|Berlusconi reacts cheekily|
to EU members' criticism
Hours after the German Chancellor expressed outrage and demanded a full apology, Berlusconi spoke to him by phone and tendered his apology.
But in a statement later, the beleaguered Italian Prime Minister added he had been seriously offended by criticism levelled against him in the European Parliament on Wednesday.
The German Chancellor, however at the end of the phone conversation with Berlusconi, said he considered the row over.
In a speech earlier during the day in the German Parliament, Schroeder insisted that Berlusconi's comparision of a German lawmaker with that of a Nazi concentration camp commander, was inappropriate and unacceptable.
"This comparision is inappropriate and completely unacceptable in content and form," the German Chancellor said.
"I expect the Italian Prime Minister will apologize fully for this unacceptable comparision," Schroeder said to loud applause.
Berlusconi had sparked widespread consternation on Wednesday when at the European Parliament, he likened a German lawmaker with a Nazi concentration camp commander.
Taken aback by the uproar that followed, Berlusconi had sought to smoothen feathers by conveying his apology to the German people in a meeting with members of the European Peoples' Party (EPP) at the European Parliament.
"I am sorry if I have offended the historical feelings of the German people," Berlusconi was quoted by the EPP members as saying.
But Berlusconi refused to tender a personal apology to Martin Schulz, the German Socialist member of parliament, whom he likened to the Nazi commander.
Having taken over