Canadian pranksters fool French president elect

9th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

OTTAWA, May 9, 2007 (AFP) - Nicolas Sarkozy, president-elect of France, was duped by Quebec humorists pretending to be Canada's conservative prime minister in a telephone call, but he hung up after being invited to a "dinner of fools," the jesters said Tuesday.

OTTAWA, May 9, 2007 (AFP) - Nicolas Sarkozy, president-elect of France, was duped by Quebec humorists pretending to be Canada's conservative prime minister in a telephone call, but he hung up after being invited to a "dinner of fools," the jesters said Tuesday.

The "Masked Defenders," who caught French President Jacques Chirac in a similar gag in January 2006, said they called the rightist Sarkozy on Sunday night after his election win over socialist candidate Segolene Royal.

Royal was herself the victim of a similar prank prior to the campaign.

In their taped conversation, obtained by AFP, one of the callers pretended to be Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and asked Sarkozy, "How's it going?"

"I'm well and everything seems to have gone pretty well (with the vote)," Sarkozy replies.

"You're very kind," he adds when congratulated for the win. "You know that I'm a big fan of Canada and our bilateral relations are excellent."

The prankster apologizes for his poor French skills, which he claims to have picked up at a Montreal language school.

They invite Sarkozy to visit Canada to eat poutine, a popular Quebec dish of fries, cheese curds and gravy. The president elect accepts.

"Since you are a rightist, and I am a conservative and (US) President George W. Bush is too, I would like to invite him to dine with us too," the prankster says, adding: "I've always dreamed of hosting a dinner of fools."

At this point, the line goes dead.

Before reaching Sarkozy, the two jokers Marc-Antoine Audette and Sebastien Trudel had told his handlers they were Harper's assistants Willy Waller and Tim Horton, a fancy potato peeler in a Quebec online comedy sketch and a Canadian coffee shop chain named after a hockey legend, respectively.

The real Stephen Harper actually telephoned Sarkozy on Monday to offer congratulations for his "definitive and impressive election victory," Harper's spokesman said.

The two leaders spoke only 10 minutes and the conversation was "warm and cordial," Dimitri Soudas, Harper's spokesman, told AFP.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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