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French actor Depardieu eyes Belgian residency

  • Actor Gerard Depardieu has become the latest Frenchman to flee his country following a series of wealth tax hikes imposed by Socialist President Francois Hollande.

    According to local mayor Daniel Senesael, the Cyrano de Bergerac star has purchased a house in the Belgian village of Nechin near the French border.

    Senesael added the actor had also asked about procedures for acquiring Belgian residency.

    Some 2,800 French live in the same area, located a few minutes drive from the border.

    Belgian residents do not pay wealth tax, which in France is applicable to individuals with assets over $1.67 million.

    Depardieu is best known for his roles as Obelix in the French Asterix films and as Cyrano de Bergerac in the 1990 film of the same name.

    The move is expected to do little improve his image, which has been tainted by a series of embarrassing incidents.

    Last week, Depardieu was arrested for driving under the influence after falling of his scooter in Paris.

    In August, a car driver filed a legal complaint for assault and battery against him following an quarrel in the capital.