French film celebrity Gerard Depardieu said a decision by France’s highest court to strike down a 75 percent tax rate on millionaires would change nothing in his highly publicised decision to relocate to Belgium.
“We should let them talk,” the usually outspoken Depardieu said of politicians who have helped turn the actor’s decision to flee France’s highest tax rate into a heated national debate.
“I don’t care about any of this. This changes nothing,” Depardieu said referring to the high court decision.
The government has vowed to push ahead with the tax rate, which would apply to incomes over a million euros ($1.3 million) a year, and propose a new measure that would conform with the constitution.
The tax rate, due to take effect next year, had angered business leaders and prompted some wealthy French citizens to seek tax exile abroad, including Depardieu, who made his decision known in a vitriolic editorial published earlier this month.
The move to annul the law was welcomed by the French Football League (LFP), which had expressed concern at the impact on top footballers such as Paris Saint Germain’s Swedish star striker Zlatan Ibrahomovic.
LFP chairman Frederic Thiriez said that if the measure had reached the statute books there could have been an “exodus of the best players” in the French league.
The 75 percent tax rate was a flagship promise of the election campaign that saw Hollande defeat right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy in May.
Story first published: 30th December 2012