The news that LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton CEO Bernard Arnault, the richest man in France, filed last week for Belgian citizenship after President Francois Hollande announced a major tax on those with incomes over 1 million euros ($1.28 million) per year led to speculation that Arnault was taking the action to avoid the tax. In response, Hollande called for patriotism from Arnault, who, for his part, said that he would continue to pay French taxes.
Bloomberg reported Monday that after Hollande had announced a new, temporary 75% tax on the country’s high earners, reports began to surface that he would dilute the measure. However, Hollande repeated his campaign pledge to launch the new tax, with no exceptions, and said it would begin in 2013.
In response to Arnault’s request for Belgian citizenship, Hollande said in the report, “He should have reflected on what it means to ask for another nationality, because we are proud to be French. We have to call on patriotism at this time.”