Franck Riboud wants higher taxes on Frances richest

Franck Riboud wants higher taxes on France's richest

Danone chairman and CEO Franck Riboud is among a group of France's wealthiest people who have offered to pay higher taxes to ease the country's debt burden.

Riboud is among sixteen executives, including Europe's richest woman, the L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, who signed a letter, published in French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, offering to pay a "special contribution".

It read: "We, the presidents and leaders of industry, businessmen and women, bankers and wealthy citizens would like the richest people to have to pay a 'special contribution'."

It went on to say that the French system had benefited them and added: "When the public finance deficit and the prospects of a worsening state debt threaten the future of France and Europe and when the government is asking everybody for solidarity, it seems necessary for us to contribute."

The French government has already said it is working on a special tax on those earning more than EUR1m (US$1.4m) a year.

The measures are expected to be part of a new package aimed at cutting up to EUR14bn from the budget deficit over the next two years.

The letter comes in the wake of last week's call for higher taxes on the American ultra-rich from US billionaire investor Warren Buffett.