Jean-Paul Sartre will be turning in his grave. The quintessential French philosopher, his trade-mark was the obligatory Gauloises Brunes dangling from his lip, a cigarette which, in its own way, typified France.
But no more. Today, the Altadis SA factory in the northern French town of Lille, which makes the noxious stuff, closed with the loss of 447 jobs. Production is to be moved to an Altadis factory in Alicante, Spain.
But, for the ultimate insult, packs will not longer bear the legend, "Made in France". From now on, the label says: "Made in the EU". I suppose it is some small consolation that they are not made in China.
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