Saturday, September 8, 2012

Richest Frenchman applies for Belgian passport

Richest Frenchman applies for Belgian passport

Bernard Arnault, the richest man in France and the world’s fourth-wealthiest, has applied for Belgian nationality as Paris moves to impose a 75% wealth tax, reports said Saturday. The 63-year-old billionaire head of the LVMH luxury goods empire filed an application with parliament last
week to become a naturalised Belgian citizen, the La Libre Belgique daily quoted an official as saying.

“The file will be treated the same as all the others,” Georges Dallemagne, head of the naturalisation commission, said. “We currently have 47,000 before us.”

Belgian legislation requires applicants for citizenship to have had at least three years residency in Belgium, barring which they need to prove ties to the country, Dallemagne said. Arnault lives in Paris and has a home in Brussels.

His application comes amid a debate on one of the pledges that France’s President Francois Hollande made during the election campaign — to impose a 75% tax on incomes above 1 million euros.

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