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income tax rate

Gerard Depardieu has obtained Russian citizenship, according to a brief statement posted on the Kremlin website

Gerard Depardieu has obtained Russian citizenship, according to a brief statement posted on the Kremlin website

Gerard Depardieu has obtained Russian citizenship, according to a brief statement posted on the Kremlin website.

“Vladimir Putin has signed a decree granting Russian citizenship to Gerard Depardieu,” the message read.

Gerard Depardieu recently announced he would give up his French passport after the government criticized his decision to move abroad to avoid higher taxes.

In December, Vladimir Putin said he would be happy to welcome the actor in Russia.

“I’m sure the French authorities did not want to offend Mr. Depardieu. But if he’d like to have a Russian passport, consider it settled,” Vladimir Putin said during his annual news conference on 20 December.

Under France’s civil code, dual citizenship is permitted but it is unlawful to be stateless.

A person must obtain another nationality before giving up French citizenship.


Gerard Depardieu has not yet commented on the Kremlin’s latest announcement.

His highly publicized tax row began last year after Socialist President Francois Hollande said he planned to raise taxes to 75% for those earning more than 1 million euros.

Lambasting the government for punishing “success, creation and talent”, Gerard Depardieu announced in early December that he would move to Belgium.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault retaliated by calling the decision “shabby”.

Although the Constitutional Council struck down Francois Hollande’s tax rise proposal on Sunday, Gerard Depardieu said this did not change the situation “one bit”.

The French actor, described by Vladimir Putin as a successful businessman and friend, has developed close ties with Russia, which has a flat 13% personal income tax rate.

He currently appears in an advertisement for Sovietsky Bank’s credit card and is prominently featured on the bank’s home page.

In 2011, Gerard Depardieu played the lead role in the film Rasputin, a Franco-Russian production about the life of eccentric monk Grigory Rasputin.

In addition, Gerard Depardieu has also helped raise funds for a children’s hospital in St Petersburg.

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France’s constitutional council has struck down a top income tax rate of 75% introduced by Socialist President Francois Hollande.

Raising taxes for those earning more than 1 million euros has been a flagship policy for Francois Hollande.

The policy angered France’s business community and prompted some wealthy citizens to say they would emigrate.

Francois Hollande’s government said it would rework the tax, due to take effect in 2013, to meet the council’s complaints.

In its ruling on Saturday, the Constitutional Council said the new tax rate “failed to recognize equality before public burdens” because, unlike other forms of income tax, it was to be applied to individuals rather than households.

For example, that meant a household in which one person earned more than 1 million euros would pay the tax, but a household in which two people earned 900,000 euros each would not have to pay.

France's constitutional council has struck down a top income tax rate of 75 percent introduced by Socialist President Francois Hollande

France’s constitutional council has struck down a top income tax rate of 75 percent introduced by Socialist President Francois Hollande

The council also rejected new methods for calculating the tax.

But Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the government would press ahead with the new tax rate.

“The government will propose a new system that conforms with the principles laid down by the decision of the Constitutional Council,” he said.

The new rate was seen as largely symbolic since it would have only applied to some 1,500 people for a temporary period of two years.

But along with other tax rises, it has still been the subject of fierce debate in France.

French actor Gerard Depardieu recently announced he was moving to Belgium to avoid taxes, sparking a furious reaction from some on the left.

There was also speculation that people employed in high-income jobs like banking and finance would move elsewhere, including to London.

Francoise Hollande campaigned against the austerity policies used in many European countries affected by economic crisis, favoring higher taxes rather than spending cuts to bring down the deficit.

The 75% rate for high earners was included in the government’s 2013 budget, approved by parliament in September.

As election day approaches, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney continue to reach for issues each other can use as a stick to beat his opponent.

Find out where rivals Barack Obama and Mitt Romney stand on each of the key issues ahead of the debate and where the biggest differences could emerge.

