Saturday, June 21, 2003

A common reaction
(Via Gweilo Diaries) Berlusconi slaps down France over Israel trip:
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi told France on Tuesday it should ''shut up'' about his Middle East policy, further straining relations with Paris just as Italy is preparing to take over the European Union presidency.

''They missed a good opportunity to shut up,'' Berlusconi told reporters in response to French criticism of his decision not to meet Palestinian leaders during a recent trip to Israel.
My, my - why the outburst? Let me guess - it was Napoleon's buttboy? Yep.
French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said this week that Berlusconi had ''not satisfied the European position'' by holding talks only with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon during his June 9 visit to Jerusalem.
The "European position"? Is that "butt up, head in sand"? Sounds like something that, with $2, will get you a subway ride in NYC.
''I went (to Israel) as the prime minister of Italy. There's no way France can issue criticism over something that was the sole right and responsibility of the Italian prime minister,'' Berlusconi said, clearly bristling with irritation.
It's just like the Frenchies to assume authority they don't have. Either that or they love being the old schoolmarm of Europe.