Titan's Maurice Taylor Slams France Again
US chief executive Maurice Taylor has blamed the French Government for what he describes as the country's "lack of knowledge" about business.
In his second letter to France's industry minister, the boss of Titan International - which owns Titan and Goodyear tyres - said France's politicians were "out of touch (with) real world problems."
But he acknowledged: "France does have beautiful women and great wine."
His comments are the latest in an ongoing spat, which began when he described the country's workers as lazy.
Following an invitation from France's Industrial Renewal Minister to rescue a loss-making Goodyear factory, Mr Taylor wrote: "The French workforce gets paid high wages but works only three hours.
"They get one hour for breaks and lunch, talk for three and work for three."
He rejected the offer, adding: "You can keep the so-called workers."
The letter sparked outrage in France, and minister Arnaud Montebourg replied saying: "Your extremist insults display a perfect ignorance of what our country is about.
"Be assured that you can count on me to inspect your tyre imports with a redoubled zeal."
But in the row's latest development, Mr Taylor criticised the government's policies toward enterprise.
"The extremist, Mr Minister, is your government and the lack of knowledge about how to build a business," he said.
The businessman - nicknamed "The Grizz" for his tough negotiating manner - added that he "must be nuts to have the idea to spend millions of US dollars to buy a tyre factory in France paying some of the highest wages in the world.
"Your government let the wackos of the communist union destroy the highest paying jobs," he said.
Last month, Goodyear said it would close its main French plant and cut its workforce in the country by almost 40%, amid falling car demand and increasing labour disputes.
A US State Department spokeswoman played down the spat, describing it as a "private matter".
"We have deep and broad relations, including many successful American businesses operating in France, many successful French businesses operating in the United States," Victoria Nuland said.
The comments come as the European Commission predicted that France - Europe's second-largest economy - will grow by just 0.1% this year.