In the United States, some conservative politicians changed their views after discovering that they had a gay in their own family.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the champion of European austerity and the advocate of discipline for Mediterranean countries, recently discovered that a longtime Italian friend of hers had lost his job.
Mrs Merkel was having meal in her usual hotel in Ischia, Italy, when she noted that the maitre, Mr Cristoforo Iacono, was not attending her table as usual. She asked of him and was informed that he had been fired.
Afterwards, Mrs Merkel paid Mr Iacono a personal visit at his home, a gesture which was appreciated by both Mr Iacono’s family and the Italian press.
Will this episode lead Mrs Merkel to a reflection on the collateral damage of austerity ?
Probably not. The usual assumption in Italy is that Mrs Merkel will hold on her stance in view of the approaching German general election.