International News

Brexit & Coronavirus: When the UK realise that they need EU migrants

27 April, 2020 08:00  EasyExpat EasyExpat

Farmland - @Freepik

One of the major argument used by Brexit supporters was the need to stop the "invasion" of migrants coming to the EU (yes, naughty "migrants" coming in, because when we talk about British pensioners going to Portugal, they should be called nice "expats" according to the BBC).

Even mid February, while the coronavirus crisis was on all the news, showing the unprecedented measures taken in China (Italy started impose lockdown measures 20 days later), the UK government big concern was still to prevent low-skilled immigration with a new point-based post-Brexit immigration system and jobs paying at least £25,600 a year. The arc-Brexiter tabloid Daily Mail was over-joyed, writing: "Low-skilled immigration will be made virtually impossible under a points-based system as free movement rights are consigned to history."

Therefore, many saw deep irony behind the forthcoming issue that the UK is facing amid the coronavirus crisis: "Fruit and veg ‘will run out’ unless Britain charters planes to fly in farm workers from eastern Europe" reported the Observer at the end of March.

While until know UK retailers have been repeating that there is no shortage of anything and there is no need for stockpiling, that might come very soon if Britain is not able to bring in enough agricultural workers; otherwise fruit and vegetables will be left unpicked in Britain’s fields.

90,000 positions have to be filled within a few weeks and last year 98% of the workforce came from outside the UK (the vast majority from Bulgaria and Romania). With the COVID-19 crisis and most countries under strict lockdown the situation is critical, the government is being warned.  (More)


Google publishes location data from 131 countries to help fight COVID-19

20 April, 2020 08:00  EasyExpat EasyExpat

Google Community Mobility Report

Google is releasing aggregated, anonymized data from Google Maps showing people’s movements over time by geography, across different high-level categories of places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential. Data is collected from billions of Android and iPhones using Google services and are published on a new website called COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports.

The reports, which contain data from two to three days earlier, are broken down by country and then by region. They intend to spot trends in how people are behaving and responding to social distancing policies, by showing what has changed in response to work from home, shelter in place, and other policies aimed at flattening the curve of this pandemic. The reports provide insights into the footfall recorded for some places such as retail and grocery stores, pharmacies, parks, workplaces and more.  (More)


Tips to work remotely during the COVID19 crisis

03 April, 2020 09:00  EasyExpat EasyExpat

Working from home -

With the lock-down measures imposed on more than 3 billions people, most of the office workers were forced to work from home. While the flexible working habits have still to spread through most of the companies (see ou previous article on that issue), staff was suddenly urged to adapt to the new conditions in confinement.

Even with the modern technologies using emails and shared documents, with remote connection to the companies IT infrastructure, certain things need to change: you won't have so many face-to-face meetings anymore and rely on instant messaging tools instead of popping out to your colleague's desk to ask for some information.

Here are 4 tips that could help you work from home during the confinement period (and even after, as your company might decide to move to flexible working):  (More)


COVID19 - An overview of the world situation

31 March, 2020 15:30  EasyExpat EasyExpat

Pandemic status in the world31/03/2020

Only 3 months done in 2020 and we already know that year 2020 will enter in History books as one of the major event in the 21st century! The pandemic that has spread around the world rapidly started in December 2019 in the Wuhan area, at the heart of China (although some say it might have been even as early as September - and many think that the Chinese government is still hiding the real amount of deaths, that might go up to 40,000).

As of today, end of March, up to 3 billions people are in lockdown and the planet is more or less at a stand still with more than 170 countries affected... But while it is now agreed that the rapid reaction to the situation is critical in the fight against the pandemic, many countries are still adapting. (More)


Become a Champion of Charity by Running the Paris Marathon

15 January, 2014 09:00  EasyExpat EasyExpat

Article sponsored by Alvarum

Marathon - Challenge Alvarum

Get one of the last entries available to the Marathon de Paris by running for a charity team!

On the 6th of April, more than 45,000 people will participate to one of the most prestigious race in the world.

