And his willingness to kowtow to mass murdering mujahedin. He and Jack Straw will get along famously. “Prodi quickly caught in row over remarks about Hamas,” from The Guardian, with thanks to Romy:
Italy’s prime minister-in-waiting, Romano Prodi, yesterday stumbled into his first big row since winning this week’s general election when he was quoted as saying he would try to get the European Union to change its approach to Hamas.
The centre-left leader’s aides rushed to correct what they said was a mis-translation. But by then he had come under fire from his opponents in Italy, and even the accurate version of his remarks prompted criticism from a Jewish representative.
The left wing of Mr Prodi’s broad alliance made big advances in the vote and can block legislation in either chamber of parliament. There was speculation that its influence was already showing up in Mr Prodi’s foreign policy after he was quoted by news agencies as having told the Arab satellite channel, Al-Jazeera: “I shall commit myself at the European level to shape a new position with respect to the new Palestinian government. I am looking with great attention at the signs of an opening being made by Hamas.”
A spokesman for the right accused Mr Prodi of complicity in “the worst sort of anti-westernism”. The remarks had been translated into Italian from the Arabic voiceover and what Mr Prodi actually said was: “Now I’ll get to work in an active way in Europe and we shall see the position in future. Beside, there have been openings by Hamas that are very interesting.”
Yasha Reibman, the spokesman for the Jewish community in Milan, was unimpressed. “I was expecting a better start,” he told the daily Corriere della Sera.
I wouldn’t expect much, Reibman.