05/25/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Berlusconi Insults Rival Female Politician's Attractiveness

By Michael Day, The Independent

Facing sliding approval ratings and the prospect of humiliation in regional elections this weekend, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has begun lashing out in all directions, including an astonishing verbal assault on the physical attractiveness of a female opposition politician.

The Italian leader was banking on a wave of public sympathy after he was attacked by a mentally unstable man before Christmas and his People of Freedom party (PDL) had privately hoped to wrest at least five of the 13 regions up for grabs from the centre-left's control. But Mr Berlusconi's approval ratings are at an all-time low of 44 per cent and his party look like winning only one region - Calabria- with even that gain cancelled out by losing Lazio.

Read on at The Independent