1. Economy

Barack Obama

Signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, known as the stimulus, a $768 billion package of tax cuts and investment in education, infrastructure, energy research, health, and other programmes. Backed a bailout of the US auto industry; signed trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

Mitt Romney

Plan centres on tax cuts, repeal of Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare reform law and repeal of 2010 Wall Street and banking regulations, and in general the reduction of other regulations he says stifle economic growth. Opposed the auto industry bailout; proposes to reduce federal spending significantly but gives few details about which programmes he would cut.

2. Taxes

Barack Obama

Has cut effective taxes for most Americans; would repeal Bush-era tax cuts for households making more than $250,000 a year; proposes the “Buffet rule” named for billionaire Warren Buffet, which would increase the effective tax rate paid by millionaires.

Mitt Romney

Would make permanent all Bush-era tax cuts, further cut individual income tax rates, eliminate taxes on investment income, repeal the estate tax, and reduce the corporate income tax rate. According to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, taxpayers at high income levels would see the greatest benefit. Would make up the revenue by closing unspecified tax loopholes.

3. Iran

Barack Obama

Says he is determined to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon; opposes a near-term military strike by US or Israel on Iran’s nuclear facilities; emphasizes need for a diplomatic solution but warns “that window is closing” and has said “all options are at the table”; signed new sanctions against Iran’s central bank, oil revenues and financial system.

Mitt Romney

Says it is unacceptable for Iran to possess a nuclear weapon; says military action “remains on the table” and analysts say he presents a clearer military threat to Iran; would send Navy ships to patrol the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf; calls for more sanctions; would publicly back Iranian opposition groups.

4. National security and war

Barack Obama

Has killed much of al-Qaeda’s leadership, including Osama Bin Laden; pulled US troops out of Iraq; agreed to a $487 million reduction in defence spending over 10 years with congressional Republicans.

Mitt Romney

Would spend heavily on military hardware and invest in missile defence, adding an estimated $100 billion to the Pentagon’s budget, while reducing the civilian defence bureaucracy.

5. Afghanistan

Barack Obama

Initially increased the number of troops in Afghanistan; has begun a draw-down of US troops with the combat mission to end by 2014.

Mitt Romney

Has said his “goal” would be “a successful transition to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014” but pledges to review withdrawal plans and base them “on conditions on the ground as assessed by our military commanders”

6. Healthcare

Barack Obama

Vast 2010 healthcare reform law aims for universal health insurance coverage by requiring individuals who are not otherwise covered to purchase insurance, while restricting insurers’ ability to deny coverage based on pre-existing ailments. The law offers states grants to increase enrolment of poor people in the Medicaid public insurance programme.

Mitt Romney

Would seek repeal of Barack Obama’s health law, though it is modeled on a law he signed in Massachusetts; would return most health policy to the states; would limit doctor malpractice lawsuits; would encourage individuals without insurance to buy it on the private market, including by purchasing it in other states with lighter coverage requirements and lower costs

7. Illegal immigration

Barack Obama

Used executive power to grant legal status to certain young illegal immigrants, bypassing Republicans in Congress. Has dramatically increased deportations of illegal immigrants.

Mitt Romney

Criticizes Barack Obama’s “stopgap” measure on young illegal immigrants but does not say whether he would overturn it. Says the US should encourage migrants to “self-deport” by making life hard for them.

8. Abortion

Barack Obama

Supports abortion rights; appointed two Supreme Court justices who appear to favor abortion rights.

Mitt Romney

Says “My presidency will be a pro-life presidency”, though he supported abortion rights when he was running for governor Massachusetts in 2002. Supports overturning the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion and allowing states to decide whether abortion should be legal; would strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood women’s health clinics.

9. Energy

Barack Obama

Supports investment in clean energy such as wind turbines and advanced car batteries; tightened car fuel efficiency and emissions standards; blocked development of the Keystone oil pipeline to move oil sands crude from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, saying the US had not had sufficient time to judge its environmental impact.

Mitt Romney

Would ease regulations hindering coal-burning power plants, oil exploration and nuclear power plant construction; would encourage drilling for oil in the Atlantic and Pacific outer continental shelves; proposes to ease regulations. Pledges to build the Keystone pipeline.

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