Monday

26th Feb 2018

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.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

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.

EU posted workers face hurdles

Negotiations among the EU institutions will start soon, but could be difficult on several issues - like the inclusion of the transport sector or the duration of a posting.

Focus

EU court bars tests for gay asylum seekers

Authorities in EU countries can no longer impose controversial psychological tests to determine whether an aslyum seeker is telling the truth about their homosexuality.

News in Brief

  1. EU calls for immediate ceasefire in Syria
  2. UK's post-Brexit vision is 'pure illusion', Tusk says
  3. EU leaders express solidarity with Cyprus in Turkey drill row
  4. EU to double funding for Sahel forces
  5. EU parliament president: 'The immigration problem is Africa'
  6. May to unveil EU departure strategy next week
  7. Pregnant workers may be dismissed, EU court rules
  8. Romanian minister demands anti-corruption prosecutor fired

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ILGA EuropeAnkara Ban on LGBTI Events Continues as Turkish Courts Reject NGO Appeals
  2. Aid & Trade LondonJoin Thousands of Stakeholders of the Global Aid Industry at Aid & Trade London
  3. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.European Free Alliance Joins MHRMI to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism Year to Promote Business and Mutual Ties
  5. European Jewish CongressAt “An End to Antisemitism!” Conference, Dr. Kantor Calls for Ambitious Solutions
  6. UNESDAA Year Ago UNESDA Members Pledged to Reduce Added Sugars in Soft Drinks by 10%
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  8. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  9. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  11. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP
  12. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.Suing the Governments of Macedonia and Greece for Changing Macedonia's Name

Latest News

  1. EU agrees budget to focus on defence, security and migration
  2. EU leaders nix transnational lists, cool on 'Spitzenkandidat'
  3. Regions chief: calls for smaller EU budget are 'impossible'
  4. Election fever picks up This WEEK
  5. EU-Morocco fishing deal casts doubt on EU future foreign policy
  6. EU leaders put 'Spitzenkandidat' on summit menu
  7. European far-right political party risks collapse
  8. The key budget issues on EU leaders' table