France is still a popular European stop

April 29th, 2010 by The JetSetter Team | Comments Off on France is still a popular European stop

travel destinationsHistorically a popular travel destination, Mona Lisa’s home still has a few things going for it – a reputation as the most romantic city on earth, fine food, an appreciation and long history of art and architecture. If you don’t mind the occasional disenfranchised urban youth riot or outraged farmers blocking roads, it could still be the country for you. It was good enough for Voltaire, Descartes, and Jean-Paul Sarte.

But what is today’s French reality? If you’re independently wealthy, it could be a blast. Buy your plane ticket today. If you’re part of the working class, maybe not so much. The effects of massive unemployment 30 years ago lingers, with a rate of about 9.3% currently. The rate of 16-24 year-olds working in France right now is the lowest throughout the developed world – and it’s not because they’re sipping aperitifs at a sidewalk cafe.

The business climate is good if you’re in the right business, namely, one the government doesn’t mess with. Central control maintains a stranglehold on entire industries: defense, transport, insurance, and banking, though it is slowly loosening the grip. French citizens pay a dear tax burden to live there, with up to 60% of gross pay to the public till called the French State Public Benefit System. Ouch.

The end result is that we at The Jetsetter Show conclude that while France might still be a great place to visit, relocating is another matter entirely. No jobs, high taxes, look out!

The Jetsetter Team

Flickr / Eustaguio Santimano

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