Sarko’s Tough Times in Gray Paree

A Rainy Sunday in the Quartier Beaubourg of Paris

Sarko’s Tough Times in Gray Paree

Parler Paris…

Your taste of life in Paris and France
Monday, November 12, 2007
Paris, France

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Let the Adrian Leeds Group guide you through the process with ease and peace of mind… to have your very own pied-à-terre in Paris or home in the French countryside.

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Dear Parler Paris Reader,

Unlucky 13th of November…tomorrow marks the second round of transport strikes in France…at least, not starting until 8 p.m. that evening and predicted to last at least through November 15th.

The workers are so unhappy with the new retirement reforms by President Nicolas Sarkozy (increasing 37.5 years of work to 40 years before earning a full pension) that they’re wanting us all to suffer the consequences. Both SNCF (national rail company) and RATP (Métros and buses) will be affected (although rumor has it that the Métro will not be disturbed until the 14th), and the utilities are threatening to join in the rebellious fun along with students who want to make the universities “more autonomous in their admissions, governance and funding.”

Sarkozy and the rest of France is in for a roller-coaster ride, but he promises to hang tough to fulfill his campaign promises to structurally change the labor and educational systems. It’s a test: is the country that voted him in to make these very changes willing to bite the bullet or not? A poll in Le Figaro on November 9th showed he had 69% of the people’s support.

Get braced for the potential problems. “Vélib” rentals bikes may be harder to come by, but at least the close to 20,000 on the streets makes a difference! Luckily I live more central city than I did in 1995 when the massive transport strikes lasted three solid weeks. I’ll never forget it thanks to the permanent damage it did to my feet. An important less to be learned: if you walk great distances, don’t wear soft-soled shoes that over-exercise them. Also, if you’re in need of transportation to the airport (as I do this Friday for a Thanksgiving trip to New York), schedule one of the shuttle services to avoid any problems taking the RER or catching a taxi.

Sarkozy is tough on immigration, too. The bill allowing DNA testing for immigrants recently passed, and along with it, the bill requires language and cultural testing for immigrants who want to join their families in France. The DNA tests are meant primarily to verify family ties to French residents for those who lack family records. Deportation quotas are in effect — hoping to deport 25,000 illegal immigrants and enabling the expulsion of immigrants who “did not make sufficient efforts to integrate in French society and seek work.” Immigrants are now required to sign a pledge to learn French and to abide by French law.

One of our Parler Parlor Conversation Group members, who is a Mathematics Teacher at the American School of Paris, says renewal of her “Carte de Séjour” (long stay visa) depends on proof of 200 hours of French instruction, so she is feverishly taking classes and practicing speaking French in order to satisfy the requirements. In a Web search to support her fears, I f

ound nothing, not even at the official Web site describing the requirements for application to all the various types of visas.

To all you Americans, Canadians, Australians or New Zealanders who may have overstayed your 90-day tourist visa waiver period, I wouldn’t worry too much about a Sarkozy thug jerking you out of bed in the middle of the night to toss you on to a flight home…remember a few important things:

1. You’re supporting the French economy by spending money you earned outside of France in France.
2. You have your own private health care and are not taking advantage of the French social security system.
3. They don’t even know you’re here…that is unless you commit some horrendous crime and make the Most Wanted List.

A la prochaine…  

Adrian LeedsAdrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

P.S. Join us next Tuesday afternoon November 13th from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. BEFORE THE STRIKE BEGINS at Parler Paris Après Midi to meet and get to know other readers. See /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for more information.

P.P.S. Parler Parlor will meet Tuesday evening as always, in spite of the strikes, but unfortunately, Wednesday we are cancelling. Saturday is on as normal. Hope you can make it! Visit for more information.

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This Week in French Property Insider…

Carreau du TempleToasting to the Carreau du Temple
By Adrian Leeds

Since 2001, the city hall of the 3rd district has been fixated on the revitalization of the Carreau du Temple, a place they view as emblematic of the historic district. After opening the project to the entire residential body for ideas and input culminated by a vote of the residents…

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Subscribe today at /frenchproperty/insider

For more information visit

Miami FloridaNEW! Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference!
February 16-17, 2008
Alliance Française, Miami, Florida

If you’ve always dreamed of owning your own “pied-à-terre” in Paris or home in the Provinces of France, perhaps as a future retirement home or for now as investment property rented part of the year…this power-packed two-day conference is a MUST.

Hosted by Adrian Leeds, long time resident of Paris, Editor of the Parler Paris Nouvellettre® and French Property Insider weekly E-zine and John Howell, lead attorney for the International Law Partnership, London, these two days in Miami will point you in the right direction to make it really happen! Includes three course lunch and cocktail reception.

For more information and to register, visit: /frenchproperty/conference/

Or email Schuyler Hoffman at

Sponsored by Parler Paris…


A creative writing workshop that crackles with passion, fun, and spontaneity.
Facilitated by poet, James Navé
December 1, 2007, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

In this collaborative afternoon you’ll spend the first half exploring the creative process by way of movement and improvisational word play. In the second half, you’ll craft your discoveries of memories, ideas, concert images, and surprising word combinations into meaningful rough drafts worthy of polishing into stories and poems. Many in the workshop will volunteer to read their drafts out loud to great applause.

Space is limited to 30, first come, first served.
Cost: 30 euros in cash at the door, and plan on ordering at least one drink.
Note: Bring pen and paper.

La Pierre du Marais
96, rue des Archives at the corner of rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris
Métro Lines 9, 3 et 11, stations Temple, République or Arts et Métiers

For more information and to reserve your place, click here /frenchproperty/conference/ email James Nav at

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Parler Paris Après Midi

Come for a drink and to meet and chat with other readers in Paris…

The next gathering is November 13, 2007 and every second Tuesday of the month.

Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group

Practice speaking French and English. Make friends, discuss interesting topics, learn about other cultures, progress in understanding and speaking, naturally and easily. Meets three times a week — come as often as you like!

For further details, visit

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