Hollande salutes French who stay amid tax debate

President salutes French entrepreneurs who stay after actor Depardieu fuels tax-exile debate

Associated Press
Hollande salutes French who stay amid tax debate

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FILE - In this Dec.1, 2010 file photo, French actor Gerard Depardieu …

PARIS (AP) -- French President Francois Hollande is saluting entrepreneurs who set up businesses in the country amid a fierce debate about whether high taxes are leading wealthy French to leave.

Hollande's plans to raise a slew of new taxes, including a 75 percent bracket for revenue over €1 million, have raised grumbles.

The debate intensified when actor Gerard Depardieu announced he had moved to tax-friendly Belgium and would renounce his French citizenship.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called the move "pathetic," but Hollande wouldn't cast aspersions.

Instead, in a speech Monday, he said: "I want to salute the values of those who no doubt have lots but agree to pay their taxes in France, to produce in France, to create jobs in France, to serve their country."

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