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France profonde

The English invasion of France continues, but where we once wanted holiday homes, now we seek work. It does not make us popular with the natives

By Tim King   January 2006

As tourists in France we are welcome, as housebuyers we are accepted, but as competitors for work we are seen by the French as a threat‚ and if they think we are taking hospital beds or scrounging their social security benefits, we become a pest. With more and more English people buying properties in France, the French attitude towards English residents is changing—for the worse.

There have always been isolated complaints: on radio phone-ins, notorious ranting-grounds, or “Brits Out” daubed on estate agents’ walls. But the new invasion is now a regular subject of French dinner-party conversation, and my presence…

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