The Straits Times
Published on Dec 12, 2012

French PM denounces tax exiles after Depardieu flight


PARIS (AFP) - Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Tuesday denounced wealthy individuals in France fleeing a stinging tax on high incomes as greedy people seeking to "become even richer."

Mr Ayrault's comments came after the country's leading actor, Gerard Depardieu, took up residence in a tiny village just over the border in Belgium which is a favoured spot for wealthy French nationals avoiding tax.

"Those who are seeking exile abroad are not those who are scared of becoming poor," he told reporters after announcing sweeping anti-poverty measures to help those hit by the economic crisis.

He said they were doing it "because they want to get even richer," adding: "We cannot fight poverty if those with the most, and sometimes with a lot, do not show solidarity and a bit of generosity. Thankfully, few are seeking exile to exempt themselves from being in solidarity with fellow Frenchmen," he added.