Bulgaria Lures Depardieu with Bizarre 'Advert '*
Bulgaria has invited French tax exiles Gerard Depardieu and Bernard Arnault to become Bulgarian citizens with the promise of 'cheap alcohol, concrete beach resorts and experienced prostitutes'.
The cheeky letter from Bulgaria's Demographic Policy Centre was sent to the famous film star and France's richest man as a protest against the mass emigration from the cash-strapped eastern European state.
Depardieu, 64, and Arnault, 63, both recently announced they were fleeing to Belgium to dodge France's new massive tax hike on the rich of 75 per cent on all earnings over one million euros.
The invitation from policy centre chief Iskren Veselinov reads: 'Bulgaria is an exceptionally beautiful country inhabited by smart, industrious, and good-natured people.
'The environment and the air are clean because we have no industry at all.
'The advantages of Bulgaria as a destination for elite immigrants including chalga music, highways, subway, gypsies and romantic, concrete-filled resorts with first-class alcoholic beverages of the Tsar Kiro brand.
'We also have experienced prostitutes, and the optional payment of taxes with the possibility to drain as much as you wish from the tax system.
'Our population is shrinking from happiness, which is why we need reinforcement.'
The letter then states that two million Bulgarians will have emigrated by early next year, and the country's population is expected to drop to a 'critical minimum' of five million by 2050.
Copies of the sarcastic invitation were also sent to Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and parliament chairwoman Tsetska Tsacheva, it states.
Depardieu and Arnault are the latest in a flood of super-rich French who are fleeing President Francois Hollande's socialist tax rises.
French optician chain tycoon Alain Afflelou - who has an estimated 190 million pounds fortune - has announced this month he was moving to London for 'business reasons'.
The exodus comes after Prime minister David Cameron angered the French in June when he said Britain would 'roll out the red carpet' to welcome more French businesses to the UK.
He told a business summit in Mexico: 'And they can pay tax in Britain and pay for our health service and schools and everything else.'
Paris estate agents have also warned that France's luxury property market had hit a 'selling panic' as the super-rich rushed to move away.
Luxury property agent Daniel Feau said: 'It's nearly a general panic out there with some 400 to 500 residences worth more than one million euros coming onto the Paris market since May.'
And British estate agent Sotherby's said this summer that its French offices sold more than 100 properties over 1.7 million euros between April and June this year - a marked increase on the same period in 2011.
Sotheby's French boss Alexander Kraft said: 'The result of the presidential election has had a real impact on our sales.
'Now a large number of wealthy French families are leaving the country as a direct result of the proposals of the new government.'
*the title has been altered by Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency)
- » NY Times: Bulgaria Grows Uneasy as Trump Complicates Ties to Russia
- » NY Times: As Support for EU Flags Elsewhere, Bulgaria Sees Its Benefits
- » DW: German Businesses Prefer Trade with Bulgaria over Investment
- » The Economist: Bulgaria, Moldova Presidents 'Less Pro-Russian Than Advertised'
- » AFP: Bulgaria's Radev 'Struck a Chord by Attacking the Status Quo'
- » Politico: Bulgaria May Veer Shaprly Back into Moscow Orbit after Presidential Vote