Up to 2.5 million French people now live abroad, and more are bidding “au revoir” each year.
A French parliamentary commission of inquiry is due to publish its report on emigration on Tuesday, but Le Figaro reported yesterday that because of a political dispute among its members over the reasons for the exodus, a “counter-report” by the opposition right-wing is to be released as an annex.
Centre-right deputies are convinced that the people who are the “lifeblood” of France are leaving because of “the impression that it’s impossible to succeed”, said Luc Chatel, secretary general of the UMP, who chaired the commission.
There is “an anti-work mentality, absurd fiscal pressure, a lack of promotion prospects, and the burden of debt hanging over future generations,” he told Le Figaro. …
According to a French Foreign Ministry report published at the end of last month, the top five destinations are the UK, Switzerland, the US, Belgium and Germany. The French consulate in London has estimated that up to 400,000 French nationals live in the capital, a number equal to the population of France’s sixth largest city.
The Foreign Ministry recorded 1.6 million expats at the end of last year. But that figure only includes people who had registered at French consulates abroad. “So the real figure is twice as high,” says Hélène Charveriat, the delegate-general of the Union of French Citizens Abroad.