French President Francois Hollande’s tax policies are causing a quiet stampede of rich people who are transferring their wealth and citizenship abroad.
Hollande plans to put the so-called rich in a 75% tax bracket, which has led to a tumultuous debate on whether his policies are draining the country of its wealth and high-achieving citizenry.
Well known French actor Gerard Depardieu recently announced he had moved to tax-friendly Belgium and would renounce his French citizenship, effectively pouring petrol on the simmering issue.
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called the expatriot "pathetic," but Hollande remained mum about the latest anti-tax defector.
The rush of wealth from France extends to all economic boundaries to some degree as businesspersons scatter across the globe to avoid paying steep new stiff tax hikes that the socialist government is attempting to implement.
"It's nearly a general panic. Some 400 to 500 residences worth more than one million euros ($1.3 million) have come onto the Paris market," said managers at Daniel Feau, a real-estate broker that specializes in high-end property.