Europe’s two top-selling newspapers have for years traded largely playful abuse in a bid to keep alive a historic enmity that most of their readers have long since buried.
But Prime Minister David Cameron’s pledge to re-negotiate Britain’s terms of membership and then hold a referendum on whether Britons want to stay in the EU has led the papers to find reasons for the countries to love each other.
After Bild urged Britain to stay in Europe “because you are so wonderfully crazy” and said it would miss the “quirky” royal family and Mr. Bean if Britain left the EU, The Sun on Friday listed 10 reasons to love Germany.
German cars topped the list, followed by models Claudia Schiffer and Heidi Klum, the alcoholic drink Jägermeister and former German striker Rudi Völler, whose “mullet/’tache (moustache) combo took some beating”.
On Wednesday, the German paper had said: “You taunt us as Krauts… and your favourite word is ‘Blitzkrieg’, but dear Britons, we need you!”
It listed quotes from the famously politically incorrect Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, and said Prince Harry, the Sex Pistols and the Loch Ness Monster were all reasons that Germans want Britain to stay in the EU.
The Rupert Murdoch-owned Sun admitted it had been surprised by the peace offering.
“Let’s face it, Britain and Germany have a little form (history) over the past century. So when David Cameron this week pledged an EU in-out referendum, we weren’t expecting a love-in with Europe’s largest economy,” it said.
“But German newspaper Bild has run an article begging us to STAY in the EU.”
The Sun then offered ten reasons to love Germany, “in the spirit of warm Anglo-German relations”.
Electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk were at number five, followed by the Oktoberfest beer festival, former tennis star Boris Becker, fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, sneakers from Puma and Adidas, and supermarkets Aldi and Lidl.