Putin knocked-out the Western socialists

Russian President Vladimir Putin has hit an impressive blow to West European Socialists with winning the battle of who will give Gerard Depardieu a citizenship. It is an emblematic move that may be formally ends the 20-year superiority of West vs. East after the crash of the Red era in Easter Europe in 80s.

For the last 2 decades much people emigrated from Russia and its former satellites to Western Europe and USA in an attempt to find a better paid job. It was a humiliation especially for Russia - the former global superpower to see how its own people are leaving, giving this way to know what they are thinking about the motherland.

But this process started to slow as of Putin taking power and now in fact Russia is a very good place to live. The implemented economic reforms have made the country much more capitalistic than some of the Western democracies. In politics Russia is still not a democracy, but this is not a problem for most of the people that are glad of the good economy. This is not a serious problem even for Western investors as they are anyway out of politics and don't care about it.

But in Economy Russia is in an excellent condition with very low debt, large foreign currency reserves and very attractive taxes.

The income tax in Russia is 13%. This means that Depardieu will save 62% of his income above 1 million Euros after moving to Russia. And being so famous person it will be very easy for him to obtain even a working visa for France. So he will be able to continue working in France, while paying taxes to Putin.

But this Russian move is not only about the taxes. In fact Depardieu could move to even a better tax heaven. For instance the lowest income tax is in Bulgaria. It is only 10%. And Bulgaria is an EU member, so Depardieu would not need even a visa to travel to France. As of 2014 he would not need even a working permission (visa) to work in France, as being a Bulgarian citizen.

So the decision of obtaining a Russian citizenship is something more. Obviously it is a kind of a demonstration. Depardieu tries to say something, and it is not so difficult to guess what. He says us that Russia, that so soon has passed an economic catastrophe, and even lost territories, is better than the good old France. And even better than anyone in European Union.

In fact it is not better, but for sure is better in one thing - the potential to create an impressive demonstration. And the good actor knows the importance of the good demonstration.

It is possible Putin even to additionally has given something to Depardieu. Or to give it in future. For instance a participation in Russian movie productions. This business also is going up in Russia, so such a star like Depardieu will be useful. In exchange for this Putin receives not only a ground to joke with the West. He receives a powerful legitimation as a democratic and modern leader. Putin is much criticized about his autocratic style of ruling the country. The West finances his opposition, blaming him of even being a dictator. Now all this goes to trash, as emblematic West persons are recognizing him as a good guy. So it is a brilliant political maneuver. That can be followed of other ones if the Socialism continues to parade on Champs-Élysées and across most of the West European countries.

The lesson is not so difficult to understand. But sometimes socialists simply have no the ability to understand. And the awakening comes only after the final crash in the concrete wall of economic reality.

Jan 3rd 2012

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