in Germany the state-owned railway has a monopoly on long-distance travel.
On my first trip to Europe back in 2001/2002 one of my greatest frustrations was the seeming total lack of long distance buses as a cheaper alternative to trains - but especially in France which unlike Germany's multi-level train system only had really expensive TGV.
So are there long distance buses in France and I just couldn't find them?
Or is there an official state monopoly on trains as the only long distance transport?
Or is there some other reason that long distance buses don't compete with trains in France?
What am I missing?