Smoke and Mirrors or a Quick French Fix?

Air France Workers Fear Losing Their Wings

Smoke and Mirrors or a Quick French Fix?

Parler Paris Previews…
A Weekly Community Calendar for English-Speaking Paris

Calendar #99

Wednesday, March 8, 2006
Paris, France

Special Sponsored Message

Sponsored by Parler Paris…

A creative writing workshop that crackles with passion, fun, and spontaneity.
Facilitated by poet, James Navé
April 8, 2006, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

3-hour workshop…
Limited to 30…
Only 30 euros…
Begins at 3 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, email James Navé at mailto:[email protected]


Dear Parler Paris Reader,

Monday’s newsletter certainly “peaked” your interest! I want to thank all of you perfect spellers for pointing out that perhaps my “giddiness” seeing the jewelry may have caused an “orgasmic” reaction! I got as big a chuckle out of that as you may have had by my bad spelling and inept spell-checker.

Yesterday, the din coming from boulevard Beaumarchais a few blocks away “peaked” my interest and I wandered over to see what “manifestation” (demonstration) was blocking traffic THIS week. This straight strip between La Bastille and Place de la République is the protestors’ favorite stomping grounds, so we are blessed with regular interruptions to our public transport, roped-streets closed to traffic, hundreds of plain-clothes and other cops on the ground speaking into their wired lapels, megaphone-blasting and sign-carrying. This was no different…and in the rain, no less.

The report on yesterday’s activities France-wide is that more than a million people hit the streets in 170 different cities and 22 universities went on strike. The protestors were marching against the proposed “Contrat première embauche” (CPE), a project by Prime Minister Dominique De Villepin as a quick-fix response to the October-November riots that rocked the country. It gives the right to “sack” young workers (under the age of 26) without any justification during the first two years of employment.

Both the CPE and the CNE (“Contrat nouvelles embauche” — a bill passed in parliament last August with similar provisions for newly hired workers in businesses with payrolls of fewer than 20)) are designed to alleviate the chronic average nationwide unemployment rate of 10% with a rate as high as 23% among the young under 26. The concept is that companies will be willing to take on workers if they can fire them at will.

One Parler Parlor member last night called it “un mirror aux allouettes” — what we might call “smoke and mirrors” — a way of being fooled by the government into thinking they were doing something when it fact, it accomplishes nothing. I don’t agree.

We Americans have lived with this system our whole lives, understanding that it provides a “fluidity” for both workers and employers to move in and out of jobs as is desired or necessary. From our capitalistic point of view, it’s one aspect of free enterprise that helps drive the economy and encourages low unemployment rates. It’s the reason my daughter, at the age of 20, wants to test her capabilities in New York where it is fast and easy to find jobs then leave them for bigger, greener pastures rather than pound the pavement in France where jobs are scarce and employment contracts stick you in the mud for 18 months or longer.

Believe it or not, 21 percent of all graduates with diplomas in France of 4 years or more are still knocking on doors after 9 months of graduation and it takes 8 to 11 years to settle into a permanent job, to have credit to purchase a home and raise a family. But the French aren’t familiar with taking a lot of risk and don’t realize that it’s the risk itself that provides the freedom and ultimately the security.

Those of us who moved to France are quintessential risk-takers. We r

isked our abilities to earn a living here, learn the language, meet new people, cross the cultural divide and create a happy life within a foreign environment. If we had wanted a warm womb within which to live our lives, we would have stayed in our corporate jobs, our plush American homes and daily routines. But we didn’t (thank goodness!) and today I take the risk running this cartoon I found at Le blog de RESO, Réformistes et Solidaires Web site for fear that the bosses of France will take offense to their “tootsies” being exposed and on the line.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
Email [email protected]

P.S. Don’t forget…

* This Saturday, Parler Parlor celebrates its 8th anniversary with a buffet and crèpes party plus discount off the 10 and 20-session cards…visit for more information.

* Next Tuesday, readers of Parler Paris meet at Parler Paris Après Midi for coffee and conversation…visit /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for details.

* March 17th opens our Living and Investing in France Conference, so if you haven’t registered, or would like to attend the dinner to hear authors David Downie and Alison Harris, there is still time at the special offer of $1 = 1 Euro…visit /frenchproperty/conference/LIF_PARIS_2006/LIF_PARIS_2006_home.html for more information and to register.

