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Originally published Saturday, September 8, 2012 at 11:52 AM

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Report: France's Arnault seeks Belgian passport

A Belgian newspaper says Bernard Arnault, France's wealthiest businessman and boss of the LVMH luxury house, has applied for Belgian citizenship.

The Associated Press

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PARIS —

A Belgian newspaper says Bernard Arnault, France's wealthiest businessman and boss of the LVMH luxury house, has applied for Belgian citizenship.

La Libre Belgique newspaper reported Saturday that Arnault's citizenship application was confirmed by the head of Belgium's naturalization office.

French media drew a connection to French President Francois Hollande's plan to raise the tax rate on France's highest earners to 75 percent.

But tax experts said obtaining Belgian citizenship would not change Arnault's tax situation, which is determined by residence, not citizenship.

Arnault has been critical of the tax plan and many in France's right-wing UMP opposition party have warned it could drive entrepreneurs out of the country.

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