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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!
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