France:The 63-year-old actor described himself as a “true European” and “citizen of the world” in a letter addressed to the prime minister and president and published yesterday in the French newspaper Journal du Dimanche.
He wrote the letter after Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault described his decision to move to Belgium for tax reasons as “pathetic”.
Depardieu said he was leaving after paying 85% tax on his revenues for 2012. He added that in his 45 years of working in France he had paid around €145 million in tax.
He said was handing back his social security card which had never been used.
“All those who have left France have not been attacked as I have,” he wrote, saying his reasons for leaving were numerous and personal.
The actor put his €50 million Parisian property on the market over one week ago and has bought a house in Belgium.
His letter also made reference to the “pathetic” and “relentless prosecution” of his son, who was jailed for three years for possession of heroin, “while others escaped jail for much worse crimes”.
“I don't throw stones at all those who have cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes or drink too much, or those who fall asleep on their scooter: I'm one of them, as your dear media likes so much to repeat,” he said.
President Hollande said during a visit to Brussels last Friday that the government would look again at fiscal arrangements between France and Belgium.
“Everyone must have an ethical stance, regardless of the type of work they carry out,” said the president.
He joked that Depardieu should be wary as the mayor of Néchin, where they actor is due to move, is a fellow socialist.