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Old 10-29-2012, 05:47 AM
 
Location: Belgium
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In Belgium, the relationship with France is - as usual in my country - complex.

Apart for economic ties and holidays, the Flemish don't particularly care for the big neighbor.

The Wallonians, due to their sharing the language, are a lot more influenced by French culture: tons of Wallonians watch French channels, read French newspapers, listen to French music. Popular singers/writers/actors from Wallonia will quickly move to Paris and try to make it in France. For most Wallonians, Paris is seen as the center of culture, not our own capital Brussels.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:22 AM
 
Location: Germany
857 posts, read 1,416,865 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Javier77 View Post
(just showing valid id, of course)
No, under the Schengen treaty you don't have to show any ID any longer. There are no checks between the Schengen countries, you just drive (or walk) over the border without anybody stopping you. The border control buildings have either been torn down or they are unmanned. You should carry ID though, just in case.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Germany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glucorious View Post
North? Belgium? Of what?


No, they don't commute to Germany. There's a language barrier, and they're, at least generally, to proud to leave.

As Jaggy said there are considerable commuters from France to Germany. There is no language barrier as both Germans and Alsatians speak German.
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:20 AM
 
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There is no language barrier as both Germans and Alsatians speak German.

Native and older Alsatians do speak German (but some old people don't want to do it because of the war, even 70 years after WWII,un believable but true unfortunately), but few of the "new Alsatians " (from the rest of France or North Africa, Turkey). So there is an actual language barrier between the two sides of the Rhine river , however less important though than betwwen Dutch speaking Belgians (who refuse to speak French) and French speaking ones (who refuse to speak Dutch) or Catalans who refuse to speak Spanish...
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Germany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigeonhole View Post
but some old people don't want to do it because of the war, even 70 years after WWII,
I think this is a thing of the past which I experienced too in the sixties to nineties.
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:31 PM
 
Location: American Expat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geggo View Post
As Jaggy said there are considerable commuters from France to Germany. There is no language barrier as both Germans and Alsatians speak German.
As some of the sources indicated, many of them are not actual "commuters". They don't go back and forth every day. Besides, even if you include them, I wouldn't call this number "significant". Maybe if it was Belgium, but France's population is much larger.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Leeds, UK
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Politically I'd say the relationship between France and Britain is often strained, especially when Sarkozy was in power.

We cooperate on many levels however, especially militarily. Maybe one day, Britain and France will have a combined military..

The two countries are very similar in many ways - similar populations, similar sized economies, both have a dominating capital city that is far larger than the rest, both have a similar impact on the global stage.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glucorious View Post
North? Belgium? Of what?

Also, most people (65%) in Switzerland speak German and 20% French, and 60% of Belgians speak Dutch.

No, they don't commute to Germany. There's a language barrier, and they're, at least generally, to proud to leave.

There is not as much "interaction" between the countries as you think.

I was talking about border areas. The French speaking parts of both Belgium and Switzerland are on the border with France.

Abnd then, the Flemish speaking part of Belgium borders Holland, and the German speaking part of Switzerland borders Germany, and the Italian speaking part of Switzerland borders Italy, etc, etc, etc. And that makes historical sense, it would be a bit weird if the French speaking part of Belgium was in the North and the Flemish in the South, right?

So I wonder how that particularity affects interaction on those areas.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Paris, France
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Quote:
Originally Posted by owenc View Post
Not sure about the Relationship government wise.

But population wise the British and the French aren't really linked; fair enough the British will goto France on holidays and have holiday homes. But the cultures are completely different.
I Disagree.

As someone who commutes regularly between Paris and London, I would say that now England and France share a land border in the shape of the Channel Tunnel, the links between Paris and London at least have boomed. It now only takes 2hrs 20mins to get from the Gare du Nord to London St Pancras. That is less than between London and most major British regional cities.

Since 1994 the numbers of French people living in the UK - almost all in the Greater London region - has skyrocketed - and now sits at nearly 400,000 - making them one of the countries largest "immigrant" communities. Though as they are largely affluent, well educated, and in fact are culturally quite similar to native born Britons - this has gone pretty much totally unnoticed, particularly if you compare it to the only slightly larger boom in migration from Poland - about which there's been eight years of screaming headlines.
BBC News - London, France's sixth biggest city

Likewise, even more Britons now live in France - as many as 500,000, according to this report by the French government:
The English in France - France-Diplomatie
In contrast to the French community in the UK, Britons are more spread out over the whole country, with a particular concentration in the southwest, and typically tend to be middle-class families and self-employed people rather than the French students and young workers who move the other way.

Statistics are somewhat sketchy as within the EU it is not necessary to register with any authorities when you move to another EU state, as there is total freedom of movement. So a Google search will throw up quite a few different figures. But the general point it there - a huge boom in migration and general integration since 1994.

Anecdotally, I would say that London is absolutely jam-packed with French people and you hear the French language all the time. In some affluent areas in west London they almost seem to be the dominant nationality. Likewise it's really common to meet other Britons living and working in Paris, is not unusual at all and raises absolutely no eyebrows. And some in some villages in the south-west I've heard tales of half the class of school kids being English in some cases - all with perfect little French accents, of course.

Owenc - up there in Northern Ireland you're really missing out on all this Anglo-French love down here mate. To me it already feels like Belfast/Edinburgh or even Manchester are far more "distant" from London and the southeast than Paris is.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Leeds, UK
22,234 posts, read 23,571,011 times
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But you mention London and nowhere else.. London is the only place in the British Isles to enjoy such connections. The rest of the country (bar the SE, obviously) is feeling increasingly isolated and neglected. Your reference to the time it takes to travel between London and Paris versus other UK cities alone counteracts your entire point that England and France are super connected, when only France and SE England are even remotely connected.

That being said, I did hear the French language being spoken loudly here in Leeds not long ago by a large group of people. The French language is actually one of the biggest first languages spoken here.. but they're likely to be from African immigrants as opposed to French immigrants.
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