Taxing issue of ‘Depart’-dieu

So actor Gerard Depardieu has turned his back on France, refusing to pay Hollande’s crippling wealth taxes.

I’m no fan of Hollande’s tax regime changes, but crikey, we can’t just let the rich not pay anything while the rest of society crawls along paying up and sacrificing what little luxury they do have.

You have to question whether the country will really miss an actor who has a history of embarrassing bahaviour in public places? Remember those suspicious accidents of the ‘urinary’ type on aircraft, crashes his moped on the streets of Paris whilst allegedly under the influence, and who has now thrown his French passport into the gutter, where, incidentally, the French economy is also currently languishing?

We think not. After all, there are many other actors who can and will replace Mr D. No-one is indespensible, and while I sympathise with him having to pay more tax to help France out of its current malaise, it is the behaviour of the rich that has kind of landed them in this mess in the first place.

So Belgium it is for Depardieu, who will surely have no problem in his efforts to obtain a Green Card!

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France cuts growth forecast

Just weeks after being installed as the country’s new leader, French President, Francois Hollande has cut the nation’s growth outlook, with a slew of budget cuts set to follow.

After what Reuters described as a ‘grim assessment’ of public finances by Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, the French economy is now forecast to grow by 0.3% in 2012, compared with the 0.7% forecast earlier.

Typically, the new socialist government blamed the move on an over-estimated growth forecast by the previous conservative government under Nicolas Sarkozy.

And now an amended 2012 budget is due to be presented to the Cabinet apparently without seeking to cut spending or resorting to widespread austerity.

Well, good luck with that.

It’s l’economie, stupid!

With just hours to go before the French election gets underway, it’s all about the economy – of course.

Nicolas Sarkozy says he’s the man who’s steered Europe through the worst of it, while main rival Francois Hollande insists the dire state of the French economy is all Sarkozy’s fault.

It’s no secret that round the rural parts of France – where most Brits tend to buy their ‘dream’ maisons secondaire, Msr Sarkozy is not a popular man. But however France votes, it is now clear the economic future of the nation will be uppermost in peoples’ minds when they mark their ballot papers.

So will it be a case of better the devil you know, or let’s give someone else a chance to sort out ‘le mess’?

Typically, and agonisingly, the elections start Sunday, but won’t finish until the run-offs two weeks later!

What do you think? Should Brit expats be allowed to vote in the main event? We’d love to know all your views…