Depardieu surrenders his French passport

Depardieu surrenders his French passport

One of the best-known actors in France, Gerard Depardieu, has chastised the socialist Prime Minister of his country over insulting remarks made by him.  The French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault made the remarks after Depardieu made a decision to move to the more tax friendly Belgium, and Depardieu has responded by turning in his French passport.

“We no longer have the same country,” Depardieu wrote in the open letter, which was published in the weekly Le Journal du Dimanche.  “I’m a true European, a citizen of the world.” Depardieu notes that he has paid his 2012 tax bill in full, which amounts to 85% of his revenue.

The actor, who turns 64 this month, says that he has worked since he was 14 years old and that over the course of the last 40 years he has paid as much as 145 million euros in taxes.  “I hand over my passport to you and my social security card, which I have never used,” the letter tells Ayrault.

Last week the French Prime Minister insulted the actor, calling him “pathetic” and “unpatriotic” because of his relocation to the Belgium village of Nechin. Nechin is situated just over a mile from the French border and has attracted other high earning French countrymen.

Depardieu’s comments were slammed by various government spokesmen, but the actor is unrepentant, declaring that the ruling party in his former country “considers that success, creation, talent…  should be sanctioned.”

Jon Huser