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France PM says Nobel win 'thumbs nose at French bashing'

14 october 2014, 09:59

 French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Monday hailed the country's second win of Nobel season as a slap in the face for those who take pleasure in criticising the embattled nation, AFP reports.

"After Patrick Modiano, another Frenchman reaches the top: congratulations to Jean Tirole," Valls wrote on Twitter after the Nobel economics prize was announced, adding it "really thumbed the nose at French bashing."

Modiano's win for literature last week was already seen as a boost for a nation in the doldrums with a stagnating economy and deeply unpopular government.

Valls hashtagged his twitter remark #fiersdelafrance ("Proud of France"), after previously hitting out at the gleeful crowing of newspapers and businessmen over the morose state of the nation.

Batting away one crisis after another, France suffered a painful blow when Andy Street -- director of leading British retailer John Lewis -- recently described the country as "sclerotic, hopeless and downbeat" and "finished".

On a trip to London earlier this month, Valls slammed the "bias, prejudices and attacks" on France in the British press.

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