My goodness he's a charmer:
The Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, today sparked controversy when he said the 17,000 people made homeless by Monday's earthquake should think of themselves as being on a "camping weekend".
Berlusconi made the remark during an interview with a German television channel as he visited one of the emergency camps set up to cater for people who have lost their homes in the disaster.
The quake, which devastated the city of L'Aquila and surrounding towns and villages, has now claimed 260 lives.
Berlusconi told the reporter for the N-TV channel that the homeless quake victims "lacked nothing".
"They have medicaments. They have hot food. They have shelter for the night," he said.
"Of course, their current lodgings are a bit temporary. But they should see it like a weekend of camping."
His remarks - which seem to have been intended to reassure the public - scarcely correspond to the experiences of the homeless.
Between Monday and Tuesday, they had to endure a night of driving rain and hail during which temperatures fell to 4C (39F).
From the Guardian.