Gérard Depardieu moves to Belgium

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Gérard Depardieu is now one of a number of high profile French actors to move across the border to Belgium. The actor has bought a house in Néchin, situated near Tournai, in Hainaut province, near the French border.. His new ‘tax exile’ mansion in Belgium – just 800 yards from the border with France.

The 64-year-old actor has chosen a lavish home in the village of Nechin – on a street known as Millionaire’s Row – which is less than two minutes drive from the French town of Roubaix. Depardieu is the latest wealthy Frenchman fleeing a looming new tax of 75 per cent on all earnings over one million euros.

Around a third of the 2,000-strong population of Nechin is already French and they are being welcomed by the locals. France’s Le Point news magazine said: ‘Nechin may be less glamorous than London, Geneva, Brussels and its climate is less pleasant than Monaco, but it has become a tax haven for rich families from northern France.’

Among Depardieu’s neighbours will be members of the Mulliez family, who own the Auchan supermarket chain. The actor’s Asterix movies co-star Christian Clavier who moved to London, before the Socialists came to power in May.

And France’s richest man Bernard Arnault revealed this summer that he had applied for Belgian citizenship, although he insisted he was not trying to dodge tax.