Going Galt: French Actor Gérard Depardieu Says He Will Give Up French Passport Over Tax Rises

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

Gérard Depardieu, who has bought a house in Belgium close to the border with France. Photograph: David Gadd/Allstar/Sportsphoto Ltd

(The Guardian)—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.

Read more at The Guardian

About Brent P.

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