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article imageGerard Depardieu to renounce French citizenship over tax row

By Katerina Nikolas     Dec 17, 2012 in World
French film-star Gerard Depardieu has been the butt of criticism over the last week, after announcing his intention to move just over the border to Belgium, where rich residents do not pay wealth tax. Depardieu now plans to renounce French citizenship.
The Belgium village of Nechin, just 800 yards from the French border, is attracting wealthy French people fleeing France's wealth tax. Gerard Depardieu, star of "Cyrano de Bergerac" and "Green Card", has become one of Nechin's newest residents, in a move to avoid a new punitive tax rate of 75 percent on all earnings over €1 million.
The 63-year-old film star has purchased a house in Nechin and applied for Belgium citizenship. His move prompted French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to describe the decision as "quite shabby... All that just to avoid paying tax," the BBC reported.
Ayrault went on to say: "Going just over the border, I find that fairly pathetic. Being a Frenchman means loving your country and helping it to get back on its feet." (Sky) A number of socialist MPs have proposed withdrawing French nationality from those who move abroad to lessen their tax bills.
Now Depardieu has voluntarily announced he is renounce his French citizenship, according to RT, over criticism he has received over his move to Belgium.
The BBC reported Depardieu responded to criticism by saying: "I am not asking to be approved of, but I could at least be respected. All of those who have left France have not been insulted as I have been. I am leaving because you consider that success, creation, talent, anything different, must be punished."
More about gerard Depardieu, French citizenship, Gerard Depardieu Belgium, Tax evasion
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