….a quick glance at the latest local news with Caroline Manson

Residence permits for Ukrainian Refugees

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the P-O prefecture has already received 350 applications for residency permits – and it is estimated that the actual number of Ukrainian refugees in the department is probably higher.  The majority of requests are from women who have come here with their children, but other refugees are here temporarily, waiting to reach another department or to cross into Spain.  Of the known refugees, there are currently 99 children enrolled in schools in the department, mainly in Perpignan but also in Amélie-les-Bains, Le Barcarès and Saint-Laurent-de-Cerdans.  In solidarity with the people of Ukraine, several flags have been seen flying, hoisted on mountain peaks around the P-O.

Man stabbed outside mosque

mosque vernet salanque

Prayer time at the Vernet-Salanque mosque in Perpignan obviously did not have the right effect as, just afterwards, a row broke out between two of the worshippers ending in one of the men being stabbed just below the heart.  The 49 year old attacker fled the scene but handed himself into the police after five days, where he has now been released on bail pending trial.  The 60 year old injured man is still in hospital.

New course offered at Perpignan University

Perpignan University

Many of us might dream of buying a run-down chateau, doing it up, and making a fortune opening it up to the public – now help is at hand: Perpignan University is offering training in how to be a ‘Manager of Historical Monuments’.  The training is intended both for owners who wish to make the most of the tourist potential of their buildings, and also for professionals who wish to advise these owners. One of the promoters of this new diploma is Jean-Claude Ducatte, owner of Fort Saint-Elme in Collioure who says “I managed to get this monument out of oblivion and preserve it, but because I had no legal training and marketing advice it was very, very hard.  We now want to professionalise a sector that is not”.

Suspicion of false cases of Covid-19 at Canet football club


Canet Roussillon Football Club were due to play a match against Puy-En-Velay in February but a few days before the meeting they reported the presence of several cases of Covid-19 in the team and the match was postponed.  Doubts soon appeared about the certificates that were provided, as some did not correspond to the players who were reported to be ill.  The club is now suspected of having reported false cases of Covid-19 to avoid a trip to the Haute-Loire, and the French Football Federation is investigating.

Employee convicted of stealing I-Phones

iphone app

The manager of the Boulanger electrical goods store in Rivesaltes noticed a big difference between sales figures and actual cash receipts, and after an internal investigation, it was discovered that an employee had stolen around 12,000€ of Apple products over a period of a few months.  He produced fake receipts declaring that the items had been sold but in fact kept them for himself and sold them on LeBonCoin with the aid of an accomplice.  Both men have now been arrested and are to face court.

Fuel costs causing problems for taxi drivers

In one way or another we are all feeling the effects of the soaring costs of fuel – but the 500 taxi drivers in the Pyrénées-Oriéntales are particularly concerned.  Unlike goods transporters, they cannot pass on these increases to their passengers, as their prices are set by the préfecture at the beginning of each year.  One driver (who just happens to be the treasurer of the taxi federation in the department) calculates that his expenses will rise by 400 – 500€, which he is unable to recoup.

And finally…

Two stories caught my attention this Friday 1st April: There was a report that in order to keep down the number of carp in Lake Raho, a small crocodile had been temporarily introduced into the area – and that tourists need not worry as it would be returned to a nature reserve before the summer season.  The second story was that there were particles of gold in the recent Saharan sand cloud that descended on the region – one man in Le Race reported scraping off 16,000€ worth of gold dust from his Citroen, and another man reported 40,000€ of gold dust floating on his swimming pool (but said that he didn’t actually need the money because he already had a lot thanks to making wise investments).  There was a third story about residents of Vinça waking up to find that the fuel tanks on their cars had been drilled into and fuel stolen – but sadly that turned out to be true…

Caroline Manson is an independent Property Consultant – for advice on buying, selling, renting or renovating, don’t hesitate to contact her at


  1. Many thanks Caroline. Always informative.

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