From the BBC:
First he complimented Barack Obama’s “tan”, then he played hide and seek with the German leader. He has even annoyed the Queen by being too loud.
Now gaffe-prone Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has held up the start of a key Nato summit – by talking for too long on his mobile phone.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel waited on a red carpet for several minutes looking bemused as the call dragged on.
She finally opted to start the event’s opening ceremony without the Italian.
In a symbolic show of unity and peace in Europe that Nato has helped to defend to mark the bloc’s 60th anniversary, the summit is being jointly hosted by Germany and France on the River Rhine which divides the two countries.
Mrs Merkel led other Nato leaders from Germany across a bridge straddling the river to meet President Nicolas Sarkozy coming from Strasbourg on the French side.
Really, “gaffe-prone” is an understatement. Berlusconi could be described as “iconoclastic” if only we could credit him with the insight necessary for him to consider the impact of his actions. Without that, he’s merely a boorish thug with a lot of money.