Sarkozy chews up allies over lunch

April 17, 2009 at 10:30 AM

PARIS, April 17 (UPI) -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy apparently uttered less-than-complimentary remarks about several of his country's allies during a lunch, attendees said.

During the repast at the Elysee Palace, Sarkozy intimated U.S. President Barack Obama was inexperienced, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Louis Rodriguez Zapatero wasn't too smart and German Chancellor Angela Merkel didn't share his view about tackling the world financial crisis, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

His comments were made during a private lunch meeting Wednesday with 24 French lawmakers from various political parties, the British newspaper said.

Sarkozy also praised his world colleagues, saying, among other things, that Obama had a "subtle mind" and was "very intelligent, very charismatic."

Sarkozy's remarks about the Spanish leader were in response to a comment made by one of the guests, the Telegraph said. The French president later said intelligence doesn't necessarily guarantee political success.

Palace officials denied the remarks reportedly made about Zapatero, but not the other comments.

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