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16 Jan 13

Montenegrin TV Lays Claim to Depardieu

It is known that Montenegro would like film star Gerard Depardieu to take out Montenegrin citizenship - but has he done so already? One TV news reader recently seemed to think so.

Vijesti Podgorica

A TV news anchor in Montenegro caused amusement on Monday by referring accidentally to the well known actor Gerard Depardieu as "a famous Montenegrin".

The colourful film star visited Montenegro on January 8, negotiating a deal for a film.

After meeting Depardieu, Milo Djukanovic, the Montenegrin Prime Minister, suggested that the actor might become a "cultural ambassador" for Montenegro.

Djukanovic said that Depardieu appeared willing to act as a form of envoy for Montenegro and its culture and so contribute to the promotion of the Balkan country in the world.

Depardieu, who recently obtained Russian citizenship, allegedly to avoid paying the high taxes imposed on the rich in France, said in Podgorica that Montenegro was "a country of enormous potential and it has every right to be a part of Europe".

He said he was captivated by its natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history, and was ready to promote Montenegro on the world stage, partly by making films there and by bringing reputable filmmakers to Montenegro.

Before he took out a Russian passport, the 63-year-old star cited Montenegro as one of three countries where he might seek citizenship in order to avoid the French Socialist government's new taxes.

He added that he already had "friends and some businesses" in the country.

Montenegro has some of the lowest taxes in Europe, a flat income tax rate of only 9 per cent.

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