...Continued from page 1

Whisky is cheap to make and a lot of people drink it and they pay a lot of tax to do so. Other European regulation may someday force whisky manufacturers to list the ingredients on the label as consumer information.

What I'd like to see on the label, is a list of the taxes that make up the price. Seeing this may reduce overdependence, as well as a general tendency to question all taxes, for these are very high in Europe.

Back to the channel: the ferries are expected to raise their fares by 60 percent and some have already phased out 'duty-free' in favor of pure discount shops. Passages through Eurotunnel are expected to rise by 40 percent after four years of sinking rates.

The Eurostar trains still have a low Paris-London round-trip rate of 495 francs, but it is hedged by restrictions and will probably not last much longer. The normal tariff is about the same as flying.

It seems to me about time to dust off the plans for a bridge. A toll-bridge, of course. If you think this is unlikely, forget Britain and go direct to Ireland. The fares are about the same - or less - I think.

Vacation Time Is the Time To Lose Weight

This is Le Parisien's theory, based on the idea that you have plenty of time to eat well-balanced meals. They also throw in the suggestion of doing a lot of sporting activities.

This is fine, but people generally do things to excess, so the real sporty types will be doing so many activities they will have no time for leisurely meals.

Based on recent personal experience, my modest suggestion is to remove your teeth for the summer and lie around and do absolutely nothing.

However, if you are still interested, Le Parisien suggests eating tomatoes, cucumbers, melons and onions. For desert you can have sorbets. The best of all are the sports 'sans efforts' and the leader of these is pétangue. If you do this 22 hours a day, you will lose weight.

Sports News

Lance Armstrong was the winner of this year's Tour de France according to last Wednesday's Le Parisien. On Saturday, after the final sprint on the Champs-Elysées, his victory was made official - according to a short video-clip I saw on TV-news.

Due to other matters I did not follow this year's event much the same as I did not follow last year's. Alert readers may recall that the 1998 Tour was plagued by a doping scandal; one which managed to overshadow this year's apparently 'clean' competition.

Nevertheless, doping was mentioned in every report I did manage to catch - proving, I suppose, that dirty tricks are more newsworthy than sporting feats.

The annual Tour de France is much more than a bicycle race. It is the world's premier race, it is probablyphoto: view rue daguerre the hardest sporting event in the world for the competitors, and above all it brings the world's attention to places and areas in France often ignored by Paris itself.

The local pedestrian 'mall' - known as Rue Daguerre.

It is hard to understand the mythic force of the Tour de France. Imagine that you live in a remote village that may have lost its post office, and once every five years the whole circus of the Tour comes rolling through - and if something dramatic happens, the village will be featured in a 10-second clip on national TV-news.

This is short fame for a small place where any kind of fame is rare. So all over France, the citizens come out in the hundreds, thousands, millions, to watch the Tour flash by; carrying along its advance men and trailing its support cars plastered with advertising, its functionaries and groupies, the press on motorcycles, in helicopters, by satellite - whoosh, gone.

Lance Armstrong was a very good winner as far as I could tell. He won on pure merit and was cheered on by all. If the press had been able to forget the dope for as long as the Tour took to pass some of the villages, it would have been a very good 'Tour' indeed.

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