Update 21 May, 2014: Jeremy Paxman asks Silvio Berlusconi if he really did call Angela Merkel an "unfuckable lard-arse":
ITALIAN newspapers claim Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi referred to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel as an "unfuckable lard-arse" in a telephone conversation with a newspaper editor.
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The alleged insult, reported in the Independent, was secretly recorded during an investigation into an alleged blackmail plot against Berlusconi. The editor, Valter Lavitola, is alleged to have been involved in procuring prostitutes for Berlusconi's 'bunga bunga' parties.
Previous revelations from the wiretap transcripts have been used to suggest Berlusconi has not been devoting his full attention to sorting out Italy's sovereign debt crisis. But the latest allegation, if true, would mean that Italy's premier has been caught out insulting the leader of the country which ultimately has the power to bail out his government.
The insult against Merkel has not gone unreported in Germany. The country's popular tabloid Bild ran a headline asking: 'Did Berlusconi crack bad jokes about Merkel?' Although it refrained from reprinting the alleged slander.
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