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Old 03.03.2012, 21:27
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Aliens with a difference

In our local paper today, a very interesting article on the 30.000 approx illegal immigrants in France near Geneva...

the Swiss - who cross the border everyday to work 'back home' in CH. Illegal as for all sorts of reasons, they are still officially resident in Switzerland and do not pay any tax in France, despite using all the facilities and infrastructures. A situation which the local French Maires and population are not very happy about- as educating their children and providing services do not come cheap. The other complaint is that they do not get involved with local activities or mix with the locals, etc and live in an expat sort of bubble. They do not live in France by 'choice' but because they cannot afford a decent apartment in the Swiss side, let alone a house. If they could, they'd probably never ever thought of living on the French side. There are of course 100s of Swiss who do live in France and work in CH - which is fine if they are registered as residents in France instead of 'pretending' they have a second home there only.

So why do they not register as residents in France? Not clear. But one of the main reasons perhaps is security with unemployment benefits, if ever needed. Indeed if registered as resident in France they would only get 56% of salary if they become unemployed, versus 70 to 80% if resident in Switzerland. Also they seem very reluctant to be assimilated with the French, and want to keep their Swissitude and cultural identity.

Bizarre.

Last edited by Odile; 03.03.2012 at 23:26.
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Old 03.03.2012, 23:12
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Re: Aliens with a difference

Friends of mine do exactly that, he works in Gland and lives 60 minutes drive away in the Rhône valley. Le Marie exacted his wrath by refusing permission for a car for his wife, after 2 years he allowed her to buy one. They could never afford a house and garden in Vaud.
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Old 04.03.2012, 12:35
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Re: Aliens with a difference

That is very logical and no problem.

Question is, has he registered as resident in France? Or doing what those 'illegal' Swiss immigrants are doing- which is to keep an address in CH (parents, or a small studio, or their flat sub-letted for big money to someone else, etc) - and therefore pay NO tax to the area where they actually live, and yet use all the infrastructures there. Do they live as part of the community, or a parallel life in a Swiss expat bubble- a little bit like the one describe by Ms Summaruga here.


The article says: "In Valleiry, 20km away from GVA, 1 out of 5 registration plate (car) is Swiss. So 20% of tax payers 'lost' to the French Commune. The Maire, absolutely furious, tried to forbid those people putting the children in the local schools, but failed. The authorities have no way of forcing those people to declare themselves as French (tax) residents, they can only observe".

Which is the bit I do not understand. If the French authorities have proof that those 20% Swiss living in their Commune illegally, eg not registered and not paying tax, despite using the schools and all the facilities/infrastructure, but can't they take action?

Anyway, just shows that 'illegals' come in all shades, shapes and sizes- and don't necessarily follow the stereotypes. In this case, as in most, the frustrations of the French Maire, Commune and residents are bound to escalate unless people come clean and integrate more with local life. The French in the area are particularly sensitive to this, as the MCG (Genevan Front National type party) have had an anti-frontalier (workers crossing into CH daily for work) with a particularly nasty campaign calling the frontaliers 'racaille' - or low life!

Last edited by Odile; 04.03.2012 at 14:31.
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Old 04.03.2012, 12:47
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Re: Aliens with a difference

As they own a house in Béon, France, and they had trouble with the mayor over buying the car, I would assume they are in the system. If you were not registered then you cannot legally buy a car.
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Old 04.03.2012, 13:00
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Re: Aliens with a difference

I knew someone who I used to work with in Geneva that does exactly that. I asked why and how he did it?

He sub-let his original apartment in Geneva making a little profit, bought a house with swimming pool just over the border. Everything is setup so it looks as if he works and lives in Geneva.

I am sure with a bit of an audit on the children attending school, where they actually live and the rest should be simple enough to catch the offenders.

Find it hard to believe that you can buy property in France, live there and not be caught up some how.

Maybe the way the system is run is just bad and needs updating.
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Old 04.03.2012, 13:17
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Re: Aliens with a difference

I agree, if the French have a sloppy registration process, they can hardly blame foreigners taking advantage.

Any way, France didn't complain, and Odile thought of the pot calling the kettle black.
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Old 04.03.2012, 20:27
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Re: Aliens with a difference

Hmm... interesting
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Old 04.03.2012, 20:43
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Re: Aliens with a difference

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I am sure with a bit of an audit on the children attending school, where they actually live and the rest should be simple enough to catch the offenders.
Probably they have a similar law as in Switzerland where the schools have to accept students who are illegal in Switzerland and are forbidden to tell the government about them. This is because there is a human right for education, and thus the reasoning is that attending school has to be possible for the children of illegal aliens, too.

If schools were obliged or even only allowed to tell the government about such students, all the children of illegal aliens would be kept at home, out of fear of being deported (not saying that it doesn't happen all the same.
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Old 04.03.2012, 20:52
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Re: Aliens with a difference

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Hmm... interesting
In what way, what do you think?

I wonder to what extent the same thing happens in the Basel area. I live in a border area where there is plenty of cheap accommodation, and I only know of one case, because his wife is French and wanted to be near her parents. He rents their house here and is trying to sell it- but no idea if they are registered as resident here or in France. I suppose here, as he is a Swiss Customs officer.

Last edited by Odile; 04.03.2012 at 23:23.
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