Poll: French Residents Back Depardieu on Passport Move

Monday, 17 Dec 2012 11:26 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Gérard Depardieu, the French actor who recently moved to tax-friendly Belgium because of high taxes on the rich, plans to return his passport — much to the support of his former country’s citizens, a new poll finds.

Nearly 70 percent of French residents surveyed in an online poll by the popular Le Parisien tabloid newspaper said they supported Depardieu’s move, the Telegraph reports.

President Francois Hollande plans to levy a 75 percent tax on revenue over €1 million to reduce the country’s budget deficit and debt.

Last week, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called Depardieu “a pathetic loser” for his response to the tax hikes — prompting a letter from the actor, which was published on Sunday.

“I was born in 1948,” he wrote in the letter, the Telegraph reports. “I started working aged 14, as a printer, as a warehouseman, then as an actor, and I’ve always paid my taxes.”

Over 45 years, Depardieu said, he had paid €145 million in tax, and currently employed 80 people. Last year, he paid taxes totaling 85 percent of his income, the Telegraph reports.

“I am neither worthy of pity nor admirable, but I shall not be called 'pathetic,’” Depardieu, who turns 64 this month, said in the letter, according to the Telegraph.

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