Archive for the ‘BREXIT’ Category

Actualités de Brexit

Now, I know where my news about Brexit will come from in the most part: Le Figaro.

Now I’m really surprised that I never made anything of my degree in European Legal Studies. Toss in my thesis for my JD dealt with fisheries. Maybe I should have asked the Greenpeace chief in Brussels for a job instead of hoping for big bucks in the world of business when I found out he was a neighbour (and all round nice guy).

La Marseillaise: ‘The Greatest National Anthem in the World, Ever’ – BBC News

I was looking up versions of La Marseillaise to post when I pass the DELF B2. And in the spirit of BREXIT, I post this clip that came up.

Le DELF B2 viendra!

I just registered to take the DELF B2 and will do so in December.

I’ve mentioned it before, but in case you weren’t paying attention:

The Diplôme d’études en langue française or DELF for short, is a certification of French-language abilities for non-native speakers of French administered by the International Centre for French Studies for France’s Ministry of Education. I am considered an Anglophone since I am not from France. There are a few reasons for wanting to take this test. One would be as a career step to prove your proficiency in French. Another reason is if one wants to become a French citizenship. There is a requirement of passing the B2 level to become a French citizen.

That means there are a few reasons I would pick the B2 level. One being it is less expensive than the C1 or C2 levels, which is where some non-official tests place me. The C levels would be something that would be attractive if I were still in the workplace. But I am not sure if they would have helped me much, short of moving to France back then. And the US Government would have picked the Hispanic Woman anyway for the international law jobs.

My career path ended up being completely unsatisfactory and feeling like that joke about the World Famous French lover who was on a game show as a lifeline. The punch line is that he wouldn’t have done anything the contestant suggested. Brexit happened and Britain will regret it happening sooner or later. I’m staying in Europe.

Brexit

I had wanted to live where my ancestors came from 300-400 years ago, but I wasn’t expecting to be where I finally ended up. Britain seemed like home up until 2016 and the vote to leave the European Union. Now I feel like a lorry driver in a Kent lot when it comes to Britain and the European Union.

My first reaction to Brexit was to get European residency, which I have had since July 2018. European residency isn’t had to get: especially if one is retired and has a steady income. France also makes it easy to get residency if one wants to learn the language (that is a valid reason to be a resident). Most European countries require language proficiency for citizenship, which is good since I am proficient in the languages of the countries where I am resident.

Belgium and France feel comfortable to me. Germany, not so much, although it is getting more multicultural. The doner kebab is a national food, as opposed to the bland stuff I remember from when I was a kid.

I used to joke that I had never seen a Euro even though I had spent quite a few of them. Not so much of a joke since the Euro started its existence as a virtual currency and wasn’t really brought into actual circulation until 2002. The notes are pretty boring, but the coins actually have a national flavour. The coins have a standard side and a national side. And I’ve seen Euro coins from all the Eurozone countries.

The notes are different. The 11 digit serial number on every note begins with a prefix which identifies which country issued it. German notes begin with an X, Greek notes start with a Y, Spain’s have a V, France a U, Ireland T, Portugal M, Italy S, Belgium is Z, Cyprus G, Luxembourg 1, Malta F, Netherlands P, Austria N, Slovenia H, Slovakia E and Finland L. A more arcane test is that the serial number also contains a secret clue to the country which issued the note. The clue lies in what is known as the digital root of the serial number. This can be calculated by adding together the digits, then taking the result and adding its digits together again and so on until a single digit is left. For example. On a note where the code reads X50446027856. The X immediately indicates that the note is German, but a second test is to add the digits. So (5+0+4+4+6+0+2+7+8+5+6) gives 47. Add these digits (4+7) gives 11. Finally add these digits (1+1) gives 2, the code number for Germany. Some countries share a code number.

The nice thing is that one doesn’t have to change currencies at the border the way things were pre-European Monetary Union. On the other hand, the Euros in my wallet may not reflect where I happen to live. The money has free movement, as do the citizens of the European Union.

BTW, there are seven kingdoms in modern Europe: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Personally, I’ve always opted for the more inclusive nationality whether it is British or European.

Brexit

You might not think it from reading my posts at Penigma, but Brexit is far more of an issue for me than Trump. That’s because my right of free movement and residency are going away soon. Maybe it won’t be too much of a problem since the UK is not a party to the Schengen Area.