Registrations for the Paris Marathon are closed and no more entries are available, but Good news, you have still the possibility to enter the race by registering thanks to the Alvarum Challenges by joining the team of a charity



Egypt’s Media War from the Perspective of an Expat

20 August, 2013 12:36  Erin Erin

A recent participant in our series of expat interviews has been on our mind as Egypt's protests have erupted in an explosion of violence. With hundreds of people dead, it is difficult to tell what the situation is like for people living there. Read about Zareth's life in Cairo here, and find her account of the recent happenings in Egypt below*.

Cairo, EgyptWednesday morning was like any other, I woke up to make breakfast for my husband while he got ready for work. At seven in the morning his work phone interrupted the routine. A call from a friend changed the day completely. From that point on we rushed to the television to see the police making The Muslim Brotherhood abandoned the premises they were in.

As I watched, I knew this was coming. Ever since the Ex-President was thrown out, his followers have been protesting in different parts of Egypt. This has caused a lot of anger, the fact that his people have been saying we are peacefully protesting while of course being armed with weapons and attacking the police, army and the people.  

I guess we have been hearing different things from different points of view.  I will explain what is happening and let this be my opinion and what I am seeing with my own eyes, not them manipulation of the news.



US Issues Worldwide Travel Alert - Should You Be Worried?

03 August, 2013 09:08  Erin Erin

The World Each Nation National flags © Aania - A few days ago, quiet rumblings from expats in the Middle East alerted us that something could be amiss. Whisperings about embassy closings and high security alerts weren't immediately alarming, but indicated that something could be happening. 

It appears those concerns were warranted as the U.S. State Department issued a worldwide travel alert, particularly significant in the Middle East and North Africa, on August 2nd.

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the continued potential for terrorist attacks, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, and possibly occurring in or emanating from the Arabian Peninsula.  Current information suggests that al-Qa’ida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August.


Gay Rights Movement Around the World

02 May, 2013 10:18  Erin Erin

Rainbow flag © RikkeIn mid-April, France passed legislation to become the 14th country to legalize gay marriage. This is another sure sign that the movement is gaining momentum, but the march of progress is frustratingly slow. For every country that has recognized important rights for same-sex couples, there are areas of the world that do not acknowledge these rights with conditions that are outright dangerous.

France's Bill 344 was introduced to the National Assembly on November 17th, 2012, it was passed on February 12th, 2013 in a 329-229 vote, and on April 23rd, 2013 the law was approved by the National Assembly in a 331-225 vote. At this time, the Constitutional Council has one month to rule on whether the law conforms to the Constitution. The same-sex marriage bill that also permits gay couples to adopt children must be signed by President Francois Hollande and published in the Official Journal before the new legislation is instated.



Expat Fear: the Situation in Korea

17 April, 2013 15:53  Erin Erin

Happy familySince mid-February, the rumblings of danger from Democratic People's Republic of Korea have grown from the usual wariness to all-out panic by some media sources.

The panic is not all that surprising considering North Korea's own statements and ultimatum. Via the state media service Korean Central News Agency,

"The world is in a festive mood on the auspicious Day of the Sun. It is only the south Korean puppet forces who hurled a group of anti-communist gangsters into a rally against the DPRK in the heart of Seoul in broad daylight at which they set fire to the portraits, the symbols of its supreme dignity."

Not exactly comforting words for it's southern neighbor and public enemy. No "final peaceful settlement" has ever been fully achieved between the two sides and these kind of statements paired with the ramping up of their missile systems are right to raise alarm. However, it is still thoroughly unclear what exactly should be done about the latest threats.  (More)


International Women's Day & Women's Rights

06 March, 2013 16:50  Erin Erin

International Women’s Day logoInternational Women's Day is a celebration and recognition of women's economic, political and social achievements. Falling on March 8th, the day actually began as a Socialist political event in the United States of America on February 28th, 1909. In August 1910, an International Women's Conference preceding the general meeting of the Socialist Second International in Copenhagen expanded interest in "International Woman's Day" (IWD). The next year, on March 18th, 1911 IWD was celebrated by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In 1975, the United Nations began to sponsor International Women's Day. The date was eventually finalized as March 8th to remember the 1857 strike by garment workers in New York which led to the formation of the first women's union in the United States.  (More)


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