Depardieu in Moscow after getting citizenship

Updated 06 January 2013
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Depardieu in Moscow after getting citizenship

MOSCOW: French actor Gerard Depardieu arrived in Russia yesterday to meet with President Vladimir Putin after getting Russian citizenship to avoid paying higher taxes in France.
“Mr. Depardieu arrived in Sochi as part of a private visit. We expect him to meet Vladimir Putin tonight,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told AFP, adding that it was possible that Depardieu, 64, would receive his new passport during the meeting.
Putin on Thursday granted Depardieu citizenship, following the announcement by the disgruntled French movie star that he intended to quit his home country to avoid paying a new millionaires’ tax.
The Kremlin’s move — and subsequent comments by Depardieu professing his love for Putin and calling Russia “a great democracy” — sparked amusement, disbelief and a heavy dose of irony inside Russia.
“He is impressed by our democracy — he has completely lost his marbles,” wrote one Facebook user, Vladimir Sokolov.
Russia’s move to grant citizenship to the star of Cyrano de Bergerac, Green Card and the Asterix and Obelix series was the latest volley in a highly publicized row between the actor and the French government over its attempt to raise the tax rate on earnings of more than one million euros ($ 1.3 million) to 75 percent.
When Depardieu first announced he would leave the country to avoid the tax, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault branded the move “pathetic”.
Depardieu, who can easily earn up to two million euros per film and who has extensive business interests in France and elsewhere, will qualify for the 13 percent tax rate if he spends at least six months of the year in Russia.


France arrests 10 ultra-right suspects over plot to attack Muslims

The suspects were being monitored by France’s DGSI intelligence agency, intercepted messages showing they were seeking to buy arms. (REUTERS)
Updated 8 min 10 sec ago
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France arrests 10 ultra-right suspects over plot to attack Muslims

  • France is home to an estimated 5.7 million Muslims or almost nine percent of the population
  • Sources said the gang was looking to hit “targets linked to terrorists

PARIS: Ten people with links to the radical far-right have been arrested by anti-terrorist police in France over an alleged plot to attack Muslims, judicial sources said Sunday.
The arrests were made late Saturday in operations across France, including the Mediterranean island of Corsica, the sources told AFP.
The suspects had an “ill-defined plan to commit a violent act targeting people of the Muslim faith,” one source close to the probe said.
Another source said the gang was looking to hit “targets linked to terrorists.”
France has been hit by a string of militants attacks since early 2015, often by people who have become radicalized or claim to have acted in the name of the Daesh group.
More than 240 people have been killed in the attacks, including 130 who lost their lives in a wave of bombings and shootings mainly in Paris nightspots in November 2015.
The suspects were being monitored by France’s DGSI intelligence agency, intercepted messages showing they were seeking to buy arms, and searches turned up some weapons, the sources said.
France is home to an estimated 5.7 million Muslims or almost nine percent of the population, according to a report by US-based think-tank the Pew Research Center at the end of last year.