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Rich French head for the exits

Matthew Warren · 15 May 2012, 08:48

Published: 15 May 2012 08:48 GMT+02:00

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On the day Socialist president Francois Hollande takes power, there are signs that wealthy French citizens are thinking about moving abroad to escape tough new tax rules.

A survey by London-based real estate agent Knight Frank recently reported it saw inquiries about expensive London properties from French residents spike by 20 percent.

That was at the same time that inquiries from other European countries in general fell by 10 percent.

Francois Hollande has pledged to introduce a 75 percent tax on earnings about €1 million ($1.3 million).

"Seen from abroad, France is the last country where an entrepreneur wants to go," said Marc Simoncini, founder of French dating site Meetic.com, on BFM TV.

"I don't know any British person who's come to set up a business in France. But I know plenty of young French people who've gone to London to do that."

A property lawyer in the Belgian capital of Brussels confirmed the trend.

"Since Monday it's been a rush," he told Le Parisien newspaper.

"In two and a half days I've received fifteen new applications. I have a huge number of meetings."

A Swiss lawyer has a similar story, claiming to have dealt with as many serious inquiries in the last three months as he usually would in a year.

In England, Alexander Kraft, president of Sotheby's International Realty France told the newspaper there had been "several" wealthy French people who had shown an interest in moving to London since the first round of the presidential elections.


Matthew Warren (news.france@thelocal.com)

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Your comments about this article

2012-06-20 23:21:34 by onesweetamerican
The wealthy French should come to California! There has been an exodus in California, of businesses and jobs. Our unemployment is at 10.9%. Our taxes are some of the highest in the country but they are not yet 75%! Go West young Frenchmen.....Go WEST!!!
2012-05-24 22:46:36 by arthur bletchly
I perceive that there are investors seeking to invest outside the eurozone in property in South Wales & SW England (UK) as it looks a good bet. Rural property has recently done exceptionally well. Prospective purchasers should seek the advice of a chartered valuation surveyor and be aware that checks will be made because of local money laundering rules. The construction industry is flagging so there is the opportunity to purchase development sites and achieve a cheaper build price than in recent years. Now is a good time to invest in the region.
2012-05-17 03:57:31 by Eric
How sad that one must move from one's own country because of the greed and power of the state to distroy lives of it's citizens, A 75% tax rate on any income is immoral. Why do would a person who wouldn't stick a gun in someone's face and take their money vote for politicians who will?
2012-05-16 03:07:46 by rsrobbins
People are dying of consumption in England. The wealthy French should go to Montreal.
2012-08-30 10:09:16 by JeanClaude2000
Dear rsrobbins are you serious? The French should go to Montreal? Even Canadians dont want to live in Montreal. While the English speaking Canada - the majority - is enjoying prosperity... Montreal is in deep economic troubles. While people in England are dying of consumption... people in Montreal are dying of poverty.
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