Actor Gerard Depardieu is leaving France and plans to fully renounce his citizenship there over steep, Draconian taxes on the wealthy. Though he was rumored to be eye-balling Belgium as his new home, Depardieu has been offered “asylum” by his own native Russia.
The Green Card star recently shared his displeasure with France’s highly Socialistic government over a proposal by President Francois Hollande to introduce a steep 75 percent income tax rate for the country’s highest earners. Depardieu criticized France for intending to punish “success, creation and talent” and announced in December that he would relocate to Belgium, reports MSN Now.
But there’s another country that wants to get their hands on Depardieu (or rather, reclaim him): Russia. According to a statement on the Kremlin website, President Vladimir Putin just signed a citizenship grant for Depardieu after saying last month that he would welcome the frustrated actor.
“I’m sure the French authorities did not want to offend Mr. Depardieu. But if he’d like to have a Russian passport, consider it settled,” BBC quoted Mr. Putin as saying during his annual news conference on December 20.
Under France’s civil code, dual-citizenship is permitted, but it is illegal to be “stateless,” meaning that anyone seeking to leave France must first be a citizen of another country. Otherwise, French citizenship remains, and Depardieu still needs to turn over a bunch of his acting money to the state.
Depardieu hasn’t yet commented on the Kremlin’s announcement, but it sounds like the actor is looking for the quickest and easiest way out of France, so maybe he should start practicing his “da’s” and “nyet’s.”