Report: Silvio Berlusconi, Italian PM, Under Fire For Alleged Vulgar Comment About Angela Merkel

Silvio Berlusconi, the embattled prime minister of Italy, is again under fire, this time for allegedly making a vulgar comment about Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, during a taped phone call, The Daily Mail reports.

The alleged remarks - too vulgar to repeat but referred to sex and Mrs Merkel's physique - were picked up by investigators probing a £660,000 [$1 million] blackmail plot against Mr Berlusconi.

According to The Daily Mail, Berlusconi made the comments during a July 13 phone call with Valter Lavitola. Reuters, which gained access to the prosecution transcript, reports that during the conversation Berlusconi also called Italy a "shit country ... of which [he is] sickened."

Lavitola is being sought in connection to the alleged extortion plot, the AP reported earlier this month. Two others, Giampaolo Tarantini and his wife, Angela Devenuto, were arrested on September 1 in Italy.

Berlusconi has been known to say things he might later regret. In 2009, he found himself in hot water after calling President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, "tanned."

Just a few months earlier, he was criticized for telling the survivors of a deadly earthquake, some of whose homes had been destroyed, that they should just pretend they are camping for the weekend.