The French former World Cup winner Zinedine Zidane has taken a political turn. He has defended French PM Francois Hollande’s plan to tax the millionaires 75 per cent and said the move was ‘logical’. The only problem is he pays his taxes in Spain.
British PM David Cameron sparked a diplomatic incident at the G20 earlier this week when he said Britain would “roll out the red carpet” to French tax exiles, who would help “pay for our health service and schools and everything else”. Zidane said, “I have never had a problem with paying my taxes, of handing over 50 centimes for every euro earned.”
Zidane does not pay tax in France, but insisted that changed nothing. “I don’t live in France but I don’t live in a tax haven,” he said. “I live in Spain, I pay my taxes like everyone. Today, with what’s happening (the economic crisis), they are going to ask for money from people who have it. It’s logical,” he said.
According to French media, the proposed tax will affect up to 150 French football players.
Not all French players are happy to pay up. “It’s shooting successful people in the foot," Paris Saint-Germain defender Christophe Jallet recently complained.
More than three fifths of the French approved of the super high tax rate in one poll during the French presidential campaign. Some have warned it will lead to an exodus of high earners. Hollande is due to raise taxes by 29 billion euros in the next 18 months as he seeks to bring down France’s state deficit to 4.5 per cent of GDP by 2013.
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