The latest in a series of wealthy individuals to flee France's soaring taxes on the rich is 63-year-old Bernard Arnault, the country's most well-off citizen.
The billionaire Frenchman heads LVMH, a Paris-based multinational luxury goods conglomerate known for such brands as Louis Vuitton, Moët, Christian Dior and Hennessy. According to Forbes magazine, Arnault is the 4th richest man in the world, with a net worth of approximately $41 billion.
Insisting the move from France to Belgium was for "family inheritance reasons," and not a response to the 75 percent tax rate recently imposed by Socialist President Francois Hollande, Arnault acknowledged his intentions to relocate on Thursday, according to Britain's Daily Mail
Shortly after Hollande's victory over former President Nicolas Sarkozy last May, Arnault had reportedly begun the process of applying for a Belgian passport.
The move has sparked outrage from some in France.
"Forgetting the country which has made him King . . . Bernard Arnault is running the risk of fueling suspicion about him, harming the image of his brands and weakening the employees who give them life," wrote Nicolas Demorand, the editor of national newspaper Libération.
With his departure, Arnault joins an ever growing list of high-profile, wealthy French citizens who have decided to leave their homeland rather than endure the 75 percent tax rate on individuals earning more than one million Euros annually.
Earlier this week, media reports said Sarkozy will be relocating with his supermodel wife Carla Bruni to London. He plans to set up a billion dollar-plus investment fund in England, according to the Daily Mail.
Another French millionaire to recently say "adieu" is actor Gérard Depardieu, who relocated to Russia earlier this month to avoid the 75 percent tax rate and to eventually become a Russian citizen.
In the five months following Hollande's election last May, more than 400 homes each valued at more than one million euros were put on the market, the Daily Mail reported.
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