• Germany's news in English
 

Rumours fly that Berlusconi insulted Merkel's figure on phone

Published: 15 Sep 2011 07:05 GMT+02:00

The call between Berlusconi and a businessman was recorded by investigators during their search for evidence against the 74-year-old politician for a variety of charges including corruption.

Although the recording has not been released so the exact phrase Berlusconi used is unclear, it is said to be extremely insulting and concern Merkel’s physique.

Italian MP Rocco Buttiglione brought the gossip out of selected newspaper columns and into the open this week, according to Bild newspaper.

He told parliament: “If the rumours are true, which are not only circulating in journalist circles but also in parliament, that the Prime Minister has spoken about Merkel in an unspeakable, unpronounceable, unacceptable way, the situation would be dramatic. Someone who has reached out their hand to us would be spat at in the face.”

He said the rumours were already causing damage to German and Italian relations.

Berlusconi has already faced domestic outrage over the phone call for allegedly calling Italy a “shit country” that he planned to leave soon.

Merkel and Berlusconi have had public mishaps in dealing with each other in the past, with one example mentioned by Bild being in 2009 when Berlusconi arrived in Germany for a Nato conference. He got out of his car while on the phone and ignored Merkel, walking past her still talking on the phone.

Germany has been complaining that Italy is not doing enough to stem Europe’s brewing sovereign debt crisis and the countries clashed recently over reparations for victims of World War II.

The Italian practice of giving economic migrants from Tunisia travel documents, and effectively sending them elsewhere in Europe has also proved unpopular among the country’s neighbours.

The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

10:02 September 15, 2011 by LiberalGuy
Who edited this? Is the normal guy off sick?
10:08 September 15, 2011 by marimay
Who cares. I am sure hes not the only one making fun of her.
12:31 September 15, 2011 by Englishted
Brave man to compete with nature .
13:18 September 15, 2011 by raandy
The photo looks as if the Chancellor is thinking "wow this mans breath would kill a dragon." Back off Berlusconi give the lady some air.
15:14 September 15, 2011 by reallybigdog
Perhaps he should worry about his own fat arse.
16:14 September 15, 2011 by Shirazz
What can a man do....he loves life and women....but only 18 year old ones.
16:24 September 15, 2011 by ChuChu
For a future beggar he must certainly watch his dirty old mouth. I love Italy but must admit he has soiled the good name of this country...Catholic? you must be joking this guy has NO morals! and what about his own looks? Just a dirty old man I say.
20:59 September 15, 2011 by Lisa Rusbridge
Weird piecing together of such a short article. It combines the subject of economy and the eurozone bailouts, WWII reparations and sending Tunisians elsewhere in Europe with a nasty comment from a smarmy guy who just happens to be the Italian Prime Minister.

If anyone is interested in the economics side of it, the passing of Italy's austerity plan yesterday (14 Sept.), the riots in Rome and the impact of Italy requesting loans from the US to meet debts then I suggest reading elsewhere.

And for what it's worth, Germany does have a right to angry about how the other eurozone nations are handling the financial crisis -- and that old pervert should have the good sense to keep his mouth shut.
21:30 September 15, 2011 by Kennneth Ingle
Berlusconi is well known for his senseless comments, but perhaps it is better he speaks about Merkel's figure, rather than about her brains. That is really something about which could cause a wide and controversial discussion.
22:31 September 15, 2011 by nemo999
He is a politician, and he is an Italian politician, and given that he is 75 years old it is very likely that he has been having Transient Ischemic Attacks for several years, in additions the possible toxic side effects of prolong use of hair dye, and the late hours that he keeps with all of the women who are not his wife, so what did you expect. I am sure that it was all in the spirit of good fun. Speaking of spirit, he sober when he made the statement?
13:15 September 16, 2011 by Horace87
As an Italian who loves Germany and has many german friends, though I've never voted for him and I never will, I wanna say sorry to Germany (and the rest of the world) for this ridiculous character we continue to present on the world's stage, especially at a difficult time like this.

