Pole says the French 'learned to eat with a fork from us'

Poland's deputy defense minister has described the French as "people who learned to eat with a fork from us a few centuries ago" but denies that the two countries are embroiled in a diplomatic war over a failed defense deal.

Bartosz Kownacki made the comments on Wednesday during an interview with the private broadcaster TVN24.

Kownacki denied that a diplomatic war has broken out, but said the French had compromised themselves and revealed their "class."

This week Polish officials and representatives of Airbus have traded recriminations over a failed multibillion euro deal under which Poland was to have bought 50 military helicopters from the French company. The Poles say the deal was bad for Poland; the French say the Poles acted in bad faith.