Italian PM, mayor feud over manners

Aug. 7, 2007 at 3:48 PM

CASTIGLIONE DELLA PESCAIA, Italy, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi is engaged in an etiquette row with an opposition mayor who declined to greet him when he arrived in the seaside town.

Prodi believes Castiglione della Pescaia Mayor Monica Faenzi committed a personal slight by refusing to greet him when he arrived for his visit, Ansa reported Tuesday.

"In what country in the world does a mayor fail to give a visiting premier or president a welcome, a sign, a smile?" Prodi asked.

"Wherever I've been on holiday, from the Alps to Sicily, the mayor has always welcomed me, or dropped me a line, or visited me, or phoned me, regardless of his or her political stripes," he said.

However, Faenzi said it was the prime minister who committed a manners faux-pas by failing to inform her of his visit ahead of time.

"This is the second year running that the premier has vacationed here but up until now, there has been no contact between us. The premier didn't inform us that he was arriving and he has never been to visit me, not even just to say hello," she said.

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