Friday, 13 December 2013

The border

This might look like any other street in Monaco and on the face of it nothing special, but this is the border between Monaco and France. The picture was taken from the Monaco side and where the pharmacy is, begins Beausoleil and France.

 Living in the EU we are used to walking from one country into another without any border controls, but mostly you know you have crossed the border; the language has changed and the road signs look different. Here you wouldn't have noticed you had walked into another country; roadsigns and language are the same, however on the other side of planet money things are very different.

In France, workers enjoy a 35 hour work week. (I do have to explain that the 1.5hour lunch break is not paid so days are actually longer than in Britain where your lunch is 45min, paid and counts towards the 40 hour work week) On planet money we work 40 hours and the 1.5hour lunch break is unpaid. France has decent healthcare that covers 70% of what the government says it should cost. Monaco covers 80% of what your treatment actually cost.( I must say healthcare here is pretty excellent.)
France has very strict employment laws. I'm sure Planet money has employment laws too, but they seem to be optional.(Unpaid overtime! What! That can't be legal, surely!) France is a republic where as Monaco is having no plans in the near future to have either a revolution or behead their monarch.

I'm sure there are many other differences you can't see on the photo, but the most important one for my colleagues and I is that France is cheaper and that is why we often walk up here to have lunch and do some shopping. If you're coming to Monaco, book a hotel in Beausoleil; it is just a few minutes walk from the casino and prices are much more reasonable.