• Germany's news in English
 

Berlin bats back Berlusconi barbs

The Local · 11 Dec 2012, 17:38

Published: 11 Dec 2012 17:38 GMT+01:00

Speaking at a news conference in Berlin Merkel said: "I support what Mario Monti's government has put in place."

The reforms he has carried out have resulted in Italy winning back at least part of the confidence of the financial markets, she added.

"Therefore the Italian people will clearly vote to put Italy on a good path," Merkel said.

Stock markets sold off sharply and borrowing costs soared after a weekend of political drama in Italy in which Monti said he would soon step down and his mercurial predecessor Berlusconi announced a return to politics. Elections are now expected to be held in February.

Berlusconi on Tuesday set the tone for his upcoming election campaign accusing Monti of being "German-centric" and said that all the main economic indicators had worsened since the former Eurocrat was installed in power.

Speaking in Berlin before leaving for a meeting in Morocco on the Syrian crisis, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle hit back, saying it was unacceptable for Germany to be used as a target in a "popularist election campaign."

"Neither Germany nor Europe is to blame for the difficulties in Italy. On the contrary, Germany has always been a great help in overcoming the problems," he added.

Monti's reforms are "of great importance for the stability of Italy but also for the stability of Europe," stressed the minister.

Conversely, if the reforms were to be wound back, "it would be not only a sad development for Italy, it would be a dangerous development for Europe," insisted Westerwelle.

Monti has been credited with pushing through much needed economic reforms in Italy and markets rewarded him by pushing down borrowing costs that at one point were so high a bailout looked likely.

Heavily-indebted Italy has the eurozone's fourth biggest economy and severe financial problems there would represent a fresh chapter in the 17-nation bloc's ongoing debt crisis.

The European Central Bank also warned on Monday that any new Italian leader must continue reform efforts.

AFP/The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

20:18 December 11, 2012 by TheCrownPrince
Even the possibility of a comeback concerning Silvio B. tells me that there must be something completely wrong in italian politics. How immature and nutty can voters be, wasting their vote for this ridiculous clown? He won't be taken seriously anywhere abroad, foreign investors will abandon Italy, necessary reforms won't be made. What lunacy!
20:20 December 11, 2012 by smart2012
First berlusconi is a populistic i.... However if he has an argument is cause Verkel has screwed up by driving the eu agenda, and people do not see an end.

Last, Italy is third biggest eu economy in eu, not fourth, and it is paying a lot of money to support Europe. Why fourth?
01:59 December 12, 2012 by www.emungus.net
ITALY: FALL IN DISGRACE

Courtesy is not always a good companion by the fact that sometimes it overshadows the truth . Nevertheless , can we finally dare by admitting that Italy is a failed state? No, sorry...courtesy requires, let us rephrase that statement : the land of Benito Mussolini may fall in disgrace.
05:24 December 12, 2012 by jmclewis
There should be a Club of bad Pols ....... Lets See Both Bushes, Clinton for Glass Stegal, Obama proved he could out spend Bush.... Merkel........Mr Boom Boom ...... I cannot name a good French Leaders....
10:00 December 12, 2012 by smart2012
emungus, can u express some more facts to justify your populistic statement?
10:41 December 12, 2012 by raandy
All politics by Berlusconi, he is taking advantage of the painful austerity measures and the general dislike like for the German insistance on them.
17:15 December 12, 2012 by michael4096
"...can u express some more facts to justify your populistic statement?"

From smart! Best laugh I had all day!
17:37 December 12, 2012 by www.emungus.net
Dear smart2012,

Sorry you feel it that way. I did back up that statement, here are some comparative facts :

ITALY

Unemployment: 10.8%

Average gross salary: 2,521 € / 3,403 $, monthly

GERMAY

Unemployment: 5.4%

Average gross salary: 4,217 € / 5,692 $, monthly

(For further details, please refer to : World economic outlook database, International Monetary Fund)
18:25 December 12, 2012 by pjnt
Burlusconi makes me laugh. Italians make me laugh because they think Burlusconi isn't funny.

What a joke.
15:18 December 21, 2012 by jg.
@smart2012 "Last, Italy is third biggest eu economy in eu, not fourth, and it is paying a lot of money to support Europe. Why fourth?"

GDP: Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain,...
Today's headlines
Poland to deploy army to hunt for Nazi gold train
An old mine shaft at Walbrzych in Poland. Photo: DPA

Poland to deploy army to hunt for Nazi gold train

11 minutes ago

Poland said Tuesday it would deploy the military to look for an alleged Nazi "gold train" that sparked global fascination after two anonymous treasure hunters claimed they had pinpointed where it is buried.

