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Sarkozy Alsace Gaffe: The French President's Most Embarrassing Slip-Ups (PHOTOS)

First Posted: 01/21/11 09:55 AM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 07:25 PM ET

French President Nicolas Sarkozy once again finds himself the subject of many international punchlines, after mistakenly identifying himself as being "in Germany" while addressing a group of farmers in Alsace, part of a French border region.

According to the Telegraph, Sarkozy told the farmers, "I can accept distortions of competition from China or India, but not from Germany. I'm not saying that simply because I'm in Germany." The farmers are said to have responded with a series of boos.

Unfortunately for Sarkozy, the gaffe is merely the latest in a number of awkward moments for the French president. In addition to his digs at President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Sarkozy was slammed for a very public slip-up at a Parisian agricultural fair, and he and wife Carla Bruni are believed to have once kept Queen Elizabeth II waiting while the couple engaged in slightly more private matters.

Take a look back at some of Sarkozy's most embarrassing moments here:

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  • <a href=" http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article6106250.ece" target="_hplink">According</a> to the <em>Sunday Times</em>, Sarkozy said of President Obama: "[He] has a subtle mind, very clever and very charismatic...but he was elected two months ago and had never run a ministry. There are a certain number of things on which he has no position. And he is not always up to standard on decision-making and efficiency."

  • In Jonathan Alter's 2010 book <em>The Promise</em>, the author <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/10/sarkozy-sex-rumor-book-cl_n_569459.html" target="_hplink">claims</a> that Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni kept a senior head of state waiting while they had sex. Although the French first couple is notoriously late, many have speculated that the "senior head of state" in question is Queen Elizabeth II.

  • Of Angela Merkel, Sarkozy is quoted as <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/8269855/Nicolas-Sarkozys-gaffes.html" target="_hplink">saying</a> the German Chancellor had "no choice but to give in to my line."

  • During the height of the financial crisis, Sarkozy<a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/gordon-brown/6341259/Nicolas-Sarkozy-tells-Gordon-Brown-I-love-you...-But-not-in-a-sexual-way.html" target="_hplink"> reportedly</a> told former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown: "You know, Gordon, I should not like you. You are Scottish, we have nothing in common and you are an economist. But somehow, Gordon, I love you... But not in a sexual way."

  • In reference to Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Sarkozy <a href="http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article6106250.ece" target="_hplink">reportedly</a> said, "Perhaps he's not very clever -- but I know people who were very clever and who did not make the second round of the presidential election."

  • In November 2007, Sarkozy was accused of <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/6532711/Berlin-Wall-anniversary-doubts-cast-over-Nicolas-Sarkozys-pickaxe-claim.html" target="_hplink">overstating</a> his part in the fall of the Berlin Wall, after he claimed to have rushed with a pickax in hand the night it fell. Archives suggested he only showed up a week later.

  • At a 2008 agricultural fair in Paris, Sarkozy got into a tiff with a member of the crowd who wouldn't shake his hand,<a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL2454109820080224" target="_hplink"> reportedly</a> telling the man: "Get lost, you dumb a**."

  • Much like Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Sarkozy has been accused of racism, <a href="http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article6106250.ece" target="_hplink">reportedly </a>telling a black priest, "My compliments, you are very suntanned," and an African boy, "I wish I had as much time to lie in the sun as you do."

  • In April 2010, Sarkozy scolded a young man at a rally in the city of Chambery on Thursday, yelling, "Fais pas le malin!" or "Don't be a wise guy," after the man pretended to wipe his hand after shaking the president's. A <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfEQEYbLn8w&feature=player_embedded" target="_hplink">clip</a> of the incident went viral shortly thereafter.

  • During a November 2010 NATO briefing, Sarkozy <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/23/nicolas-sarkozy-paedophiles-french-president" target="_hplink">reportedly</a> lashed out with a 10-minute diatribe against journalists, before walked off, declaring: "See you tomorrow, pedophile friends."

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Filed by Curtis M. Wong  |