After riling Londoners over the summer with his critiques of the 2012 Olympics, Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney managed to offend a different part of Europe with remarks he made at an event Thursday.
Italians reacted ferociously after local news agencies reported that Romney used the country as a negative example for what America's economy could become if it continues on its current trajectory.
Speaking at a campaign rally in Roanoke, Virginia, Romney reportedly asked the audience:
If you're an entrepreneur and you're thinking of starting up a business, you need to ask yourself: Is America on the same road as Greece? Are we on the path to an economic crisis like that we're seeing in Europe, in Italy and Spain?
Italian politicians were quick to rebuff the candidate's statements, which were, the Guardian noted, given "front-page prominence" there. HuffPost Italia reported on the local reaction.
“Romney says he doesn’t want to end up like Italy? Well ... the U.S. did already end up like Italy, or is actually doing worse, considering they have the same bad things as we do, like the deficit," Gianfranco Polillo said, according to HuffPost Italia. "But they don’t have our good things, like the quality of life,” he added.
According to Valter Verini, deputy of the social-democratic party, Romney's political culture is to blame for the world economy's downfall in the first place. "It’s hard to believe that who caused the worst has solutions for the future. It would be better for Romney to think about the consequences of liberalism with no rules. Everyone can give lessons but him," Verini said.
Osvaldo Napoli, deputy for the center-right party, accused the Republican candidate of lacking experience in governing. "Romney has no appropriate knowledge of the situation in Europe. Any comparison between the American situation and ours is a primary error from someone who never ruled before,” he reportedly said.