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Monday, December 17, 2012

Gérard Depardieu Says Goodbye to France


Gerard Depardieu
Gérard Depardieu, who has bought a house in Belgium close to the border with France. Photograph: David Gadd/Allstar/Sportsphoto Ltd
Gérard Depardieu has said he is handing back his French passport and social security card, lambasting the French government for punishing "success, creation, talent" in his homeland.
A popular and colourful figure in France, the 63-year-old actor is the latest wealthy Frenchman to seek shelter outside his native country by buying a house just over the border in Belgium in response to tax increases by the Socialist president, François Hollande.
The prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, described Depardieu's behaviour as pathetic and unpatriotic at a time when the French are being asked to pay higher taxes to reduce a bloated national debt.
"Pathetic, you said pathetic? How pathetic is that?" Depardieu said in a letter to the weekly newspaper le Journal du Dimanche.
"I am leaving because you believe that success, creation, talent, anything different must be sanctioned," he said.
An angry member of parliament has proposed that France adopt a US-inspired law that would force Depardieu or anyone trying to escape full tax dues to forgo their nationality.
The Cyrano de Bergerac star recently bought a house in Nechin, a Belgian village a short walk from the border with France where 27% of residents are French nationals, and put his sumptuous Parisian home up for sale.
Depardieu has also inquired about procedures for acquiring Belgian residency.
He said he had paid €145m (£120m) in taxes since beginning work as a printer at the age of 14.
"People more illustrious than me have gone into [tax] exile. Of all those that have left none have been insulted as I have."
The actor's move comes three months after Bernard Arnault, chief executive of the luxury goods giant LVMH and France's richest man, caused uproar by seeking to establish residency in Belgium – a move he said was not for tax reasons.
Belgian residents do not pay wealth tax, which in France is now levied on those with assets over €1.3m. Nor do they pay capital gains tax on share sales.
"We no longer have the same homeland," Depardieu said. "I no longer have any reason to stay here. I will continue to love the French and this public that I have shared so much emotion with."
Hollande is pressing ahead too with plans to impose a 75% supertax on income over €1m.
"Who are you to judge me, I ask you Mr Ayrault, prime minister of Mr Hollande? Despite my excesses, my appetite and my love of life, I remain a free man," Depardieu wrote.
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1 Comments:

Blogger Will said...

Sadly i see in a very close future Europe putting the tax rates on ALL member states.
This is already being discussed in the European parliament.

Monday, December 17, 2012 8:43:00 pm  

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