Nor was Bild Zeitung, The Sun's opposite number in Germany, prepared to fight for the Finance Minister's honour.
Germans nevertheless felt insulted by the tone of the Sun article. "To say that Lafontaine poses the greatest threat to Britain's independence since 1945 is to portray him as a second Hitler," said Lorenz Beckhardt, an editor of the television channel ARD. "That's slander."
He sees The Sun's German issue as an attempt to bring Rupert Murdoch's gospel to Germany. He predicts it will backfire, because it will only fuel Germans' suspicions of foreign media tycoons, especially those that are seen trying to subvert democracy.