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The Independent Online

Napoleon Complex anyone? The French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, certainly seems remarkably sensitive about his stature. He's been caught standing on boxes, sporting stacked heels, getting his tall wife to wear pumps, even straining on tiptoe when surrounded by other loftier world leaders. Now he stands accused of pressing his aides to position petite workers behind him at a press conference in a Normandy factory. Where will it all end? A decree that all must shuffle around on their knees in the Elysée Palace?

But is Napoleon the right yardstick for such behaviour? Historians have established that the French emperor was 5ft 6in – average for the period and taller than M. Sarkozy. The widespread misconception about Napoleon's supposedly diminutive stature has been blamed on British propaganda.

Alas, no such opportunity to blame "perfidious Albion" exists for the present leader of the French. Sarkozy complex is the real thing.