In a kind of libertarian frenzy French actors are fleeing their country’s high taxation. Christian Clavier, a comedic actor who was very popular in the eighties, chose London. Before long, Gérard Depardieu, who also owns vineyards in addition to acting, will have moved to Belgium. According to Belgian daily Le Soir, the “Green Card” actor has bought property in Néchin, a village near the French border—yes, you guessed it: there happen to be other wealthy expatriates living there, too (misery in exile loves company).
“One thing is certain: the actor and French businessman made a detour on Monday by the border town of Estaimpuis to meet with a lawyer about signing on the dotted line for the purchase of a property Néchin,” said the newspaper, without citing its source.
This village is located only a mile from the French city of Roubaix. Other wealthy inhabitants of the town include the members of the Mulliez family, which controls the supermarket distribution group Auchan—Europe’s answer to our Target.
The Brussels Daily compared Depardieu’s recent move to the case of French billionaire Bernard Arnault, whose request for Belgian citizenship this fall sparked an outcry not only in France but also in Belgium.
Most experts have agreed that the head of the LVMH empire did this for political and fiscal reasons, inspite of repeated denials by the luxury goods padron.
Taxation in Belgium is particularly advantageous for the one-percenters: there is no capital gains tax, and the tax protocols imposed on inheritances by the French are sweeter than chocolate across the border, apparently. The only requirement to qualify for this, according to French law? You must have an official Belgium address (but we’ll call it a pied-a-terre).