When asked about European opposition to an attack on Iraq, Rumsfeld said: “You’re thinking of Europe as Germany and France. I don’t. That’s old Europe. If you look at the entire NATO Europe today, the centre of gravity is shifting to the east.
Francis Mer, French finance minister, said on French television he was “deeply insulted” by Mr Rumsfeld’s comments, while Joschka Fischer, the German foreign minister, called on the US defence secretary to tone down his rhetoric.