• Germany edition
 
Berlin bats back Berlusconi barbs
Photo: DPA

Berlin bats back Berlusconi barbs

Published: 11 Dec 2012 17:38 GMT+01:00
Updated: 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
'We're camping for six days outside Apple store'
Photo: The Local

'We're camping for six days outside Apple store'

Most holidaymakers on a week-long camping trip pitch up by lakes or next to the beach. But two Berliners are hoping to break a record by settling in for six days outside the city's Apple Store to be the first to get their hands on new iPhone 6. READ  

Auschwitz guard charged over 300,000 deaths
The gates at the former concentration camp of Auschwitz. Photo: DPA

Auschwitz guard charged over 300,000 deaths

A 93-year old man from Lower Saxony will stand trial for 300,000 counts of accessory to murder at the Auschwitz death camp while a member of the Waffen-SS. READ  

Germany can't crack 'CIA double agent' laptop
Photo: DPA

Germany can't crack 'CIA double agent' laptop

An alleged CIA double agent secured his laptop so well that German secret services have failed to crack it since he was arrested in July, according to reports. READ  

Netflix launches in Germany (in English too)
Some of the cast of Orange is the New Black at a photocall in Mexico. Photo: DPA

Netflix launches in Germany (in English too)

UPDATE: TV streaming service Netflix opened its virtual doors in Germany on Tuesday in the face of stiff competition from existing players. Users will be able to watch shows in English too. READ  

Lufthansa pilots abandon Frankfurt strike plans
Ready to go again. Photo: DPA

Lufthansa pilots abandon Frankfurt strike plans

UPDATE: Pilots' union Cockpit has announced that a planned strike at Frankfurt Airport on Tuesday has been called off. READ  

One of these men will be Berlin's next mayor
Jan Stöß, Raed Saleh, Michael Müller Photo: DPA

One of these men will be Berlin's next mayor

Three men are hoping to become Berlin’s next mayor after Klaus Wowereit steps down in December. With nominations closing on Monday, The Local looks at the three politicians who want to lead the city. READ  

Hotels hike up prices six-fold for Oktoberfest
Photo: DPA

Hotels hike up prices six-fold for Oktoberfest

As an estimated six million people get ready to raise their glasses for the annual Oktoberfest in Munich, hotels are raising their prices by as much as six times their regular rates. READ  

Police pin down Lidl meat needle culprit
A CCTV of the suspect released by police. Photo: Lübeck Polizei

Police pin down Lidl meat needle culprit

A woman has come forward to admit hiding needles in packets of meat in discount supermarkets after CCTV images enabled police to pick up the thread of the investigation. READ  

Germany puts first 'Isis jihadist' on trial
Kreshnik Berisha in court in Frankfurt on Monday. Photo: DPA

Germany puts first 'Isis jihadist' on trial

UPDATE: An alleged German jihadist went on trial on Monday accused of fighting for the Islamic State in Syria group, amid calls for tougher action to prevent attacks in Europe by the militants. READ  

JobTalk Germany
'Three types of firms are hiring foreigners'
Photo: Shutterstock

'Three types of firms are hiring foreigners'

What kind of companies are hiring foreigners in Germany? And which type of firm should you target for your next career move? Recruitment expert Chris Pyak reveals all to JobTalk. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA
National
Neo-Nazis are attacking newspaper offices
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Election night in Brandenburg and Thuringia
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Berlin spy station sees tourism boom
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany officially bans terror group Isis
Photo: DPA/ESA
Tech
VIDEO: How one German astronaut sees Earth
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Photo: DPA
Politics
Are Germans right to want cooler relations with USA?
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Fashion Ladies of the Local: Win a New Autumn Look
Photo: Bayernpartei/DPA
Politics
Why some Bavarians want a Scottish 'Yes'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
12 things to do in Berlin for less than a latte
Photo: Facebook
National
Bavarian waiter breaks beer-carrying record
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten German place names that make us giggle
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
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

3,264
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd