After the recent tragic events in Paris, a natural question from any buyer planning to move to France is to ask what are the risks now of moving here ? Is ISIS going to be an ongoing threat, after two significant attacks within the same year ? Is the large muslim population of over 5 million in France likely to keep feeding the ranks of Islamic jihadists ? Could this lead to greater inter community tensions, with the extremes in the political spectrum gaining ground and feeding rhetoric and violence, leading to civil unrest and a replica of the Israeli – Palestinian conflict ? Those steps is exactly what ISIS would like to achieve, and you will certainly hear some who delight in propagating these worst case scenarios.
Recent history in France
A brief look at recent history shows that Al Qaida tried to do the same before ISIS, that the Algerian GIA islamists involved in the Algerian civil war in the 90’s (150000 victims in Algeria) had also planted bombs in the Paris metro, and before that in the 70’s and 80’s various political terrorist groups were active in France with a revolutionary agenda that was not that different. And France survived each of these attacks, just as the US, Spain and the UK survived their own terror attacks.
Real Security concerns
Although far less spectacular and media worthy, road accidents are still the biggest non health related security issue, and will remain so even in 2015. In this respect France has a good record in prevention, reducing road death victims from a peak of 18 thousand in 1972 to about 3 thousand now. As for homicide rates, they are lower in France than most other European countries, and 10 times lower than the US on a per capita basis.
Ordinary security problems you are most likely to have are burglaries, thankfully, and France again is no worse off than other countries. Paris unfortunately concentrates foreigners attention, as well as alot of petty theft, as Chinese tourists who get their handbags stolen will tell you.
But there is a lot more to France than Paris and the Eiffel tower, and the tranquillity in the south of France means I can forget my car keys on the door and still find my car a few hours or days later. Maybe that is something to do with my car….