The Belgian tax drain sucking French rich north

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The tax-avoiding attraction of Belgium for the French rich is nothing new. But since the arrival of France’s socialist president, François Hollande, who has announced a 75% tax on those earning an annual 1 million euros or more, the country’s wealthy have begun pointing north. While speculation continues to surround the motivations of Bernard Arnault, founder and chief executive of French luxury goods group LVMH and France’s richest individual, in applying for Belgian nationality, the controversy has fuelled a lively debate in Belgium itself over the country’s growing status as a semi-tax haven. Mediapart’s Brussels correspondent Ludovic Lamant reports on the rich figures of a tax-avoiding exodus that, continent-wide, is estimated to annually cost European states 150 billion euros.

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Speculation continues to surround the motivations of Bernard Arnault, founder and chief executive of French luxury goods group LVMH and France’s richest individual, in applying for Belgian nationality.