French Property Insider

Carnival on the Côte d’Azur
By Adrian Leeds
From /parlerparis/
Monday, February 27, 2006

We had first class tickets for only 5 euros more, straight to Nice on the TGV, a mere 5.5 hours door to door — it could not have been more comfortable. Pascal Fonquernie, neighbor-friend-colleague, of, and I, had the trip planned for weeks — to stay in his Roquebrune “aerie” overlooking the sea and attend the carnival in Nice and the lemon festival in Menton, neither of which had we ever had the pleasure... FPI Subscribers Read On…

Learn how to buy property in France. French Property Insider is an e-mail newsletter from the editors of Parler Paris. Learn all the insights, recommendations, and discoveries about buying and investing in real estate in Paris and France that French Property Insider readers get every week.

Subscribe today!

Insider Paris Guides

* Excerpt from the Insider Guide to Practical Answers for Living in France

I am a long-term resident in France and have rented my apartment for years. I took it without signing any contract and, since it is not mandatory anymore, I do not get any receipt for my rent payments. I do pay dutifully every month before the end of the month. I just received a letter from the landlord, just a few lines sent by normal mail, telling me that the apartment will be put up for sale soon, and that I should move out within two months. Can I ask for an extension? I do not see how I can move out that quickly.

Under French law, if the tenant can prove that the rent is paid periodically, directly or not, to the landlord, then, even in the absence of any contract, a lease exists. Not only that but, by default, the lease is assumed to be a bare-wall (unfurnished) apartment lease, which is heavily regulated, so much so that the contract practically replicates the law. Therefore, given what you tell me, this is the analysis I make of the situation:

The law states that selling the property is one of the three grounds for which the landlord can terminate the lease. The notice must be sent six months before the anniversary date of the lease, must state the selling price and must give you the first option to buy…. See the guide for the complete answer….

The Insider Guide to Practical Answers for Living in France is packed with almost 300 questions from real people, for real people…and the practical answers that will save you countless hours of frustration. If you’re moving to France, this guide is a must! Get your copy now!

Further Resources

* $1 = 1€! Living and Investing in France Conference, Paris March 17-19, 2006
If you’ve always dreamed of living in or owning property in Paris or France, this conference is a MUST! Right now, when you register for this 3-day power-packed conference, instead of investing the usual conference price at $1.20 per Euro, you can invest in the conference price at $1.00 per Euro — a savings of more than 15%! For more information or to register, contact Project Manager Schuyler Hoffman at [email protected] Don’t wait! Register today!


* Getting a mortgage in France is easier than you think…let us show you how.

* Boost Your French Language Skills! Champs-Elysées audiomagazines on CD/tape with accompanying magazine will significantly increase your French vocabulary and improve your listening comprehension. Don’t let your language skills go to waste! Stay fluent and in touch with the language and culture you love.

Calendar #99
Wednesday, March 8, 2006
Paris, France


To access the complete Community Calendar, you now have two choices:

1. Click here for the online version with hot links to your favorite sites:

2. Click here for a printer-friendly text version:


We gladly run announcements for non-profit organizations. If you wish your community announcement to appear, please provide the text in ENGLISH just as you’d like it to appear and send it to Lynda Sydney: [email protected]

We reserve the right to edit as necessary. We cannot promise it will be run if the information is provided in French or if the format is unacceptable. Please use the following listings as your format guide.

Thank you, Adrian

Classified Advertising

Leeds Marais Guest Room or Entire Two-Bedroom Apartment

Available in its entirety May 19 – 30, 2006

Located in a 17th century Le Marais Hotel Particulier, this 70 square meter two-bedroom apartment with lots of light is nicely furnished and is perfect for a single woman in the freshly renovated guest room when owner Adrian Leeds is in or for up to 4 people when she’s traveling.

Pictures and more details available here: Marais Guest Room or Entire Apartment


Coming soon…Parler Paris Apartments rental representation at If you have a property ín Paris you’d like to keep booked and represented properly, please email Parler Paris Apartments at [email protected] for more information.

For all short term rental apartments in Paris, take a look at /parlerparis/apartments or
/frenchproperty/insider/longterm.html for long term apartments.


Parler Paris Après Midi

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

The next gathering is March 14, 2006

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.

Next Event: 8th Anniversary Celebration March 11th, 11 a.m. at Eurocentres.


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Copyright 2006, Adrian Leeds®
Adrian Leeds Group, LLC, /

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