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Merkel: No apology to Berlusconi for smirk

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Merkel: No apology to Berlusconi for smirk
Photo: DPA
15:21 CEST+02:00
Angela Merkel's spokesman on Thursday denied Germany's chancellor apologized to Silvio Berlusconi for supposedly sharing a smirk at an EU summit with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Italian leader's expense.

Steffen Seibert said on Twitter: "No apology from the Chancellor because there was nothing to apologise for. Berlusconi + Merkel have good, open talks among friends."

The Italian press this week slammed Europe's power couple for ridiculing Italy during a press conference in Brussels last Sunday.

During a brief interruption at a new round of summit talks, Berlusconi called a friend at the RAI television network and said: "Merkel came to excuse herself for last Sunday."

"She told me she hadn't wanted to denigrate Italy," he added.

The leaders of France and Germany had appeared at pains to offer a clear answer when asked if Berlusconi had their confidence to fight Italy's giant debt, and images of them smiling were splashed in papers and widely broadcast on TV.

President Giorgio Napolitano, who is widely respected by ordinary Italians, slammed the German chancellor and French president for "inappropriate and unpleasant public expressions."

Berlusconi said that Sarkozy's failure to greet him at the Wednesday summit was because he "did not have the opportunity."

The Italian premier is well know for his own legendary gaffes in the past, including allegedly making disparaging remarks about Merkel's appearance last month.

AFP/The Local/mry

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