“VCL BUSINESS CLUB” : SOME NEWS FROM FRANCE - WEEK 40

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Paris fashion week: guide to stylish shopping, eating and drinking

Join the fashion pack in Paris as Fashion Week gets under way with our guide to the city’s best shopping areas, plus where to eat and drink while you browse.

Le Marais

The tight, shadowy grid that makes up Le Marais, originally the Jewish quarter and now the hub of Paris’s gay community, is the city’s most stylish district. Spreading across the 3rd and 4th arrondissements, it is dotted with quirky interior design shops, art dealers, bustling cafes and artfully secreted boutique hotels (Hotel du Petit Moulin, designed by Christian La Croix, is a notably fashionable example; hotelpetitmoulinparis.com).

Get pleasantly lost exploring the narrow streets, or make a bee-line for Merci (111 boulevard Beaumarchais; 00 33 1 42 77 00 33; http://www.merci-merci.com) a three-storey, ethical concept store featuring vintage and second-hand designer clothes, quirky housewares and books. Profits go to charity, so you can shop with a clear conscience, too.

Other shops to look out for include the gorgeous three-storey children’s style store BonTon (5 bd des Filles du Calvaire; 0033 01 42 72 34 69l; www.bonton.fr) and French Trotters, (30 Rue de Charonne; 00 33 147 008 435; http://frenchtrotters.fr), with fashion on one floor (designer threads from Acne and Comme des Garçons) and art on another.

Where to eat and drink

Le Progrés (1, Rue de Bretagne) is a traditional brasserie popular with the local fashion crowd for breakfast or a prix fixe lunch. Iif the weather is kind, grab some supplies at Marché des Enfants Rouge, off rue de Bretagne, and picnic in the romantic surrounds of Place des Vosges.

In the evening, head to low-lit, trendy Glou (101 rue Vieille du Temple; 00 33 1 42 74 44 32) which serves modern, robust French cuisine and has a good wine list.

Le Bon Marché

Ignore the name: this place is most definitely not a bargain. The epitome of the grand old French department store, Le Bon Marché (24 rue de Sèvres; www.lebonmarche.com) deserves a good day’s browsing. Despite its illustrious past (it dates back to 1852 and was designed by Gustave Eiffel) it is surprisingly trendy: you’ll find a good selection of labels du jour, and the food hall (see below) is worth a visit in itself.

Where to eat and drink

La Grande Épicerie du Paris (www.lagrandeepicerie.fr) is a cathedral to gourmet food. Hundreds of cheeses, dozens of different types of breads and pastries, and strange morsels from around the world – strawberry-flavoured spaghetti, say, or Himalayan salt crystals - provide an excellent one-stop (posh) provision shop.

Le Triangle d’Or

The city’s “Golden Triangle” – the three main shopping arteries of the 8th arrondissements on the Right Bank – is the heartland of Parisian couture. Avenue Montaigne is home to the big boys: Chanel, Dior, Lacroix, Louis Vuiton, Gucci and Prada. Avenue George V has Jean-Paul Gautier, Balenciaga and Givenchy, and rue du Fauboug-St-Honoré houses Bottega Veneta and Lanvin.

Nearby, Paris’s original concept store, Colette (213 rue Saint-Honoré; www.colette.fr) is a collection of fashion, books and homeware, spread over three stories of covetable loveliness (shame about the teeth-grinding pretentiousness of the staff, though).

Where to eat and drink

A perfect balance to all that haute couture is the multi-Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée (25 Avenue de Montaigne; www.plaza-athenee-paris.com), with a modern, exquisitely pared-down menu served beneath glittering chandeliers.

Afterwards, head to Harry’s New York Bar (rue Daunoul; www.harrys-bar.fr), the city’s original cocktail joint and once a favourite with Ernest Hemingway. They invented the Bloody Mary here, but all the cocktails are excellent.

Puces de St-Ouen

The city’s (and, according to some, Europe’s) largest and oldest flea market is a mix of treasure trove and bargain basement – as long as you’re prepared to haggle. No longer the rag and bone market it was in the 19th century, it is today broken up into different sections – some covered, some stretching through little boutiques – where hundreds of stalls and shops sell anything from antique clocks and vintage frocks to costume jewellery and plastic calculators.

It takes time to dig out those real finds (head straight to the Malik area and the Marché Vernaison for clothes), but is worth the trek to take in the sheer scale of the place. Held every Saturday, Sunday and Monday (Avenue de la Porte de Clignancourt, 18th; www.parispuces.com).

