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“Who are you to judge me … I remain a free man.”

Gérard Depardieu says he will give up French passport over tax rises, reports the Guardian:

Gérard Depardieu has said he is handing back his French passport and social security card, lambasting the French government for punishing “success, creation, talent” in his homeland.

A popular and colourful figure in France, the 63-year-old actor is the latest wealthy Frenchman to seek shelter outside his native country by buying a house just over the border in Belgium in response to tax increases by the Socialist president, François Hollande.

The prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, described Depardieu’s behaviour as pathetic and unpatriotic at a time when the French are being asked to pay higher taxes to reduce a bloated national debt.

“Pathetic, you said pathetic? How pathetic is that?” Depardieu said in a letter to the weekly newspaper le Journal du Dimanche.

“I am leaving because you believe that success, creation, talent, anything different must be sanctioned,” he said.

The full text of his open letter is given in the Le Journal du Dimanche (Le JDD). M Depardieu finished with a fine flourish:

“Therefore I ask, who are you to judge me, Mr Ayrault, prime minister of Mr Hollande, I ask, who are you? Despite my excesses, my appetite and my love of life, I remain a free being, and I will remain polite.”

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21 comments to “Who are you to judge me … I remain a free man.”

  • Oh who cares – he is just an old white male. A rich one, at that.

  • When France’s richest man, Bernard Arnault, the CEO and main shareholder of the luxury behemoth LVMH, applied for Belgian citizenship last August, it was easy for Socialists to paint him as an unpatriotic, despicable fat cat. “Get lost, you rich b——” blasted a headline on the front page of Libération, the Left-wing daily, effectively capturing the national mood.

    For a few hours, the government spin doctors thought the French, whose deep mistrust of money is rooted in a dual heritage of Catholicism and unreconstructed Marxism, would join in the public shaming [of Depardieu]. It did not happen. An online poll conducted by the popular Le Parisien tabloid showed almost 70 per cent supporting the country’s wayward son and poster boy for glorious political incorrectness.

  • Antoine Clarke

    “Qui est Jean Galt?”

  • Johnnydub

    Alisa – “Oh who cares – he is just an old white male. A rich one, at that.”

    He’d be the one paying the bills, love….

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    The savagery of the French left is something we Brits tend not to take a lot of note of. We think we have problems in the UK, but the state of public life in France is lamentable.

  • Clovis Sangrail

    Johnnydub- “He’s the one paying the bills…”

    I rather think Alisa knows that.

  • You have me figured out, Clovis:-)

  • Je suis John Galt et je soutiens Gérard Depardieu et Bernard Arnault.

    Je ne suis pas convaincu que la liberté avec un fusil soit un véritable symbole a la français esprit.

  • llamas

    Poor bugger, France must have become a veritable hell-hole if even Belgium looks better.



  • Clovis Sangrail

    llamas – “Poor bugger, France must have become a veritable hell-hole if even Belgium looks better.”

    That’s got to sting!

  • Russ in Texas

    Well, llamas won THIS thread…

  • llamas

    llamas comes from a place with a rich cultural heritage vis-a-vis the Belgians.

    Just last night, in e-mail – A Belgian is driving at night on the A-16 wheh he hears a report on the car radio that a ‘spook-rijder’ (wrong-way driver) has been spotted on the freeway.

    ‘One?’ he says to himself. ‘I can see hundreds of them!’

    And so forth.



  • veryretired

    I thought Luxemburg was the tax haven in Europe, but maybe Belgium has better facilities for something the old rich guy needs.

    Anyway, I’m voting for llamas as the thread winner.

  • Hands down. And he hasn’t even began singing yet.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)


    maybe Belgium has better facilities for something the old rich guy needs

    Better beer.

  • llamas

    Alisa wrote:

    ‘Hands down. And he hasn’t even began singing yet.

    And if I did, I would lead off with ‘Jolie Blonde (8°)’

    Large sherbet for the first person who gets it . . . .

    Here’s a contest for the erudite crowd that gathers here – your nominations, please (supported by a recording if available) for the best rendition of ‘Jolie Blonde’ of your knowledge.



  • I do like the film footage in this one.

  • Paul Marks

    We are all on the same road to ruin.

    France is just further down that road.

  • Antoine Clarke

    Historically, Belgium was a great country for forming shell companies and arms trafficking. I often wonder if the ease with which one could form a bogus company in Belgium was connected with the number of international organisations based there: EU, NATO etc.

    If you have three children you are better off in France than in the UK or Belgium from a tax point of view. Unless you make over 1 milion euros a year.

    If Hollande was smart, which he isn’t, I’d suspect a deliberate plan to drive capitalists out of France, then push up taxes for everyone and blame the émigrés. It worked for about five years in the 1790s.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes – what the Marxists (absurdly) call the “capitalist” Revolution of 1789 led to the nationalisation of every major factory in France.

    The Revolutionaries ran them hard – which did actually increase production for a while, till the factories started to fall apart.

    Then N. came to power and restored private ownership of the factories.

    He also restored gold coins.

    And the monarchy – with himself as the “Emperor”.

    Where is such a man when France needs him today? Not to invade various places (that was the folly that destroyed Imperial France), but for internal restoration?

    As for the absurd Hollande……

    He has been in Algeria for two days – saying how sorry he is for everything…..

    Sorry for a thousand years of Islamic attacks upon France?

    Sorry for ending the tyranny that dominated Algeria till the 1820s?

    Sorry for building civilisation out of a desert?

    Stupid, and cowardly, insect.

    That is what Hollande is.