Three days after Peer Steinbrück, the Social Democratic candidate to challenge Chancellor Angela Merkel in elections this autumn, referred to Italian political leaders Silvio Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo as "clowns," the head of Germany's most famous circus has expressed his displeasure at being compared to the former Italian prime minister.
"A circus clown is no fool who can be placed on the same level as Berlusconi," Bernhard Paul, director of Circus Roncalli, told the German news agency DPA. "Being a clown is an honorable, very difficult, sensitive and artistic occupation," he said. "How can you compare that with bunga bunga?" he added, in reference to Berlusconi's infamous frolicking with women a fraction of his age.
Der Spiegel has the clown react story. Here's the Economist's leader on the Italian elections. And, for a bit of context, here's our story from last year that looked at the Italian economy through the lens of a pasta factory