• Germany's news in English
 

Italy's president snubs Steinbrück over 'clowns'

Published: 27 Feb 2013 15:54 GMT+01:00

A spokesman for Peer Steinbrück said he understood Napolitano's reasons for scrapping the meeting "given the domestic political situation in Italy."

Commenting on the inconclusive vote in Italy, Steinbrück said late on Tuesday he was "downright appalled that two clowns won."

He said that while former comedian turned anti-corruption firebrand Beppe Grillo was a "professional clown with nothing against being called that", former premier Silvio Berlusconi was "a clown with a particular testosterone surge".

Government officials such as Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle have called on Italy to continue on the path of reform under outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti that led to improved confidence in the financial markets.

Former finance minister Steinbrück has proved a gaffe-prone candidate as he gears up to challenge Merkel for the leadership of Europe's top economy and political powerhouse in elections on September 22.

His campaign got off to a poor start after revelations that he pocketed some 1.25 million euros ($1.64 million) for speeches at private functions.

He then caused offence when he said that Merkel gets a "bonus from women" and complained that the 17,000 euros per month that the chancellor earns is not enough.

Napolitano was due to have met Steinbrück for dinner on Wednesday and is due to meet his German counterpart Joachim Gauck on Thursday, as well as Merkel.

AFP/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

18:09 February 27, 2013 by Repatriated
This guy Steinbrueck is a bumbling idiot who hasn't got enough brains to figure out that he hasn't a snowball's chance in hell of becoming the Chancellor of Germany.

He is cut from the same cloth as Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry (who by the way served in Vietnam).
18:34 February 27, 2013 by McM
First SPD EU Shultz now , not to be left out Peer has to put his foot in his mouth.

They may not agree with Italian politians but those that live in glass houses etc!!!
21:53 February 27, 2013 by Englishted
Send in the clowns there ought to be clowns .

Because it would be better than overweight,over payed ,overbearing , traitors like him above.

P.S. that wasn't over the top was it ?.over.
22:36 February 27, 2013 by GuidoGoth
Ok, Beppe Grillo is a Clown. Berlusconi is well, okay, strange?! Ok, hes a clown as well. So what's actually the Problem then?

The Fail is called Berlusconi, not Steinbrück.
04:15 February 28, 2013 by randomanon90
The problem is that he basically called the majority of the Italian people idiots.
08:54 February 28, 2013 by vonSchwerin
Steinbrück may be indelicate or rude, but even a broken clock tells the right time twice a day.
09:47 February 28, 2013 by twisted
Not very diplomatic but right on the money.

@ Repatriated - I will admit that Biden can be a bit out of hand at times but nothing like Peer here. As for Kerry, he was born diplomatic and remains so. Want a real American clown..try George Bush Jr.....
11:20 February 28, 2013 by the.local.reader
Politicians ought not be so honest, Mr. Steinbrück. Although we agree with you, but we still think you are wrong.
12:06 February 28, 2013 by tuk
AND THE WINER IS KITLER !

http://www.catsthatlooklikehitler.com/cgi-bin/seigmiaow.pl
12:52 February 28, 2013 by federicoscala
Herr Steinbrück criticizes Berlusconi, not thinking about the consequencies of what he actually said. That's so tipical of Berlusconi!
13:05 February 28, 2013 by Leo Strauss
What do you expect from New World Order shill and traitor Peer Steinbrück? He got a memo from his masters telling him that he is appalled that two clowns won the election in Italy.

Hey Peer, if Beppo and Berlusconi are clowns then what is Mario Monti? The answer: a leader of the Trilateral Commission, a senior Bilderberger AND and international advisor to Goldman-Sachs, who was selected and appointed by the international banksters to run Italy as an unelected technocrat.

Well Steinbrück, have you anything to say about him? Of course not. Silence. The check is in the mail.

