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Chirac insults British and Finnish food and loses Olympic bid

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Dec 24, 2004
French president Jacque Chirac insulted British and Finnish food in a conversation with a German and Russian leader that was secretly recorded by a reporter. Two Finnish people were on the commitee that decides who gets the Olympics. Paris didn't get it and London got it instead. Coincidence? Probably not :crazyeye: :lol: I thought Chirac was kind of stupid because of what he did to the US in the Iraq disagreement (not for opposing the war -- I wasn't hot about the war either -- but for backstabbing the US in the UN and things like that), but now I just KNOW he is stupid. He also said demurring from Putin that in comparison American hamburgers are a whole lot better. :goodjob: Maybe that means he's going to become more pro-US ;)

French President Jacques Chirac, already in a pot of British hot water, was accused yesterday of "a tasteless blunder" by opening a "cheap and thoroughly schoolboyish attack" on British food, calling it the second-worst in the world, behind only Finland's.

He even took a shot at haggis, the most famous Scottish dish, on the eve of the Group of Eight summit at Gleneagles, the Scottish resort.

As Mr. Chirac, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Russian President Vladimir Putin traded belly laughs at a cafe in the Russian city of Kaliningrad -- where they met to mark the city's 750th anniversary -- Mr. Chirac said, "the only thing [the British] have given European agriculture is the mad cow."

"You can't trust people who cook as badly as that," he said of the British. "After Finland, it's the country with the worst food."

At that point, Mr. Putin suggested that American hamburgers might rank the worst of bad food. "No, no," Mr. Chirac replied, "the hamburgers -- that's nothing in comparison."

The French president recalled how former British Defense Secretary George Robertson, a Scotsman who later became NATO secretary-general, once offered him an "unappetizing" Scottish dish -- apparently haggis, a concoction of minced heart, lungs and liver boiled in a sheep's stomach.

Mr. Chirac's remarks appeared Monday in the French newspaper Liberation, whose reporter taped them the day before without the president's knowledge during his conversation with Messrs. Schroeder and Putin.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, clearly keeping his temper in check, refrained from responding to the French leader, telling a press conference in Singapore: "I don't want to get tempted down that path."

London's newspapers made no attempt at restraint. Egon Ronay of the Guardian wrote that "a man full of bile is not fit to pronounce on food." The Daily Telegraph suggested in an editorial that the French president "seems to have gone a little off his rocker."

The Daily Mail was not so sure. "He is not stupid. He knew his sneering remarks ... would unleash a storm," and he is "cynical enough to obstruct the [G-8] summit in pursuit of his vendetta against Mr. Blair."

Mr. Chirac's relationship with Britain and Mr. Blair is dodgy at the best of times, and today the two countries meet face to face in Singapore when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announces its choice for host of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Mr. Blair flew to Singapore Sunday, and Mr. Chirac followed him yesterday. London and Paris are said to be the strongest candidates, with New York, Moscow and Madrid also in the running.

British and French IOC members cannot vote until their countries have been eliminated from the vote, but two Finnish IOC members can, and their votes could be crucial in light of Mr. Chirac's food review.

Mr. Chirac's remarks "can only be explained by the fact that he has not visited Finland often enough and that he listens too much to [Italian Prime Minister] Silvio Berlusconi," the Finnish daily Ilta-Sanomat observed.

After Finland lost to Italy last year as home for the new European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) headquarters, Mr. Berlusconi said that to compete with the Finns, he had to "put up with" Finnish cooking.

Hans Valimaki, owner of Helsinki's prestigious restaurant Chez Dominique, recipient of two Michelin stars, hit back at the French. "It is also true that the French are the dirtiest people. They do not buy a lot of soap, and for that, our president will not insult them."

The daily Iltalehti called Mr. Chirac's comments absurd, and "in any case, even the French no longer take him seriously."


Is it true that the French do not buy a lot of soap? :)
Well, if the two Finns had voted for Paris instead of London the final vote would have been tied 52-52...

That said, I've been to Britain, and British food is revolting. Native British food (e.g. blood pudding, haggis) is far more disgusting even than a Whopper at Burger King. And that's saying something. I don't know anything about Finnish food, as I've never been there.
Chirac is a loud mouth and hurts his country. Just like Howard Dean in America. Is this new?
Chirac, however, is the leader of his country, and Dean is not. Moreover, Dean is quite popular outside of the US and so does not hurt the US's foreign relations in the same way Chirac hurts France's.

(Actually, I just felt compelled to disagree. It's past midnight. Let me argue.)
Everybody's always insulting everybody else's food and culture, what else is new?? The French have always had distasteful comments ready for describing American wines. Italians diss Americans for doing Italian food wrong, Americans diss Italians for doing it wrong in the first place, Mexican lambaste "Americanized Mexican food" as being done wrong, blah blah blah. Heck, even Cuivienen is dissing other peoples' food. :)

Once again, it's actually the press that turns a molehill into a REALLY big mountain. :)
Yeah, stuff like this is barely even worth reporting, its just sensationalizing because of a slow media day.
Well, from what I've heard about British food, it is disgusting, but Chirac is a fool. He, and his old buddies Schröder and Putin represent perfectly what I hate on European politics.
Britain is supposed to take culinary advice from a culture that eats frogs, snails, and stinky cheese?

Note that I'm not reflecting my actual thoughts on French food, I'm just applying the same stereotypes that Chirac did to English food.
We have enough Olympic city selected threads for now.

And this thread isn't doing that great either. Closed.
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