Sacre bleu-sky! Gerard Depardieu granted Russian citizenship
Gerard Depardieu, the French actor who has waged a battle against a proposed super-tax on millionaires in his native country, has been granted Russian citizenship.
A brief announcement on the Kremlin website on Thursday revealed that President Vladimir Putin signed the citizenship grant following an application from the actor.
The former Oscar nominee and star of the movie "Green Card" has been vocal in his opposition to French President Francois Hollande's plans to raise the tax on earned income above euro1 million ($1.33 million) to 75 percent from the current high of 41 percent. Russia has a flat 13-percent tax rate.
"I have never killed anyone, I don't think I've been unworthy, I've paid euro145 million in taxes over 45 years," Depardieu wrote in an open letter in mid-December to Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who had called the actor "pathetic."
"I will neither complain nor brag, but I refuse to be called `pathetic,"' the 64-year-old actor wrote in his response.
A representative for the former Oscar nominee declined to say whether he had accepted the Russian offer, and refused all comment. Thursday was a holiday in Russia and officials from the Federal Tax Service and Federal Migration Service could not be reached for comment on whether the decision would require Depardieu to have a residence in Russia.