Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

FASHION

Jean-Marc Loubier, bags and shoes.

Read more

ENCORE!

Hip-hop musician Beat Assailant on mixing the sounds of the city

Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Algeria's ailing Bouteflika clinches fourth term amid fraud claims

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Police arrest S. Korea ferry captain for negligence

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • World honours Garcia Marquez’s magical literary legacy

    Read more

  • Ukraine: ‘One bloody incident could scupper Geneva deal’

    Read more

  • Top Hollande adviser resigns over conflict of interest accusation

    Read more

  • Indian election: Votes for sale

    Read more

  • West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of virus

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Video: Tensions remain high in Mariupol despite Geneva deal

    Read more

  • In Prijedor, survivors fight to keep memory alive

    Read more

  • Deadly avalanche strikes Everest in worst-ever disaster

    Read more

  • With a strong French presence, veterans and fresh faces, Cannes aims to please

    Read more

  • Russia and West agree on steps to ease Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • Mob launches deadly attack on UN shelter for S. Sudan civilians

    Read more

  • Eurostar train mishap causes 'severe' delays

    Read more

  • Chelsea Clinton announces she's pregnant

    Read more

  • French troops free five aid workers kidnapped in Mali by Islamists

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

France

Putin says Russian passport for Depardieu 'a done deal'

©

Text by Tony Todd

Latest update : 2012-12-21

Soon-to-be tax exile Gérard Depardieu can have a Russian passport if he wants it, the country’s President Vladimir Putin said after the French film star announced he would return his French one.

French actor Gérard Depardieu, under fierce criticism for going into self-imposed tax exile in Belgium, would be more than welcome in Russia, the country’s President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

“If Gérard really wants a residency permit or a Russian passport, it’s a done deal,” Putin said at a press conference. “We have very friendly relations [with Depardieu], but I know that deep down he feels French.”

The scandal surrounding Depardieu’s move to a Belgian village a stone’s throw from the French border escalated earlier in December when French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault described the actor’s decision as “pathetic”.

In an open letter last Sunday the Cyrano de Bergerac star said he could not bear the “insult” and would be returning his French passport.

He also claimed that he had paid 85% tax in the last year, amid news that he had put his Paris mansion on the market for a reported 50 million euros.

Putin said he was certain the French authorities “didn’t want to annoy” one of France’s biggest film stars and said the spat between Depardieu and Ayrault was “unfortunate”.

Calls of support for the star

The controversy surrounding Depardieu’s tax exile has sparked a heated debate in France, where critics point out that the film industry, including its best known actors, have long benefited from generous state funding.

Fellow film star Catherine Deneuve leapt to Depardieu’s defence on Friday in a letter to left-leaning daily Liberation, in which she slammed Ayrault’s “pathetic” remark as “beneath the dignity of a statesman”.

The day before, Depardieu’s daughter Roxanne had also used the press to defend her father.

In a letter to weekly magazine Le Point, she said: “He has been reviled as if he were a serious criminal. But he is a man who deserves respect, not insults. He doesn’t deserve this.

“In many countries he represents French cinema, and for other film stars he is the very image of France, a man who likes to live well, eat, drink and laugh.”

‘Fiscal bludgeoning’

Depardieu’s case has also been taken up by opposition conservative politicians, who see the left-wing government’s tax hikes as “fiscal bludgeoning” of the wealthy.

The French public, meanwhile, is divided. An OpinionWay opinion poll on Thursday had 47% of those surveyed supporting Ayrault, and 46% behind Depardieu.

The actor, best known to English-speaking audiences for his 1990 film Green Card, is leaving France as the government implements a new tax rate of 75% on earnings over one million euros.

By becoming a Belgian resident, Depardieu will avoid the new top rate of tax, and will not be liable for France’s wealth and capital gains taxes.

European rules stipulate that taxes are paid according to the laws of the country of residence and not by nationality.

 

Date created : 2012-12-21

  • FRANCE-BELGIUM

    Actor Depardieu bids ‘adieu’ to France to avoid taxes

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Depardieu arrested for drink driving after scooter fall

    Read more

  • CULTURE

    Depardieu to star in US film on Strauss-Kahn scandal

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)