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Published on Jan 31, 2012
Excerpts from Monday's press conferences in Brussels by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron. The comments were triggered by a public statement by Sarkozy saying that Brittain 'has no industry left.' The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has reignited his cross-Channel war of words by accusing the UK of "having no industry left" during a primetime broadcast on national television.
Sarkozy, biding for re-election this spring, but trailing in the polls behind the socialist challenger François Hollande, was outlining his plans for raising VAT on Sunday night when a journalist pointed out that a similar move in the UK had seen a rise in inflation and had set back the economy.
"The UK has no industry any more," Sarkozy said in a response that recalled recent outbursts by his finance minister, François Baroin, and the Bank of France governor, Christian Noyer, that Britain should have had its credit rating downgraded before France because the UK had a weaker economy and higher deficit.