Germany's first mosque excavated near Berlin
Excavation of the mosque site outside Berlin. Photo: Freie Universität

Germany's first mosque excavated near Berlin

14 hours ago

Archaeologists have excavated the remains of Germany's oldest mosque on the outskirts of Berlin, a team from the capital city's Free University (FU) announced on Monday.

Kiel scientists: MH370 search in wrong place
The Malaysia Airlines plane which disappeared on March 8th 2014. Photo: Laurent ERRERA / Wikimedia Commons.

Kiel scientists: MH370 search in wrong place

14 hours ago

German scientists have challenged conventional wisdom on the crash site of the MH370, the Malaysia Airlines plane missing since March 2014, suggesting the search is being conducted in the wrong place.

Five reasons to love Germany in autumn
What's not to love about the start of Lebkuchen season? Photo: DPA

Five reasons to love Germany in autumn

15 hours ago

September 1st may be the first day of autumn, but it's not all sad news for those living in Germany. Here are five reasons why we should welcome autumn with open arms.

Opinion
Studying in Germany left me down in the dumps
Students in a lecture theatre at Cologne University. Photo: DPA

Studying in Germany left me down in the dumps

15 hours ago

Finnish student Juuso Nisula moved to Cologne to study business administration, but found a catalogue of failings instead in the model of German educational efficiency he was expecting. He explains just what went wrong - and how to fix it - in an opinion piece republished by The Local.

Teen fined for sharing 13-year-old ex's sexts
Photo:DPA

Teen fined for sharing 13-year-old ex's sexts

17 hours ago

A court in Berlin has ordered a teenager to pay €500 in damages to his 13-year-old ex-girlfriend after sharing intimate pictures of her over WhatsApp, the girl's lawyer has revealed.

Migrant crisis
Munich police swamped with refugee donations
A woman working for Refugee Aid Munich (Flüchtlingshilfe München) hands a soft toy to a refugee child. Photo: DPA

Munich police swamped with refugee donations

23 hours ago

UPDATE: As over 1,000 refugees arrived in Munich from Hungary by train on Tuesday, police in the Bavarian capital said they were "overwhelmed" by the amount of food, water and other supplies donated by local people to those in need.

Löw backs Schweini after shaky United start
Bastian Schweinsteiger. Photo: DPA

Löw backs Schweini after shaky United start

17 hours ago

Germany coach Joachim Löw is backing Bastian Schweinsteiger to brush off his shaky start at Manchester United when he captains his country in Friday's key Euro 2016 qualifier against Poland.

Unemployment level stays at record low
Photo: DPA

Unemployment level stays at record low

19 hours ago

German unemployment remained at historically low levels in August as the recovery in Europe's biggest economy continued on track, data showed on Tuesday.

Bavarian minister uses n-word on live TV
Singer Roberto Blanco (left) and Bavarian interior minister Joachim Herrmann (right). Photo: DPA:

Bavarian minister uses n-word on live TV

21 hours ago

Bavarian interior minister Joachim Herrmann (CDU) has become the target of widespread outrage after calling singer Roberto Blanco a "wonderful negro" on live television - and failing to apologize when challenged on Tuesday morning.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

Features
'Berlin is kind of like the best American city'
Features
How Brits in Germany are facing Brexit fears
Sport
German named 'arse bombing' world champ
Travel
Retiree finds parked car after three-week search
National
Ten ways Germany puts Britain to shame
Business & Money
German gadget clamps down on Nutella thieves
Society
Is Germany now a nation of couch potatoes?
National
Half of Germans 'have had sex in their car'
Society
Deadly stew spooks home vegetable gardeners
Politics
The man who brought two Germanies together
Features
Where to get your culture fix in Cologne
Education
Fairytale world of Brothers Grimm brought to life
Rhineland
Thieves leave 1,000 open beers untasted
National
Way to some Germans' hearts is through their wallets
National
Germany's biggest challenge: European refugee crisis
Travel
Where to get your adrenaline pumping in Germany
Technology
Could thieves hack into luxury cars?
What to watch out for when snapping your lunch
National
German lefties through history
National
The fight over prostitution heats up
National
Merkel: migrants, not Greece, are the real challenge
Features
How I explained the Queen to the Germans
Education
Why Germany does 'back-to-school' traditions better
National
Germans are ‘not how foreigners think’
National
A mum and daughter reunite 70 years after WWII
Sport
Bra stops bullet in hunting mishap miracle
National
Cows trample German woman to death in Graubünden Alps
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,937
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd