Hollande eludes Ibrahimovic tax tackle

French President François Hollande / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN

French President François Hollande / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN

French François Hollande will not be taking up an offer by Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s to boost his popularity, the government’s spokesman said Wednesday.

“Football sometimes bestows much ambition but in a great democracy things are sometimes rather more complicated,” Stephane Le Foll told reporters.

He added that Hollande, who opinon polls show is currently one of the most unpopular post-war French leaders, would therefore be turning down the footballer’s “offer of service”.

Ibrahimovic, fresh from a trophy-laden spell with Paris Saint Germain and rumoured to be bound for Manchester United, said Tuesday he could “help” Hollande.

“I pay my taxes and help this country. I could even make him popular — it’s just I’m not sure I want to,” Ibrahimovic said.

The veteran striker said he earned more than 20 million euros ($22.7 million) in the first half of 2015 and claimed he paid a tax rate of 75 percent.

By paying tax at the top rate, the footballer claimed that “I help this country more than he does because I continue to pay it.”

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