A European Union summit meeting already overshadowed by concerns over economic nationalism turned into a linguistic battlefield when President Jacques Chirac of France, "deeply shocked" by the sight of a fellow Frenchman speaking English, stormed out of the room.You insecure goof. European "Union." Ha! And to think, in 2004 there were many that wanted to take this guy and "Gasprom Gerhard" seriously. I'll take Blair and Anzar any day.
Chirac defiantly admitted Friday that he had bolted from the meeting the night before because Ernest-Antoine Seillière, the French head of the European business lobby Unice, was using the language of Shakespeare rather than the language of Voltaire.
When Seillière began addressing the EU's 25 leaders in English, Chirac interrupted him and asked why he was not using his mother tongue.
"I'm going to speak in English because that is the language of business," Seillière replied.
With that, Chirac, 73, stood up and left the room, flanked by his finance minister, Thierry Breton, and foreign minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy, officials present at the meeting said.
"I was deeply shocked to see a Frenchman express himself at the council table in English, that's why we left - so as not to have to listen to that," Chirac said as the meeting ended Friday.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
More from the IHT. This is too funny.