Presumably this joke has already been made

France will go ahead with its controversial new tax on the profits of large technology firms such as Google and Facebook despite US threats to retaliate, as the government vows that it is just the start of a crucial rethink of the regulation of tech monopolies.

Cédric O, the French junior minister for digital affairs, told the Guardian that Emmanuel Macron’s drive to make companies including Amazon and Apple pay more and fairer tax would go ahead, despite US warnings that it could open up a new front in the international trade war.

The novel was about being submissive Cedric, not dominant. Still, we can still mutter something about cocksuckers when we’ve a junior French minister insisting the entire world must bow to his demands….

18 thoughts on “Presumably this joke has already been made”

  1. I think that eBay’s reaction to France’s 3% charge on sales has been to increase its commission charge to French sellers which means the charge has been passed on to the traders. No doubt the traders will increase the prices of goods they sell so the charge will be passed on to customers.

    Yay. French citizens paying more for things they buy on eBay so that the money can go to the French government who will no doubt wazz the extra up against whatever the political wall of the day is.

  2. I don’t understand why the big tech companies give way to National governments. I’ve bought through,, & .fr. Even .com on occasion. It’s pretty well seamless. Ebay’s response to French posturing should be to say, OK, no .fr then. Stick a translator on one of the other sites & run it there. It’d make no difference to ebayers. French ebayers could still trade & deliver to French ebayers. S’pose Paris could get the French ISPs to block external Ebay loads. But a VPN would go right round that.
    It should be one of the advantages to globalisation. To make markets global for consumers.
    I’ve moved pretty well all my retail banking over to Transferwise, now they’ve started doing direct debits. They’re in Lithuania, aren’t they? Not saying I give a flying f**k where they are. They’re cheaper & more efficient than UK, French or Spanish banks. HM Treasury don’t get to benefit from the profit on my transactions? Tough.

  3. bloke in spain,

    I think, just because the law affects the competition, it doesn’t really matter.

    I do find France an odd place. I used to actually like the place, but I only go there for the weather and not much else now. People talk about how the British are obsessed with being a big cheese, but we’re nothing on the French. Just read that article:-

    “O said internet and technology regulation was now a major part of French soft power on the international diplomatic stage.”

    France thinks it can force companies, or other countries to screw down major corporations, like everyone else is going to follow, rather than just offering major corporations a better deal and grabbing the jobs and growth from them.

    I don’t think it’s just the government. There’s a real sense of entitlement about the place in general, like how they violently attack Spanish wine imports. Or the way they bang on about terroir, like there’s something divine about French land to produce wine, over land in Romania or the USA. Garages and florists don’t seem to give a fuck about service, in a way that British garages and florists do. They have employment laws that everyone will tell you mean that multinational businesses don’t put staff in France, but haven’t changed them.

  4. Macron is busy reducing income tax, community charge tax, Social Security tax, wealth tax. Since France has no money, it has to replace revenues somehow to fund its ‘Social Solidarity’ giveaway welfare state in which everyone qualifies for a handout of one sort or another.

  5. @BoM4
    It’s difficult to agree with you about France. I’ve lived there & quite like it. Why I fled the UK for there. Don’t know about florists but garages? Fuel stations or car repairers? The service areas on French highways are possibly the most welcoming in Europe. And I’ve spent a great deal of time in them on regular commutes from one end of France to the other. A nice touch on the Toulouse Narbonne stretch misted passers-by with a cooling fine water spray as a foil to the baking summer heat. Think that was the one also had a small movie theatre for long-haul truckers to take a restful break. Not you will notice, the games arcade pitched at juveniles a money grabbing Brit equivalent might offer. Smaller garages can be extremely helpful. The average age of cars in France is considerably older than many other European countries. They’ve never had year related matriculation so there’s not much cachet to having a new car & the French tend to run them ’til they expire. So they’re good at economical fixes. Thanx to the mecs at Blaye who diagnosed & fixed a long running problem I’d had with mine. And because it required adjustment rather than parts didn’t want to charge. Main agents are the gouging bastards they are everywhere else in Europe.
    Yep. France is run primarily for the French. But don’t confuse its government & Paris with France. Most French would agree with you. Paris is forrin’, full of forriners & to be avoided. Which is rather why I like France. They’re unashamedly French.

  6. They’ve never had year related matriculation
    As in Spain (is it an EU thing?), since 2009 French number plates are issued alphabetically, so cars beginning with an E are newer than those beginning A. You still see a few old departmental plates (and white on red appears still to be legal).

