France reaps what it sows: ONE MILLION jobs lost due to high taxes
High-profile French artists such as Gerard Depardieu, Jean-Michel Jarre have fled for other lands
Do we reap what we sow? France's exorbitant taxes on its wealthy have sent many scurrying to other lands. Film star Gerard Depardieu, who was recently seen in the hit film "The Life of Pi" was among a clutch of high-profile French millionaires who have left France due to taxes.
Gerard Depardieu, last seen as the slovenly ship's cook in the hit film "Life of Pi," is among the high profile members of French society who have fled their homeland due to exorbitant taxes.
Tax hikes and employment regulations imposed by both left and right wing governments over the past 20 years have sent 60,000 French businessmen abroad, who employ around 16 people each.
The figures were released amid a flood of wealthy French quitting France this year to avoid a whopping tax of 75 percent on all earnings over one million euros.
Depardieu, the Mulliez families who own the Auchan supermarket chain, electronic music icon Jean-Michel Jarre and France's richest man Bernard Arnault have all left France over the last six months.
Three percent of the two million French living abroad now own companies. If they had not left there, there would one million more people in work in France, according to the Concorde think tank. Newspaper reports call this figure "a conservative estimate."
"I am troubled to read in the papers that the exile has begun, and that companies are fleeing," France's economy minister Pierre Moscovici said in reaction. Speaking to a conference of business leaders in Paris, "I also lament attacks on the government's economic policies that are in vogue in France and abroad. Le French-bashing is terrible."
Laurence Parisot, the head of MEDEF, also warned that left-wing economic policies risked turning France into "the poor man of Europe.
"Large foreign investors are shunning France altogether. It's becoming really dramatic.
"Ten years ago, Germany was the poor man of Europe and if we don't act now, that title will soon be ours."
In addition, Paris estate agents said last September that France's luxury property market had hit a "selling panic" as the super-rich rushed to flee new higher taxes.
"It's nearly a general panic. Some 400 to 500 residences worth more than one million euros have come onto the Paris market since May," Estate agent Daniel Feau says.
© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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