Official Name : Republic of France
Capital : Paris
Currency : Euro (EUR)
Language : French
Population : 63.500.000
Visa Required : NO
The country France has a gigantic wealth of sights, flora, fauna, culture, events and festivals. In addition, France has a very rich past, French cuisine is unmistakable and you can say that France is Europe in miniature. France has for years been one of the most popular holiday destinations of the Dutch. Especially the French campsites are very popular. France is a republic divided into departments headed by a president. Although the old historic provinces of France were abolished after the French Revolution, they have retained their significance for the geographical, cultural and economic division of the country. Where the north is flat, you can encounter rugged cliffs on the Atlantic coasts and wide beaches on the southwest coast. The south of central France is characterized by the rugged mountains of the Massif Central, one of the most important natural areas of the country. The Rhône separates the Massif Central from the Alps. The Alps form the mountain range with the highest mountains in the country. Part of the coast of Provence is the very touristic French Riviera. There are 4 overseas departments that each also have the status of a region. Where the northeast is dominated by endless grain fields, on the south coast you can breathe in beautiful forests with cork oaks and olive groves, and in Normandy you will find a lovely bocage landscape, the steep cliffs with red kites and buzzards determine the Marnedal. Mountains are mainly in the east and south. Spectacular are of course especially the Alps.
France has a very turbulent history with the Roman occupation, the arrival of the Normans and of course the 100 year war where Jeanne D'Arc played an important role. France claimed areas of the New (and old) world and became a colonial superpower. Many European wars were fought, resulting in the French Revolution. Napoleon would make France a world power but after no less than 7 coalition wars he was banished to Saint Helena. The Prussian-Frankish war from 1870 would eventually result in the dramatic great war we now call the First World War and then WWII which would also destroy France. France was one of the initiators of the EEC and has an important international role and is a member of every major international membership and organization.
In recent years, the divisions in France are growing and they are becoming more and more visible. Populist parties stand up and the "right" wing grows. After the "Brexit", a lot of French people also thinks of leaving the EU. Numerous attacks, riots, uprisings ravage the country in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and many attacks are thwarted. Who does not remember the bloody attacks in Paris, the nightclub "Bataclan" or the hostage-taking and murder of the presister in a church in northern France. French women are banned in "Arab" cafés in the outskirts of the big cities of the Republic, often illegal immigrant camps arise and far-reaching laws are introduced such as the ban on burkas and sexual harassment. There are also consequences for the establishment of a National Guard, heavily armed lifeguards appearing in the "Cote d'Azur" and other important and tourist spots being guarded. There are also fewer tourists to France. In 2016, this news covered other items such as the big forest fires (which are probably lit) and the crash of a "German Wings" plane. Unemployment fluctuates while a double murder is committed on a police couple. France sits in a turbelent phase, but actually it always was. Maybe that’s why it’s such an interesting country.
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