Clearly Sarkozy’s new found friendship with Great Britain is a good thing in terms of encouraging greater, deeper and more lasting links on all political and economic levels – but we’re not a political website so we’ll leave that discussion right there. Suffice to say, Sarkozy seems to be a good thing for Franco-British relations and for expats living in France.

And he is also a good thing for us expats too!  The good news for expats living in France is that Nicolas has done a U-turn on his policy to scrap free healthcare entitlement for early retirees who had chosen France as their relocation destination of choice.

An estimated 7,500 British expatriates who had taken early retirement and moved to live in France were scheduled to be significantly affected by a French government ruling to abolish free healthcare services for such individuals.  Those affected were paying up to 8% of their income into the French state coffers specifically to have healthcare entitlement, but the previous ruling would have meant this entitlement was withdrawn.

The ruling still affects those living in France since November 23rd 2007, but it was also to retrospectively affect people who all the while had been happily living in France, contributing to the heath care scheme through state payments and who had cancelled all other forms of private health insurance.

On the face of it this might just seem to you and me like an expensive inconvenience to such people – but in reality, as highlighted by the Sunday Telegraph, it was a decision to mean life or death to certain individuals living in France.  In the case highlighted by the Sunday Telegraph, a woman who moved to live in France in perfectly good health and who, together with her husband cancelled private medical insurance in favour of paying in to the French state’s coffers, fell ill with cancer and would have been forced to find GBP 2500 a month for care and treatment had the Sarkozy policy gone all the way through.

But fortunately for all concerned and affected, Nicolas has done a U-turn!