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Gerard Depardieu Now A Russian Citizen

French actor’s Gerard Depardieu’s tax dispute with his native France have taken an odd turn:

MOSCOW (AP) — Gerard Depardieu, the French actor who has waged a battle against a proposed super-tax on millionaires in his native country, has been granted Russian citizenship.

A brief announcement on the Kremlin website revealed that President Vladimir Putin signed the citizenship grant on Thursday.

The former Oscar nominee and star of the movie “Green Card” has been vocal in his opposition to French President Francois Hollande’s plans to raise the tax on earned income above €1 million ($1.33 million) to 75 percent from the current high of 41 percent.

“I have never killed anyone, I don’t think I’ve been unworthy, I’ve paid €145 million in taxes over 45 years,” Depardieu wrote in an open letter in mid-December to Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who had called the actor “pathetic.”

“I will neither complain nor brag, but I refuse to be called ‘pathetic,” Depardieu wrote in his response.

A representative for the former Oscar nominee declined to say whether he had accepted the Russian offer and refused all comment. Thursday was a holiday in Russia and officials from the Federal Tax Service and Federal Migration Service could not be reached for comment on whether the decision would require Depardieu to have a residence in Russia.

Depardieu said in his letter to Ayrault that he would surrender his passport and French social security card. In October, the mayor of a small Belgian border town announced that Depardieu had bought a house and set up legal residence there, a move that was slammed by the newly-elected Socialist government.

Though the two-year tax was struck down by France’s highest court Dec. 29, the government has promised to resubmit the law in a slightly different form soon. On Wednesday it estimated that the court decision to overturn the tax would cost it €210 million in 2013.

France’s debt burden is around 90 percent of national income — not far off levels that have caused problems elsewhere in the 17-country eurozone. In contrast to the proposed top French rate, Russia has a flat 13 percent tax on income.

One wonders what Russian sounds like with a French accent.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Don’t let the (Russian jail) door hit you in the ass you pathetic douche bag.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  2. edmond says:

    “…Russia has a flat 13 percent tax on income.”

    So that’s where the “Fair Tax” proposal comes from!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  3. grumpy realist says:

    He should have stuck with Belgium instead.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  4. Andre Kenji says:

    @edmond:

    So that’s where the “Fair Tax” proposal comes from!

    No, because a Flat tax on income is very different from a flat tax on consumption.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Leftism for thee, but not for me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  6. rudderpedals says:

    Not Somalia? Poseur.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  7. legion says:

    Did Depardieu actually accept the grant, or did Putin just sign one as a PR event? I could see him moving to Belgium, but not Moscow…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Bleev K says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: Depardieu supported Sarkozy, idiot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  9. @OzarkHillbilly:

    Don’t let the (Russian jail) door hit you in the ass you pathetic douche bag.

    I’m a liberal, but a 75% tax rate is ridiculous. It doesn’t bother me that he is leaving.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  10. George says:

    So long Gerard, you classless pig! Now you can urinate in the aisle of an Aeroflot (or whatever the state airline is called these days) aircraft and see how long they will put up with your Neanderthal behavior.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. al-Ameda says:

    Sounds like he should be a member of the Republican House delegation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0