French PM can’t tell Pacific from Indian Ocean, despite being there

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls (foreground), in the French island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean on June 11, 2015. (AFP Photo/Richard Bouhet)
The French PM’s geography blunder has caused a Twitter storm, with many mocking Manuel Valls for placing the Island of Reunion in the Pacific Ocean instead of the Indian – despite the fact he was paying visit to that very place.

“Reunion - it’s the main department, it’s the main region overseas, it has 800,000 inhabitants, it’s a major place in the Pacific,” he told the Reunion 1ere station on Thursday while visiting the French island.

One of the journalists taking the interview tried to politely correct the PM, noting in the next question that Reunion is a “major place in the Indian Ocean.”

Valls’ geography blunder triggered bewildered French Twitter users. Some suggested that the PM made the mistake because he had jet lag. Others said that it shows the “total ignorance” of French politicians concerning France’s territories overseas.

One user shared a “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” show meme suggesting Valls chose the wrong ocean.

It is yet one more blunder that has drawn attention to the PM in recent days. On Sunday he admitted that it was a mistake taking his two sons to the Champions League final in Berlin on a government jet last week.

“It was a mistake, a blunder. I gave the impression to the French people that I had not devoted myself to them. I am sorry,” he told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper.

Screenshot from Google Maps