Please understand that half of the italian population, especially young people, hate this character from the bottom of its heart and that entire political parties today sitting in parliament have born out of opposition against him. A major opposition party is lead by a magistrate who tried to put him in jail back in 1993 and has a growing consensus.

The only positive side of this economic crisis is that people in his same coalition are for the first time thinking of dumping him and that he probably won't resist more than 5-6 months in power. Some analysts say that simply by resigning Berlusconi would make italian bond spread on german state bonds reduce structurally of 50 basic points.
20:02 September 16, 2011 by Hopsaregood
Aw man, ease up. Everyone knows all the real men there died with the Roman legions.
01:32 September 18, 2011 by jpmaher
Merkel went to ethnically cleansed Croatia, which had expelled 200 000 Serbs from Serb lands in Greater Croatia in Aug 1995 (and more before that). and was quoted in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in January 1993: "There are still Serbian rape camps." Where are the babies? Germany is again using Croatia, Muslim Bosnia & Kosovo Albanians to kill Serbs. Mr Putin, put back that wall!
Today's headlines
Unemployment at new post-unification low
Photo: DPA

Unemployment at new post-unification low

German unemployment fell in March to the lowest level since the country reunited in 1990 as growth in Europe's biggest economy continues to pick up, official data showed on Tuesday. READ  

Trabi project aims to electrify 'Ostalgia'
A Trabant being converted into an E-car. Photo: DPA

Trabi project aims to electrify 'Ostalgia'

Its chuntering motor and belching exhaust once heralded the coming of the communist utopia. Now the east German 'Trabi' is leading a new revolution, and this time you won't hear it coming. READ  

Gun maker denies problems with army rifles
A German soldier aims a G36 rifle. Photo: DPA

Gun maker denies problems with army rifles

Update: Weapons manufacturer Heckler & Koch denied on Monday evening that the G36 rifles it supplied to the Bundeswehr (German army) lose their accuracy when they are too hot. READ  

Merkel urges Germans: Give Greece a chance
Chancellor Merkel speaking in Helsinki. Photo: DPA

Merkel urges Germans: Give Greece a chance

On a visit to Helsinki on Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel showed a patient side to the German government as the Eurozone continues to wait for a new list of economic reforms from Greece. READ  

Germany, France, Italy want Euro drones
An American Reaper drone. Photo: DPA

Germany, France, Italy want Euro drones

Germany, France and Italy plan to push forward with plans for a European-made military drone, the German government told MPs on Monday. READ  

Energy prices drive return to inflation
Photo: DPA

Energy prices drive return to inflation

Inflation in Germany crept higher in March, driven by rebounding energy prices, preliminary data showed on Monday. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Lufthansa questions 60th anniversary jubilee
Photo: DPA

Lufthansa questions 60th anniversary jubilee

Germany's national airline is reconsidering plans to celebrate its 60th anniversary on April 15th following last weak's deadly crash of a plane from subsidiary Germanwings in the French Alps. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Prosecutor: co-pilot had suicidal tendencies
Photo: DPA

Prosecutor: co-pilot had suicidal tendencies

A spokesman for prosecutors in Düsseldorf said on Monday that Germanwings flight 4U9525 co-pilot Andreas Lubitz had been treated for suicidal tendencies in the years before obtaining his pilot's license. READ  

Minister promises “shredding-free” eggs
Photo: DPA

Minister promises “shredding-free” eggs

Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt hopes to end mass shredding of male chicks in hatcheries in the next two years, he announced on Monday. READ  

Düsseldorf police set up special 'Alps' unit
The site of the Germanwings crash in the French Alps. Photo: DPA

Düsseldorf police set up special 'Alps' unit

A new police unit, which will go under the name “Alps”, includes 100 officers whose task it is to identify victims of the Germanwings crash and to investigate the background of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Germany
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,039
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd