Saturday, 20 October 2012

Karl Lagerfeld tells the truth about Francoise Hollande

A proud idiot?
This week's prize for the best European political statement goes to Paris/based German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, who was not afraid to speak out in an interview with the Spanish edition of Marie-Claire
This is what Lagerfeld had to say about president Francois Hollande, who has decided to punish those with an income exceeding one million euros with a 75% tax:

"This idiot will be as disastrous as Zapatero," Lagerfeld said, referring to Spanish former prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero whose term witnessed the country's economic bust.
"Hollande hates the rich. That is disastrous. He wants to punish them and obviously they will flee and no one will invest."
Lagerfeld, the quirky creative director of French fashion house Chanel, also took a swipe at French products, saying they were not marketable.
"Apart from fashion, jewellery, perfumes and wine France is not competitive," he said.
"The other products do not sell. Who buys French cars? Not me," he added.

Lagerfeld's characterisation of the socialist Hollande immediately was condemned by the president's former companion - and former unsuccesful socialist presidential candidate - Segolene Royal, who demanded that the designer must apologize immediately (which he of course will not do).

Meanwhile, French high-earners have began voting with their feet. In the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron and London mayor Boris are rolling out the red carpet for the departing French:
Francois Hollande, the French president, faced significant criticism last week for his plans to hike taxes further on the so-called "super-rich." In protest, a number of high-profile French high-earners have announced that they will move abroad to avoid the new punitive rates.
As the French deficit ballooned in recent years, the question of how to balance the budget has taken center stage in French politics. Hollande's proposed 2013 budget includes a 75 percent tax rate for anyone earning over 1 million Euros ($1.6 million) a year. In addition, Hollande is also planning to raise the annual wealth tax and the capital-gains rate, as well.

How attractive will these eye-watering tax hikes make the French economy? Are they more a reflection of a deeper hostility towards personal initiative and wealth creation than a viable solution for the deficit?
As the budget winds its way through the French parliament, high-earners have already begun voting with their feet. Successful business people, musicians, comedians and athletes have given up life in the City of Lights in favor of the fiscal stability of neighboring countries such as Switzerland. Even Britain has gotten into the game, with Prime Minister David Cameron offering to roll out a red carpet for those departing French looking for a new home, and London's idiosyncratic mayor, Boris Johnson, announcing that he was keen to welcome any talented French people who wanted to settle in his city. In office only five months, Hollande is facing challenges on all sides. After campaigning on the platform of returning a "normal" presidency to France after the manic years of his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, Hollande quickly began experimenting with far-left policies soon after his arrival in the Elysee Palace.

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