Sarkozy brags that France will survive credit crunch far better than Britain

French president Nicolas Sarkozy has attacked Britain for the second time this month - this time bragging that France will survive the credit crunch better than 'Anglo-Saxon' countries.

The latest broadside on Gordon Brown's economic policy comes eight days after he branded the prime minister's VAT cuts as 'a failure' on national television.

In his second onslaught, Sarkozy - again in a TV interview - boasted that under his leadership France's economic prospects were better than Britain's.

He also said that France's social welfare provisions were bigger than those of any Anglo-Saxon nation.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy

French president Nicolas Sarkozy speaking atan agriculture conference today

Just hours after unveiling a 2.3 billion pounds spending package with unions, he told viewers on Wednesday night: "The situation in France is serious but we are coping and we will come through this better than other countries.

"Our economy has shrunk by less than that of Britain, Spain or Japan.

"When problems arise our safety nets and automatic stabilisers play a crucial role, much more so than in other countries, for example Anglo-Saxon countries.

The French economy shrank 1.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, while in Britain it slipped 1.5 percent in the same period, Sarkozy reminded veiwers.

He added: "Our social welfare budget of 550 billion euros or 31 percent of gross national product is also the most generous in the word.

"France entered the crisis later than other countries and is withstanding the shock better than its partners." 

The remarks come after he criticised Gordon Brown on February 5, saying his government's tax cuts would not provide the desired boost to the economy.

He said Britain had 'no industry' and Brown's economic policies would 'ruin Britain'.

Downing Sreet was said to be 'furious' at the French leader's comments.

But Sarkozy later tried to make amends for the first tirade by issuing a statement heaping praise on Mr Brown for the 'key role he played in drawing up the common crisis response we are currently working on'.

The Elysee Palace last night refused to comment on the president's remarks, except to say they were not meant as 'an attack'.