For those of you not keeping score, Steinbrück was invited to the Bilderberg Conference in Switzerland in 2011, where he was told to take a dive in the fight against Angie. Just like Hitlery was ordered to stand down against Obama at Bilderberg 2008, Peer was given his marching orders and is now doing his utmost to make sure that Angela Merkel remains Chancellor. Look for Peer to land a fat job with Goldman at the end of his 'failed' political career.
13:26 February 28, 2013 by princigalli
I'm afraid Mr. Steinbrück is not only very arrogant but also very ignorant of Italian affairs. It's true that German media has been covering Beppe Grillo very poorly, without any research and most of the times with false information. It's a movement of citizens that push for more democracy and transparency. It is possible that transparency and democracy are the very concepts that Mr. Steinbrück seems to hate, coming from a lobby governed country and a SPD that seems to love oligarchies more than citizens. Maybe they should look at their own clowns, the SPD looks like a business club more than anything else.
14:03 February 28, 2013 by ElkaSloan
This confirms nicely what I wrote last week about Angela Merkel's chances for re-election: elkasloan.blogspot.de
14:35 March 1, 2013 by Kennneth Ingle
What is worse, a German or an Italian clown? I see little difference between the criticiser and the criticised. It is just a case of the kettle calling the pot black.
11:06 March 2, 2013 by Roberto Gold
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
Today's headlines
Scientists aiming to redefine the kilogram
The world's roundest sphere. Photo: DPA

Scientists aiming to redefine the kilogram

The German Nation Metrology Institute (PTB) in Braunschweig has set itself the enormous task of finding a new formula for measuring a kilogram. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Germanwings co-pilot 'hid illness' on crash day
Photo: DPA

Germanwings co-pilot 'hid illness' on crash day

Germanwings said on Friday that it had no knowledge of a doctor-signed sick note found by investigators at flight 4U9525 co-pilot Andreas Lubitz's flat. READ  

Varoufakis quells rumours of resignation
Yanis Varoufakis. Photo: DPA

Varoufakis quells rumours of resignation

Update: After German tabloid Bild reported that Germany's least-favourite Greek minister Yanis Varoufakis was considering resigning, the minister rejected the story on Twitter. READ  

Germany to expand disability rights
Photo: DPA

Germany to expand disability rights

A representative of the German Labour Ministry went before a UN Committee on Friday to discuss the government's plan for improved rights for disabled people. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Germanwings captain's compassion goes viral
Photo: DPA

Germanwings captain's compassion goes viral

A Facebook post describing how a Germanwings pilot personally reassured his passengers of their safety on a flight on Wednesday has received over quarter of a million likes. READ  

Bundestag passes 'foreigner toll' for roads
Photo: DPA

Bundestag passes 'foreigner toll' for roads

The Bundestag (German parliament) passed a hugely controversial law on Friday which will charge foreigners for the use of German roads. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Airlines agree two-person cockpit rule
Photo: DPA

Airlines agree two-person cockpit rule

The Federation of the German Air Travel Industry (BDL) confirmed on Friday afternoon that from now on two people must be in the cockpit at all times, in a bid to avoid a repeat of the Germanwings disaster. READ  

Germany urgently needs immigrants: study
Spanish immigrants in Germany. Photo: DPA

Germany urgently needs immigrants: study

A study by the Bertelsmann Institute found on Friday that Germany will need around half a million new immigrants every year until 2050 to maintain its work force. READ  

Bundesbank tough, public soft on Greece
Jens Weidmann, head of the Bundesbank. Photo: DPA

Bundesbank tough, public soft on Greece

Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann said on Friday that he is opposed to giving Greece further financial help because he believes the new government has frittered away too much trust, but a new poll showed that support for a "Grexit" had shrunk below 50 percent. READ  

Town flocks to mourn lost schoolchildren
A black ribbon on a sign in Haltern, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Town flocks to mourn lost schoolchildren

President Joachim Gauck arrived in Haltern on Friday to join families and schoolchildren mourning the loss of their classmates and teachers in the Germanwings flight 4U9525 crash. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Germany
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
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

7,141
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd