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LIVING IN FRANCE

France to issue €100 ‘food grants’ to help with cost-of-living crisis

The French government spokesman has confirmed that grants of €100 will be distributed to low income households to help them deal with rising prices.

France to issue €100 'food grants' to help with cost-of-living crisis
Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP

The chèque alimentaire (food cheque) is the latest in a series of measures designed to help households deal with inflation, from caps on energy prices to €100 grants and fuel rebates.

Despite its name, the chèque alimentaire is actually a cash payment made directly into the bank account, rather than a voucher or food stamps.

Government spokesman Olivia Grégoire announced on Wednesday that the payment will be for €100, plus €50 for every child in qualifying households.

Payments will be made in September to all households who are in receipt of either the RSA top-up benefit, the AAH disabled adults’ allowance, the Aspa pensioners’ allowance or the APL housing benefit.

The government last year provided a chèque energie, which was another €100 payment to low income households designed to help them dealing with rising energy prices. 

Prices for electricity and household gas have also been capped until the end of the year, while motorists benefit from an 18c per litre fuel rebate when they fill up.

The latest measure will be put in place by Decree, the government has indicated.

READ ALSO How France has managed to keep inflation relatively low

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LIVING IN FRANCE

5 signs that you have settled in to life in France

Moving countries always brings with it a bit of a culture shock, but after a while you will adapt and change - from medicines to complaining, dossiers to wine, here are 5 signs that you have truly settled in.

5 signs that you have settled in to life in France

It’s normal that your habits will change in a different country – and that’s before we even get into the weird things that happen to your English-speaking skills – but it’s when your attitude and mindset begins to change that you know you have truly settled. 

1 Your bonjour reflex is such that you sometimes find yourself greeting ATMs and supermarket self-checkout machines

After an initial period of being nonplussed at how much time you are expected to spend greeting people, you’re now fully into the spirit of beginning every interaction with a bonjour, from ordering in a café to entering an elevator.

EXPLAINED Why bonjour is the most sacred word in the French langauge?

When you return to your home country, people think you’re weird because you insist on saying ‘good morning’ to everyone.

2 You can assemble a full dossier for any type of administrative appointment within 5 minutes

Bureaucracy is life in France and there is no point in fighting it. Even once you’ve got through all your initial admin on moving to France there are still regular appointments and it is now second nature to create a ‘dossier’ of documents for each one. 

At home, you have an enormous file containing every single piece of paper you have received since arriving in France. If there was a fire, you would save this before rescuing pets/children/loved ones  

READ ALSO The vital vocab for French bureaucracy

3 You have internalised the French public holiday calendar and can make lightning fast calculations on every opportunity to faire le pont over the next 12 months

From initially being excited at all the random days off work that France offers, you now regard these as normal and correct and are genuinely outraged at the ‘bad years’ when too many public holidays fall on a Saturday or Sunday.

After spending your first couple of years as the only person in your workplace on days adjacent to public holidays, you have now embraced the French tradition of ‘bridging’ holidays and now maximise your holiday time like everyone else.  

4 You would no longer dream of having toast for dinner

You consider proper meals essential and are happy to have long conversations on the relative merits of fondue v racelette, beaufort v comté or flat peaches v round ones.

Also, you have started sipping your wine instead of hurling it back like there’s a shortage and now genuinely see the point in spending more money on a good wine and making it last over several nights. Your friends back home wonder who you even are. 

5 You’re very happy in France, and show it by complaining

Nights out with your French friends involve complaining about the (excellent) French health system, the (generally excellent) public transport and the country’s leaders (OK maybe they’re not excellent but coming from a country that has had Donald Trump or Boris Johnson as a leader gives you a certain perspective).

You’re happy to go along with the French complaining tradition and you save your more dorky opinions (Paris is beautiful, baguettes are great and life in France is pretty good) for your fellow foreigners.  

READ ALSO ‘In France we don’t make small talk about the weather, we complain instead’

. . . and maybe this one is just for people of a certain age

You become extremely interested in your own health and don’t hesitate to visit a doctor, even for comparatively minor ailments.

You regard having a fully stocked medicine cabinet as completely normal and a trip to the pharmacy to look at the new remedies counts as a genuine day out.

You still refuse to consider ‘heavy legs’ a genuine medical issue, however. Integration always has limits. 

Do you agree with these signs of being settled? What was the moment when you realised that France had changed you? Email us at [email protected]

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