The Green Card star has bought a house in the Belgian village of Nechin, just minutes from the French border.
Local mayor Daniel Senesael revealed the star enjoys the Belgian countryside and the nation's ""lower taxes"", sparking speculation he moved away from his homeland to escape cash hikes on the wealthy brought in to boost France's struggling economy.
The move has angered politicians, including the country's Prime Minister, who has accused Depardieu of being unpatriotic.
Ayrault tells France 2 television, ""Going just over the border, I find that fairly pathetic. Being a Frenchman means loving your country and helping it to get back on its feet.""