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TF1, January 19, 2003 
Eight o’clock news
Olivier Santicchi
French people living in Switzerland 

TF1 is the most important TV channel in France. The 20h00 news show has the largest audience in Europe. When TF1 wanted to interview a Swiss residency specialist, they came to Micheloud & Cie. Here is a translation of the French interview.

RETRANSCRIPTION OF THE REPORT (also available on Real Media)

Claire Chazal: “Yesterday evening we spoke about the French brain drain, which is most noticeably heading toward Switzerland. Well, taxpayers who feel that they are too heavily taxed in France are going into exile there as well. The two countries have signed bilateral agreements that grant certain people more advantageous tax conditions and ultimately a better quality of life on the Swiss side. Olivier Santicchi met with some of the self-exiled people living in Lausanne.”

Olivier Santicchi: “After having lived in Switzerland for four years, Jean-Claude R. is supervising the building of his house in the heights of Lausanne. It’s an important step for this retired Frenchman who qualifies for the flat-rate tax, which means he is only taxed on his lifestyle. Regardless of his asset base, the less he spends, the less he has to shell out at tax time.”

Jean-Claude R.: “When you choose this option, you are left completely in peace—in other words, you pay every year, period, that’s it. You don’t have to worry about having five tax inspectors show up at your home one morning, even if you are doing everything totally legally.”

Olivier Santicchi: “Switzerland is looking more and more to people with a private annual income of at least 35,000 euros, people like Alain Delon, Isabelle Adjani and Michael Schumacher. They work out a special agreement for foreigners with the government. However, even the regular taxation rate cannot exceed 35%, which is a godsend for everyone.”

Mr. Micheloud: ”It’s an economic asset! France is quite rightfully making a mint off Japanese factories that are setting up shop in the north of France. It creates jobs. And what the stars spend here helps the economy, since they build houses and that’s good for the economy.”

Olivier Santicchi: “There are already 2,500 wealthy ‘refugees’ in the country and 6,000 have asked and are waiting for residency permits in Geneva. And the tax climate comes with an attractive infrastructure in a very developed and well-protected Francophone country that is particularly good for children.”

Jean-Claude: “You know that when your children go to ski resorts, they’re going just to ski and they’re not doing something else. When it comes to recreational activities, hobbies, etc, it’s true that there are a lot of things to do and there are really, really great places to do them.”

Olivier Santicchi: “Children of these ‘exiles’ are most often accepted into one of the 150 top schools in the country. The teachers do not count the number of hours they put in. One of the most convincing arguments for families is that the success rate of high school graduates is, or is very close to, 100%.”

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