The following post of mine was first published by the International Business Times web site on 17th December under a different title which is linked here.
The Defenestration of Gerard Depardieu
of ordinary French people to the dispute presently underway between their
government and the fat, famed film star, Gerard Depardieu, throw fascinating
light upon the state of the EU, the woeful ignorance of the majority of French
people as to where their leaders have been taking them in recent decades, and
the present state of play between collectivism and individualism, which has
been fought out down the centuries in the regions of Europe now known as France.
Depardieu, (perhaps best known to English speaking audiences for his role in
the movie, "Green Card") in renouncing his French citizenship over
new, even higher taxes, claimed in an accompanying letter sent with his
passport to the government, to have paid a tax bill of 85% of his revenues last
year! Furthermore, that after having worked since the age of 14, he has in the
past 45 years paid €145 million ($190 million) in taxes. Such claims one hopes
would be sympathetically heard in the English speaking countries on either side
of the Atlantic. That is certainly not largely
the case in France,
where I now live.
High among the
factors causing stunned outrage from the government's point of view is what can
best be described as lack of "solidarity". Depardieu's point that he
seems to be exercising a new "Europeanism" is set out in his letter
as follows. "We no longer have the
same country. I'm a true European, a citizen of the world." It has so far been left unanswered by those
now leading France, who themselves have just returned from the 27 nation
European Council in Brussels where intents of eternal solidarity were as ever
much to be seen in the meeting's minutes. What hypocrisy!
On the street
are to be found assertions that the French cinema, being heavily subsidized by
the State and thereby French taxpayers, is yet another cause for Depardieu's
wealth; while his oft mentioned numerous high-class restaurants, (now
reportedly up for sale) must necessarily have been paid for by the very same
taxpayers Monsieur Depardieu is now accused of in some way defrauding.
where Monsieur Depardieu has found a new home, and which maintains a top rate
of tax at 75%, has become ever more intense. A worrying fact indeed, as that
country itself is in deep crisis with its own French speaking population who
are at odds with their Flemish speaking neighbours and had previously looked
Here we see
vividly illustrated the disastrous consequences of Europe's leaders having
downplayed the reality of their actions in transferring their sovereignty to Brussels. A "partial
abnegation of sovereignty" was the stated intent, but the builders of the
EU were always fully aware that sovereignty is not divisible. The crisis
between France and Belgium over
the residence status and tax dues of one portly film star, previously fondly
regarded by French speaking cinema-goers, is bringing this fact into open and
sharp relief. More serious disputes are en route as the curtain comes down on
this new European horror story!
The title for the IB Times posting was different and its introduction for the record was as follows:
Gerard Depardieu Tax Protest Switch to Belgium Highlight's Europe's Shaky Solidarity [BLOG]
French actor's nationality switch has put true meaning of the European project at top of the menu, argues Martin Cole.
By MARTIN COLE
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December 17, 2012 4:56 PM GMT