:: Thursday, 10 July 2003 ::
Yeah, well yeah.
The German government was at pains to deny any long-term damage would be done to relations with Italy ...
But Mr Schroder's cancelled holiday exploded into a national political issue in Italy with the centre-Left opposition ...
"The economic harm he is causing is enormous," said Luciano Violante, chief whip for the Leftist democrats. Germans account for 38 per cent of Italy's tourist trade.
The province of Pesaro said it would seek damages from the prime minister's office. Italians seemed to be sympathetic to Mr Schroder. In a survey commissioned by La Repubblica, 49 per cent said he was right to cancel his visit.
Oh, man? La Repubblica is the Sydney Morning Herald/Age of the Italian press.
They will ask Italians whether they think the Germans are right - fer crying outta loud, what they should ask is whether they think the Berlusconi was right, or maybe ask the Italians instead if they agree with Northern Leaguer Stefani who wrote: "We know the Germans well, these stereotyped hyper-nationalistic blonds, who've been indoctrinated from the beginning to feel top of the class whatever the situation." Germans "loudly invaded" Italy's beaches, drinking beer and taking part in belching contests, ...).
Una domanda: for every German absent in Italy this season, how many applauding Yanks, Spaniards, English etc do you think might decide to show up in Silvio's Italy as a show of support? Tanti, I will wager.
Because the Bel Paese is fantabulous.
Basta. Ho detto tutto.
UPDATE: Tim Blair shares my views. Not bad for a skippy.
:: WB 2:14 am [link+] ::