Russian PM Vladimir Putin grants Gerard Depardieu Russian citizenship

Published:  3 Jan at 6 PM
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A bizarre twist in the continuing controversy over the proposed French ‘millionaire tax’ has seen Russian PM Vladimir Putin granting Russian citizenship to migrant movie star Gerard Depardieu.

One of France’s most popular movie personalities, Depardieu recently ignited countrywide consternation and political derision when he announced he would renounce his French citizenship in protest over the proposed 75 per cent ‘rich tax’. His purchase of a mansion just yards over the Belgian border and his placing of his €5 million Paris property on the market drew accusations of disloyalty from government figures and dismay from his fans.

Already a popular figure on the Moscow celebrity circuit, Depardieu has been granted the right to Russian citizenship via a ruling in the country’s 1993 constitution which allows presidents to confer citizenship or grant political asylum. Should he accept, his residual earnings and investment returns will be taxed at 13 per cent, a fraction of tax rates in France or even Belgium.

The star has been a movie icon in Russia since Soviet times and has a huge cult following nowadays, with his movies frequently re-run on Russian TV. He’s also a frequent invitee onto the prestigious juries of the high society Sochi and Moscow film festivals, with his personal approval essential for success.

According to Mr Putin, speaking during his end-of-year press conference, should his ‘friend and businessman’ Depardieu wish to accept the offer of residency in Russia, the matter could be easily resolved. France is waiting with bated breath for his reply, especially since his last published comment that the illegality of the tax increase would not change his mind about emigrating.
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Comments » There is 1 comment

Michael wrote 11 years ago:

I used to subscribe to the thought that any publicity is good as long as they spell your name right. That has been superceded by the thought that if you become a target, people will hit you. Depardieu will receive lots of hits; Putin will bring money into Russia. Cheers,

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