гражданин Depardieu – A Disaster for France?

Writing on the Film Industry Network website an American commentator calls Gérard Depardieu’s departure — initially for Belgium now for Russia — following a row over taxes, “an unprecedented disaster for France”

Gérard Depardieu — now a Russian passport holder and great loss to the French film industry (Credit Wikipedia)

Iain Alexander, the site’s founding editor notes January 6,  “…in his letter addressed to French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault: ‘I’ve no place to complain or to boast, but I refuse to be described as pathetic.’

“This response, which comes from a man who was awarded the Légion d’honneur, France’s highest honor from former President Mitterand adds additional poignancy to the question: What has become of France?

“After this public letter, in a twist of events, Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed him with open arms. By Presidential decree, Putin granted Depardieu a Russian citizenship. Following this announcement, the French star is set to meet with him personally today to ‘pick up his new passport’ in a knock-out blow to the French government’s previous comments about him. It’s exceptional for another world leader to call him out and invite him to receive this.

“… Depardieu is after all considered one of France’s greatest actors. He’s been an onscreen legend and part of French movie culture for decades. Starring in over 150 movies, he is a household name, but he’s more than that, he’s a symbol of what France is all about. From the people he has portrayed to the movies he’s starred in, all these stories are depictions of French values, beliefs, their struggles and triumphs. His humour and his honesty has been such a strong part of modern French history, and to see it all gone, as if it had had no meaning, is an unbelievable tragedy.

“In my view, if successful people like Depardieu are to be treated in such a manner after giving so much to their country then something is desperately wrong … After all, France is famed for its culture, rich history and its love of cinema and cinematic artistry. French culture and the arts are fundamental to national pride, which is beginning to fade…”

French government has a tax headache

This paper tends to agree and for a few reasons.

  • Firstly we along with many others, would like to know why the rich or indeed anyone should else be forced to pay higher taxes so western governments can pay off the irresponsible lending of an out-of-control banking industry that has bankrupted capitalism.
  • Secondly some conspiratorial murmurings are surfacing in the French media suggesting that despite what it says about redrafting the law, government will quietly drop the new super-tax now that the Constitutional Council has ruled it out of order. If that were to happen Depardieu’s departure would be doubly damaging.
  • Lastly because as Philippe Manière in his latest column in L’Express notes France under Socialism is demonstrating une “pensée française” peu tolérante. Manière goes on:  “… “It is a characteristic of dictatorship arbitrarily to prevent people from leaving; and when they do to deprive them of their nationality (a chilling proposal made by Socialist parliamentary deputy Yann Galut) and confiscate their property (an equally chilling proposal made by his Socialist colleague Jérôme Lambert) …”

(PS: гражданин is, according to Google, Russian for Citizen)

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4 Responses to гражданин Depardieu – A Disaster for France?

  1. Syd Vaughan January 7, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Millionaire actor Gerard Depardieu flees France so he doesn’t have to pay 75% tax on his millions. I hope that the French people boycott his films in future and that his French passport is withdrawn. Why should the rest of France pay taxes so that these rich, selfish buffoons can live of the hog of the land. Vive la France, kick him out.

    ST Vaughan
    Birmingham B14 4EA UK

  2. gene January 17, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    It is not the fact that you have to pay 75% tax, but it is how this government is spending the money!

    The French are tired of not being heard, by their governments: they did not want the euro and a Federal Europe, and you have to be blind not to see, how stupid those decisions were.

    Too many people in France are more and more fed up, with the incompetence of the government of Hollande. I foresee a great difficulty for him soon : it become so difficult to manipulate people today, with all the information available on the Internet!

    Marine Le Pen is winning more and more ground!

  3. Dimitar Georgiev January 23, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    I love France, the french wine, the french cheese, the french painters and the french movies but I find the 75% tax excessive. Depardieu’s decision to become russian citizen puzzles me – after all Russia has been unkind to its citizens many times through its recent history..

  4. Pingback: Are French Screen Actors Overpaid? | FrenchNewsOnline

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