Sunday, December 16, 2012

Depardieu to give up French passport after Socialist PM called him “pathetic” and “unpatriotic” for not wanting to pay higher taxes

(France 24) After coming under fire from the French prime minister for choosing exile in Belgium for tax purposes, actor Gérard Depardieu said on Sunday that he would be handing in his passport and his social security card after being "insulted" by members of the government.

Last week French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called Depardieu’s decision to quit France “pathetic” and unpatriotic at a time when many French people are being asked to pay higher taxes to reduce the country’s debt.

In an open letter to the weekly Journal du Dimanche, Depardieu accused France’s Socialist government of punishing “success, creativity and talent”.

The actor, best known to English-speaking audiences for his role in the 1990 film Green Card, said he had paid €145 million in taxes since starting work at age 14 as a printer.

“In 2012 I paid 85 percent tax on my income, while I employ 80 people,” he wrote. “I’m not complaining, and neither am I bragging, but I refuse to accept being called pathetic. I’m sending you (Ayrault) back my passport and my social security card, which I’ve never used."

"You call me pathetic; I call that pathetic," Depardieu wrote.

85% tax on his income, and they called him unpatriotic. That is the left for you.