Gerard Depardieu

Like Depardieu and so many other millions, I am very angry at the erosion of liberty and the rise of tyranny in Europe as evidenced by the inexorable rise in the taxes imposed on us.

My profile, unlike Depardieu’s, is very low. He can leave France but wherever he goes he cannot disappear off the fiscal radar screen. But I might be able to swing it.

The general rule is that you pay tax in the country where you live. But I am self-employed and all I need for my work are a computer and a telephone. I could just as easily write while sitting at a table in a bar overlooking the harbor on a Greek island or from inside a centrally heated tent at the North Pole. Who is to know any different?

The Italian taxman knows that I live in Italy and the details of my address here. But there is no law that obliges an EU citizen such as myself to be residente in Italy. I do not need that piece of paper. I can simply be here sans papiers of any description. And I have noticed that my 10-year residenza expires in March 2013. Oh, but you must have one of those, the Italians insist. They say it’s for medical treatment, which in Italy is partly free for adults and wholly free for children. Not true. All EU citizens are covered for the free bits of healthcare in all EU countries.

I plan not to renew my residenza when it expires. How, then, will the Italian taxman be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that I live in Italy? Even if he turns up at the Forlì flat and sees my wife and five children, so bloody what? I can simply reply: “€œYes, but yesterday I was on a Greek island, and tomorrow I”€™m off to the North Pole.”€ His only hope of getting the dirt on me would be to interrogate my mother-in-law. Would he be man enough?

Thanks to the Internet revolution, there must be millions of us rootless cosmopolitans dotted about the EU’s 27 nations whose work requires only a computer and a telephone. It is time for our revolution. Unlike Depardieu, we do not have to move about from country to country. It is enough to pretend we are doing so.

The European Union’s propagandists define their subjects as “€œEuropean citizens.”€ Fine. So let us, if we must, as European citizens”€”not Frenchmen or Italians or Englishmen”€”pay our taxes to the ghost called “€œEurope”€ which does not truly exist.

My aim, as British guitarist Jeff Beck put it, is to tell the taxman that I am “€œeverywhere and nowhere baby.”€

Like all my great ideas, it will probably end in tears. But it’s a risk I have to take.

 



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