President François Hollande's trip to India has been much hyped in the French press over recent days. The president was in New Delhi to seal the deal on the €12 billion sale of French-made Rafale jets. The Socialist president was accompanied by a high-powered delegation of five ministers including Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and the chiefs of more than 60 top French companies.
Except the first reports in the French press of Hollande's arrival in India did not centre around any historic multi-billion dollar trade deals or the future of French/Indian relations but about the president's attempts to speak to the press in English.
BFMTV wrote "Hollande speaks in the language of Shakespeare" before adding: "We don't often hear the president speak English but he chose to underline the ties between France and India in the language of the country he is visiting."
TF1 also headlined their article on the visit with: "Hollande expresses his pleasure for being in India in English."
Quite why his dip into English has caused such bemusement is unsure. Perhaps it is because he remained tight-lipped in English up to now and the French press had no real idea of his ability.
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We think he did fairly well. You can judge for yourselves.