From the Guardian. Berlusconi apologized to Gerhard Schroeder (who was not exactly offended by him, but had demanded a formal apology).
“Italy’s billionaire prime minister Silvio Berlusconi last night expressed regret for his Nazi jibe against a German MEP, in a bid to end a serious diplomatic stand-off between the two countries just as Italy takes over the European Union presidency. The German chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, who had demanded a full and formal apology, told a news conference in Berlin: “He expressed regret for the choice of this expression and comparison. I explained to him that as far as I am concerned this ends the affair.”
And regarding the Italian tv coverage of Wednesday’s incident:
“In Italy, state television’s evening news programme TG1 dubbed over the prime minister’s voice as he delivered his offending “joke”. “TG1 shuts its ears and hides European gaffe,” said the left-leaning daily Repubblica. The chiefs of the three state television channels, which are all indirectly controlled by Mr Berlusconi, were called for questioning next week by a parliamentary broadcasting commission.”
Update: Silvio Berlusconie today not only stole my “Hogan’s Heroes” joke and used it in a press conference, he also stated that he did in fact not apologize to Gerhard Schroeder. I guess this is like when the US and China had to find a word that meant “apology” in Chinese and “regret” in English after that US spy-plane had to land in China following a collision with a chinese fighter aircraft sent to intercept the reconaissance operation, back in 2001. C’mon people, you just have to love diplomats for their never ending efforts to build bridges so politicians can have their cake, and eat it, too.