In an open letter published in Journal du Dimanche, French actor Gerard Depardieu has said that he plans to give up his French passport in response to new tax plans.Depardieu published his letter after he was branded “pathetic” and “shabby” by French prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. Ayrault had been angered after Depardieu moved to a small town just over the Belgium border in a bid to not pay the French Socialist government’s new top income tax, and avoid France’s wealth taxes and capital gains taxes on his wealth.
Depardieu’s letter specifically addresses Ayrault’s insult, arguing that he had paid €145 million ($190 million) in taxes since starting work at age 14:
“In 2012 I paid 85 per cent tax on my income, while I employ 80 people. 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.”
Earlier in the month it was reported that Depardieu had put his Parisian mansion up for sale, hoping to get 50 million euros ($65 million) for the palatial home.
Depardieu is just one of many French millionaires to express distaste at higher levels of tax imposed by Francois Hollande’s new Socialist government — LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault has also sought to move to Belgium, prompting Liberation to run the memorable headline “Fuck off you wealthy bastard”.