Hallyday Insists Belgian Citizenship Bid 'Is Sincere'
Veteran French rocker Johnny Hallyday insists his bid to gain Belgian citizenship is "sincere".
Reports have suggested Hallyday is eager to be granted citizenship in Belgium to enjoy tax exemptions in Monaco - perks unavailable to French nationals.
His application has been put under a six-month review by the country's naturalisation committee.
The 63-year-old star, whose father was Belgian, caused controversy in 2006 when he vowed to spend six months of the year in Switzerland for tax reasons, telling a radio station in France, "Like many French people, I've had enough of the taxes we are forced to pay and this is it, I've made my choice."
However, Hallyday denies tax reasons are behind his decision to pursue Belgian citizenship.
A statement on behalf of the star reads: "Johnny Hallyday maintains (his demand for Belgian nationality) and remains confident in the commission's decision, given the sincerity of his motives."
Belgian government official GUY HOVE, head of the naturalisation committee, explains, "There are elements, notably financial, which have been reported in the press and which we wish to verify."