South-west France news: Property taxes, cable cars and film nights

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South-west France news: Property taxes, cable cars and film nights
Photo by Charly TRIBALLEAU / AFP

From extra property taxes and plans for cable cars to France's new hunting safety plan and what those 'wedding chateaux' can really offer to foreigners, here is your weekly roundup of the news and issues in south-west France.


High-speed rail lines

There are some big plans for extra high-speed rail lines in the south west, including the Bordeaux-Toulouse section, Bordeaux-Dax and eventually a link-up to Barcelona. Once finished, the works will cut the journey time between Toulouse and Paris to three hours.

So that's the good news. The perhaps slightly less good news is that extra property taxes will be levied in the south west in order to cover some of the costs.

Not everyone will pay these, but here's the breakdown of which households will be affected and how much the extra tax is likely to be. 


Moving on to slightly less conventional public transport, and the city of Bordeaux is currently running a public consultation on creating a new cable-car to cross the river.


The idea of the seven-minute cable car ride across the Garonne is that, as well as being a fun tourist attraction, it will link up to the city's tram system and better connect the areas on the east and west banks of the river.

You can find more details - plus how to have your say in the consultation - HERE

Hunting rules

It's a major issue for rural-dwellers during the winter months - the risk of being accidentally shot by hunters while hiking, cycling, dog-walking - or even tending your own garden or driving on a nearby public road.

While tens of thousands of people enjoy la chasse, the pastime is becoming increasingly controversial because of the number of accidents linked to hunting (which usually means shooting).


Now the government has unveiled its 14-point plan to make hunting safer - it includes alcohol limits for hunters (because guns and drink are not a great combination) and an app to track where hunters are in action, but does not include the ban on Sunday hunting that many were calling for.

Alcohol limits, training days and an app: How France plans to make hunting safer

Getting wed

And south west France is particularly famous for its many beautiful chateaux. While plenty of these are still private dwellings, others have been turned into commercial enterprises with wedding venues particularly popular.

The idea of getting married in a beautiful and romantic French chateau is heavily marketed overseas - but what are the rules for non-residents getting married in France? We explain all here.

Picture of the week

And if you're in the rugby heartlands of south-west France, you're likely to be seeing pictures of this distinctive individual this week.

French former rugby player Sébastien Chabal, pictured in Bordeaux in 2021. Photo by Philippe LOPEZ / AFP

This is Sébastien Chabal, who played rugby for France between 2000 and 2011, in those days famous for his flowing locks and beard that saw him nicknamed 'the caveman'.  He's retired from playing now, but he's back in the news because he's in hot water over allegations that he bought more than 100 tickets for the 2023 Rugby World Cup matches (held in France in September and October) despite rules limiting the number of tickets that can be bought together.

He denies any wrongdoing. Many who have tried to get tickets for the event have reported a frustrating experience with long waits, a crashing website and immediately sold-out matches. 

What's on

The cinema club Lost in Frenchlation has recently expanded its activities from Paris and is now holding screenings of French films with English subtitles in Charente.

The aim of the club is to allow people who are still learning French to experience French cinema, and club founder Manon selects a nice mix of new releases and French classics for the screenings.

The Charente screenings take place roughly once a month in the town of Marthon, about 30 minutes drive from Angouleme. New Year's Day saw a screening of the musical hit Maestro, and the February screening will be announced soon on the Lost in Frenchlation website here or the Marthon cinema Facebook page here (in French). If Marthon is too far for you to travel, Lost in Frenchlation also offers an online library of French films with English subtitles.  


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