Jean-Marc Ayrault's outburst came after France's best-known actor, Gerard Dépardieu, took up legal residence in a small village just over the border in Belgium, alongside hundreds of other wealthy French nationals seeking lower taxes. (just Beligium. Thousands more have already fleed France to other "safer" countries.
France's Socialist President Francois Hollande, who famously once declared "I don't like the rich", has pledged to tax annual income of more than one million euros per year at 75 percent.
David Cameron controversially pledged to "roll out the red carpet" for any French residents trying to flee the massive tax hike.
Mr Hollande has since introduced other hefty new charges on capital gains and inheritance, while increasing France's wealth tax and an exit tax for entrepreneurs selling their companies.
Last week, Britons and other owners of second homes in France were told that the value of their properties could collapse after Mr Hollande's government announced a sharp rise in capital gains tax.
While Mr Ayrault opted not to mention Mr Depardieu yesterday, the Gallic star drew fierce criticism from Left-wing politicians and commentators.
Socialist MP Yann Galut called for the actor to be "stripped of his nationality" if he failed to pay his dues in his mother country, saying the law should be changed to enable such a punishment.
Benoît Hamon, the consumption minister, said the move amounted to giving France "the finger" and was "anti-patriotic".
In a stinging editorial, Libération, the left-leaning daily, called him a "drunken, obese petit-bourgeois reactionary". Le Monde mockingly exclaimed: "Bravo l'artiste!", pointing out he had chosen to make his move "on the eve of a national conference on poverty".
Jean-François Copé, chairman of former president Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party, yesterday said the actor's departure was "terrible for our country and its image" and called on the Socialist government to introduce "progressive fiscal policies".
Mr Depardieu came out in favour of Mr Sarkozy in the his failed re-election bid earlier this year, even appearing in one campaign meeting to say the incumbent had helped him sort out his "business problems".
But Far-Right National Front leader Marine Le Pen said tax exiles like Mr Depardieu wanted to "have their cake and eat it", adding: "All these people general come running back when they have a health problem."
Belgian income and inheritance taxes are lower than in France, and unlike France, Belgium does not impose a tax on personal wealth, making it attractive for entrepreneurs.
Among Mr Depardieu's neighbours in the village of Nechin will be members of the Mulliez family, who own the Auchan supermarket chain.
France's richest man Bernard Arnault admitted this summer that he had applied for Belgian citizenship, although he insisted it had nothing to do with paying lower taxes.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... -rich.html