Ahead of their Euro semifinal match yesterday, one German paper stuck a bunch of Italian players on a pizza and called it an insult. They don't know from insults. The Italians? They know insults.
These are today's front pages of Il Giornale and Libero, after Italy's 2-1 win. "Ciao Ciao Culona" is simply "Bye Bye Fatass," and a reference to former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's pet name for German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "VaffanMerkel" is a version of a very popular Italian swear, and would be translated in spirit as "Fuck Off, Merkel."
Why the Merkel hate? No reason, other than Italy being a nation of shiftless layabout tax-dodgers, and Germany holding them to account. But yesterday was a big day in European relations—not only did Italy advance to the Euro finals, but Merkel made some major financial concessions. It's a good time to be an Italian, and a better time be an Italian newspaper editor.