French Tycoon's Move Shakes Socialists

Monday, 10 September 2012 10:20 AM

PARIS — France's richest man, Bernard Arnault — the CEO of luxury giant LVMH, which includes Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton — has confirmed reports that he is seeking Belgian citizenship.

Arnault's move Sunday has triggered a national outcry and is widely seen as a way to dodge Socialist President Francois Hollande's plan to tax the richest people at 75 percent. Hollande himself has publicly questioned the tycoon's patriotism.

Arnault has denied that his decision had anything to do with tax evasion — even though Belgium's high tax bracket is considerably lower — and has said he will continue paying French tax.

Still, Hollande's plan is already being called a public relations disaster that will hurt French competitiveness by discouraging top talent from living in or moving to France.

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Monday, 10 September 2012 10:20 AM
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