Citizens the only people who have a right to come and go into a country under international law. Let’s toss in that the right of asylum is covered under international law to make this an aside. So, I find the whinging by “liberals” about immigrants into the US to be amusing, but that is probably due to American Exceptionalism combined with the myth that the US has “always been welcoming to immigrants”.

Not really.

But as I said, that was a bit of an aside, but related to where I am going here. Brexit is going to screw up the residency of quite a few people of both the UK and the EU member states (with the exception of Ireland, but that’s a sort of). People who have been resident under the terms of the European Union membership are going to find they have to apply for formal residency.

Somewhat of a headache due to paperwork. Toss in that some places (E.g., Belgium) can be a tax headache if you are “self-employed”. Being retired is less of a problem since most places welcome retired people if you “aren’t going to steal jobs”. In fact most places welcome people who are willing to contribute to society.

That means going through some hoops to get in. Although residency usually isn’t hard. Citizenship is another issue: especially if you don’t want to get to the border and find they won’t let you in. Or hit you with penalties as is the case in the Schengen Area. Unlike the US, some countries actually have criminal penalties for violating the immigration laws.

So, what is the Schengen Area?

It was created by treaty and includes most of Europe. It’s basically a zone that once you don’t need a passport have entered it to move around. If you are a citizen of the Schengen nations.

OTOH, Nationals from some countries need to obtain a Schengen visa in order to enter one of its member countries or travel within the area. It is a short-stay visa valid for 90 days. It also allows international transit at airports in Schengen countries.  The US and UK aren’t one of those countries, but Citizens of non-Schengen countries which are not required to have visas still have to respect the infamous 90/180 day rule.

Another point where most multiple-entry Schengen visa holders get confused, as well as the nationals of the countries that are permitted to enter Schengen visa-free. Most people think that the 180-day period starts on the day you visa becomes valid, which is not true.

Actually, the 180-day period keeps rolling. Therefore, anytime you wish to enter the Schengen, you just have to count backwards the last 180 days, and see if you have been present in the Schengen for more than 90 days throughout that period.

And you are subject to a €1200 fine if you overstay your 90 days: even if only by one day! Loads of tourists complain that they were hit with a fine for leaving a day late! There are ways to avoid be in Schengen for more than 90 days in the last 180 days by jumping between Schengen and non-Schengen countries. Thus, stay in Belgium for 90 days, then go to the UK for the 180 days.

Of course, residency makes a whole lot more sense. Toss in the Schengen rules are a headache.

But that is going to be a major fuck over caused by Brexit. One of many fuck overs caused by Brexit.

Not posting much

OK, it’s pretty obvious that the world is insane and trying to fix it seems to be a pointless task. Way too many fucked up and insane things going on in the world, but the internet makes me feel as if I am a voice screaming in the wilderness.

So, I am spending time trying to get my house in order. Literally. Contemplating a permanent move to somewhere in Europe, but not sure where. After Britain, Belgium seems most like home.

Posted 13/11/2018 by lacithedog in BREXIT, current events

J’ai rejoint l’Alliance Française

There are a few reasons for this. The main one is to take the DELF examination.  The DELF or Diplôme d’études en langue français  (which literally means Diploma in French Studies in English) is an official certification given by France’s National Ministry of Education to non-native French speakers after completing a set of proficiency tests. It is valid for life and is recognized anywhere in the world.

OK, why would someone who is fluent in French want to take this test? First off, France (and Canada) requires one show proficiency for citizenship. That should make a lot of immigration hawks ears perk up since they would like people to speak English. Of course, being able to speak the main language SHOULD be a requirement for citizenship. I say that because nationhood is somewhat based on shared culture.  Even if the shared culture is a mixture of other cultures.

Secondly, it proves that I can indeed speak French. Not that having lived in Belgium and spending time in other francophone countries doesn’t show that.  On the other hand, Brexit has made the search for EU citizenship a priority.  Even though I probably would have no issue with German citizenship, there are a few negatives to that one as a possibility.  The Poles says I am not ethnically Polish (Remember the map of Europe’s Borders? I come out as being British, French/Belgian, Czech/German, Polish/German, and just plain German (Rhineland Pfalz). Although, the Czech/German is more German (Saxony) than Czech.

Anyway, the Alliance Française seems to be the way to go.  It’s also probably something I should have done a while back, but my French language skills never needed to be certified until Brexit.