The fuel comes from the fact that he bought a house over the border in Belgium.
Depardieu says he is moving to escape the 75 percent tax on the super-wealthy.
The prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, described the move as “shabby” and “pathetic” saying “”paying taxes is an act of patriotism and we’re asking the rich to make a special effort here for the country.”
Depardieu shot back with an open letter published in a major Sunday Newspaper. “I am leaving because you consider success, creativity and talent grounds for sanction,” the actor wrote.
Depardieu said he has paid more than $190 million in taxes over the last four decades. He offered to surrender his passport if he was, indeed, so pathetic.
NPR reports that “the heated debate has spilled over France’s borders. Not only did Belgium’s finance minister welcome any other French citizens who want to join Depardieu, but President Vladimir Putin offered him Russian citizenship.”