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Rich French head for the exits

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Rich French head for the exits
Paul Mison
08:48 CEST+02:00

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, 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.


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