French President Nicolas Sarkozy has ridiculed Britain once again by saying that “the United Kingdom has no industry any more”, media reports said.
The recent spat was made during a prime time national TV broadcast, in which Sarkozy was trying to defend his decision to introduce an increase in the Value Added Tax (VAT) in an attempt to boost France’s failing economy.
By enforcing the 1.6 percent VAT rise, ordinary people will have to pay for social charges too.
The French President, who has admitted for the first time that he may lose upcoming elections in the Spring, also admitted that he was borrowing the measure from Germany, arguing that it had ‘helped to boost German competitiveness’ and had not led to a rise in prices.
But, when a journalist noted that Britain had experienced a rise in prices after increasing its VAT contributions, Sarkozy spat out the words: ‘The United Kingdom has no industry any more’.
His comments came as earlier in 2009, Sarkozy actually attacked a VAT rise in Britain, saying it had ‘absolutely failed’ to stimulate the economy.
Earlier in December, tensions between Britain and France over the future of the EU intensified after Sarkozy accused Prime Minister David Cameron of behaving like “an obstinate kid” when he wielded the British veto at the European summit.
Adding salt to Sarkozy’s injuries, fresh polls suggest that he will be defeated if, as expected, he stands for re-election in the upcoming elections in the Spring this year.
Britain and France had been suffering from an age-old mix of distrust, affection, and antipathy, which was never going to be overcome so easily.
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