Sunny weather

Author: fraise

Saturday 22 January 2011, in La France, Nice

22/01/2011

While the Riviera is generally known for its sun and warmth, this winter has been exceptionally wet and dark. We went nearly two months without seeing blue skies or dry ground. This week it’s gotten better, and today was chilly but clear. While walking to a store this morning, I passed our Notre Dame, which was recently renovated for Nice’s 150th anniversary as part of France. There was a protest in front of it, not sure what for, but with my cameraphone’s blocky colors, it made for an interesting play of contrasts with the sun, sky, cream church, bronze-windowed shop building and black-winter-coat crowd.

The fact that I have French citizenship has finally been sinking in these past two weeks. No more yearly visits to the prefecture to renew residence; no more need to declare changes of address with them; no more running every decision through the filter of “as a non-EU citizen, do I have the right to do this, will it be more complicated, will it cause any problems”; and, I finally have the right to vote in national elections. I registered just in the nick of the time — there are only élections cantonales this year, but at least that way it’s done and I’ll be able to vote in les présidentielles de 2012. Kind of a funny coincidence in 2012, since the US presidential elections will also be held (I plan to vote in those too). French presidential elections are currently every 5 years, previously every 7, whereas US presidents are elected every 4, so it’s not common that they overlap. On the whole, I feel much more empowered and free — no longer having to worry about my non-EU-citizen status is more of a relief than I had expected.

3 responses to “Sunny weather”

  1. Barb in Minnesota Says:

    Interesting that you get to vote in both elections. Do you have to pay income tax in both countries as well? Just curious.
    Barb in Minnesota

  2. fraise Says:

    The US is the only industrialized country in the world to tax its expatriate citizens, yes. There’s a pretty big deduction, so I haven’t yet had to pay, but I do have to file.

    Also, I kept dual citizenship precisely so I could continue to vote in US elections. I know my representative in Oregon (DeFazio, he lives in the city I’m from) and write him regularly, so it’s important for me to keep that link.

  3. Bruce B. Says:

    It’s funny, but I hadn’t thought about it that way. I think you’re right, it’s not so much what we can do as French citizens, but the “other” hassles (prefecture, working, registering, etc.) that we don’t have anymore. And as you say, adding the citizenship doesn’t change anything about taxes, we’re still liable for taxes in both places. I think the limit at this point is around $85,000 US in taxable income (around 62,400?). The only time that a large amount of money would only be taxable in the US and not here is if you (or me ;)) were to win the Loto or Euromillion (those are tax free here, not in the US).

    We can dream, right? :D

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