  7. Bloke in North Dorset


    Yep. France is run primarily for the French. But don’t confuse its government & Paris with France. Most French would agree with you.

    When I worked a on 3G licence bid in Jo’burg in 1999 we had a couple of French engineers from Nortel helping us. Nice lads and we got on well.

    About half way through the project a civil engineer from Buoyges Construction joined us to look at the building of sites as they were gong to invest. From the off things were strange between us, as he questioned everything I said and at one point accused me of being a racist. I’d never had anything like this in all my travels, I found it discombobulating.

    I mentioned this to the young lads and with a Gaelic shrug they said “ignore him, he’s from Paris”.

    I should have realised, I’ve always believed that you shouldn’t take a capital city as representative of a country and Paris is probably the worst.

  8. @Chris
    But they’re not as far as I’m aware, related to a year. My Spanish car’s an 2012 H. They used H until they ran out of H. Current letter here is a K, I think. It’s not really something you notice or care about. Unlike the UK which change twice a year still? Lousy system done at the behest of the car flogging lobby*. FKW. Most Brit cars are imports. Main beneficiary is foreign manufacturers.

    *And the sort of Brit terminal assoles who think driving the latest numberplate around is a status symbol. Mostly driving lease cars supplied by their employer.

  9. I should have realised, I’ve always believed that you shouldn’t take a capital city as representative of a country and Paris is probably the worst.

    Just as London is not representative of the UK. This may be a symptom of the capital being over-dominant in a country. Madrid feels quite Spanish (though Spain is more regional than many European countries), and similar for Germany. While Brussels isn’t very Belgian.

  10. Bloke in North Dorset


    I think the days when we had the change in Aug and everyone went berserk to show off thei cars on the first day are long gone. I wouldn’t recognise a new plate if it came up and hit me. I’m not sure a car is the status symbol it used to be, except amongst a small minority, but there’s small minorities holding trainers and other clothing as status symbols.

  11. @Chris Miller
    Paris has always been a different country to France. Right back to when the only bit of France the French king had was the bit around Paris. Paris has always despised France & France, Paris. Most French regard the government in Paris as an occupying power. Less onerous than the Germans, as far as the Vendée was concerned, in ’40. Even the language was imposed by law, or most French wouldn’t speak French. For the French, their children go off to work in Paris & return inexplicably as Parisians.

  12. Bloke in North Dorset


    ” Most French regard the government in Paris as an occupying power. Less onerous than the Germans, as far as the Vendée was concerned, in ’40.”

    I hadn’t realised how brutal the French Revolution had been outside Paris until recently, and the Vendée got it in Spades. It also gave me a better understanding of the Breton mindset as well.

  13. @Andrew C

    Don’t celebrate in haste France’s stupidity

    Boris & Javid are pressing ahead with Hammond’s ‘digital tax’ despite USA anger & warnings.

    FT Front Page a while ago:

    USA angry UK & France are pressing ahead with plans to introduce a turnover tax on internet businesses

    UK braves US ire by pressing ahead with tax on tech companies

    More Socialist madness from a “Conservative” Gov’t

    @bis, January 13, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    That’s how car reg works in NI. Each county issues a prefix until it runs out.
    eg – simplified
    Co Down issues DAI 1-9999, then DBI 1-9999 etc
    Co Antrim issues AAI 1-9999, then ABI 1-9999 etc

  14. Nice little analysis over at Dan Mitchell’s place.
    In round numbers the French pay just under twice the amount of tax as the United States of Americans.
    That would be fine if they got twice the amount of services, security, public goods, that sort of thing. But the analysis said they got just over 1/10th more stuff from the government.
    No wonder the US and A is the richest big country to have ever existed, by far.
    Doesn’t explain why 40% ish of United States of Americans bothered to vote would like to throw this all away of course.

  15. @BiND
    Yeah. The Duc de Royan sided with the royalists & the Committee for Public Safety sent a general down to “leave no chimney standing ” He had the women & children herded onto barges in the river & sunk them with canon fire. And it’s worth knowing, those wide, straight boulevards of Haussmann’s Paris were designed with clearing the streets of it’s citizens with cannister in mind, should the need arrive. He also designed Bordeaux in the same style.

  16. Changes in car reg/plates must be part of some euro harmonisation, but as always other places seem to take their time. Reflective number plates introduced in GB in 66, compulsory by ’73. Elsewhere in Europe, still to be seen in France and Italy and not only on ‘historic’ vehicles. Italian plates stopped having the provincial identification letters mid ’90s, French took a bit longer to drop the department numbers. I suupose in represents a move toward an APNR friendly central database.

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