French actor Gerard Depardieu already left France over a seriously high supertax for the rich, but now he is bidding his French citizenship “adieu” as well, adding insult to injury.
Depardieu put up his historic Paris mansion, asking 50-million euros as he cleared out of the country for Belgium in light of high tax rates on the wealthy. The Socialist government in France has set an annual income tax for those making over one million euros, taking 75 percent of the yearly earnings of the super rich. They have also hiked up taxes on “grand fortunes” and inherited assets, reports MSN.
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called Depardieu “pathetic” for moving to Belgium to avoid the harsh French taxes, but the iconic actor is hardly alone. Businessmen and other performers (even Johnny Depp) have fled France over the steep taxes as well.
Still, Depardieu took Ayrault’s insult as a personal affront, and penned an open-letter to the PM in response to the offense, reports France24. In it, he renounces his French citizenship altogether.
“I don’t ask to be approved, but I could at least be respected,” Depardieu writes. “All those who have left France have not been insulted as I have been,” he continues, asking, “Who are you to judge me in this way?”
“I give you back my passport and my social security that I have never used. We no longer have the same country, I am a real European, a citizen of the world, as my father always taught me.”
The 63-year-old Depardieu was once France’s most famous actor, commanding up to 2 million euros per film. He’ll probably still be a pretty famous guy, but he’ll be Belgian instead.