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Curemont, Corrèze

The restored medieval village of Curemont

Curemont is another pretty old village being restored with the help of government funding. France has a longstanding policy of keeping rural communities alive and economically viable with state help for restoration, conversion of suitable buildings into holiday accommodation, and providing financial support for small farmers and growers through the EU's Common Agricultural Policy. France's inheritance laws compel a deceased person to split their estate equally between all the surviving children, and especially in rural areas this leads to property being sold, often to outsiders. This is great for people like me who plan to retire to a little house somewhere in the sun, but it can be death for a small community.

The CAP was a major source of grief for Margaret Thatcher when she was the UK's prime minister, but I think France's support for rural communities is admirable.

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