SHAFAQNA – The French film star, Gérard Depardieu, has said France was a “filthy mess” and at risk of becoming a parody of itself.
In an interview with news magazine Le Point to mark the publication of his autobiography, Mr Depardieu said the French desperately needed a change of leadership to halt the nation’s decline under President François Hollande.
“If we continue like that, France will be a new Disney World, it will be France World, people will wear berets, and Chinese tourists will come and touch their moustaches and their big noses,” Mr Depardieu said.
Explaining why he chose not to live in France, Mr Depardieu said: “I’m a free man. At the age of 65, I don’t want to pay 87 per cent tax.”
In France, he said, “people are jealous of success” and he left the country because he thought “they were going to shave my head, like a collaborator in 1945”.
Under the Socialist government, he said France had become “a small thing which people don’t talk about any more”.
Mr Depardieu, who recently made the astonishing admission that he starts drinking in the morning and consumes up to 14 bottles of wine a day, said he supported Nicolas Sarkozy.
“Sarkozy made mistakes but I would say that they are like those of King David, they can be remedied,” he said.
“Nevertheless I like France, the spirit of France. We invent things, look at Marie Curie or the Concorde,” he said, praising French food and wine.
Now a Russian citizen, Mr Depardieu praised his “friend”, President Putin, who he said “is like me. He’s an outsider and no one bet a penny on him.”
He said he regretted taking the role of the disgraced IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn in the film “Welcome to New York” because he had not wanted “to do a caricature”.
In his autobiography, called “It happened like that” (Ca s’est fait comme ça), Mr Depardieu recounts his difficult childhood and the death of his son Guillaume in 2008.
source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11137159/Gerard-Depardieu-says-France-is-a-mess.html