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BUSINESS

‘Adieu France’: Mum’s parting rant goes viral

An acrimonious Facebook post by a French entrepreneur who claims she is being forced to move her family abroad because France "prevents success" has clearly struck a chord, picking tens of thousands of "Likes" and "Shares" as well as the attention of the media.

'Adieu France': Mum's parting rant goes viral

An open letter in which a French family says it is leaving for Canada because of France's attitude towards entrepreneurs has gone viral, gaining tens of thousands of “Likes” on social networking site Facebook.

The bitter Facebook post, titled ‘Adieu France’ was penned by the French entrepreneur Géraldine Lerch Thuillier, who, along with her husband Jerome and their four kids, will move to Montreal in August.

She claims her family, which she describes as a “classic French family” has been forced abroad essentially because of the red tape and the French judicial system that has cost of hundreds of thousands of euros.

In the open letter, which was picked up by French media after going viral on social media, she accuses France of driving its creative forces abroad.

 

The letter begins with the words “Adieu France”. It's done, we're leaving.”

“You will tell me that the grass is not greener on the other side. But over there [in Canada], with our money they will push us to success rather than preventing us. 
 
 
Then taking a sarcastic tone Thuillier writes: “Dear leaders of France, continue to ensnare this wonderful country
 
“Continue to send abroad those who can bring something, real added value to our beautiful country.”
 
“Ciao France, I hope you will not fall too far.”

In recent years France has seen an increase in the number of people heading abroad.

Many leave France for professional reasons, others because jobs are hard to come by in a crisis, or simply for the experience of living abroad.

Others, more high profile expats have complained that notoriously heavy French bureaucracy and the high payroll charges and taxes have forced them to set up businesses abroad.

Canada and especially French speaking Quebec has proved one of the most popular destinations for those leaving France.

While the likes of actor Gérard Depardieu famously blamed France's Socialist president François Hollande for his 75 percent tax as the reason he quit the country, the Thuillier family, says no single person is to blame. Just the attitude in the country itself.

“(We’re not leaving) because of the crisis, or because of the president, it would have been too easy to accuse just one person,” she writes, “France, we’re leaving you to go to a country where success is something that is welcome, where creativity is encouraged.”

Her words appear to have struck a chord in a country struggling under record unemployment.

Since the letter was posted on Thuillier’s Facebook page on July 5, it has has been shared more than 114,000 times.

SEE ALSO: Crisis not taxes driving French abroad

But what was her grievance that prompted her to quit the country in acrimonious circumstances?

In the letter, Thuillier tells the story of how the couple had the idea of building a luxury B 'n' B style cabin on their property in Provence, southern France.

Although they were initially told by authorities they could do “whatever they wanted” and assumed they wouldn’t need a building permit because the cabin was based on a flatpack assembly and would not to be constructed as a house would.

They thought they had done everything by the book but then the fines and threats of legal action came rolling in, just as the business looked set to flourish.

As a result they had to shut down their project even before it had even opened.

“After several years of battle, (and) two trials, we lost in appeals court!,” she wrote, explaining how the couple then decided to embark on a new guesthouse project.

Again, the couple’s business was brought to an abrupt end because of complicated red tape.

The Thuilliers got into hot water because they had used the term “guesthouse” for their business.

The final straw came when the couple’s third attempt to make an entrepreneurial living was stopped dead in its tracks, apparently because the banks considered the tourism industry way “too risky” of a sector.

That's the same tourism industry that attracts around 85 million visitors to France each year.

“So France, that’s just too much,” she wrote. “That's  the final straw.”

SEE ALSO: French expats in no hurry to return

 

 

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BUSINESS

French court hands Amazon €90,000-per-day fine over contracts

French authorities on Wednesday slapped a €90,000-per-day fine on e-commerce giant Amazon until it removes abusive clauses in its contracts with businesses using its platform to sell their goods.

French court hands Amazon €90,000-per-day fine over contracts

The anti-fraud Direction générale de la concurrence, de la consommation et de la répression des fraudes (DGCCRF) service said the online sales giant’s contracts with third-party sellers who use its Amazon.fr website contain “unbalanced” clauses.

“The company Amazon Services Europe did not comply completely with an injunction it was served and it is now subject to a fine of €90,000 per day of delay” in applying the changes, the DGCCRF said in a statement.

It also urged the platform to conform with European rules on equity and transparency for firms using online platforms.

Amazon said the order would harm consumers.

“The changes imposed by the DGCCRF will stop us from effectively protecting consumers and permit bad actors to set excessive prices or spam our clients with commercial offers,” the e-commerce giant said in a statement.

“We will comply with the DGCCRF’s decision but we absolutely do not understand it and we are challenging it in court,” responded the e-commerce giant in a statement.

Amazon said the clauses that the DGCCRF has ordered removed had, for example “prevented the appearance of exorbitant prices for mask and hydroalcoholic gel during the pandemic”.

In 2019, Amazon was fined €4 million for “manifestly unbalanced” contract clauses with third-party sellers on its site in a case brought by the DGCCRF.

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