Gérard Depardieu says he will give up French passport over tax rises

Actor attacks French government for punishing talent as he moves to Belgium

The Guardian [UK]
16 December 2012

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…

…”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.”…

The complete article is at The Guardian.

From a related article in The Guardian:

…he is taking flight from François Hollande’s proposed 75% tax rate on those earning more than €1m [$1.32 million/tax of about $990,000] a year. There is no wealth tax or capital gains tax on the sale of shares in Belgium…

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