Moscovici: 'I Wasn't Asleep, Stop French Bashing'

Yoshikazu Tsuno | AFP | Getty Images

The French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici took to Twitter on Wednesday to deny that he had fallen asleep during Cypriot bailout talks, slamming what he called "French bashing."

A Reuters report on Wednesday suggested that Moscovici had nodded off during bailout talks for Cyprus on March 24 and that International Monetary Fund chief, Christine Lagarde, had to nudge him awake.

The story suggested that France had lost its political voice in Europe after it was reported that Lagarde had remarked, "Now I understand why we don't hear France's voice.''

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"No I was not sleeping during the negotiations and [IMF chief] Christine Lagarde did not wake me up. Yes France has a voice and weight: stop French bashing,'' Moscovici tweeted.

"Inventing a story and then romanticizing it from false information to denigrate a country: that is French bashing," he said in another tweet, though he conceded that he drifted off during a break in discussions.

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The subject of France's position on the world stage was raised again on Wednesday at a press conference on France's role in the international political scene. Briefing journalists in Paris on his discussions at the IMF and G20 meetings in Washington last weekend, Moscovici said there is a "strong convergence" of global views on the need to focus on economic growth rather than austerity.