Where to eat and drink

This area isn’t exactly known for its nightlife, but you could head south into Montmartre, where it’s wise to avoid the cabaret shows. Instead, hide away in the secret, cobbled courtyard of Le Moulin de la Galette (83, rue Lepic; www.lemoulindelagalette.fr). Housed beneath the last of Montmartre’s windmills, two Michelin-starred chefs create modern French cuisine for a small, select crowd.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/france/parisandaround/8044349/Paris-fashion-week-guide-to-stylish-shopping-eating-and-drinking.html

 

Alstom attacks Eurostar’s move on trains order

The French government and Alstom have launched an attack on Eurostar’s decision to buy new trains from Germany’s Siemens, saying the €600m ($832m) deal raises concerns over Channel tunnel safety.

Eurostar, the operator of the high-speed trains that connect London with Brussels and Paris, is controlled by SNCF, the French state-owned operator.

SNCF and its affiliates have previously only bought high-speed trains from Alstom, which makes TGV trains and is seen as one of France’s national champions. It has so far secured only one order for its new AGV design, the rival to the Siemens trains Eurostar has ordered, in the two years since its launch in 2008.

Alstom and the French government started raising concerns last week over the safety implications of running Siemens’ Velaro trains through the Channel tunnel because they use distributed power, where their motors are positioned throughout the train, under the floors.

Until earlier this year, the tunnel’s safety rules required trains using the tunnel to have all of their motors and electrical equipment concentrated in power cars at either end of the train, similar to the design on Eurostar’s existing fleet of Alstom trains.

People involved have no recollection of the issue being raised during a Channel Tunnel Safety Authority consultation on potential rule changes earlier this year. They believed trains using distributed power were now permitted in the tunnel. Germany’s Deutsche Bahn is due to hold a trial running such a train through the tunnel in mid-October.

But Alstom said the previous safety rules still stood. “Alstom notes the current safety rules applying to trains travelling through the Channel tunnel conform to the highest possible standards and consequently do not permit the use of the trains that Eurostar states it has purchased,” the company said.

Jean-Louis Borloo, French environment minister, and Dominique Bussereau, transport minister, issued a joint statement to “express their amazement at Eurostar’s failure to take account of the applicable safety rules in the call for tender for replacing its train sets”.

The two ministers said it was “inconceivable to relax the safety rules” in light of the three fires in the Channel tunnel since it opened in 1994. “In this framework, Eurostar must adapt its call for tenders to comply with the current safety rules,” they said.

The stance of Alstom and the French government has surprised those involved because the AGV, the train Alstom entered in the tender, uses distributed traction and could have faced similar objections.

Nicolas Petrovic, Eurostar’s chief executive, said on Thursday that Siemens had made the best overall offer in the tender. “That’s why we chose their train,” he said.

People involved said the smaller passenger capacity of the AGV compared with the Siemens Velaro, proved decisive.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4fde4870-d23d-11df-8fbe-00144feabdc0.html

 

SocGen to spare ‘rogue trader’ Kerviel full damages

French bank Société Générale has said it will not seek the full 4.9 billion euros in damages imposed on its former trader Jérôme Kerviel, who was sentenced Tuesday to three years in jail, with two suspended, for illicit trading.

French bank Societe Generale said Wednesday it would spare rogue trader Jerome Kerviel from paying the full five billion euros of compensation awarded in a massive fraud scandal.

Societe Generale spokeswoman Caroline Guillaumin told France Info radio the bank would not enforce the whole sum awarded Tuesday by a Paris court, equivalent to about 6.8 billion dollars.

“There is no question of demanding such sums from one single man,” she said.

The bank is “completely open to finding another solution which is in the interests of our shareholders and employees as well as taking into account Jerome Kerviel’s situation,” Guillaumin added.

Kerviel was found guilty of fraud and breach of trust by carrying out covert stock market deals worth 50 billion euros which were discovered in January 2008 and almost brought down Societe Generale, one of Europe’s biggest banks.

He said at his trial that in his current job as an IT consultant he earns 2,300 euros a month

This puts the record compensation award — the same amount the bank says it lost because of his unauthorised transactions — far beyond his means.

http://www.france24.com/en/20101006-societe-generale-will-spare-rogue-trader-kerviel-full-compensation-claim

 

Faut-il taxer les Français de l’étranger ?

Environ 2,5 millions de Français vivent à l’étranger. L’équivalent de la population de la Lorraine. Pour accroître les rentrées fiscales de l’Etat, pourquoi ne pas faire payer un impôt citoyen à ces expatriés, comme le propose le PS?

