Hollande jabs Brits over ‘red carpet’ welcome

French president François Hollande has thanked the British for giving French athletes a red carpet welcome, in a thinly-veiled reference to a jibe from British Prime Minister David Cameron last month.

Asked about France’s top performance, Hollande said he thanked the British for giving French athletes a "red carpet" welcome to win medals.

"We’ll put the French medals in the European pot, so that the British will enjoy being European," he added, although he hastily admitted that the games were not over yet.

Hollande appeared to be responding indirectly to comments by David Cameron in June in which he said that he would "roll out the red carpet" to French firms that moved to Britain Hollande's Socialist government's tax rises.  

In other comments on Monday, the President praised the London's hosting of the games. The British capital beat Paris for the chance to be host in a closely fought contest:

"I would like to congratulate David Cameron and his government for what they have achieved," he said.

On Tuesday morning, France ranked third in the overall medals count, with three golds. The UK team trailed in 20th position.

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