Thursday, November 6, 2008

Berlusconi on Obama: handsome, young and suntanned

Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi did it again...

Berlusconi, who has made a number of embarrassing gaffs in the past, called President-Elect Barack Obama "handsome, young and suntanned" during a press conference on Thursday.

"Right on time, here comes the first sensational gaffe," was the opinion of La Repubblica, one of the Italy's major newspapers. Other opposition politicians in Italy called on Berlusconi to apologize.

The gaff overshadowed Berlusconi's press conference with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Russian/Italian relations, which are growing closer. The two leaders agreed that a new framework is needed for international finance after September's Wall Street meltdown and that August's conflict with Georgia shouldn't derail cooperation between the European Union and Russia. Berlusconi also called for "the truth" about South Ossetia to come out.

As part of the meeting Russian and Italian companies signed a series of agreements, including one to allow Italian helicopters to be built and sold in Russia.

Berlusconi's comments on Obama came as he said that he thought Obama would be good for US/Russian relations.
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