Monday, March 12, 2012

Nicolas Sarkozy puts his foot in it again

Image: He’s behind you: the farmer (wearing jumper) and his wife, left, watch Nicolas Sarkozy on the campaign trail in the Pyrenees region Photo: BERNIERE PATRICK

Sometimes, Nicolas Sarkozy just cannot help himself. Few will forget the occasion when he sparked riots in Paris's volatile banlieue by describing local youths as "louts and rabble", or when he dismissed a recalcitrant French farmer with the words "Get lost, you sad bastard".

With a presidential election just six weeks away in which he is trailing catastrophically in the polls, however, he might have tried harder to control his notoriously short fuse.

Apparently not. On a recent campaign visit to the Pyrenees region of southern France, the president-candidate had little sympathy for a dairy farmer's wife and her complaints of hardship.

When she remarked she and her husband could not afford the luxury of a 35-hour working week, Mr Sarkozy retorted: "Me neither!"

"But we don't have what you have in the bank," she replied. "We have nothing... we're living from hand to mouth."

"And I don't own 40 hectares. OK?" Mr Sarkozy said, clearly annoyed, and tapping her husband on the chest.

From calling journalists "paedophiles" to telling David Cameron to "shut up" and describing sumo wrestlers as "obese guys with Brylcreemed buns", the hot-headed, hyperactive French president has never been a great loss to the diplomatic service or knowingly minced his words. Read More