The outbreak of laughter from Angela Merkel – and especially from Nicolas Sarkozy – on the subject of Silvio Berlusconi’s commitment to the reforms needed to prevent the spread of the debt crisis to Italy is going down badly with the pro-Cavaliere press. On its front page, Il Giornale leads with “To hell with Sarkozy”. The Milan daily, owned by the PM's brother is taking up the call launched by sister paper Il Foglio inviting Italians to protest outside the French Embassy in Rome this October 25 at 5pm for a “laugh-in” to “fling back into Sarkozy's face his laugh at Berlusconi and the Italian people.” Meanwhile, the head of government will try to persuade coalition partners the Northern League to approve the pension reform demanded by the EU. Writes Il Giornale, “To dump the political problems between France and Germany onto Italy: this was the agenda of the duo in Brussels. Sarkozy has set the tone. But the bankers, investors and savers in France are not laughing. They’re holding more than 400 billion euros in Italian securities”, while in Italy, “the public patrimony and private savings are unbeatable and the unemployment rate is better than in France. It’s our turn to laugh now.”
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