Foreign Affairs

No, Gérard Depardieu won’t come back

No, Gérard Depardieu won’t come back

The French Constitutional Council has cancelled the measure of President Francois Hollande to tax at a rate of 75 percent the people who earn more than 1 million euros. But Gerard Depardieu doesn’t care about the careful role of the Council which could have finally comfort his famous child.

‘I don’t care. It doesn’t change anything,’ was the reaction to the Council ruling of one fo France’s most beloved actors, who made headlines worldwide recently with his decision to move to Belgium rather than pay Hollande’s “millionaire’s tax.”

Through this answer, anyone who has heard about the strong personality of Gérard Depardieu will understand that it is indeed a one-way decision : the entertainer won’t change his mind to come back in his country from his previously planned fiscal exile.

No sooner had the Constittutional Council cancelled the tax of 75 percent - something President Hollande vowed throughout his winning campaign in 2012—than Finance Minister Pierre Muscovici announced he was working hard on a “new measure” to replace the on which was struck down days ago. But a “new measure” won’t be sufficient to calm down the ‘Enfant terrible’.

Even if this new adjustement would be more in compliance with the Council who reassessed the core principles of the Republic through his decision on Dec. 29, French actor definitely won’t come back.

In France, there are leaders who look after the “republican” obligations of fairness and equality written into the Constitution,not unlike those who adhere to what the Founding Fathers in the United States wanted for the Constitution they wrote. Since the creation of the French 5th Republic in 1958, the Constitutional Council has composed of nine members.

There is one particularity: all former Presidents are automatically elected to the Council. Nicolas Sarkozy, for example, who lost re-election to Hollande, is one of them. In effect, this means that the system itself creates its own guardian angels.

On Saturday, the Constitutional Council decided that Hollande’s 75 per cent tax could put at a disadvantage a single man who earn, for example, 1.2 million euros a year, while a couple for each make 600,000 euros a year would not have been taxed. In the eyes of the guardians of France’s fiscal Republican justice, this was unfair. Indeed, to explain this calculation, one would have to conclude that taxes in France are used to fit in a marital mold.

But the divorce between Gerard Depardieu and France is pronounced.

For now, France is actually divided in her opinion of its beloved superstar.

On one side there are those who feel Depardieu’s departure is akin to the behavior of a spoiled child who is ungrateful to what his mother gave him during his formative years.

But on the other hand, there are those who feel he reacts not only as an artist with its sensitivity, but also as a human who felt insulted by his own Motherland for even proposing such a tax.

Jeanne Dussueil is an economic journalist at Challenges. Follow her on Twitter: @jdussueil

 

 

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