EC citizens can settle in France if they have a job, business or means of support. The predominance of English in business and technology makes English speakers much sought after in those industries.
Costs are reasonable: a meal in a medium-range restaurant in central Paris can be had for under 200 francs (pounds 25) a head, and the quality is almost always assured. The legal minimum wage stands at FF5,300 a month (pounds 7,800 p a) but the 35-year-old professional can expect to earn about four times that. A three-bedroom flat in a reasonable part of Paris will set you back about pounds 300,000 in a slow-moving market. Elsewhere, particularly in the central or south-western France, sale of a semi in Essex can buy a mansion, even a chateau. A small family saloon, such as a up-market Peugeot 205, costs FF76,000 (pounds 9,400).
It would be wrong to suggest that foreigners are particularly welcome in France. But the British are looked upon favourably; they have a reputation for being honest and for paying the rent on time.
Most British residents say that they find the life - especially railways and infrastructure that work, easier than in Britain - and that they appreciate the emphasis on comfort.
Reciprocal health care and pension arrangements are no problem. The smart solution is to pay National Insurance in Britain, an outlay about one-third of that paid by the French worker.