 2013

Serviès-en-Val  (marché du terroir artisanal, bourse aux jouets et vêtements)

Trèbes  (vide-grenier Trèbes Tennis de Table)

Aigues-Vives  (vide grenier)

Lézat-sur-Lèze  (vide grenier)

Villeneuve-d'Olmes  (vide grenier)

Dimanche 9 Juin 2013    

Alet-les-Bains  (vide grenier de la Fête de l'eau)

Caunes-Minervois  (vide grenier du haut minervois olympique football)

La Pomarède  (vide Greniers)

Luc-sur-Orbieu  (méga Vide Grenier Associatif)

Narbonne-Plage  (vide-Greniers de l'Association Narbonne-Plage Amitié)

Saint-Pierre-la-Mer  (vide greniers)

Thézan-des-Corbières  (vide grenier grocante)

Villeneuve-la-Comptal  (vide greniers)

Villeneuve-les-Corbières  (vide grenier)

Castillon-en-Couserans  (vide Greniers)

Rieux-de-Pelleport  (vide grenier)

Saint-Girons  (vide grenier)

Tarascon-sur-Ariège  (Vide greniers)

 What's On


TOTO 15 June Zenith Toulouse


DAVID GUETTA 21 June Carcassonne Festival

LES GIPSY KINGS 28 June Zenith Toulouse

Manu Dibango 2 July Montauban 

Liz Mc Comb 4 July Montauban

Mélody Gardot 9 July Montauban

Madness 10 July Montauban

ARCTIC MONKEYS 15 July Carcassonne Festival

SMASHING PUMPKINS 17 July Carcassonne Festival

LIZA MINNELLI 18 July Carcassonne Festival

NAIVE NEW BEATERS & TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB 20 July  Carcassonne Festival

GEORGE CLINTON & THE BLUES BROTHERS 21 July Carcassonne Festival

Benjamin Biolay + Patti Smith + Lou Reed 22 July Carcassonne Festival

MARK KNOPFLER 24 July Carcassonne Festival


STEEL PULSE 9 Oct Bikini Toulouse

LIL WAYNE 12 Oct Zenith Toulouse

FOALS 3 Nov Bikini Toulouse

SUEDE 4 Nov Bikini Toulouse

CAT EMPIRE 10 Nov Bikini Toulouse

ROMEO ET JULIETTE 15 Nov Zenith Toulouse

MAMMA MIA! 22 and 23 Nov Zenith Toulouse


WITHIN TEMPTATION 20 Jan Bikini Toulouse 



benicassim 13








 On a Lighter Note




The following prices are for one insertion in the Flyer email news letter unless otherwise stated

Give away items


1 image and 25 words, plus contact details

All items for sale inc Motor vehicles, boats, caravans & trailers

25 €

1 image and 25 words, plus contact details in 3 editions

Property for sale - land, houses, businesses

50 €

up to 8 images and 500 words, plus contact details - your own property web page linked to the "Property Page" section of the Flyer for 13 editions

Large Display Advert - Corporate


Finished artwork to be 756 pixels by 200 pixels landscape or 378 pixels by 400 pixels portrait

Standard Display Advert - Corporate


Finished artwork to be 378 pixels by 200 pixels landscape

Large Display Advert - Small Companies and Sole Traders (at my discretion)


Finished artwork to be 756 pixels by 200 pixels landscape or 378 pixels by 400 pixels portrait

Standard Display Advert - Small Companies and Sole Traders (at my discretion)

25 €

Finished artwork to be 378 pixels by 200 pixels landscape

What's on feature advert

35 €

Finished artwork to be 378 pixels by 515 pixels portrait

information about advertising rates and specifications.
informations sur les tarifs publicitaires et specifications.
Send details to of your advert to Steve Hedges.
Please note all text (unless in a finished advert) should be Plain Text,

Finished adverts should be submitted in jpeg format 378 pixels wide

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