Tim Blair is right: Silvio Berlusconi rocks.
Berlusconi slaps down France over Israel tripSo much for playing Io to France's Jupiter.
ROME, June 17 — Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi told France on Tuesday it should ''shut up'' about his Middle East policy, further straining relations with Paris just as Italy is preparing to take over the European Union presidency.
''They missed a good opportunity to shut up,'' Berlusconi told reporters in response to French criticism of his decision not to meet Palestinian leaders during a recent trip to Israel.
French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said this week that Berlusconi had ''not satisfied the European position'' by holding talks only with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon during his June 9 visit to Jerusalem.
''I went (to Israel) as the prime minister of Italy. There's no way France can issue criticism over something that was the sole right and responsibility of the Italian prime minister,'' Berlusconi said, clearly bristling with irritation.
With US tourism to France on a sharp decline, allow me to suggest our ally, Italy, as an excellent European vacation alternative. They're friendlier, they're funnier, they cook better, and they don't sing through their noses.