3rd January 2016
Were you happy with 2015? For France it was a year of shock when terrorism took hold and the FN party threatened. But, Paris was resilient and the French voters saw off Marine Le Pen...for now. So, what about 2016? The old 22 regions are now reduced to a more simplified 13, but until each has an agreed new name in July, here we'll have to fit the ridiculously-long Languedoc-Roussillon Midi-Pyrenees onto forms. I see Hollande has pledged to lower the cost of mutuelles for people on old-age pensions over 65, but will that include British expats? New Linky, actual-consumption, electricity meters are to be fitted to do away with estimates and we can no longer have tinted side windows in our car that let in less than 70% light, but how to tell? All earning over 40K will have to declare online, but what of non-IT-literate pensioners? A single number for calling an out-of-hours doctor will be launched (ours is 3966), but why is our local vet on call 24/7 with his mobile number, but not our own doctor? Are pets more important than humans? Him indoors asks whether there'll be a new computer GP app asking 'if you've a broken leg, press 1, haemorroids press 2, a broken finger - please wait....' Whatever, a healthy 2016 to all readers.