UK, France 'playground' spat simmers
London -Britain's press waded into the
bickering between London and Paris over the state of each other's economy, but
warned on Saturday that the "playground" spat was getting both sides
Some newspapers warned that neither side had
much room for crowing, while others made merry in the bust-up and childish
name-calling of the new "Entente Glaciale".
The eurosceptic Daily Mail had a field day.
"There are few more comic spectacles
than Frenchmen throwing fits of Gallic pique against the victors of Waterloo,"
the mid-market tabloid said.
"And when even the eurofanatical Nick
Clegg tells them to back off, it's a sure sign they've gone way over the
It put the boot into "sulky" French
President Nicolas Sarkozy, scoffed at what it called hysterics from "the
powerless head of France's toytown central bank" and then turned on the
finance minister and his "playground abuse".
"France is fast becoming a basket-case
economy", it added.
The leftist Guardian said that "so long
as we are all in the same sinking boat, we would be wise to focus on rowing in
the same direction".
"Britain and France always were the best
of enemies. They share similar delusions", it said.
French cabinet ministers had this week
"reduced the cross-Channel dialogue to the level of a year-six spat in a
"Comrades, we are in the same boat. A
"So there's no room for crowing. And
that applies as much to British eurosceptics as it does to French ministers
The Times said Britain and France must not let
what it called the present "Entente Glaciale" undermine their common
interests, calling it a "sour end" to a year when cross-Channel
relations have rarely been better.
It had a cartoon of Sarkozy as a cockerel,
having its neck wrung and being stuffed by Cameron like a festive turkey.
"The childish cross-Channel spat now
going on as the embattled Sarkozy government badmouths Britain's economy to
deflect attention from its own travails... is not a turning point in
Anglo-French relations or a sign of breakdown in the overall relations,"
The "smug" French Finance Minister
Francois Baroin is, nevertheless, "intensely irritating" with his
"calculating, deliberate and malicious" comments.
"Both countries have a vital interest in
resolving the euro crisis. It is time to set aside the gibes and name-calling
in the search for a solution."
The Daily Mirror also said both countries
were in it together.
"The cross-Channel bust-up between
Britain and France would be funny if it wasn't so tragic," the left-wing tabloid
Cameron's relationship with Sarkozy had
crumbled into "bitter recriminations".
"That is a disaster when the world is
teetering on the brink of a new monetary maelstrom.
"Time is running out. Statesmanship, not
petty squabbling, is needed to save us from catastrophe."
The Independent said Cameron had backed into
a corner over Europe, and relations between London and Paris were at their
lowest ebb for years.
"Now, more than ever, the prime minister
should be working to undo the damage of his isolationist position," it
"French broadsides" were just
posturing about its "almost-certain" credit ratings downgrade.
Britain does not have "any remaining
political capital", it said, citing Cameron's "cack-handed
diplomacy" which has "sadly confirmed the European view of the UK as