Financial Times | Productive French planning to flee country to avoid Hollande’s taxes

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“I’m very happy in Paris. My wife and I love Paris. We came here by choice.  But I’m reconsidering our situation given the changes in the pipeline,” says  Roger, who declined to be identified by his real name.

More than the 75 per cent rate, it is a move to higher wealth and inheritance  taxes that worries him – and what he perceives as a cultural hostility to the  rich. “The anti-wealth rhetoric is just not encouraging. I’d rather be in a  country where I don’t have to deal with that,” he says.

It is not just expatriates who are concerned. Henri de  Castries, head of Axa, the insurer, is one of France’s most respected  business leaders. “I’ve listened to Mr Hollande. He wants to see more growth and  lower employment. He wants to see business prospering. We want to see that,  too,” he says. “The question is how to achieve these goals? There is no example,  in modern economic history, of a country that has succeeded in reducing its  deficits by bringing taxes to a confiscatory level. On the contrary, it leads to  a decline in activity, and an increase in the deficits.”

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