François Hollande defeats Nicolas Sarkozy in France

I am surprised that nobody has yet posted about the results of Sunday’s second (and final) round of the French presidential election.  François Hollande (socialist) defeated Nicolas Sarkozy (center-right?) by a few percent and will be in office shortly.


Le Monde (major French newspaper):

Swiss Francophone TV :

I wonder what this means for negotiations about FATCA ?   @Victoria?   My gut feeling is that the socialists would be rather FATCA-friendly, but I believe that the socialists in France are also very interested in civil rights and anti-discrimination.  I believe that somebody needs to be lobbying his new administration so that they can know the truth about what the US is trying to do (especially FATCA, but also FBAR and double taxation) before State and Treasury start trying to pull the wool over his eyes.

I just heard on CNN that Putin just won another term as President of Russia, and now the Constitution has been modified so that one can serve 6 terms.


33 thoughts on “François Hollande defeats Nicolas Sarkozy in France

  1. Sadly I think that FATCA is nowhere on his radar or priorities list at the moment. He might not even know what it is for all we know.

    What is more interesting though is what might happen to French expatriates. Hollande wants to raise the income tax rate to 75% for all salaries over 1 million Euros and Sarkozy wanted to institute a “citizenship tax” on French expatriates “who left for tax reasons” (whatever that means). What if Hollande decides to impose both changes?

  2. @Don “Hollande wants to raise the income tax rate to 75% for all salaries over 1 million Euros and Sarkozy wanted to institute a “citizenship tax” on French expatriates “who left for tax reasons” (whatever that means). What if Hollande decides to impose both changes?”

    I suppose we will start seeing renunciations of French citizenship. But certainly, at 75% rate, then we will see the wealthy in France will stop making over 1 million or they will leave to a friendlier jurisdiction, like Canada (!). Seventy-five per cent! Why bother letting them keep anything at all?

  3. Chris Hedges wrote an excellent analysis on the current state of politics not just in France but in the Western world. I doubt very much that things will change dramatically under Hollande’s tenure. Raising taxes to 75% for millionaires sounds like a good campaign promise to people in the middle and poor classes, but enough pressure (particularly from corporations) will be placed on him to back down.

  4. Well, US policy adversely affects lower and middle class USPs so maybe Hollande would understand. I think we should write to him, especially those of us who are in Europe, wherever we are.

  5. @zucchero81. You seem to read Truth Dig a lot, and Robert Sheer should be interested in Fwhat? issues… I.E., FBAR and FATCA. I keep emailing and tweeting, but have had no success in getting his attention. Maybe you could try too..

    Here was my latest tweet to him… Thought the Israel angle might catch his eye… I need to try tying Fwhat? to the Financial crisis and banks, as that is his passion and rant continually on Left Right and Center every week.

    #Fwhat? Applying it to all #Americansabroad in #Israel is killing the mouse with a tractor #FBAR #FATCA @Truthdig

  6. The French will do whatever they deem in France’s interest. Remember France will not extradite its citizens to the US. Also France has a long history of wanting to bring down the US dollar’s reserve status. Resisting FATCA helps the euro and hurts the dollar. It’ll be interesting. It’s been a while since I’ve been to France, maybe I’ll hop on the train and visit soon or drive over.

  7. In his “program”, Hollande mentions that he wants to renegotiate tax conventions with countries that have the most French tax evaders: Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
    No mention of renegotiating tax conventions with the US.
    France, however, was one of the countries along with Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom who are supportive of the underlying goals of FATCA. I am not sure what the benefit for these countries are, if it’s not, in return to track their own tax evaders. Why would they sign an act that will increase the cost of compliance for their financial institutions with no benefit for them?
    I don’t believe the threat by the US of withholding 30 percent on all U.S. payments would justify compliance. This is bullying and foreign countries know it. They will sign the act only if they see a benefit for them as well and the potential for revenue that exceeds the cost of implementation – not just to help the US enforce its citizen-based taxation.
    On a separate note, I was surprised that my bank in France asked for my US pay stub. Looks like they’re already taking steps for tracking purposes.

  8. By the way, French citizens are the only ones in the world who are subject to French income tax whilst resident in Monaco. I wonder what sort of tax treaty plans Hollande has in mind when it comes to Switzerland and the rest, but I imagine that it will be along US lines to ensure that French expats always end up paying whatever is higher (which I imagine must always be higher in France than in Switzerland or Luxembourg. Here in Belgium we have one of the highest personal income tax rates in the world, so I doubt it would have any affect – Top rate this year is around 56-57%).

