German President sees no risk of Italy 'contagion'

Glauck meets with Italian counterpart, says EU not at its end

German President sees no risk of Italy 'contagion'

Berlin, February 28 - German President Joachim Glauck on Thursday said he was not worried about a possible risk of "contagion" following Italy's inconclusive legislative elections earlier this week. In a joint press conference with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, visiting Germany since Tuesday, Glauck said that "Germans can't say we fear the risk of a contagion in Europe". "We don't at all think that Europe is at the end of its days. Of course there is a debate and we have to understand and see what Italy will express". Earlier this week, the head of Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD), Peer Steinbrueck, caused a diplomatic kerfuffle when he said that "two clowns" - Silvio Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo - won Italy's legislative elections. Following the remarks, Napolitano cancelled a scheduled meeting with Steinbrueck, who is the SPD's candidate for chancellor in this year's German federal elections. Napolitano slammed Steinbruek's comments as "completely misplaced, if not worse".

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