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”
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…”
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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- Vladimir Putin presents Gerard Depardieu with his Russian passport (telegraph.co.uk)
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