  9. Forgot to add – The 56% rate is a combination of local and national level tax rates.

  10. I just noticed that Victoria put up a short article on the French elections on her blog: No mention of FATCA in the new Hollande administration there yet, but I found her April 17th article very interesting, especially as to the “anonymous witholding” already taking place between some European countries:

  11. Hi Folks,
    Thank you for the link, JDT. Exciting times here. We have a new president! My read on it is that Hollande will try to tax those “exilés fiscaux.” It won’t be easy, since French expats enjoy real representation in the national parliament – this year, in addition to the senators they already have, they voted for 11 new deputies for the French abroad. Against them however is a state that needs money and a public whose opinion about emigrants very closely resembles how homeland Americans feel about their expats. If you read French see this excellent blog post from the very eloquent JM about voting in the French election from Berlin:

    What I don’t see however is the French state doing anything that would involve turning over their own citizens to the tender mercies of the American or any other government. France simply does not do this. Both the State of California and New Zealand are painfully aware of this fact. 🙂

    A final note: sorry to be so quiet recently, folks. Am learning firsthand just how good French healthcare is. I was hospitalized last week and am now recovering at home. There is more to come, alas, but I’m feeling pretty confident knowing that I simply could not be in better hands.


  12. Victoria — best wishes for a speedy recovery. I am so glad you are not facing your health concerns in the US. You seem to feel the same way about your healthcare (vs health insurance) in France as I do for what my family, including me, has received in Canada. All the best!!

  13. It looks like Blaze last commented on April 19th. Hope you’re well, Blaze.

    Sometimes, too, we just need a break from it all.

  14. @All
    Blaze did make a trip to Pennsylvania to visit her family. Not sure when she is home. I did receive an email from her after she arrived in the States – no trouble at border crossing (a land crossing). so that was good.

  15. @Victoria,

    Je vous souhaite egalement un bon retablissement. I am happy for you that you don’t have to worry about the cost of your hospital stay and just focus on your recovery.

    You wrote: “Against them however is a state that needs money and a public whose opinion about emigrants very closely resembles how homeland Americans feel about their expats.”

    I totally agree. Most of my college “friends” and even some family members make me feel like I left for higher salary and standard of living in the US, selflishly leaving them, and causing pain by giving more importance to material things instead of family/patriotic values. Some even think that if god forbid, I get sick, I will come back to take advantage of the French healthcare, and because of that, it would be normal that I pay French taxes here… Pretty sad.
    Irony is that if I am really not lucky, with the mistake regarding my foreign account on my previous years tax returns, my LPR might be revoked and I might have to go back. I am so paranoid and afraid of it.

  16. Best wishes for a speedy return to good health, Victoria. I too appreciate having a healthcare system in Canada as opposed to the health industrial complex in the USA. We lived there 12 years without any health insurance and my only plan if anything went wrong was to put me on a plane and send me back to Canada. I may be on “reader only” status for a bit myself. My husband’s mother in the USA is seriously ill and he is driving down there to be with her. I am dealing with extra duties here at home while he’s away but trying to keep up with reading at IBS as best I can.

  17. @Victoria, I have been thinking about you and wondered why we haven’t heard from you lately.. Speedy recovery!!

  18. @Victoria: Speedy Recovery!

    @all: Thanks for thinking of me. I’ve been in US for a couple of weeks. My return has been delyed due to some health issues of my mother.

    She’s on the road to recovery, so I hope to be going home tomorrow.

    Like others, I truly value Canada’s health care system. But, I must say my mother has had excellent care in Pennsylvnaia–and absolulutely outstanding home health care.

    Thaks to all of you for thinking of me and wondering why I had disappeared. It’s good to know I have worldwide friends whom I’ve never met.

    As Tiger said, I had abosluterly no problem crossing at the Peace Bridge. Thew border officer looked at my Canadian passport with US place of birth, looked at the computer, asked me where I was going and waved me on my way.

    This was after being told on my last visit that I should get a US passport (which I did not and will not do).

    Saddeneed said maybe the guard looked at my Brock uniform and sword and thought “We’d better let this one go.”

    Isaac Brock Rocks!

  19. Best to your mom, Blaze. Glad she is getting wonderful care in PA. Thanks for the update.

    Keep that Brock uniform on and a safe journey back to Canada.

  20. @Blaze, Good to hear from you, I hope your mom is on her way to a speedy recovery. We miss you!! Talk to you soon!!

    Keep the Uniform on and the sword in hand!!

  21. @Blaze,
    Really good to hear from you. Sorry to hear about your mom but good to hear that she is getting good care and is recovering.
    I hope your health is good and that you will be back in Ontario soon.

  22. @Blaze Glad to know that you’re OK and I add my wishes to those of others here that your mother will recover soonest.

    And thank you everyone for your kind words and support. This is either a Most Unfortunate Incident or an Excellent Adventure and I’m trying to lean toward the latter. 🙂 The healthcare system here is indeed top-notch and I am so grateful to be here. However above all things what gets a person though such an event is to be bien entouré. Here is a view from the other side, a young Frenchman who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting who is fighting leukemia in my hometown of Seattle. I was very moved by his words in this post:



  23. @Victoria

    That was really interesting to look at. I would love to see a similar breakdown of the last expat vote in the Italian parliamentary elections a few years back. I would imagine that the pro-Sarkozy areas would align rather neatly with the pro-Berlusconi ones…:P

  24. @Don And I would *love* to have the numbers for the 2012 US presidential elections. When I talk to folks back in the U.S. the left-wingers are convinced that we are voting on the right (all those military votes) and the right-wingers seemed to be convinced that we are all crazy wanna be hippies trying to “find ourselves” abroad who vote Democrat. 🙂

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