Hollande salutes French who stay amid tax debate

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Associated Press

Posted on December 17, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 17 at 2:04 PM

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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