Berlusconi: I Did Not Call Merkel 'Un[bleep]able'

Plus: more hijinks from Silvio's interview with the BBC
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2014 12:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Oh, those wacky European leaders: Perhaps the wackiest of them all, Silvio Berlusconi, gave an interview to the BBC's Jeremy Paxman that aired last night, and predictable ridiculousness ensued, reports the Guardian. Asked point-blank, "Do you have a particular problem with Angela Merkel? Is it true you called her an unf---able lard-arse?" Berlusconi had the grace to look taken aback by the question, then found his poker face and responded, "No, I have never had any problems with Angela Merkel. In 20 years of politics, I have never insulted anyone." He claimed the story was "made up by someone who wanted to turn Angela against me."

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The Washington Post had a grand time with the interview, rounding up its seven most ridiculous moments. Among them: That time Berlusconi hilariously jumped out from behind a monument and yelled "cuckoo" at Merkel. "She enjoyed it," he told Paxman. "I explained why I did the cuckoo thing. A few days earlier I had been to St. Petersburg to visit [Vladimir] Putin. Putin hid behind a pillar and did cuckoo to me from behind. Merkel and I were really on good terms so when she came to Trieste, I thought of what Putin had done and I basically hid behind a monument and did the same thing. It was funny." Speaking of Putin and stunts, Prince Charles is making headlines for reportedly comparing the Russian leader's actions in Ukraine to those of one Adolf Hitler. (Read more Silvio Berlusconi stories.)

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