Sunday

31st Jul 2016

Merkel shows softer side on Italian holiday

  • Angela Merkel is a regular customer at Hotel Miramare (Photo: Hotel Miramare)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel - for many the incarnation of EU austerity and German rigour - has shown her softer side by visiting a waiter who lost his job.

She paid the surprise visit to the home of Cristoforo Iacono, a former head waiter at a hotel where Merkel and her family are regular customers, while on her Easter holidays in Italy.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"Yes, she came to our house to see him and stayed over for lunch. Merkel has known my father for a lifetime, we are so happy to have had her in our home," Iacono's daughter, Marianna, told Italian daily La Stampa.

Iacono has known her for decades, long before she became the most powerful leader in Europe.

Eight years into her chancellorship Merkel has grown skilled in avoiding the paparazzi.

She reportedly went to Iacono's home while on a hiking trip in the surrounding mountains with her husband last Saturday (30 March).

Whether or not Merkel deserves the criticism aimed at her over her handling of the eurozone crisis, Italy's populist politicians are among those who blame her for their country's problems.

Regional governor Stefano Caldaro, while welcoming Merkel in the seaside resort of Ischia, also urged her in a video message to pay attention to areas with the highest unemployment rates.

He noted that for every German without a job, there are 10 unemployed people in his region.

Fresh unemployment figures published by the European Commission on Tuesday showed a growing divide between Germany and southern nations, with record highs in Greece, Spain and Portugal.

Merkel is set to stay on in Ischia until Friday together with her husband, Joachim Sauer, as well as Sauer's son from a previous marriage, his wife and two children.

Warning over Europe's sugar-guzzling habits

Europeans get through a huge amount of sugary drinks, causing serious risks to their health, a study backed by anti-obesity campaigners suggests. But southern Europe has seen a marked decline in consumption.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceThe Trans Adriatic Pipeline: An Opportunity or a Scam in the Making for Albania?
  2. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen: I Condemn All Threats to Turkey's Democracy
  3. GoogleHelping Emergency Services Find You When You Need It Most
  4. Counter BalanceWhat's New in the Investment Plan for Europe: Business as Usual or True Innovation ?
  5. Belgrade Security ForumMigration, Security and Solidarity within Global Disorder: Academic Event 2016
  6. GoogleHow Google Fights Piracy: Creating Value While Fighting Piracy
  7. EJC"My Visit to Israel" - Opinion by MEP Lopez Aguilar, Chair of the EP Working Group on Antisemitism
  8. World VisionChildren Migrating, Out of School and at Work as Hunger Deepens in Southern Africa
  9. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStand-Up (and Exercise) to Prevent Chronic Diseases
  10. Centre Maurits CoppietersLaunches a Real-time News Hub Specialised in EU Stakeholders
  11. GoogleEU-US Privacy Shield: Restoring Faith in Data Flows and Transatlantic Relations
  12. World VisionWorld Leaders & Youth Advocates Launch Partnership to End Violence Vs. Children

Latest News

  1. EU encouraged car industry to cheat, French report says
  2. Terrorism and migration top EU public's concern
  3. Spain's Rajoy warns of minority rule
  4. Car lobby complained about emissions tampering by others
  5. Critical IMF report heralds new Greek bailout battle
  6. EU free movement must be curbed, UK says
  7. EU political pressure alone cannot save the rule of law
  8. Merkel: Attacks won't change refugee policy