US CEO blasts France over time-wasting work ethic in rude letter to the government

A prominent U.S. businessman has blasted France's work ethic, saying employees spend half the day talking.

Maurice Taylor, CEO of tire-maker Titan International, wrote a letter to French Industrial Renewal Minister Arnaud Montebourg to explain why his company wouldn't buy an ailing Goodyear factory in Amiens. The ministry confirmed the letter as authentic however attempts to obtain comment from Titan have been unsuccessful.

"I have visited the factory," the letter reads. "The French workforce gets paid high wages but only work for 3 hours... They talk for 3. They told me that's the French way... How stupid do you think we are?"

The letter ruffled French feathers and has dominated headlines.

Taylor, who ran to be U.S. President in 1996, is known as "The Grizz" for his confrontational style.