French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault committed a major gaffe after he accidentally described relations between France and Germany as "dreadful" while on a mission to woo Angela Merkel in Berlin.
Ayrault travelled to Germany in bid to patch up bad relations between the German Chancellor and his boss, Francois Hollande, the French president.
But Ayrault, a former German teacher, made a serious blunder in a Berlin speech to businessmen when he mixed up the word 'furchtbaren', or dreadful, for 'fruchtbaren', or fruitful, the expression he wanted to use to describe the relationship between France and Germany.
"There have been some recent articles in the German press that do not correspond to reality," he said. "My challenge, the government's challenge, is to reform what isn't working, to correct what is too weak, but to keep the profound values that make France what it is," The Telegraph quoted Ayrault, as saying.
According to the paper, Ayrault was defending France, against German criticism over the new Socialist administration's management of the French economy when he made his mistake.
The mix-up comes at a low point in Franco-German relationship and deep mutual mistrust between Chancellor Merkel and the Socialist French president, the paper said.
The German chancellor has been angered by, in what she regards as a betrayal, Hollande's opposition to EU austerity measures she has championed as the solution to the euro debt crisis, the paper added. (ANI)