The Straits Times
Published on Sep 28, 2012

Germany hits back at 'absurd' Berlusconi euro broadside


BERLIN (AFP) - Germany dismissed as "absurd" on Friday comments by former Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi that a German exit from the euro zone would not pose problems for the embattled currency zone.

In a series of broadsides against Germany and the euro on Thursday as Italy's election season heats up, Mr Berlusconi said it "would not be a tragedy" if Europe's top economy left the bloc and said Berlin showed "hegemony, not solidarity."

Asked about the comments at a regular government news conference, a spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the comments were nonsensical.

"The idea that Germany could leave the euro zone and this would not be a concern for Europe is absurd," snapped the spokesman. He declined however to comment on the possibility of Mr Berlusconi's re-election, saying that this was an internal Italian matter.