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Italy's president snubs Steinbrück over 'clowns'
Photo: DPA

Italy's president snubs Steinbrück over 'clowns'

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

The Social Democrat who is challenging Chancellor Angela Merkel in this year's election has been snubbed by Italian president who has cancelled a planned meeting after he called two of the candidates in Italian elections "clowns."

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)

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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.
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