Sarkozy cites British economic 'mistakes'

Feb. 6, 2009 at 2:09 PM
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LONDON, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Criticism of Britain's economic policies by French President Nicolas Sarkozy's has ruffled feathers at No. 10 Downing Street, a spokesman says.

Officials at the Elysee Palace talked by telephone Friday with their counterparts in London to explain that Sarkozy's remarks have been misinterpreted, The Times of London reports.

"The Elysee have been in contact this morning to assure us that these remarks were not meant as a critique of U.K. economic policy -- which is nice," the spokesman told The Times.

During a televised interview Thursday night, Sarkozy said Britain's value-added tax cut had "absolutely not worked" and promised not to repeat what he referred to as Britain's economic "mistakes."

Sarkozy has been challenged over his plan to boost the French economy by infrastructure spending rather than tax cuts.

His remarks drew praise from Brown's opponents.

"President Sarkozy is the latest international leader to condemn Gordon Brown's main policy for tackling the recession," George Osborne, shadow chancellor, told The Times.

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