NECHIN, Belgium, March 17 (UPI) — French actor Gerard Depardieu says he left his home country for Belgium because “France is sad, and the people have had enough of it.”
Speaking on Belgian television Saturday night, Depardieu for the first time explained why he decided to leave France nearly a year ago for Belgium, Radio France Internationale reported.
“France is sad, and the people have had enough of it,” Depardieu said during the interview. He blamed Francois Hollande’s socialist government for this, saying “It seems to be that they don’t know how to do their jobs. For him [Hollande], it’s his first time and he’s never had the experience beforehand as a minister.”
Last year, France announced a 75 percent tax rate on people who earn more than one million Euros ($1.3 million). As a result, Depardieu vowed to leave the country and took residence in Nechin, Belgium. He has since received Russian citizenship from President Vladimir Putin.
However, Depardieu insists that he did not move over fiscal reasons, stating that he pays a 50 percent tax rate in Belgium.
“I am French, I love the French, but I feel bad for them because they are in a delicate situation right now,” he said.