President Sarkozy let rip at the British prime minister, David Cameron, in an argument at the EU summit to solve the euro crisis, according to reports.

"/> President Sarkozy let rip at the British prime minister, David Cameron, in an argument at the EU summit to solve the euro crisis, according to reports.

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ANGELA MERKEL

Sarkozy attacks British and angers Italians

President Sarkozy let rip at the British prime minister, David Cameron, in an argument at the EU summit to solve the euro crisis, according to reports.

Sarkozy attacks British and angers Italians
YouTube screenshot

Le Monde reported that Sarkozy became irate when Cameron demanded all 27 member states should be at a meeting this week to discuss the ongoing euro crisis, rather than just the 17 countries in the eurozone.

“We’re sick of you criticizing us and telling us what to do,” Sarkozy reportedly told Cameron. “You say you hate the euro, you didn’t want to join and now you want to interfere in our meetings.”

Cameron had been arguing that all 27 countries should be involved in discussions about the fate of the euro as decisions, particularly those relating to finance, would impact all of them.

“The crisis in the eurozone is having an affect on all our economies, including that of Great Britain,” said Cameron. 

In another incident, Italians were angry after the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, appeared to join Sarkozy in smirking at a question about the ability of Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi to come up with the necessary reforms.

The two leaders were asked specifically about a meeting they had with the Italian prime minister.

“What did you say exactly to Mr Berlusconi?” asked the reporter in French. “Did he commit to any new reforms in Italy? Are you reassured after your meeting given that Italy is more and more in the firing line, particularly by the ratings agencies?” 

The two leaders paused before answering then looked at each other and smiled, causing much laughter among the media.

“We were together in the meeting. We have confidence in the responsibility of all Italian authorities, political, financial and economic,” said the French president.

Italian media appeared to close ranks behind their leader, regardless of their political views. Leading Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra called their behaviour “excessive.”

“For an Italian it was not great, and it matters little if you are pro- or anti-Berlusconi,” said the paper in a front page editorial on Monday.

Newspaper Il Giornale ran with the headline “Sarkozy like Zidane,” comparing Sarkozy’s behaviour to the headbutt inflicted on Italian footballer Marco Matterazzi by France’s Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup final. 

Newspaper Le Parisien spoke to Italians in Rome about the incident.

“It’s not the normal behaviour of a head of state,” said Salvatore, commenting on Sarkozy. “When the French are in difficulty they lose control and become arrogant.”

Others acknowledged the need for tough action. “Italy needs to be supervised,” said Bruno, an IT worker. “It’s the only solution.”


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ANGELA MERKEL

Merkel and Macron to meet for dinner in Berlin on Friday

French President Emmanuel Macron will have dinner with Angela Merkel in Berlin on Friday - the first time this year the German chancellor has received a foreign leader in person, her spokeswoman said.

Merkel and Macron to meet for dinner in Berlin on Friday
Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron at the G7 summit. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/Pool Getty Images/AP | Leon Neal

The working dinner at the chancellery will focus on “European policy issues”, government spokeswoman Martina Fietz said on Monday.

Talks will focus on the “coordination between Germany and France” ahead of an EU summit in Brussels on June 24-25, she said.

The dinner meeting comes after G7 leaders gathered in England at the weekend for their first in-person summit in almost two years.

VIDEO: Watch Merkel’s funniest momentsĀ 

World leaders were also meeting in Brussels on Monday for the first NATO summit with US President Joe Biden.

Subjects on the agenda included how to deal with China’s rise and confronting an emboldened Russia, ahead of a meeting between Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on Wednesday.

At the EU summit, leaders are due to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic, economic recovery, migration and external relations, including with Turkey and Russia.

At an online Franco-German council of ministers in May, Macron paid tribute to the German chancellor, who is bowing out of politics this year after 16 years in power.

“This last council allows me to say how much the Franco-German relationship owes to your commitment, your willingness to take action, sometimes your patience with us, and your ability to listen,” Macron said.

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