Le président de la commission des Finances de l’Assemblée Jérôme Cahuzac (PS) va suggérer un impôt sur le revenu des Français qui travaillent à l’étranger, avec un amendement au projet de budget 2011. “Plutôt que de retirer leur nationalité à certains, pourquoi ne pas rappeler cette nationalité à ceux qui sont partis, et leur demander de payer quelque chose en France, pays où ils sont nés, où ils ont été soignés, où ils sont allés à l’école?”, a-t-il expliqué, ajoutant qu’il suggèrera cette proposition au programme du candidat PS en 2012.

Parce qu’ils ne paient pas d’impôts, les expatriés ?

Si bien sûr, mais à l’Etat dans lequel ils résident fiscalement. La France a en effet signé des conventions fiscales (environ 120) avec les autres pays dans le monde en vertu desquels elle renonce à son droit souverain de lever l’impôt au profit de ces pays, sur le principe du domicile fiscal.

La conséquence de ces accords est que les Français domiciliés fiscalement à l’étranger ne peuvent être doublement imposés. Pour ces expatriés, seuls sont donc imposables en France les revenus de source française (revenus du capital ou immobiliers par exemple, ou encore droits d’auteurs pour les artistes).

Mais ils bénéficient quand même de notre protection sociale ?

Non, un expatrié cesse de dépendre du régime français de protection sociale et relève du régime local du pays où il exerce son activité. Il peut néanmoins adhérer, s’il le souhaite, au régime de sécurité sociale des expatriés (via la Caisse des Français de l’Etranger). Les cotisations sont moins élevées que celles du régime général de la Sécu car cette adhésion ne dispense pas le salarié de l’affiliation au régime local.

Pourtant, Jérome Cahuzac affirme que les expatriés peuvent revenir en France pour toucher l’assurance chômage…

Ce n’est pas faux. Mais seulement les salariés expatriés dans l’Union européenne. En vertu d’un accord visant à favoriser la mobilité des salariés en Europe, un Français travaillant dans un autre pays européen et qui perd son emploi peut s’inscrire au chômage dans le pays où il réside ou bien dans son pays de naissance.

Dans ce cas, l’assurance chômage française l’indemnise sur la base de son dernier salaire perçu, à condition qu’il ait retravaillé entre un jour et trois semaines sur le territoire français. Il se peut donc, comme le dénonce le président de la commission des Finances de l’Assemblée, que des traders français de la City de Londres soient revenus en France toucher les Assedic.

Mais ces cas sont rares et bien contrôlés, car soumis à l’aval de la délégation générale à l’Emploi et à la Formation professionnelle (DGEFP). Entre novembre 2008 et février 2009, au plus fort de la crise financière, l’assurance chômage a ainsi recensé 209 demandes de prise en charge au titre d’un emploi exercé dans un autre pays européen, dont 14 seulement pour un montant supérieur à 6.000 euros mensuels.

Actuellement, Pôle emploi indemnise environ 600 expatriés sans emploi revenus en France, sur un total de 2,7 millions de chômeurs indemnisés.

N’empêche, pourquoi ne pas lier l’imposition à la citoyenneté ?

C’est en effet ce que font les Etats-Unis. Et c’est tout bénef pour le fisc américain: les expatriés américains paient l’impôt sur le revenu dans le pays où ils résident fiscalement, et paient en outre un impôt à l’Oncle Sam (sur la base du revenu annuel, déduction faite toutefois de l’impôt payé dans le pays d’accueil).

En clair : les expatriés américains sont une source permanente de recettes fiscales pour les Etats-Unis, tandis que les expatriés Français représentent un manque à gagner pour l’Etat tricolore. Pourquoi ne pas appliquer cette recette en France ? La conséquence de cette nouvelle procédure d’imposition serait fort probablement qu’une grand majorité des exilés fiscaux demanderait à être déchue de la nationalité française”, estime Jérôme Barré, avocat associé au cabinet Franklin.

“Contrairement à la France, il est très difficile, voire impossible de perdre la nationalité américaine, explique ce spécialiste du droit fiscal international. Il faut notamment au moins disposer d’une triple nationalité et obtenir l’accord de l’administration fédérale. En contrepartie, les Etats-Unis s’engagent à protéger et secourir n’importe lequel de leurs citoyens partout dans le monde.”

http://www.lexpansion.com/economie/faut-il-taxer-les-francais-de-l-etranger_240371.html

 

 

 

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