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LIVING IN FRANCE

MAP: Where in France do people drink the most?

People living in the south west of France are among the heaviest drinkers in the country, according to new statistics from the public health authority.

MAP: Where in France do people drink the most?
Photo: AFP

The study published by French public health body Santé publique France lists the regions of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Occitanie in south west France as the regions with the highest daily alcohol consumption.

In Occitanie – which covers cities including Toulouse and Carcassonne – 12.6 percent of adults drink every day, while in Nouvelle-Aquitaine which covers Charente and Dordogne 12.3 percent of adults drink every day.

 

The regions of France. Map: Depositphotos

In third place is the northern Hauts-de-France region, where the people of Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardie labour under the stereotype of being hopeless drunks, but where in fact only 11.5 percent of adults drink daily, just over the national average of 10 percent.

READ ALSO French regional stereotypes – drunks in the north, trashy in the south and grumpy Parisians

Adults in Normandy and Pays-de-la-Loire drink less than the national average while the lowest level of daily drinking in mainland France is the greater Paris Île-de-France regin, where only 7.1 percent of adults drink daily.

The overseas French regions of Guadeloupe (6.9 percent), French Guiana (5.2 percent), Martinique (7 percent) and Reunion Island (5.8 percent) have averages that are significantly lower than the average for mainland France.

Alcohol is one of the main causes of avoidable death in France, with 41,000 deaths per year linked directly to drinking, according to Santé publique France.

The agency recommends adults drink no more than 10 small glasses of wine or 10 beers per week (which gives you three more glasses of wine than the UK, where the recommended limit is seven glasses per week).

 

Overall almost a quarter – 23.6 percent – of French people drink more than the recommended amount.

The data also found that in the north and east of France people were more likely to drink beer, in the south wine was more common while spirits were preferred in the west.

The report also shows that what French media refers to as 'Anglo Saxon binge drinking' is on the rise in France.

Binge drinking – defined as drinking more than six units on a single occasion – has been rising in France since 2005 and now 16.2 percent of adults have at least one session per month.

The biggest number of binge drinkers are in Brittany, where 20.5 percent of adults binge drink at least once a month, while the lowest level is in Île-de-France.

Despite being labelled as an 'Anglo Saxon' habit, binge drinking has now become so commonplace in France that the Acadmie française has even come up with a French term for it – beuverie express – although you will still frequently see and hear the English version bandied about.

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LIVING IN FRANCE

France to roll out ID cards app

Technology is being rolled out to allow people to carry their French ID cards in an app form - and could be rolled out to other cards, including driving licences and cartes de séjour residency cards.

France to roll out ID cards app

Holders of French carte d’identité (ID cards) will soon be able to carry certified digital versions of them on their smartphone or other electronic devices, a decree published in the Journal Officiel has confirmed.

An official app is being developed for holders of the newer credit card-format ID cards that have information stored on a chip. A provisional test version of the app is expected at the end of May.

Users will be able to use the ID card app, when it becomes available, for a range of services “from checking in at the airport to renting a car”, according to Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market.

All French citizens have an ID card, which can be used for proving identity in a range of circumstances and for travel within the EU and Schengen zone – the new app will be in addition to the plastic card that holders already have.

Under the plans, after downloading the app, card holders will need merely to hold the card close to their phone to transfer the required information. According to officials, the holder then can decide what information is passed on – such as proof of age, or home address – according to the situation.

The government has not given any examples of situations in which the app would need to be used, but has set out the main principles and the ambition of the plan: to allow everyone to identify themselves and connect to certain public and private organisations, in particular those linked to the France Connect portal.

READ ALSO What is France Connect and how could it make your life simpler?

Cards will continue to be issued for the foreseeable future – this is merely an extension of the existing system.

Only French citizens have ID cards, but if successful the app is expected to be rolled out to include other cards, such as driving licences, cartes de séjour residency cards or even visas. A digital wallet is being developed at the European level – Member States have until September to agree what it could contain.

READ ALSO Eight smartphone apps that make life in France a bit easier

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